Is Martial Arts actually useful when you are in danger?
Sports combat has rules. Your opponents are similar size and same gender. There are clear beginning and ending on each fight. In the presence of the referees, fair fights are expected. On the other hands, when you need to protect yourself on the street, your opponents are not going to play by the rule. The attackers chose you as a target because they see the unfair advantages against you. The beginning and ending are unclear, and most cases, target is a small person against big one, a woman against man, one against many, empty hands against weapons, and/or being attacked from the behind, etc.
Imagine yourself suddenly encounter danger. Maybe you know some moves against specific attacks. However, don’t expect from yourself too much. Your brain would most likely freeze for the moment. You may not be even able to recognize it as a danger immediately. You may not be able to move. You may not be able to speak. You may not remember how to respond.
Of course, learning techniques against specific attacks are crucial for the self-defense. However, getting a handle on your threat responses is also important on multiple levels. For example, leaning when to use the skills, how to conquer your fears, how to awaken your inner animals within you; – in order to enable you to walk away, resist, and survive from violent attacks.
In this program, we do not only aim to gain physical techniques against violence, but also train to practice for the possible scenarios, step by step, in a safe environment. Through little role plays and repetitions, you can start building your brain circuits and muscle memories, till your response happens at subconscious level, so called reflex. You are acquiring the self-defense mindset 1) situational awareness -observation and analysis of your opponents and surroundings, 2) confrontation skills with verbal and body language for de-escalation, and 3) only if no choice left, fight back for your safety. The physical techniques we teach in the classes are based on WingChun, which has been developed to fight against bigger and stronger opponents.
Through the training, you are getting prepared for many different and difficult situations. Once you developed your fighting instincts, when you are in danger, your awareness and response instantly causes hormonal and physiological changes. These changes allow you to act quickly, so you can protect yourself. It’s a survival instinct that all animals, including ourselves, possess naturally. Your heart rate gets faster, which increases oxygen flow to your major muscles. Your pain perception drops, and your hearing sharpens. These changes help you act appropriately and rapidly.
For the time being, we will open this new program at Outdoor (Strawberry Creek Park), every Saturday at 2-3pm starting on April 10th, 2021. The class is aimed for students with not much experience in self-defense training. Especially for women and seniors with less muscles, who have more likely to become the targets at the crime scene. If you are interested in, please pre-register through the link here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The first class is complementary.
Be prepared for the Uncertain World
“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” -Will Cather
The self-defense training is about facing the reality of unfairness. It does not matter if you like or not. It’s about accepting whatever happening is just a real life and learn to deal with it. Not limited to the specific scenarios learned in the classes, we encourage our students to develop their own critical thinking processes in many possible situations outside classes, in order to survive this uncertain world. Not only against physical violence, but also for every day challenges.
Occasionally, life happens and hits you real hard. You may not be able to respond to or recover from it immediately. You don’t always have to fight hard and hit back right away. Sometimes, it is necessary for you to find a place to develop your inner peace. Stay still and rest. Find the way to connect and examine your body and mind. And do what you have to do. There is a preparation phase as important as an action phase. Appropriate actions always accompany with good preparations.
Observe yourself and outside world, practice to look “things happened”, very carefully from multiple angles. Like WingChun training, if you practice more, your self-awareness gets sharper, and your perception to the world will improve. You will start recognizing what you haven’t seen before. You may or may not find a root cause and/or perfect solutions. Although you will probably find something interesting in yourself. Think more and more for yourself instead of others think for you. Trust yourself and act for yourself. That’s the beginning of wisdom. The development of thinking process is intelligence. If you learn to live by and act consistently upon your decisions, it becomes your discipline. It will protect you for a life.
Finally, here’s one of my favorite life quotes. Let’s thrive through the uncertain world.
“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don’t think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn’t stop you from doing anything at all.” –Richard P. Feynman
Sije Yuka Yoshioka