Street Self Defence Techniques - Do Martial Arts Work?

As a martial arts student of 20 years I often get asked the question do martial arts work. In the last 4 years I have studied street self defence moves and I believe these are what will work for most people in real situations.

The street is a very different place than the martial arts dojo. The dojo should be a friendly co-operative place where students are encouraged to work together. The street can be a very different world! Sadly, most martial arts are taught in way which just doesn't take account of real street fighting techniques and attacks.

I have studied aikido for some ten years and this is an example of a martial art where training methods and the attacks we are taught to counter aren't those we come across in real situations. Don't get me wrong - aikido is a fantastic martial art and there are some incredible techniques. But these take years of practise to learn (I'd never say 'master' as you don't!) and in my view they wouldn't work in a street fight.

When faced with a real attack many martial artists would crumble. The shock of a real attack or violent encounter will send most of their training out of the window. In the real world we need street self defence techniques which are automatic and which are appropriate to the attack or situation. These can and should be very simple! If you hesitate for a second to think which technique to use it could all be over and you could be the next crime statistic.

Street self defence moves which work effectively include those using your body's natural weapons - elbows, fists and knees. We look for vulnerable areas prone to short shocks which will hurt! It's not about causing serious harm or injury - street self defence techniques should have the element of surprise to give you options, time to get away or perhaps use another technique or deal with another attacker.

Street self defence for women can be slightly different to reflect the different types of situation they may need to deal with. Without wishing to sound sexist, we also need to consider the physical differences between men and women which can include different physical sizes and strength. Effective techniques don't rely on strength and so the techniques can be just as effective!

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