Most martial artists train to learn how to protect themselves and others. Eventually they ask themselves how well their training is preparing them for this task. After all, there are many styles and systems and not all really teach adequate self-defence skills. This oversight, in my opinion, could have grave consequences.
Since I am a police officer being able to protect myself and others is an essential skill. Of the many tools at my disposal when dealing with violent individuals, the most important is the spoken word. Often a situation can be diffused through talk. However when that doesn't work, then empty-hand tactics may have to be used.
Having martial arts skills is great but if you are not sure how to apply them then what good are they? In the karate program I teach, the emphasis on practical self-defence is shown very early. I have my students learn the moves properly and then try them out on one another to make sure they work. I want to be sure that if a student ever needs to defend themselves, that they have the skills and knowledge to back them up.
During the 33 years I have been training I have developed a tip sheet that is useful not only for martial art students but for anyone interested in avoiding or dealing with violent situations. Here are my 21 tips: