Myths of Self-defense

by Robert Wolfe

Many people seeking martial arts training cite gaining the ability to defend themselves as their primary motivation, while almost everyone seeking training includes “self-defense” capability somewhere in their list of goals. Persons training long-term typically come to recognize a wide range of benefits far exceeding in everyday utility the value of being able to fight and, for them, the ability to defend against an attack is almost a side-effect of their training. Those just starting out and seeking self-defense skills, however, face a bewildering sea of choices in types of arts and methodologies, choices that are further confused by the conflicting claims of different arts to be “the most effective self-defense known to man.” It’s also true that most inexperienced people focused on self-defense typically harbor serious misperceptions regarding the nature of violence and the types of threats one is realistically most likely to face. These misperceptions can result in persons seeking training to think marketing claims are actually evidence of effectiveness.

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