Self defense is all about increasing your ability to identify and assess a threat, and then to respond accordingly. The best self defense is to identify a threat early and simply avoid it.

Self defense is not about proving how tough you are; it’s about sheer survival. It’s about protecting yourself and those around you. Usually this conjures up images of fancy martial arts moves in a dark alley. However, the goal is to see a threat early on, and then doing everything you can to avoid the threat and a physical confrontation. The best self defense revolves around awareness, not any specific move or technique.

Ever heard “the best defense is a good offense”? Well the best self defense is a good self offense. Offense is proactive, while defense is reactive – and action always beats reaction. The more proactive you can be about your safety, the safer you will be. You have to proactively explore potential self defense situations – both mentality and physically – and then plan what you would do. While no plan will be perfect, nor perfectly matched for the real situation, it will give you a set of valuable tools to use to defend yourself and those around you.

Also, this concept of “the best self defense is self offense” applies to the physical encounter itself; when attacked, you must become the attacker. The only way to stop an attack is to counter-attack with greater force. This maybe for just a moment, giving opportunity for escape.  The best self defense will involve giving you those physical skills to inflict maximum injury as quickly as possible if a threat is unavoidable. Luckily, most predators are cowards, and as soon as you show you’re willing to put up a fight, they are likely to tuck their tail between their legs and retreat.

At Todai Dojo, we balance mental training with physical skills giving you the best self defense preparedness possible: it’s what we specialize in.

Shidoshi Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is an 8th degree black belt in the Bujinkan, and travels regularly to Japan to train. In addition to being the owner and head instructor of Todai Dojo, Scott is also the CEO of a national manufacturing company. He has also received training in other martial arts, and in-depth modern weapons training.

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