When it comes to self defense there’s only one absolute: it’s either you take down the other guy or he takes you down. There is no middle ground, so you better make sure that you will always have the advantage in every sticky situation. I’ve prepared 5 best tips on how to learn self defense the better and faster way and it can help you successfully defend yourself in real life situations. So read them and put them to practice to sharpen your self-defense skills. Practice them in your mind many times before your practice them in real-time. Generally you can use these tips to learn anything besides martial arts; they are more for the mind than the body. You can catch the TV show called “Fired Up TV” on Pursuit Channel on Roku and learn more about self defense.
1. Empty your Mind
Most people are unaware that their minds are like a cloud of thunderstorms. Too much noise and it’s hard to focus, in fact, only those who learned meditation techniques will understand how to empty their minds. If you haven’t tried this before, then I invite you to stop whatever you’re doing and close your eyes and focus on one thought for 1 minute.
Did you try it? How long were you able to focus?
For beginners, I have to say that clearing your mind of all those useless thoughts is a pain in the neck. The few days will be struggle and you’ll mostly think about so many things and even thinking about not thinking! That’s the essence of practicing self defense techniques.
It’s crazy, I know, but it’s necessary.
A clear, chatter-free, and focused mind is what it means when you want to be “in the zone,” it is the optimal state for all action/performance. The Samurai warriors of feudal Japan are familiar with this kind of state of mind and they called it “Mushin.” Watch more shows at Pursuit Channel on Roku and learn self defense too! Today extreme sports athletes and master martial arts experts have different names for it as well, but the meaning is one and the same. When you empty your mind you’ll be able to learn like a little child learns stuff and boy do they learn quickly! Less chatter and noise in your thoughts will make you like a hawk, able to see clearly for miles and without distractions and your efficiency will dramatically increase. When you learn self defense you must first learn how to achieve the “mushin,” then you’ll be able to excel at learning anything.
While more practice will result in “mushin,” it is also possible to force your state of mind into it at the start of the practice. You don’t necessarily have to rely on chance all the time.
Every time you practice, spend between 5 – 20 minutes of silence (you can sit down or just stand in a corner), adjust your breathing so your mind and body could relax and then clear your mind. It may take a while before you can master this technique, so be patient. In time you will see that getting into the zone or “mushin” becomes almost routine. Aside from practicing getting into the state of mind of “mushin,” you also need to stay in there throughout your martial arts training. The “mushin” state of mind will help you develop self defense techniques efficiently. If for some reason you’re slipping in and out of the zone, then pause your training and restart the mind conditioning meditation.
Some people like to opt for guns used for self defense but that’s more like for survival than just simple self defense.
2. Go the Extra Mile
Think of a water cannon spraying several cubic feet of water on you and you just want to fill a small cup for a drink; how will that work out for you? It would tear the cup apart and pin you to a wall. The amount of water coming at you is too much and it’s being jettisoned – there’s no way you can do it.
Now imagine you go ask a neighbor to give you some water and she hands you a pitcher. Isn’t that easier? It’s natural, I mean, you’ve been doing that all your life and there’s nothing to it. All you have to do is pour the water from the pitcher slowly to fill the cup and drink it.
Let’s say you’ve just started to learn self defense and you’re a white belt Karatedo student and you spar with a red belter; you’re going beyond your means and you won’t learn anything. You try again but this time you spar with your fellow white belter. What will that do to improve your skills? Nothing. You master each “kata” in your training and spar with someone just a notch or two above your level and you are going to definitely improve! In this case it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you can see and understand your mistakes and improve on them in the next sparring session. Have the enthusiasm to improve each time you spar in order to correct those mistakes.
The book called “The Talent Code” has a unique and effective approach in training to improve your skills:
1. Aim for a specific skill that you want to learn
2. Practice to achieve it
3. Evaluate the gap and then bridge the gap
4. Start over
Mistakes keep you focused. That’s because you’ll do a lot to avoid committing it over and over again and thus, you improve.
3. Do not Rush Mastering a Special Skill
When you attempt to push the envelope you’ll notice there are things you want to learn that are quite difficult, but you know and believe that they’re not impossible to achieve. When you do notice them, do not multitask and fix them all in one time. Resolving something by multitasking will get you nowhere as our mind can only focus on one thing at a time. You should instead break them down to chewable parts and learn to surpass each difficulty until you have mastered every portion of that skill.
For instance, you’ll be practicing a martial arts technique that involves footwork, a spinning kick and a left or right hand movement, then rehearse each movement individually and in repeated slow motion. Work out each maneuver until you get comfortable with them and then execute them in the exact manner that your “sensei” showed you. Mastering complicated self defense techniques that requires several movements may be daunting, but once you’ve done it you will indeed become an expert.
4. Employ Contextual Variations
Doing one thing in a very specific manner is not learning a new skill. What it does is simply memorizing a move; however, in a real life combat situation your opponent will not stand still like a dummy and just let you hit him so easily. No, he will be fighting back and countering your every move. So, what you need to do is to practice your moves in a functional way in order to gain new skills.
Here’s how to do it:
Instead of the usual – leaning one’s body forward with a punch/jab attack – try to use some agility with it and train to throw a jab while moving in different directions. Spar with another boxer and see if your moves are working.
This tip can also be applied to writers and if you’re a newbie writer, then you should practice using word synonyms and try to write a paragraph in different ways to make it more eloquent and poetic, but not dull.
You can also employ it in music. For instance, you’re learning the guitar and the basic technique is how to strum the strings. First learn the chords and hand placement as well as transitions and then do variations and explore.
5. Practice each Special Technique Alternately
Even though you will make certain improvements in training with a single move for a thousand times or so, it may not really stick or make a difference. It gives a negative kind of satisfaction to find yourself being very good at something at one point, and then suck at it the next day or week. To ensure that you will learn and even better improve on what you’ve learned, you must practice alternately and not routinely.
Let’s you want to learn the high kick maneuver, the reverse punch and the flying kick technique. If you practice the high kick maneuver for 7 days, then you’ll do the reverse punch for another week and the flying kick on the third week; you will not be able to put them into good use at all. The better way to do it is to practice the high kick for 2 hours, then the reverse punch on the next 2 hours and finally the flying kick in the last 2 hours. But on the next day you need to shuffle them so you’ll get used to them completely that you will be able to execute all 3 moves in half a second!
Now that’s what I call learning and improvement.
Bringing it All Together
Using all 5 tips to develop your martial arts skills for self defense or whatever skills you need to learn will show dramatic results. You can do it this way: Begin by allowing your mind to enter a state of “mushin.” Practice right past the edge of your ability. Observe your mistakes and then improve on one mistake at a time. Practice each component of your mistakes in isolation. Remember to practice individual component parts of your mistakes alternately to avoid sticking to one part for a long time while practicing and become redundant. After a while you should be comfortable in deploying each technique and then variate your moves and excel in it in order to move to the next level.
And as always don’t forget to subscribe to our shows at Pursuit Channel on Roku.