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Does fighting make you better at self defense?

Posted: February 13, 2019

Training Fact vs. Reality:

 Many will tell you that the only way to test your skills was to engage in combat with others regularly. What if we told you that was not as true as others who do such would like you to believe. I know you might have a nagging voice i your mind going "Yeah right, that’s the only way to know". Well lets dissect a common self-defense situation and see if you still feel the same at the end of this post!

1. Ok who is likely to attack you? Is it a trained fighter? The answer is most certainly NO! Attackers are usually people with little or no formal training looking to victimize someone they feel will not pose a challenge to them. They have not trained for what to do when someone fights back or is not scared of them.

2. Does an attacker know your training style, weaknesses or strengths? Another big NO! They obviously mistook you for a victim that would not offer resistance and best of all they will not expect what you are about to deal them making an unfair situation in your advantage, even if you are smaller than the attacker. 

3. Will you be attacked in a very controlled environment like an indoor ring with watchful coaches nearby shouting encouraging (or discouraging) words? No, the world is full of game changers and hazards that do not always benefit an attacker. Knowing your surroundings can give you a HUGE advantage in the real world that simply cannot be replicated in a staged "match". 

4. RULES..... In any type of organized fighting there are rules to follow that greatly shape the outcome of the situation. Rules can also cause you to have bad habits, like in some types of competitive sparring where it is illegal to strike to certain parts of the body or others where you are not permitted to strike with any power and must pull punches back quickly. There are no rules in the real world, remember when Mike Tyson got upset about being head butted and bit off the ear of Evander Hollyfield? That is much closer to a real world situation and that bite changed the course of the fight, just like it would have in a real life situation.

 

5. Pride and money. There are two major forces driving all types of sport, but especially those based around combat. Some are looking to boost the image of an instructor or their gym and other simply see these matches as a cash cow. Do not be the tool of another's pride or greed, I mean would you really put your personal safety on the line for that? Me personally I try to avoid combat at all opportunities as win or lose it hurts, I do not need another trophy and my health is important!

6. Health. Did you know every hit you take to the head damages your brain, causes inflammation and on top of that it hurts. There is also the slew of other injuries fighters deal with regularly like hyperextended joints, bruises, and so on. Even if the ONLY way to be protected was to "fight" is it worth the torment on your body and brain? There are enough health impairing issues these days without adding to it with unneeded physical ailments.

7. Self Defense vs. Fighting. If you want to fight other people be it for your own pride, to try and earn money (keep in mind it's not a well-paid profession) or you just enjoy beating and being beat on then look for a full contact school! If you are simply looking to protect yourself and your family then you will find that almost any type of training you dedicate yourself to and practice regularly will do the job. More import is through your training you will learn to be more aware and confident so you will almost always know the "way out" when trouble is near and more importantly you will no longer be seen as a good target. So in short the longer you train the less likely you are to have to use why you learn. 

Now digest the content and see what you think. Do you agree, disagree or still on the fense? Hope the information was useful and got you thinking anyway!

Michael Wilson


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