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Why learn self defence?

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Having recently celebrated his 50th birthday, a correspondent writing in the Financial Times earlier this year described the aches, pains and adrenaline he experienced while learning various self-defence skills.

For the writer in question, the reason for taking up self-defence classes was to try to combat the inevitable effects of his body ageing – poor posture, drooping shoulders, a growing paunch, reducing muscle mass, lower back pain, and stiff joints.

Why learn self-defence?

For that newspaper correspondent, a clear reason for learning some self-defence lay in toning-up his body against the processes of ageing and getting some of the regular exercise that is widely recommended by the medical profession.

Certainly, self-defence training involves exercise, but what other benefits might this particular style of maintaining physical fitness also achieve?


• thanks to the exercise, you will look better, move more effortlessly, and just feel altogether better in yourself;

• learning how to handle yourself physically is a big boost to self-confidence;

• even better, it is a self-confidence to learn in front of others – for, as the Functional Self-Defence website says, trying to learn self-defence without a training partner or two is next to useless;


• trust and respect are mutually shared qualities essential in any training session with others;

• to develop that trust and respect towards others, however, you first need to learn to respect yourself;

Physical conditioning

• by its very definition, self-defence teaches you how to respond in situations where you are physically threatened;

• these are when your body responds with an immediate adrenaline dump or rush – a vital defence mechanism, explains Medical News Today;

• your body needs the training and conditioning to respond appropriately to that “fight or flight” phenomenon;


• self-defence training is excellent for learning to control your body – especially the critical art of balance;

• stronger muscles and good balance become more and more important as we age, according to the Centre for Ageing Better;


• self-defence, self-confidence, and self-discipline – they are three core qualities that you will be developing;

• self-discipline is gained through your commitment to the exercise and training schedules – motivation and dedication to regular practice keeps you focussed;


• many forms of self-defence imagine situations out in the street where you might come suddenly and unexpectedly under physical threat – to that extent, your training is likely to develop a heightened street awareness;

• but it is not only street awareness that needs to be prized – a general development of your sense of awareness may help you live life more fully and with keener appreciation;


• you cannot expect to learn every self-defence move in just the one session or overnight – you learn the art of goal-setting to achieve the next level in what can often be a lifetime of learning in the art of self-defence;

• that goal-setting habit is likely to prove useful throughout your daily life.

These reasons for engaging in one of the many different types of self-defence may help to illustrate the positive impacts any such training is likely to have on your life. From that initial imperative simply to take more exercise, through the deeper, more widely applicable benefits described here, you might want to leap at the opportunity for learning self-defence.

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