Everyone knows that today more than ever you need self-defense tips to save your life. Because we don’t know when or how it will happen. But we do know this: you are your first line of defense, so training isn’t optional, it’s essential.
Comprehensive studies have shown time and time again that self-defense workshops and education are always beneficial. In fact, not only does a person’s risk of attack decrease but also a person’s fear and anxiety decrease, and a person’s confidence, sense of self-efficacy, and self-esteem increase (University of Oregon)!
Self-Defense Tips To Save Your Life
Line of attack
Every attack has an angle to it. Regardless of which direction the attack comes from, your first priority is to get out of the direct line of attack. Every weapon and means of attack has a specific range and angle and your number one goal is to avoid that direct line of attack at all costs.
It’s never about the weapon or means of attack but always about the source of the attack. A shovel is a useful tool for yard work and gardening. A bat is a useful tool for baseball. A knife is a useful tool for cooking. But all of these tools have the potential to be harmful in the hands of someone with violent intent. So this means that your second priority is to minimize damage to yourself while putting you in a position to reclaim control over your personal sovereignty and safety.
Control can look like the following:
Creating maximal distance between you and the threat
Using a strong, powerful voice to stop a threat
Leveraging non-violent restraint to minimize damage to you and the threat
Threats must be neutralized. Self-defense situations typically occur when one person believes they have an opportunity cost putting themselves at an unfair advantage. A person needs to apply reasonable force to a threat to bring the situation back into homeostasis. Much like Control, neutralizing the threat can take many forms ranging from range management to non-violent submissions to reasonable but decisive force. Swift action is absolutely key to survival and can be accomplished with regular, consistent practice while increasing the level of pressure with a willing and helpful partner.
All things being equal, it is always better to get away from a person with violent intent rather than try to disarm them. There are too many variables in the chaos of protection that can make even the most trained person become a victim of increased violence. That said, not every attack has a weapon to consider but every attacker has the potential to use a weapon. If you decide to attempt to disarm a person with violent intent who is also using a weapon, be prepared to be harmed by the weapon. Your safest plan of action is to simply neutralize the threat and quickly remove yourself from the situation as fast as possible then report what happened to the local authorities.
These self-defense tips to save your life can quickly become your first line of protection. With proper training and consistent practice, you can feel safe and secure every day.
There is no shortage of benefits when it comes to training in the martial arts. But, as a concerned parent, you want to be confident in selecting a program that will be most beneficial to your child. Allow us to grant you the gift of going second.
We hear all the time how much parents love martial arts and we’re excited to share what they have experienced!
Here are the top 5 reasons parents LOVE the martial arts for their families:
1. It Keeps Kids Active
It’s easy to see that martial arts is great exercise and, unlike less engaging workouts, the process of training in martial arts is more exciting and fun for kids of all ages. We hear time and time again, “I never thought I’d get my kid off the couch and willingly attending a fitness class…but they LOVE martial arts!” That’s because every class is different and progress is easily measurable. Students love being able to learn new techniques and earn new belt ranks as they improve over time. Being able to consistently celebrate their progress keeps them engaged and excited to come to class keeping them active and fit.
2. It Teaches Discipline
Parents often notice the immediate focus on practicing good discipline habits during martial arts classes. From requiring students to use respectful responses like “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am” when addressing their instructors and peers to practicing the martial bow, the importance of demonstrating good discipline during class is hard to miss. Perhaps even more important, an emphasis on self-control and self-discipline is also evident. Students learn to move on command, manage their emotions, and control their power when working with their peers.
3. It Teaches Confidence
Martial arts sets kids up for success by giving them a series of short-term goals that they can attain quickly while keeping them focused on the long-term goal of black belt. As parents, it’s so encouraging to see them develop stronger voices, carry themselves with more pride, and become advocates for themselves as they grow as martial artists. Through the course of their training, their confidence improves and they learn to believe that, with hard work and commitment, they can accomplish great things.
4. It Helps Them Avoid Dangerous Situations
Unfortunatly, parents today are no strangers to the idea that violence is a part of life. From bullying to child abduction, and even sex trafficking, keeping our kids safe is a major concern. One of the most important things martial arts teaches kids is how to be more aware of their surroundings and how to avoid putting themselves in potentially vulnerable situations. Clearly, the best way to avoid being a victim of violence is to not be there in the first place! Having said that, as responsible martial arts instructors, we also equip our students to be prepared to protect themselves from tricky people, if avoiding the situation is no longer an option. A solid martial arts program includes comprehensive self-protection training giving students the confidence they need to feel safe in everyday life.
5. It Creates Community
We’ve all heard that it takes a village to raise a child and any parent who’s ever struggled to find their tribe knows how true this can be. As parents, it feels great to see your kid quickly making friends during class. What is often unexpected is how quickly parents will befriend other parents within the academy community. Pretty soon, everyone is just as invested in seeing your kid succeed as you are. Imagine being part of a community of instructors, parents, and like-minded kids dedicated to helping your child become the best versions of themselves. It’s more than a village. It’s family.
