Personal Safety: The Need for Personal Defense Skills


      Few of us can say that we are completely protected against the possibility of attack, and that our families and our possessions are completely secure.  The need for practical skills in personal defense is just as vital as knowing how to read and write.

      There are several major crimes that one may be exposed to: burglary, auto theft, robbery, assault, rape or a combination of these.  Outside the category of major crimes we find a far greater number of situations that could present us with a need for defensive skills.  These may include minor vandalism, the harassment by acquaintances or strangers, the sometimes violent exchanges between family members or close associates, or even the potential for retaliation, for attacks to one's ego, for cutting someone off in traffic or taking that good parking space.  The man or woman who understands the fundamentals of personal defense will be less likely to let such situations develop to the point where physical action is needed; and if the need to defend one's self should arise, a skillfully executed defense provides the best chance for safety.

      So, where do you go to learn personal defense skills?  You have several options available to you.

Martial arts schools

      Check out martial art schools in your area.  Look for schools that key on self-defense applications or have a separate self-defense class.  Avoid schools that teach tournament style techniques, as these techniques will get you seriously injured or killed in a real situation.  Talk with the instructor and watch a class or two and talk to some of the students.  Don't just go to the nearest one.  Look around and find a quality school.  The few extra minutes of travel time will be worth it.


Self-defense seminars

      Self-defense seminars are a good way to get exposed to self-defense principals and concepts.  Check with your local martial arts school to see if there are any seminars available in your area. (You may have to check with more than one school.)  You also might want to check your local college as they sometimes host a self-defense class or seminar.  But keep in mind that one seminar will not be enough.  Any defensive skills that you learn will diminish over time.  Like any learned skill, it must be refreshed, maintained and improved over time.