5 Self-Defense Misconceptions

Posted By : AdamWilliss
Date: Feb 29, 2012

Most martial arts are simply NOT as effective as you may think when it comes to training for real-world combat situations. I debunk some common misconceptions here.

Misconception #1 
The purpose of martial arts should be to build discipline and a great physical fitness enhancing individual strength, flexibility, balance, and cardio-respiratory fitness. Building personal courage, self confidence.
I disagree. Although these benefits may come as a by-product of training, the primary objective of a martial art should be to improve the combat-effectiveness of the individual, specifically, to teach the individual to become comfortable with the level of conflict required in a real-life self-preservation situation.
Misconception #2 
Safety must be emphasized at all costs to the point of stressing no striking or only simulated strikes to vital points such as the head, neck and groin area. If you strike at all, you should stop short (pull your punches) to these vital areas so that you maintain safety above all else. Only "light blows" should be made to other areas.
Wrong. The primary focus of a true martial arts program should not be to prevent the maximum number of injuries during training but to prevent the maximum number of individual injuries during a real world situation. Bumps and bruises do come with the territory when applying reality-based training. Unless you want individuals to experience false confidence, the only confidence worth obtaining in a true martial arts program is achieved through successfully employing combat-effective movements.
Misconception #3 
Most fights end up on the ground so ground-fighting should be where you place most of your emphasis.
No. This way of thinking is extremely flawed. The ground is the last place you want to be in a real-life situation. We aren't training for the UFC or a grappling tournament, we train for real-world success. For self-defense, going to the ground lessens your chances for success. Too many variables can happen to you on the ground, not to mention knives or multiple person scenarios. Therefore, knowing how to stay on your feet and remaining moble should be a much greater concern.
Misconception #4 
Locks and holds are the best way of incapacitating an attacker.
False. Your goal in a realistic situation must be to incapacitate the attacker in the quickest way possible. Striking is much more direct, quicker and a lot simpler than than holding or putting someone in a lock. It also has the potential to be much more devastating to an attacker. If we are in a realistic self-preservation situation, having the best chance of survival should be your first concern. Not subduing someone
Misconception #5 
Training in a combat sport such as MMA will make me successful for realistic self-defense.
Not true. Please don't confuse this one. Approaching a self-preservation situation with a sport-based mentality is like trying to pay your mortgage with monopoly money. Training in a combat sport will make you more ready for that competitive sport. Training for realistic self-defense is much different. Understanding the differences are extremely important. In fact, it is one of most prevalent misconceptions.