I believe self-defence can be looked upon as a set of odds. Nobody knows if they will end up in danger of being attacked because it is such an unpredictable thing. The fact remains that it does happen so the question should be considered of what to do or whether to do anything at all in preparation for a possible violent encounter. The following link to a government website shows some statistics on violent crimes in Canada.
Statistics like these are only to illustrate that violent crimes are not fantastical stories but realities that occur in the world. Are the odds such that you feel it necessary to engage in defensive tactics and learn defensive skills or are you comfortable without that? If you do wish to engage and study, how deep do you need to go to feel comfortable against the odds that you may end up involved in a violent altercation?
Self-defence comes in many forms. You may choose to live in a neighborhood with less annual cases of violent crimes. You may keep to well-lit streets at night instead of taking shortcuts through alleys or parks. You may also choose to maintain a level of alertness as to who is around you and attempt to perceive whether they may be a threat or not, based on their appearance and actions. Perhaps not traditionally thought of as self-defence tactics, the preceding are all examples of taking steps to ensure your personal safety and thus could be considered self-defence driven behaviours. More traditionally, people may think of self-defence in terms of taking martial arts or carrying weapons such as mace, knives or guns in anticipation of and preparation for potentially being attacked.
Regardless of what self-defence behaviours a person may or may not choose to engage in, they surely choose that path based on their perception of the chances of being attacked and their comfort with whatever level of training they choose to engage or not engage in. Some people seem not to worry about it much at all while others seem overly fearful in the average person’s opinion. Some people carry a whistle or mace while others may choose a TASER, knife or a gun. Some people take weekend long self-defence courses while others study self-defence or martial arts over a period of many years.
My intention is to provoke some self-reflection so that those of you reading this take some time to consciously assess where you stand on this spectrum. I’m sure most everybody has at the least thought about the concept of personal safety but I’m suggesting actually taking some time to really figure out what level of preparedness will leave you feeling comfortable and then set about achieving that. Should you do a course on self-defence? Perhaps you would prefer to enroll in a self-defence based martial art like krav maga for some period of time? Perhaps you would be comfortable if you had some level of proficiency in a combat-sport based martial art like boxing, kickboxing or judo. Whatever you decide, I believe it is worth taking a moment to really figure out for yourself where you stand so you don’t find yourself in a violent scenario regretting the fact that you didn’t give the possibility a second thought until it was too late.
Consider it an investment plan in personal safety. The first thing any decent financial advisor would ask you if helping you devise an investment plan would be your risk tolerance and what level of financial security you will need to feel comfortable. Only after that would they make suggestions about which investment vehicles may suit your needs and what percentage of your income you should invest. As a martial arts expert, I’m asking you your risk tolerance and suggesting you devise a personal safety portfolio that leaves you feeling prepared for the future. If violence finds you, what do you want in the “bank” as far as skills and ability are concerned to get you through the encounter?
The purpose of this blog
This blog is intended as a place to discuss ideas relevant to both both martial arts and life in general. Our school doesn't exist with the sole purpose of making great fighters but also of helping its members develop themselves into great people. The entries are about sharing ideas. I will not spend much time editing grammatical errors so please try not to let it drive you crazy when you come across them!