Do You Know The Difference Between Fighting and Self Defense?

January 27th, 2011

Martial Arts And The Fundamentals Of Self-Defense

Studies show that a struggling economy yields a higher incident rate of violent crime and general lawlessness. That means you may be more likely to find yourself in a potentially dangerous or violent circumstance.  A lot of martial arts students believe their training will give them an edge during such confrontations. In truth, it does. But not in the way many students believe.

The Mental Game Of Self-Defense

Suppose an attacker is coming toward you. Your instinct is to protect yourself. If you have studied karate or similar styles, you might be tempted to respond physically. Doing so can result in injury or worse, in the event that you overreact and cause excessive harm to your attacker. This is the reason it is critical that you are mentally prepared to respond appropriately to a confrontation.

Mindset plays a key role in safety during a potentially dangerous situation. Too often your emotions can get in the way.  This can cause the manner in which you process your circumstances to represent the largest potential threat to your safety.

Understanding The Danger Of Emotions

Anger and fear do more to escalate a confrontation than any other response. Emotions are the antithesis of logic.  It’s worth noting that few crimes of aggression (i.e. robbery, vandalism, etc.) are done with the goal of fighting. When someone robs you, they seldom want to fight. Martial arts students, prompted by fear or pride, will often react physically to an aggressive crime, which escalates the threat. It prompts a violent response from the robber or would-be attacker.

The Difference Between Fighting And Self-Defense

People fight for many reasons, though most of them can be categorized according to two primary triggers: to attain something or protect something. This can extend to private property, self-esteem, pride, or a sense of honor. These things have nothing to do with protecting yourself from physical harm.

Self-defense represents any action you take in order to protect your person. Many martial arts schools unwittingly encourage their students to use the style they are learning to “protect themselves” from criminals. There is a fine line between defending yourself from physical harm and fighting.

A Constructive Response To A Threat Of Violence

Shed your fear and anger. A threat of violence does not actually represent violence. Reacting to the threat because you are fearful or angry can lead to injury.  Don’t challenge the attacker unless it is likely that you are going to be harmed. If they are demanding your wallet, give it to them. If they want your car, provide the keys. Regardless of how accomplished you are in martial arts,  it is a rare situation that justifies using your martial arts as self-defense.
Lastly, provide your attacker with an exit strategy. If they feel cornered with no way out, they will react violently.

There is a time and place for using martial arts as a tool for self-defense. However, the key to remaining safe in potentially violent circumstances is to recognize that such occasions are rare.

Thornton Martial Arts School | Harvest Fest Demonstration, Part 3

April 24th, 2010

Here is the last video of our 3 part series of the Thornton Harvest Fest Martial Arts Demonstration – The History of Japanese Karate.

Students at The Dojo of Karate show you how Karate has been modernized and can be very fun and exciting.

It can also teach your child life skills, build their confidence, teach them respect, and much, much, more.

This is also the kids favorite part of the demonstration because they get to do cross kicks. Basically, they can showcase their martial arts skills by doing flying kicks.

What kid doesn’t want to do flying kicks???

Martial Arts Tournament – Southern American, Fight 3

April 23rd, 2010

This is the last fight I had at the 2001 Southern American Nationals in Nashville, TN.

I was fighting for 1st and 2nd place against World Champion Brian Ruth.

When I was a young teen, coming up in the national circuit of competition, I always looked up to Brian, as he was a great fighter.

Anyways, at the time, in 2001, I was 20 years old and had a couple of years under me in the Adult Black Belt Heavy weight division.

During this fight, I started off pretty well, but Brian was than able to find some good openings.

At the end, Brian Ruth got a very good shot, on my chin. Next thing you know, I’m falling like a tree. The funny thing is, Brian didn’t hit me that hard. It was just a clean hit to the chin. Props to him.

I ended up having to bow out and getting 2nd place.

Even though, I lost, I still had a good showing at the Southern American. Unfortunately, though, I was unable to defend my Grand Champion title from the previous year.

Enjoy the video.

Thornton Martial Arts School | Harvest Fest Demonstration, Part 1

April 20th, 2010

The Dojo of Karate was contacted by The City of Thornton in August 2009 about performing at their annual Thornton Harvest Fest on September 12, 2009 to celebrate Multi-Cultural Month and teaching kids about Japan.

The Dojo of Karate is a traditional Japanese Martial Arts school, so it made complete sense for our students to put on a demonstration at the Thornton Harvest Fest.

Nearly 36 students got together over the next 6 weeks to practice and train on Saturday mornings.

Our theme for the Martial Arts Demonstration was “The History of Japanese Karate”.

We took the audience through the beginnings of Karate, and how it was introduced to the people of Okinawa through the Chinese Tang Dynasty.

Than we go through how Martial Arts became main stream in the 60s and 70s due to overseas training, movies, and Martial Arts Super Star sensation, Bruce Lee.

Finally, we take the audience to how Martial Arts has become a household sport or activity, and that many schools, including The Dojo of Karate, teaches students about life skills, confidence, and self-defense.

Below is the 1st part of a 3 part series.

Enjoy, because our kids worked hard and had a blast performing.

Martial Arts Tournaments – Southern American, Fight 1

April 19th, 2010

I’ve had quite a bit of videos uploaded recently of Karate tournaments I competed in back in my professional fighting days.

These next series of fights are from the Southern American 2001 in Nashville, TN.  I was a product of the David Deaton Karate Studios in Hermitage, TN and the previous year, I had actually won my division and the Grand Champion title, which was a big deal.

The Southern American Nationals was one of the biggest tournaments in the south that was hosted by World Champion David Deaton.

Going back to Tennessee to compete in this tournament was always fun because I was able to catch up with friends, but more importantly, show that my training and skills have gone to the next level.

In my opinion, in order to get better and grow, we must leave our small pond and venture into the ocean.  I did exactly that by moving to Colorado and training with other, world caliber martial artists.

Anyways, below is one of my first fights at the 2001 Southern American.