Choosing the right self defense school is a big decision, one which you should not make lightly. When it comes to your personal safety the stakes are pretty high. The problem is many people don’t know what to look for in a self defense school.
For this you need an expert who has insider knowledge of the self defense industry and can tell you who to trust and who is just looking to take your money and teach you worthless moves.
I’ve been working in the self defense industry for two decades so I know self defense pretty well. I know exactly what to look for and what to watch out for when you are researching self defense schools.
Here is a list of things to look for in self defense schools:
- An Experienced Instructor: Look for an instructor who has military, law enforcement, or bar bouncing experience. These guys have tons of experience dealing with violent, angry people just the kind of experience you need.
- Small class sizes where sparring is emphasized: Huge classes where you spend hours punching the air and looking in a mirror will do little to train you for a real life conflict.
- A focus on real world scenarios not useless rituals and formalities: The rituals and formalities of many martial arts are great if you are looking for a hobby, not if you are interested in defending yourself.
- A focus on taking aggressive action: Blocking doesn’t win conflicts. Self defense should really be called self-offense. You should train to recognizes the signs of a coming conflict and how to avoid or end it as quickly as possible.
- A focus on techniques that are short and simple: Complex joint locks and high flying kicks rarely work outside of the dojo (this is why Bruce Lee stripped down his martial art into simple, to the point, and brutally effective moves).
What to avoid when you are researching Self Defense Schools:
- Avoid programs that take years to complete: it doesn’t take more than a few months to learn the basics of self defense. Don’t get sucked into a program where you spend months on end doing constant repetition of simple blocks etc. If you aren’t sparring within a month look into other self defense schools.
- Avoid instructors whose only experience is learning martial arts from another master: These guys may be masters of an art, but unless they have put the rubber to the road in real life combat situations their art will be of little use to you.
Of course you don’t need to attend a self defense school to learn how to defend yourself. If you live in a rural area with no access to a self defense or martial arts studio or if you just can’t stomach spending hundreds of dollars on training you can still learn self defense from a DVD training course.
A DVD training course allows you to access self defense industry leaders (whose private lessons can cost thousands of dollars) and allows you to train at your own pace.
For some these advantages make DVD training programs more practical than a traditional self defense school.
For some free fighting tips and tricks check out my blog at Fightfast.com/blog.
Stay Smart and Stay Safe,
Head Honcho, Fightfast.com