There are many forms of martial arts, from the traditional styles like karate, aikido or tae kwon do to the more modern hybrid systems such as mixed martial arts (MMA) and they all have one thing in common: they all have all been altered from the original teaching to include a sporting element.
Almost all martial arts started out as a means of self defence but a lot of what we see today is geared towards competitive sport, grading’s, belts and fitness rather than being able to defend yourself. I studied karate for a number of years then moved onto kickboxing and Thai boxing which I still do today and have every respect for the dedication and hard work that all martial artists put in, however there is a problem when it comes to selling them as self defence.
Martial arts improve fitness, coordination, discipline and self esteem however much of what is taught technically is based on programmes of teaching that have not evolved to deal with the real situations of today.
With sport comes rules and regulations, and this is where martial arts really start to move away from self defence. Wither it is an altercation outside a pub or bullying in the playground, the assailant does not play to any rules. It could be argued that some of the techniques and practices taught in traditional martial arts are actually detrimental to self defence. Self defence starts with awareness and prevention. Avoiding a dangerous situation is far better than getting into a fight with no rules where anything can happen. The discipline and respect that martial arts teach is not in question however the starting point with any self-defence class from kids right through to adults, is to build their awareness of their surroundings and their confidence to walk or run away from any situation. For more information please visit our website www.shieldkravmaga.com or email us at email@example.com