Can a person take a few lessons and be confident they are ready to defend themselves if attacked? I doubt it.

Can a child weighing 60 pounds defend themselves against an adult who is 200 pounds because they have been practising martial arts? No, they cannot.

Self defence is often used in the marketing of martial arts, but the reality of being able to take a few classes and then defend you from an attack is false.

I am not saying don’t take any training, in fact if you train with a good organization for many years you will be better off defending yourself than if you had not. I just want you to be aware of what is good and applicable and what is just bogus.

Self defence courses should be based on reality, not show; developed to match your abilities and not some highly trained athlete; and broad enough to include all aspects and not just physical.

So what are all the aspects that make up a good self defence course? Over the next while I will be going through a basic list that I think is a good starting point for anyone interested in lessening their chances of being a victim to violence. This is to stimulate thought about this very serious subject that plagues our society. So let’s start with prevention.

PREVENTION

  • Avoid putting yourself in situations that may be dangerous. Parties where there is heavy drinking would be an example.
  • Locking your doors is an easy prevention.
  • Walk in safe well-lit streets when out at night.
  • Don’t go to bars that have a reputation for violence or known to have had instances of date rape drugging no matter how good the music may be. Talk to your friends about this subject.
  • Do take training with reputable teachers in either martial arts schools or self defence courses, but ensure you ask appropriate questions about the effectiveness of what is taught. Do they allow practise with varying degrees of force applied? It is also important to train in the clothes you would normally wear on the street or in a home.
  • If at a party with others, ensure you always have someone you can go to in an emergency.
  • Avoid being alone in areas you may feel uncomfortable in.
  • If you have a cell phone, ensure you have numbers listed that you could just punch in for help. If at home, make sure you have numbers readily available to call for help if needed.
  • Don’t wear clothes that hinder movement or give your assailant something to grab on to if you try to run away, such as a long scarf wrapped around you neck more than once.
  • Share your knowledge with others regarding this. Don’t be silent.
  • Trust your intuition.

There are many more suggestions I can make and I am sure each of you can come up with your own list.

Also, there are organizations in the Yukon that offer advice on a multitude of subjects listed above.

The more knowledge you have the better prepared you shall be in prevention of assault for yourself and those close to you.