Martial arts are a great form of self defense as well as good mental and physical exercise. The one mistake many new students make is to get over confident and bullet proof. Instructors often find themselves spending significant amounts of time teaching new students that self defense also requires great self discipline and humility. A common error that new students make is bragging about being a martial arts student. New students and old alike should be choosy as to whom they share this information with. It is a very common occurrence for new students to find that sharing about their martial arts training with others can sometimes invite criticism and aggression from others.
In a recent article in this forum entitled “The value of self defense courses for women” a reader commented on the use of fire arms in conjunction with other forms of self defense. I am a 15 year veteran of martial arts training and teaching and I carry a gun. Martial arts are a wonderful journey for any person to begin to take. Martial arts is in fact a great form of personal self defense and can save one’s life as many real life examples have shown; however, being over confident and lacking good self discipline in this dangerous world can be deadly.
Even the best trained Black Belts know their limitations on the street and that a perpetrator who is drunk or high on drugs can be a dangerous opponent. Along with great training a martial artist should learn to be aware of their surroundings in any situation. This is a very simple habit that is vital to not only the trained martial artist but any potential victim. I would encourage those readers who are asking themselves about this issue to train hard and use their second amendment right to keep and bare arms as well.
For the ladies out there; the use of pepper spray, mace, and other weapons to include a gun, are not signs of a lack of confidence or that you are not well trained. To use these self defense tools is just another insurance policy against being a victim. When I was teaching Tae Kwan Do, a style I loved, I would always emphasize the importance of using ones training properly and with humility; never bragging about it or making the mistake of misjudging an opponent or an attacker. The emphasis on mental discipline in the arts is directly connected to this very topic, and the Masters of old knew this as they passed the arts down to new students.
Links to local Gun defense courses in Atlanta: