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Why do we need to learn to fight?

We need to learn this for a number of reasons.

Firstly, because we live in a society which is growing progressively more violent. Most street crime now involves violence. 40% of burglaries now result in violence to the homeowner. Knife crime is on the rise again. With the best will in the world the Police cannot be on every street corner. Violent criminals select their victims based partly on how likely they are to be interrupted by the Police. Given that the average 999 call takes over 5 minutes plus the response time. In rural areas this response can be 45 minutes plus, it certainly is where I live. Therefore, you absolutely must be able to defend yourself and your loved ones “in the moment”.

Secondly, it is good for you. The physical exertion of training will increase your cardiovascular fitness, you will lose weight, and you will have improved strength and improved reflexes, all of which will have a tangible effect on your health.

There are mental benefits too. Research has shown cognitive and behavioural benefits. The researchers noticed improvements in self-esteem, a more positive response to physical challenges, greater autonomy, emotional stability and assertiveness and reductions in anxiety and depression. Several studies also point to martial arts reducing impulsiveness and aggression.

– Remember, it’s not stupid if it works!

Thirdly, it improves our communities. Criminals are less likely to try and attack people if they think they are going to come off worse. People feel safer. Where they feel safe they are more productive and more community minded.

Why Fighting?
Why not martial arts or self-defence? I chose the term fighting for very good reasons.
Firstly, to focus you on what to learn.

Martial Arts is such a broad term, and covers a huge great list of different forms. There are modern martial arts, traditional, sports and so forth. All of these have their issues.

Secondly, the traditional forms. They have become so stylised as to be unrecognisable as a useable fighting form, or they are entirely focused on an opponent using the same style that they are unable to cope with something from outside the box.

Sports Martial Arts, these are traditional forms which are practiced in competition to a very strict set of rules. As such they have lost their effectiveness. Look at Tai Kwon Do for example. It’s massively focussed on kicking to score points rather than to have an effect on the opponent. The same with Points fighting in kick boxing. During the Rio Olympics one of the judo gold medallists got punched in the face and mugged, despite being a black belt of many years standing.

Modern Martial Arts, these are mostly just rebranded traditional forms or are too focussed on a very small and unlikely set of scenarios. All of the above are also too focused on gaining belts as a means of measuring skill. Real fighting has no rules and the only acceptable outcome is to get home.

What you actually need is to learn techniques which let you deal with an array of real attacks and disable your opponent very rapidly. There is no winner in a protracted fight, all parties will end up injured and ineffective. You will need to be equally proficient on the ground as you are on your feet and close in as well as at range. For this, scenario based training is the best solution. Don’t study anything which merely has you practicing gently in the dojo. Train by having someone attack you. Someone who makes you work to get your technique right and puts you into a physical state similar to that you would be in if you were fighting for real.

Avoid anything where everyone wears skulls and cammo. These guys usually have an overly inflated opinion of how hard they actually are. Usually they have never used anything they teach in anger.

Avoid the Black Belt collector. Anyone who has multiple black belts has something to prove to themselves. This also means that they are too entrenched in dojo thinking to be street realistic.

Learn from a bad lad. I train with a guy who has learnt his skills the hard way. He started young in the stands at Milwall on a Saturday afternoon. He is literally death on legs. Any encounter with him is always short and very violent.

Understand the law. Make sure you understand the law as it pertains to self-defence. We live in a culture where the victim can be seen as the aggressor in the eyes of the law and penalised accordingly.

Secondly I chose fighting to promote a mindset.
Nothing in life is free. You have to fight for everything.

This motivational Kit Pest Review article was written by Ben OToole. Hopefully you enjoyed it and if you have any thoughts or comments related to this article then leave a comment!

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