Starting a new school year is an exciting time for many kids. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and tackle new challenges. But for many kids that are prone to bullying, starting a new school year can be a stressful experience. According to recent studies, one in three children will experience some form of bullying in their lifetime.
As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our kids, but realistically, we can’t always be by their side. So, what steps can you take to bully-proof your kid?
Experts have long agreed that enrolling a child in martial arts can dramatically decrease how frequently a child is bullied. In fact, a recent study suggests that training in the martial arts can decrease the likelihood of bullying by up to 64%.
Encourage An Open Line Of Communication
As parents, it can be challenging to help our kids work through an encounter with a bully, especially if we don’t know about it. Kids will often feel embarrassed to admit they are being bullied, which is why establishing an open line of communication is so important. When kids feel it’s ok to talk to you about their experience with a bully, they are more likely to talk to other authority figures as well such as a school counselor. Sometimes, simply reporting the incident can resolve a problem with a bully before it becomes a long-term issue.
Martial arts teaches kids to confidently advocate for themselves. In fact, the best martial arts programs stress the importance of using a strong voice to stop a run-in with a bully before it can escalate. Avoiding a physical altercation is always the best bet.
Help Them Develop More Confidence
What makes some kids an easy target? Put simply, bullies tend to target individuals who they believe won’t fight back. They look for body language such as crossed arms, rounded shoulders, and lack of eye contact to identify insecure individuals who can be easily controlled or victimized. Experts agree that kids with high self-esteem and confidence are less likely to get bullied.
Building confidence through the martial arts is a great way to keep bullies at bay. Every martial arts class your kid attends is an opportunity to prove to themselves that they are strong and capable of greatness. Sparring drills encourage focusing and performing under pressure which is another great way to develop unshakable confidence. As they earn new belt ranks and learn more challenging techniques, their view of themselves and what they are capable of will shift and you will begin to see an outward demonstration of your kid becoming bully-proof.
Surround Them With Good Friends
It’s well known that bullies tend to seek out kids who lack community or are isolated. This is because it’s much easier to take advantage of and control a single kid rather than a group of kids. Also, fewer witnesses mean less of a likelihood that the bully will be identified and reprimanded.
When it comes to standing up to bullies, there’s always strength in numbers. If your kid is struggling to make new friends at school, enrolling them in a martial arts program is a great way to introduce them to new friends with similar mindsets. When it comes to making new friends, quality is more important than quantity. Even having just one significant friend at school can greatly reduce the likelihood that your kid will be bullied.
Have Them Learn Age-Appropriate Self-Protection Skills
Even though we always advocate for walking away from a bully, we also understand that there may come a time when that’s just not possible. In this case, it’s important for kids to understand how to appropriately defend themselves from a physical attack.
We often get asked: “what is the best self-defense move?” As you can imagine, it’s challenging to narrow it down to just one. When it comes to kids who are being bullied, verbal assertiveness should always be the first course of action. If this approach proves to be unsuccessful at deescalating the situation, non-violent self-defense techniques are the next best thing. This is because, typically, punching and kicking the bully back will do more harm than good. Instead, kids can learn leverage-based control holds to neutralize the threat without leaving a mark.
Role-playing common scenarios (such as being pushed or grabbed) during martial arts class will give your kid the confidence they need to know they are equipped to defend themselves should the need arise.
Ready to help your kid become bully-proof? Try a FREE training session at Invictus! Which class below are you most curious about?
Kid’s karate classes first gained popularity in the 80’s after the the movie The Karate Kid was released in theaters. Every kid wanted to be Daniel and every parent wanted their kids to be able to defend themselves against Kobra Kai bullies. As karate dojos began seeing more enrollment of youth members, other traditional martial arts began to follow suit. Now, almost 40 year later, there is no shortage of martial arts styles and school, from traditional to modern, that kids can train in.
Needless to say, shopping for a kid’s karate program can be overwhelming to parents who have no experience with martial arts.
Knowing what you want your child to learn from the martial arts is a great place to start.
Here’s a list of the most common reasons we hear from parents when it comes to why they sign their kids up for karate:
I Want My Kid To Be Able To Protect Themselves:
You may be wondering, which martial arts style is best for self-defense? While traditional styles like karate, taekwondo, and kung fu have a wealth of history and knowledge, they can miss the mark when it comes to practical application in a modern world. Modern styles like K-1 kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu offer a more practical approach to self-defense focusing on applied physics and body mechanics rather than choreographed movement. Look for a program that doesn’t just teach self-defense techniques, but also explains how the techniques works.
I Want My Kid To Be More Confident:
The key to developing confidence through the martial arts is less about the style and more about the school and instructors. Look for a place that offers a FREE trial class to get an idea of what the culture is like before you commit to long-term training. A training environment with enthusiastic and supportive instructors and other kids that genuinely look happy to be there are great indication of a healthy training environment. Also, find a place that offers smaller class sizes as larger classes can be intimidating to kids struggling with feeling confident.
