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Sports, Self-defense, And Martial Arts

By Expert Author: Mary Beth Santmier

In terms of training in the martial arts as a sport, numerous traditionalists having an "old school" attitude toward martial arts usually have a negative view. The main reason they have an attitude of this nature is that they believe training for sport undermines the ability to be adept in self-defense. Considering the fact that self-defense is the martial arts' primary purpose, it is thought that it's self-defeating to put time in sportive martial arts training. This is just somewhat true, though. The sportive facet of training in the martial arts can certainly help boost your self-defense skills. There are actually quite a number of reasons why this is so.

Firstly, you can develop many attributes that can help you transition into real-world fighting if you train sportively. Timing, reaction speed, explosiveness, and evasive abilities are only a handful of the many attributes you will develop. Needless to say, if a terrible situation arises and you have to defend yourself, all these attributes will undoubtedly prove pretty helpful. The truth is, they might actually help with saving your life.

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Stoic or non-resistant martial arts training can be lacking in the realistic energy needed to defend yourself properly. Instead of get caught in the trap of training against an absence of resistance, you need to invest time training against one who is fighting back. This doesn't imply that the two of you should injure each other or go too hard.

It is sufficient to do light contact sparring to help on attribute development Additionally, it is evident that you will need to wear the proper safety gear and equipment when you are sparring so injuries are reduced. On a side note, if you are sparring, it's not possible not to be hit. That is just to be anticipated if you're live training. Nevertheless, you will find there's positive aspect to sparring and that is the fact that you develop a certain level of toughness whenever you spar. Toughness will allow you to take on physical pain so some degree if you are ever assaulted.

However, it has to be pointed out that you must not just focus on the sportive part of martial arts training if your purpose is for self-defense. Participating in some scenario-based training is likewise important. This means you will engage in training sessions that are meant to mirror a real common self-defense situation. Basically, your practice training partner plays the "bad guy". As opposed to sparring with you in an athletic fashion, he'll behave like an attacker. Just like athletic sparring, you still must wear the proper safety equipment and avoid doing this sort of training in a risky or hazardous way.


Through employing a variety of athletic, sportive training combined with reality-based self-defense training, you will probably find yourself surprised at how effective your personal protection abilities become. While it's best if you don't ever get to be in a position where you have to use your self-defense skills, it's good to have such skills for guaranteeing your personal safety.

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