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Here’s something we all know. Martial Arts are all about self defence. Right?

I’ve been thinking about the self defence part of martial arts lately. More specifically, how the best method of self defence is to avoid putting yourself at risk. But is this the best way to become a better martial artist?

I haven’t been in a fight – I mean a real fist fight – since I was 13 years old. I spar all the time in class. With other skilled fighters, and some protective gear like gloves, shin and foot pads and mouth guards, and I’m pretty good.

If I ever need to defend myself in real situation I have no idea how I’ll react. I’ll probably be alright. I have no doubt that I could take an average dude with little trouble.

What about someone who gets into bar fights ever weekend? What if I (heaven forbid) had to defend myself against a crooked cop? How would my training and sparring help me out?

Risky Training

Maybe exposing yourself to a certain amount of risk is good practice. I’m not saying you should go hang out tonight at the roughest bar you know. Don’t get yourself in over your head and pick a fight with a mobster.

But, learning to diffuse a potential fight verbally at a local dive may not hurt.

Deflecting a punch from a drunkard when he accuses you of checking out his girlfriend may be a growth experience.

Some of the best fighters I know have jobs that place them in some danger. Paramedics, bar security, police officers, etc.

My point is, while running from danger is the best way to stay safe, it may not help you when the day comes that you can’t run.

Incorporating some risk – mitigated risk! – may be a healthy addition to your training.

Just a thought, and I’d love to hear if you think I’m being completely foolish saying this.