I Want My Kid To Be Better Disciplined:
Most martial arts schools will implement several exercises to encourage discipline such as saying “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am” and bowing to instructors and training partners. But not all schools have programs in place that teach accountability and self-discipline. Look for a program that has clearly communicated requirements for belt rank advancement that includes more than just class attendance. Clearly communicating benchmarks is a great way to teach kids the importance of setting goals and putting in the work to achieve them.
I Want My Kid To Get Fit:
Contrary to what you may think, not all martial arts programs are created equal when it comes to fitness. Traditional styles can put a lot of emphasis on developing low stances and high kicks, but can lack intentionality when it comes to developing cardiovascular stamina and full-body strength development. Modern styles tend to focus more on developing upper body as well as lower body strength. While sparring is a great way to develop stronger cardio, programs that incorporate regular bag and pad drills tend to develop more well-rounded students. Look for a program that is intentional about including physical conditioning drills into every training session, not just sessions leading up to belt tests.
Ready to get your kids training? Register her for a free training session today to discover how we help develop strong and confident kids.
“Stay safe” has become one of the most popular sentiments recently offered to friends and family alike. But how often do we consider exactly what that means?
Everyone wants to experience the comfort of knowing that they are doing everything they can to protect themselves and the ones they love. But how can we take action to ensure that is true? An obvious answer would be to take a self-defense class to learn some basic techniques. Most people would consider this is a great solution. Unfortunately, experts agree that a person who attends a single self-defense class is no more prepared to protect themselves against targeted violence than a person who has no training at all.
Surprised? Here’s how we think about it…
Self-Defense Is Reactive
Self-defense is used in response to an unprovoked attack. This means that, by definition, self-defense is reactionary. Unfortunately, reacting appropriately to an attack isn’t as easy as the movies may portray. When a person feels threatened, fine motor skills are compromised and critical thinking is challenged due to a spike in adrenaline. It is extremely rare that a person will “rise to the occasion” and successfully ward off an attack with ease. What’s more likely, in fact, is that a person will default to the level of their training, especially under the influence of adrenaline stress. Often, the best self-defense moves are simple, fast, and easy to recall. Understandably, any self-defense techniques must be consistently practiced to be utilized successfully.
Comprehensive training is critical to being prepared to save a life. The American Heart Association requires at least four hours of CPR training in order to be considered certified to practice this life-saving activity successfully. Likewise, investing several hours a year in training how to properly defend yourself in the event of a violent attack is imperative.
A common misconception is that once you’ve successfully defended yourself and escaped the violent encounter, it’s over. However, it’s important to consider the legal, ethical, and moral implications of using self-defense. Because of this, understanding reasonable force and developing self-control through continuous training is absolutely critical.
Self-Protection Is Proactive
At Invictus Martial Arts, we educate our members on the importance of understanding the distinction between self-defense and self-protection. Unlike self-defense, an attack does not have to occur in order to practice self-protection, making it proactive. For example, we’ve all applied protective sunscreen before hitting the beach, right? Of course! There are ways to proactively stay safe before a threat of violence presents itself.
It all starts with informed awareness. Becoming more situationally aware is a great first step. Most of us have heard well-intending people advise us not to leave our drink unattended at a party or to always travel in (at least) pairs. We wholeheartedly agree! However, a person with violent intent isn’t limited to a stranger in a bar. Acts of violence can happen anytime, anywhere, and in any location. In fact, victims of violence are often attacked in a familiar place by someone they know. Yes, you read that correctly! Most victims KNOW their attacker. Learning to identify potentially violent behavior can also help you avoid becoming a target.
An Undefeated Mindset
Ultimately, staying safe starts with developing an undefeated mindset. We’ve all known someone who has passionately exclaimed, “if it ever came down to it, I would die for my child/spouse/family member/friend.” Perhaps you have even personally uttered this sentiment. Realistically, if you ever found yourself in a life-threatening situation with your loved one, making the decision to lay down your own life will not protect them. We’ve likely all heard our flight attendants remind us, “in the event that the cabin loses air pressure, place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping the person next to you”. You serve your loved ones best when you make the decision to protect yourself first.
Former Green Beret Sniper, Army Ranger, and Retired UFC Fighter, Tim Kennedy says, “Every time you train, train with the motivation and purpose that you will be the hardest person someone ever tries to kill.” Coupling self-protection strategies with consistent self-defense training helps develop an undefeated mindset making you feel prepared, confident, and safe.
All self-defense begins with a mindset: you MUST have the will to win and survive at all costs. Meaning, a person needs to definitively decide ahead of time what they are willing to do and not do to avoid becoming a victim.
Did you know…
One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old? (a)
A person is 5x more likely to be stabbed by a knife or sharp object than shot by a rifle of any kind? (b)
Of the persons who were victims of violent crime, there is almost no distinction between who is attacked among men and women (only differing by .05%)? (c)
Here’s why this data matters… someone with violent intent can be anyone at any time, anywhere. The Navy SEALs have a saying, “Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.” This means that training is a must and a person must actively refuse to leave personal safety up to chance.