Choosing a Self-Defence Class - Does It Prepare You for Real-World Safety?

When choosing self-defence classes or wondering if you should even take them, one thing you might ask yourself is if a class will truly prepare you for real-life attack situations. Street crimes and physical assaults can seemingly happen in an instant, but a worthwhile self-defence class shows you how to avoid and overcome one or more attackers.

What would you do if an attacker grabbed you from behind? Could you free yourself if someone pinned you to the ground? If a mugger tried to snatch your purse, would you know how to safely handle the situation?

Any martial arts or self-defence class can teach you a few manoeuvres for physical combat, but they're not all equal in their ability to prepare you for the tactics used by robbers and physical attackers. Real-world self-defence is about preparing for these situations and taking control of your own safety.

An effective self-defence class prepares you for real-life criminal activity by:

• Teaching you how to prevent robbery and assaults - Fighting techniques help you escape an attacker, but it's always best to prevent these situations whenever possible. Self-defence lessons should include instruction on recognising aggression and diffusing situations before they escalate into true crime.

• Preparing you for over a dozen different types of attack - Assailants use many different approaches for assaulting, restraining, or robbing their selected victims, so it's critical that you prepare yourself for the variety of tactics you could encounter.

• Simulating real-life scenarios - The only way to truly prepare and test your ability to overcome one or more attackers is to practise effective self-defence techniques in simulated attack scenarios. These scenarios help you embrace your fear and practise learned movements in a safe environment.

• Improving your confidence and physical fitness level - You're actually much less likely to be targeted by criminals if you appear confident in your actions, and nothing says confidence like knowing how to physically defend yourself. Combined with greater physical fitness, confidence improves your ability to avoid and overcome attackers.

Self-defence training is a critical component to personal safety, so it's important that it actually prepares you for any real-life situation in which you would need it. By keeping this is mind when choosing self-defence classes, you'll know which ones provide you true value for your time and money.

Patrick Cumiskey is the chief instructor of Krav Maga Ireland and is also a qualified Psychotherapist. He has trained over 10,000 people how to protect themselves using Krav Maga, the combat system of the Israeli Army.
To get more tips on defending yourself visit the Krav Maga Ireland website at

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