Friday, 19 September 2008

Awareness for the Street

One of the main reasons people start martial arts is so they are able to defend themselves on the street. Maybe they have been badly beaten up, bullied at school or have felt sometimes fearful of certain people, they train martial arts with the hope of one day being able to defend themselves if every caught up in a scuffle.

In order to do this they train the bodies to become more powerful, faster and maybe to be able to take blows better. They also train specific techniques from there chosen martial art, learning the basic principles of them and then trying to apply them through sparring.

One thing that many people seem to forget however, is that they are able to defend themselves in the most effective way possible by not getting into one of these bad situations in the first place.

One of the most vital weapons a martial artist can have, is not his hands, knees or superior grappling, but his/her awareness. Being aware of things can make all the difference and should be your number one weapon regarding self defence.

It is something that is practised by nearly all martial artists and they don’t even know it. The kata Naifanchi begins with a look towards the left then right. This is an awareness drill. When you spar in your class, you keep in mind who is around you so as to not bump into them whilst still concentrating on your opponent. This is an awareness drill. Again when sparring, you try to become aware which techniques your opponent prefers to use and counter accordingly. This is an awareness drill. When sparring against two or more opponents. When focusing on the new student in a class. When your teacher is walking towards you to see if you’re practising a technique correctly. Awareness training is practised always.

Awareness is something that can also be practised in your daily activities. When walking down the street and a suspicious looking person is walking in your direction, keep your distance, keep him/her in the corner of your eye and be prepared for anything. When driving always be aware of what is around you, (a car pulling out of a corner road, a young child playing next to the road) and be prepared to slam on you brakes if necessary.

It may seem more than obvious but is something that I know I forget a lot of times and I bet others forget also. By constantly trying to being aware of things around you eventually it will become a habit and part of your daily life. Hopefully it may help you when needed.


Marks

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3 comments:

Low Tech Combat said...

Its true maintaining awareness is difficult to do. It is all too easy to be thinking about something from work or what a friend said earlier or even just be daydreaming. we all do it.

Its important to stop ourselves when this happens, especially when we are in a higher threat environment like going to our car in a multi level car park.

We all know what we should be doing but it can be difficult to do in todays busy lifestyle.

MARKS said...

Absolutly. It is something that everyone does and is all too easy to let happen. Its not wrong but as you say, its important to try and stop it from happening if possible.

Street Combat said...

Awareness is definetly the best prevention. I teach my students to play hide 'n seek (sort of) just pretend you are looking for someone and you are not only scanning everywhere but a potential bad guy/woman will see you are alert and choose someone else. They are looking for the easy target that is all caught up in their head not paying attention to their surrounding, have their arms full etc.
Its funny in that most people are not even aware they are blind this way so it is a big eye opener to them to know how vulnerable they have been.
Regards,train hard, play harder and be safe

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