Frequently Asked QuestionsIs Karate really effective and realistic for self defence in today's society?
The short answer is yes, but only if it is taught and understood in the way it was originally intended which is often sadly not always the case.
If you think about it for a second, Karate was originally created to help the people from Okinawa (a small island where Karate originated) to defend themselves from invading and occupying forces at a time when the carrying of weapons was forbidden (much like it is in modern society.) If it were not effective for self defence then you can be pretty certain it wouldnt have survived the pressures of reality and been passed down throughout the generations to modern day where it is still taught by a small number of clubs such as ours in the way it was originally meant to be.
The reason some people may incorrectly think Karate is less effective than other arts in modern day society is because of a misunderstanding in the way it is taught, often to senior classes, in the same way it was intended for school children. This is fine if the student wishes to learn it for the additional benefits such as health, improved flexibility, confidence or even sporting success - but not if it is needed for self defence.
Karate's success has been its own worst enemy. It was introduced to the Japanese school curriculum - which helped it to spread throughout the world - and had this not happened it is unlikely that we, and millions like us, would have heard of the art let alone had the opportunity to study it. However, because children were the intended students the techniques were deliberately watered down, given false explanations and even changed to make them safer to teach - but more often than not this was also the way it was taught to adults in an 'I punch, you block' unrealistic type of way.
There is no first attack in Karate - Anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time studying Karate will have heard this said and it is often misquoted and misunderstood to mean we must not attack first and must wait to be attacked before defending ourselves. This further adds to the thinking that "every move in karate starts with a block."
Allow me to dispel this false rumour. Waiting to be attacked first is dangerous, foolhardy and not a requirement by law. Most modern day self protection instructors (and certainly the ones who have had to use their art to defend themselves and others in the course of their work) will tell you the only tried and tested method is pre-emption (to attack first and to attack hard). To do anything else is to invite indecision at a time when your life may well be in danger. We do, however, have a duty of care to ensure that all other avenues for escaping or talking down a situation have been exhausted first and the pre-emptive attack is only legal if you have a genuine belief that your life is in danger and that you were going to be attacked if you didnt act first.
In order to have this kind of understanding and self control would require a maturity and understanding that is normally still developing in children, hence the general belief why the techniques were deliberately changed for the Japanese school curriculum. Furthermore, it is believed that the precept of the 'no first attack in karate' was to prevent the Karate practitioners from starting fights without good reason or attacking too soon when the other avenues such as escaping or talking the situation down, could still be considered. However, an assailant can be considered to have initiated an attack without striking or grabbing you, for example by threatening you with a weapon. Anyone then waiting to be attacked by this before attempting (and probably failing) to 'block and counter attack' would be foolhardy when they would be better off (having exhausted all other options) of attacking first, fast and very hard - then making their escape as soon as possible. These are all concepts and techniques we practice in a safe way using focus pads to allow fast, hard strikes.
A tree is only as strong as its roots, a house is only as strong as its foundations! - Most modern Self Protection martial arts experts such as our British Combat Association influences, Geoff Thompson and Al Peasland, thank their grounding in the core art of Karate for giving them the foundations they needed to effectively and succesfully survive real life violent encounters and they recommend others do the same.
To conclude, Karate is a very effective and realistic art for self defence in today's society when taught in the correct manner suitable to age and ability as we do in our classes.
Is Self Protection the same as self defence and how does it differ from other martial arts?
Self Protection is different to self defence as the word 'defence' is dis-empowering and implies we are already a victim under attack needing to 'defend' ourselves from something we didn't anticipate.
Most martial arts teach the physical fighting skills and we will certainly teach those as well, however Self Protection is also, more importantly, about what happens before a fight and how we can anticipate and avoid it.
Self Protection dis-empowers the assailant and puts control back in YOUR hands!
Why should I train with Hampshire Self Protection?
- Dissuasion and more
- We will show you how to manage the crucial few seconds before a fight starts, when it is best to walk away and when you are justified to attack ferociously AND within the law (you DO NOT have to wait to be attacked first!)
- We will teach you tried and tested methods to deal with, and manipulate, the adrenaline both you and your assailant will be feeling before they attempt to attack, allowing you to seize the initiative and take control of the situation.
- In case all else fails, we will also teach you the 'Plan B' physical martial arts techniques you would learn in other clubs as well.
We will teach you the vital skills of
Train with H.S.P. and learn realistic, proven methods of self protection as used in numerous real life situations by the man Black Belt magazine USA polled as the number one self defence instructor in the world, Geoff Thompson.
Who can do it?
Almost anyone can benefit from Self Protection! The techniques are suitable for male and females of most ages and abilities.
Within a short space of time you will feel more confident, fitter and better able to protect yourself from threats of any manner.
What is meant by 'threats of ANY manner?'
You will learn to understand and become more comfortable with your body's adrenal reaction that causes the feeling of fear, which will help you deal with various situations in life. Surprisingly, these feelings of fear are not all related to protecting ourselves from attack, but also the threat from ourselves! We can often be our own worst enemy when it comes to doing things we want to - by talking ourselves out of it and telling ourselves we are not capable or worthy of whatever 'it' is.
At Hampshire Self Protection we can help you to take those vital steps needed to achieve your goals.
How do I join?
Great, we'd love you to join us!
Just click on this link to CONTACT US and book your free trial lesson.