Self-defense classes should only be the start

Amr Nabil

Times are scary right now. Violent crime is soaring and people are terrified.

As such, it’s not surprising that some are taking self-defense seriously for the very first time. Before, they felt safe and secure and now they don’t.

Luckily for them, some are willing to offer some self-defense lessons.

Next weekend on October 22 at 11 a.m., Azad’s Martial Arts Center in Chico will be holding a free self-defense class open to anyone.

“It is designed for adults from older teens to whatever age. The best part of this course is that it teaches you a lot of different ways to protect yourself not just in striking because sometimes we don’t have the ability to strike for whatever reason but also in controlling someone and twisting and turning them and activating the nervous system so they feel the pain and leave you alone,” Grandmaster Azad said.

The class here is free and offered once per month. My guess is that it’s something of a loss leader where Azad recommends they continue their learning by signing up for one of his classes.

If so, I’m not going to berate him for it. That’s because a class like this doesn’t really do anything in and of itself except, maybe, give someone a false sense so security. They think they can handle themselves only they don’t really know what they’re doing nearly well enough.

Sure, some use the odd technique they learned and get away from an attacker, but I suspect many others try to do so and fail.

Any physical activity takes practice to master and internalize so you don’t have to think about it.

A self-defense class like the one discussed above can be a useful primer of things you can do to deal with a physical attack, but it’s only the start.

In addition to this class, the student should consider a few different things for following up. One, of course, is additional classes in some kind of martial art that might have some relationship with fighting in the real world. No, you don’t necessarily want to get into fights, but most violent altercations aren’t gun or knife fights. They’re basic assaults. Knowing how to handle those will do wonders to protect you.

That’s especially true if you get someone who knows knife defenses. Knives are incredibly dangerous, obviously, so learning how to defend yourself against them is beneficial as well.

Then there’s the broader need for physical fitness.

Violent encounters take a lot out of you. The last thing you should want to lose such an altercation simply because you can’t keep going.

And yes, you should definitely get a gun and get trained on how to use it properly. No amount of martial art is going to save you when the bad guy jumps out and threatens you with a firearm.

Yet in all of this, take the time to make sure the person offering the training is knowledgeable and good at passing that info on to others. The two don’t always co-exist, after all, and when it comes to both martial arts training and firearm education, there are a lot of people out there who would love to separate you from your money without actually knowing what they’re talking about.