While observing grandiose fight scenes in kung-fu movies is enough to inspire anyone to suddenly take up a martial art, there is much more to knowing self-defense than the aesthetic appeals. From Aikido to Yusul, knowledge of self-defense produces advantages far beyond looking cool and boasting karate tournament trophies.
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
- Safety: Self-defense classes will give you the ability to protect yourself and overcome an attacker. Knowing how to defend yourself can help you feel less anxious in public, or fearful when walking alone in the night. You will learn the basics of how to quickly disable and protect yourself from an attacker so that you can escape.
- Street awareness: Self defense classes will enhance your awareness of your surroundings. You never know when it might happen; you never plan to be attacked, so you must always be on the lookout of your surroundings. Self defense classes will help you gain this awareness if this type of situation should arise.
- Increased self confidence: Training in self defense helps people, especially women, develop more confidence in themselves and their surroundings. Knowing that you have the ability to defend yourself gives you the confidence and freedom to fully explore the world, meet new people and find new ways to engage with others.
- Learning something new: It’s not every day that you have the chance to learn something new while fighting someone, even if it is only practice in a controlled setting. It is all about perspective and your willingness to learn something new. Learning new things revolves around encouraging your successes and accepting your defeats; both are important to a engaging in a healthy lifestyle.
- Toned muscles: Like most self-defense classes, they do not just focus on being emotionally prepared by an attacker. Being physically prepared for an attack is also equally important. An intense warm-up usually comes first, next comes learning defense techniques. Women usually have stronger lower bodies than most men; most self defense classes like to utilize this statistic to help women learn to use their lower bodies so they can overcome their potential attackers.
- Overall fitness: Through learning self defense, you will maintain your muscle and endurance through practicing along with other exercise activities. Naturally, your overall fitness will improve. An intense warmup to get your adrenaline pumping, followed by a variety of fitness techniques, will improve your overall body condition while teaching you important self-defense techniques.
- Balance: Improving your balance not only includes the physical balance of your core muscles but also a mental balance by improving your focus. Karate and self defense classes teach you how to focus on your target while you control your body. Without balance, it is almost impossible to fight. Through gaining your body control and balance, you will be better prepared to protect yourself mentally and physically.
- Self-discipline: In order to learn and grow with your self defense abilities, you have to develop your self-discipline. You have to be motivated and dedicated to the practice. Actually going to class and showing up on a regular basis develops your discipline.
- Fighter’s reflex: In a fight, movement is power. You cannot stand around and wait for your attacker’s next strike; moving and instinctual reactions are very important. Self defense classes will help develop your reflexes and will help you gain a fighter’s reflex, which will allow you to move quickly and strategically in such a situation. You will know where to step and where to throw your punch.
- Social skills: Most self-defense classes take place in group settings, giving you a chance to meet new people and develop your social skills. Self-defense is very similar to martial arts in that it teaches the discipline of honoring your elders, showing respect, and the tolerance of others. These social skills will bring about a positive outlook for your own point of view and help to bring peace and balance in your attitude.
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