What is the best martial art to take to learn solid, practical streetwise self-defense? People have long since asked this question.
The thing to keep in mind is that not all martial arts are created equally. And a while a short self-defense class is a good idea for those without a lot of time, it will only give you some basic moves and not a lot of time to internalize them. It’s just not a magic bullet.
As for taking a particular martial art, the reality is that most were designed for situations that were prevalent in ancient history. However, with the widespread social and cultural changes that have taken place, many martial arts are now out of date.
We no longer live in a time when people ride on horses so we must learn to kick high. There isn’t a ban on weapons so we aren’t forced to learn how to use farm tools to protect ourselves. Our attackers aren’t likely to be wearing any armor. And, last I checked, no one was walking around ready to do battle with a sword.
The times change and we must change with them.
With that said, there are obviously some martial arts that have been “updated” and offer a modern approach towards self-defense. However, that doesn’t mean that the system they teach will make you more prepared on the street. It must also include training that facilitates reflexive response and also give you the tools to have the mindset to do what must be done.
Today, people carry knives, guns, mace and more. They also may have been trained in Boxing, Wrestling or some other type of Karate. To ignore these threats and believe one can defend against them without actually addressing them in ones training is asking for disaster.
If you don’t start with a solid modern day system that gives you the physical and psychological tools to spontaneously respond to threats that DO happen now-a-days, you’re not going to be fully prepared should you be confronted on the street. While it can be interesting to learn to learn historical arts, get you into shape, and can be fun to learn … it doesn’t mean it is the best martial art to teach you streetwise self-defense. My advice, do your research and find a place that covers the bases described in this post.