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Choosing The Right Self Defense Class

You just had a close call - you were waiting for the bus after staying at work late. The neighborhood gets a little rough after hours and a suspicious character approached you. Before things could escalate, a handful of people joined you at the stop. Still, the situation was enough for you to seriously consider how you would react to being attacked. Is it time for self-defense classes? It could be.

Self-defense classes are a common way for people to learn how to handle a situation where they become a victim to violence of one sort or another. There are several different types of self-defense classes available - from martial arts to simple self-defense classes, and it can be confusing trying to choose the one that is right for you.

Here are a few tips for you, to help choose a self-defense class that will deliver the knowledge you need to protect yourself:

- Investigate the different programs - If you don't have the time to spend learning a martial arts discipline, then maybe a weekend course that offers you techniques and other escape strategies will work for you. You don't necessarily need to physically defeat an opponent - you merely need to provide yourself an opportunity to escape safely.

- Good courses don't tell you what to do - Instead, good self defense courses provide you with simple techniques, information on the options you have when a situation arises, and also teach you how to analyze the type of danger you are in. Every situation is different, and you should not be fooled by those classes that give you the absolute answer for every situation.

- Find out the background of the instructor - Your instructor should have extensive experience in their field of self-defense. Discover if they have a self-defense philosophy that matches what you are trying to achieve. Ask if they mind if you sit in on a class or two to get a feel for the program. Then ask whatever questions you want of the program and the instructor. Find out as much information as you can before you make a decision on your self-defense class.

- It's not always about physical defense - You should find a course that offers you information on awareness of your surroundings, verbal confrontations, de-escalating a confrontation as well as physical techniques. The most successful self-defense classes for the average person encompass several different areas, and do not focus solely on physical defense.

- Get referrals - As with anything you are about to commit a significant amount of time and money into, you want to do as much research as you can. Talk to others who have taken self-defense classes and find out what they liked and what they didn't like. You can also talk to your local YMCA or YWCA, local colleges, and the area rape crisis center. They will often run classes or be able to offer you the names of people who can provide solid self-defense skills.

Take your time to find the right self-defense class. Determine what your needs are, and then begin your search from there. Martial arts may be the right way for you to go, or you might just want an evening course over a couple night to help you lean to defend yourself.

Any course you take should provide you with more than just a physical way out of a situation. Most courses will teach you how to recognize a situation and react as quickly as possible to avoid any danger altogether. In doing this, it gives you a feeling of power and confidence when you have to wait at the bus stop - next time it might be alone.

Submitted by:

Rob Goyette

Rob Goyette

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