Packing a Punch: Learning Tactical Self-Defense
For me, and maybe some of you, the best way to motivate and inspire physical activity is to try something new. As a result, I found myself taking a self-defense class at my local community center recently.
I was often asked “why are you taking a self-defense class?” Simply, the interest was longstanding, something I had always wanted to try. I believe it to be an important skillset for anyone, forbid a time ever comes that they need to use it.
Walking into the first class, I felt very intimidated. I stand at a whopping 5’2” and know that I am certainly not the tallest or strongest person in the world. I became worried that I wouldn’t be able to effectively defend myself using the skills being taught.
I found myself pleasantly surprised to find so many others with like-minded curiosity and a genuine interest in developing preventative defensive skills. My classmates were also new to learning about self-defense and I quickly felt ready to practice in a safe, supportive environment.
Each week, our small class focused on defensive skills for a variety of scenarios. Our class instructor led us through proper form and ensured that each student practiced consistently, often repeating the same moves a dozen or more times in a row to build muscle memory. Surprisingly, self-defense practice does become an effective workout when practiced regularly!
I was surprised to learn that there are often more effective alternatives to many of the self-defense “moves” we see in movies or on TV that are also less likely to comprise your own safety in the process. You don’t need any fancy equipment or highly advertised products to effectively protect yourself – knowing how to utilize your own strength is vital.
The key takeaways
First, you must learn how to effectively deescalate a situation that you deem to have the potential of becoming physically threatening. Our instructor reminded us that we should only exert self-defense practices as a last resort, and when absolutely necessary for the protection of one’s life.
Second, you must learn to protect yourself efficiently. In a physically dangerous situation, we are often required to protect ourselves at the blink of an eye. There is not time to analyze the scenario or the many options you may be presented with. Our gut instincts and muscle memory prevail.
Third (and most importantly), be aware of the law. Having a knowledgeable and experienced self-defense instructor is crucial in understanding the legal nuances that come with handling potentially violent scenarios and receiving reliable resources to learn more.
Over the course of eight weeks, I felt challenged physically and mentally. My coordination, strength and situational awareness all improved. I became more aware of my own abilities to protect and defend myself in unsafe situations, leading me to feel more confident.
I’m so glad that I took the chance on trying something new. It turns out that even a petite person like myself can really pack a punch!
Over the next few months, I will continue to challenge myself to shake up my daily routine and packing our lives with new activities, hobbies, and passions. Follow along for where my adventures will take me next!
Opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or its subsidiaries and affiliates.
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