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Why Learning Self Defense is Important

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There are so many people who are victims of violent crime and assault in America.  Based on a survey, “Criminal Victimization, 2012,” posted by Bureau of Justice Statistics, the rate of violent crime has risen from 22.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older in 2011 to 26.1 in 2012.  After looking at the statistics of crime over the last few years, it is hard to ignore the loss of life in our communities and our neighborhood.  Self defense is important for everyone, man, woman, and child.

Self defense encompasses a lot of areas, not just firearms, nor unarmed martial arts.  These two elements are crucial, but they should only be used as a last resort, not the first.  Your first goal is to avoid a confrontation all together.  There are methods to knowing when and how to avoid a confrontation.

Know Your Environment

I wrote an article about situational awareness.  Knowing your environment is one way of situational awareness.  Most crimes happen based on element of surprise, and thus can be avoided.  One, your perpetrator is looking for an easy victim.  Two, if you see or sense trouble you can avoid that area all together.

Self defense provides some peace of mind and confidence.  Those around you will feel much safer, and you will too.  Even though self defense training does not make you invincible, it raises your probability exponentially.

One example of this is you are leaving a retail store, and you are walking to your car.  It is dark out and the lights to the parking lot have not turned on yet.  You can make out the outline of different cars, bushes, and other objects.  This is one of those times you should know your environment.  Cars in the parking lot and bushes can be used as concealment for a potential perpetrator.

Self Defense Styles

Firearms are definitely a man’s best friend when it comes to self defense, but for the sake of this article, we will focus on unarmed self defense.  There are many styles of martial arts claiming to be the best martial art for self protection, but you should not live with this mindset.

Each martial art has a weakness as well as strength.  It is good to master at least one style such as Tae Kwon Do, Karate, or Muay Thai, but you should continue pursuing and studying other styles as well.  Krav Maga is an Israeli martial art that is geared towards self protection, and I highly recommend this style for self defense.

It does not matter what style of martial art you decide to choose, but make the right choice for you.  Learning self defense is a basic human right, and it should not be taken for granted.  If you do, it may cost you more than you know.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Criminal Victimizations 2012,” Lynn Langton, Ph.D., Michael Planty, Ph.D., Jennifer Truman, Ph.D., October 24, 2013

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