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Self-defence is important – we can all agree on that. However, many widely-held beliefs around the purpose of self-defence courses are outdated or simply not true. This post will demystify self-defence training, calling out five myths on the subject and breaking down the facts.

You’re encouraged to learn how to have an epic fight

Many people think that self-defensive is a precursor to engaging in a length physical exchange. However, the goal with self-defence is to learn techniques that enable you to strike and escape. There is no rule in law to say that a ‘person must wait to be struck first before they may defend themselves – so by no means are you expected to be paralysed in action in the face of an impending threat. All the while, the goal is to remove yourself from the situation as swiftly as possible. There is also a large amount of emphasis on dealing with the mental stress of an encounter as we’ll touch on.

It’s for males

It’s not. We encourage everybody who is physically able to get involved. What’s physically able? More on that later…

Sufficient self-defence classes are exclusively focused on physical skills

Self-defence often starts beyond a physical encounter. Our course covers the legalities surrounding self-defence, appropriate situational awareness and the development of coping with extreme stress.

Learning self-defence makes you more likely to engage in violence

A common concern of parents, in particular, is that in teaching their children how to defend themselves, the latter will be more likely to get into fights. This just isn’t true. Whilst it’s important to distinguish between learning martial arts and completing a self-defence course, the same concerns may arise when considering either.

As Joe Rogan – US media personality and a black belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu – summarises it; ‘fights are scary. I’m running’. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, but there is currently no evidence of a link between learning to fight and an increased likelihood to seek out violence. In fact, it’s likely the opposite, with martial arts training ‘reducing aggression including the externalizing of aggression such as physical aggression and verbal and physical bullying, according to research verified by researchers at Bar-Ilan University and UCLA. There are many more likely reasons for someone to get into a physical alteration, including self-negativity, abuse of power and even lack of sleep.

I need to be in great shape to learn self-defence

Some people feel that self-defence is all about acrobatic advanced manoeuvres. As mentioned, however, the aim of self-defence is to empower people to take the initiative and escape in a serious encounter. We encourage people of all shapes and sizes to explore self-defence training. Nevertheless, sufficient course providers will require a medical questionnaire for the safety of candidates to ensure their health won’t be compromised as a result of the training. This does not mean you need to be Wonderwoman or Bruce Wayne.

Closing thought

There are considerations when learning any new skill, including the time and money it takes to get there. But it’s also important to weigh up whether the value of going through life with a better understanding of how to keep yourself safer.

Feel as though you or your team may benefit from self-defence classes? You can view our self-defence course details here.