Self defence - how necessary is it?

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Self defence - how necessary is it?

Postby Freccia » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:20 pm

I've been pondering this for a while, please bear with me.
I will also start by saying I live in a small town (pop. 4000), calling it "sleepy" would be a euphemism... :lol:
But I have lived in London, Edinburgh, and done a lot of travelling throughout the world. I am female, 41 years old. Just started doing ju jitsu, which has a strong emphasis on self defence.

I heard an interesting piece on an Oz radio station, women talking about self defence; one woman said that when she goes to a new city, she observes how the women there carry themselves and imitates them. My feeling is that our perceived need for self defence is exaggerated; if you keep your wits about you and follow simple safety rules, I think the chances of being attacked are pretty low.

That said, knowledge of self-defence techiques is always a good thing to have, and will probably increase your self-confidence making you less likely to be attacked.

Thoughts, anyone?
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Re: Self defence - how necessary is it?

Postby blinki » Sat Sep 14, 2013 3:40 pm

How often have you been attacked or people you know who live similar lives to you? I think that answers the question of usefulness most directly.

But there's also the question of how it effects your confidence in going about your day to day life. Even if you never need to do it, knowing you have a more than decent chance of being able to deal with being attacked can make you feel more comfortable in somewhat dodgy situations/places which has value in its self. But then the amount of value in that probably depends upon whether you are of a disposition to worry otherwise.
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Re: Self defence - how necessary is it?

Postby andyO » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:48 pm

A good man who used to post on here once said something along the lines of. If you want to take self defence classes because you are worried about getting hurt where you live - use the money from the self defence classes to rent somewhere less violent/dangerous.

I once trained in Ju Jitsu for a number of years, as you mentioned my class also had a large emphasis on self defence, in fact it there was no 'sport' element in it at all, it was all self defence. The instructor always drilled home that the first line of self defence is avoiding getting into a situation where you need to 'fight' at all costs. I.e. also as you mentioned, thinking about how you hold yourself, where you walk, talking a different longer route if you don't like the look of some people hanging about in your normal path rather than carrying on hoping, exit routes from rooms/locations etc etc. So, you already sound like you have a good grasp on arguably the most important elements. I'd argue you don't need to take lessons to learn those elements of self defence.

So the main question to ask yourself is, 'why do you want to learn physical fighting techniques?' If it is *purely* to enable you to fight off a would be assailant, ask yourself if the time/money you spend doing the lessons is worth it against the risk.

Other reasons for training Ju Jitsu would be, its cracking good fun, its good fitness training, its a good way to meet people/socialise/make friends, it improves your self confidence, it gives you goals to train for. All these are great reasons to train and probably better reasons than learning how to fight someone off.

I used to live somewhere where several times a week I had to have a physical confrontation just walking down my road. A few months after starting to train Ju Jitsu I moved. It's now been several years since I was in a situation where I thought fighting was a possibility, in each of these situations talking resolved the situation.

Never walk into/(or initiate!) a situation thinking you'll be okay because you've had some martial arts training, you will eventually meet someone that can outfight you - especially if your not accustomed to street fighting.

All that said Ju Jitsu is great fun and it keeps you fit - two great reasons to continue (if you enjoy it).
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Re: Self defence - how necessary is it?

Postby loveliberate » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:31 pm

I consider self defense to be essential and the only question being the degree to which an individual chooses to prepare themselves. That is and must be an individuals decision.

Awareness, avoidance and mindset generally are some of the best tools we have - for most folks and most situations, that *may* very well be enough to help us stay safe. That said, what distinguishes self defense from combat, sport, etc is that we are preparing to respond to situations that we likely cannot specifically predict, avoid or otherwise prevent. We don't generally keep fire extinguishers around because we're seeking or expecting a fire - we have them because we realize that despite our best intentions and efforts fires DO still occur.

It's far better to be prepared for something that may not occur than to find oneself or ones loved ones harmed and not have the training and/or tools to respond appropriately. I suggest that this mindset and practice be part of a larger approach to life: Simple, small steps taken toward having emergency medical training, being prepared for natural disaster response or even just knowing how to change a tire can make a world of difference. :)
“I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend." -
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Re: Self defence - how necessary is it?

Postby knackers » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:43 am

If there is any skill worth learning, self defence is certainly one of them.
At the end of the day you do not know how safe you are based on a towns population or record/etc, trust no one but yourself.. its easier to be prepared and know your capable of doing whatever you can, protecting yourself is number 1, the self confidence that comes along with it is fantastic, it is also very empowering, especially for women.
I recommend it.
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Re: Self defence - how necessary is it?

Postby JP » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:19 pm

i think the value of training self defence goes beyond the actual self defence techniques, you get training, discipline, body control, muscle and conditioning development, not to mention the social aspects of group training and sharing knowledge and learning - all positive aspects even if the actual self defence aspect doesnt appeal much.

you can of course get those things from other sports and disciplines.
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