I have seen a lot of adverts, articles, blogs videos and websites recently promoting the link between martial arts and self defence.
Some martial arts practitioners openly state that their martial art offers the ’best’ or ‘most effective’ self defence system and will give their students which can only be described as ‘super powers’ to deal with, or defeat a much larger and more aggressive attacker
All martial arts do have some self defence applications that may be useful in certain situations, if employed correctly, but what cannot be duplicated in any dojo or training hall is the perceived threat, because in any training scenario the ‘victim’ is ultimately in a safe environment.
What cannot be replicated is the pressure of a real attack or conflict situation as everyone responds differently.
We have all heard of the common responses of fight or flight, but what about the response of fright or freeze.
No two sets of circumstances are the same. There will always be factors that are
unique to any given situation.
There is however, one element that is present in all participants in a confrontational situation. This is stress.
When we perceive a threat our survival instinct takes over. Our bodies automatically
adapt to provide the means to protect ourselves.
We do this by releasing adrenalin & endorphins which create physiological changes, commonly known as the “fight or flight” response.
The effect of this response gives us extra strength, a greater tolerance to pain and a heightened awareness.
On the negative side we develop tunnel vision, lose our ability to execute fine motor skills and lose our perception of speed of events.
What this means is that once we are under the influence of the fight or flight response, it is unrealistic to assume that we will maintain an all-round awareness of the situation, be able to execute skilful and complex techniques, (unless we are highly trained) or that we will be able to measure accurately our response to a perceived threat.
As stated earlier these conditions cannot be replicated if the participants are training in a ‘safe’ environment which a martial arts class is, or should be.
All good self defence or personal safety training is generally 90% awareness and 10% on the actual physical ‘defensive’ techniques & practices
Training is by necessity neat and organised how else is one to learn? Real combat will always be messy and brutal, however as long as the mind is focused and fear is controlled there is no reason martial arts technique principles will not work. Please try to remember it is the individual in the fight that matters, their character strengths and weaknesses which are highlighted not the art they study.
At Mind Body Spirit we will improve your fitness & confidence and give you the tools required to deal with conflict situations but do not guarantee your personal safety.