A lifetime of study for a single moment

Self Defense Self Defense

Here’s the strange and utterly unique thing about martial arts: You study for years, or even for a lifetime, in preparation for a single moment. Is it worth it? In my opinion, the answer is a resounding “yes”!

Maybe that self-defense moment never comes. Maybe no one ever tries to assault, rob, kidnap, rape or kill you. But if someone does try, all of your training justifies itself in an instant.

This has happened more than once to students of mine and other instructors I know, where they saved themselves from being assaulted by instinctively using what they were taught.

Do Martial Arts Work?

Yes. This stuff works. It’s common to hear stories in the news about people who fight off attackers with martial arts:

Schoolgirl beats up her attacker in local park – A 14 year old schoolgirl who studied martial arts for several years beat up a 35 year old rapist/kidnapper.

Woman uses martial arts to fight off kidnapper.

Would-be rapist gets black-belted: Mini-skirted China restaurant manager fights off attacker TWICE using martial arts training.

‘I have no doubt I broke his nose and ribs’: Karate black-belt turns tables on skinhead rapist who attacked her on a dark street… and urges ALL women to learn martial arts. – He trapped her arms, but she headbutted him, breaking his nose, then kneed him in the groin.

Female kickboxer knocks out sex attacker who pounces as she walks home – She used a leg triangle choke. She took a beating in the process, but choked the guy unconscious. He was captured and sent to prison.

11 year old with only 3 years of karate training fights off an adult man

And so on. There are many such stories.

What is your life worth?

Ask yourself:

  1. How much of a time investment is my life worth?
  2. How much are my health and emotional wellbeing worth?
  3. How much is it worth to have the peace of mind that comes from knowing I can protect myself?

These things are priceless, of course.

There are many other benefits to martial arts training. You improve your balance, coordination, and flexibility. You get out of the house and make friends. But there’s no other sport that can claim that in a moment of crisis, it can save your life. Except maybe sprinting – as long as you’re faster than the other guy, haha.

This is why it’s so important that our martial arts techniques and principles be analyzed and dissected to make sure they are realistic and effective. As an instructor, I know my students are counting on what I teach to work. I will not teach anything, therefore, that I do not believe in 100%.

If you find yourself looking for a martial arts school to join, this focus on realism is something to look for, along with an atmosphere of friendliness and respect.

Wael Abdelgawad, Founder
Hammerhead Hapkido

1 Comment

  1. I love sports that have real world applications. Martial arts, obviously. But also running, swimming, archery, horseback riding, and parkour.

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