With the study of the martial arts comes the implied understanding: it’s ok to defend yourself. How would today’s headlines read if millions of women and minorities for centuries had believed that and been empowered to act on it? Tragically, the implied understanding simply isn’t true. There are many for whom self-defense can become the first step toward the destruction of all they hold dear. But it isn’t right, and it falls to the martial arts community to add self-defense, in its truest meaning and practice, to that glorious list of inalienable rights.
Taking self-defense classes from a trained instructor in a safe environment is a good first step, but to truly make the most of it, practicing at home in your own studio on some shock-absorbing martial arts mats will accelerate your progress and increase your confidence. At home, you have the ability to practice when it suits you, repeating what you need to over and over, until you’re satisfied. You’ve already received the proper instruction, so now it’s just a question of how often you’ll be able to practice and keep what you’ve learned fresh in your mind and body. The key is to make sure you understand the instruction and have a safe place to practice.
Installing martial arts mats at home is just one small step you can take toward gaining the self-confidence that comes with mastery of self-defense skills. It’s the best way to ensure the longevity of your practice and to make sure you have the ability to practice any time you want. They don’t have to be expensive, they don’t require a ton of space, and they’ll go miles to ensure your ability to recover from slips and falls. This means more time with the instructor, more home practice time, and a growing sense of self-confidence.
Self-defense in a culture of unwarranted assaults is essential, if not always successful. Yet it is said that the majority of people who practice self-defense never have to use it, primarily because they appear to have the self-confidence that inhibits would-be assailants. If this is true, there’s no reason not to pursue the martial arts. But even if it weren’t, feeling more prepared to handle whatever comes at you is a valuable possession, one that will hopefully improve your quality of life for the rest of your life.