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Are self-defence and martial arts the same thing?

There is a difference between self-defence and martial arts. These two disciplines share lots of common ground but serve distinct different purposes with much cross over between the two.

 

Self-Defence:

The primarily focus if self-defence is that of personal safety and protection, with self-defence instructors teaching practical skills to defend oneself from physical harm, including verbal aggression management, awareness, and threat avoidance, as well as looking at aspects of the law. Self-defence is relevant for everyone, regardless of athletic ability, age, build or experience, it may also include improvised weapons or firearm training. The purpose of self-defence is to predominantly avoid conflict whenever possible through situational awareness and, if necessary, physically protect yourself and or loved ones.

Martial Arts:

Martial arts encompass various disciplines, emphasising physical fitness, mental discipline, goal setting and cultural connection. All martial arts, regardless of style, involves techniques that can be used in combat sports and fighting, often with a rich history and cultural context. These techniques require many years of training and dedication to the art. There are some martial arts that incorporate weapon use, (e.g., swords, nunchaku) in the system. Beyond learning martial arts to aid in self-defence the focus is on technique, kata or form mastery, and body conditioning,

To summarise, martial arts and self-defence are very different in the term of content and delivery. Self-defence provides immediate practical tools, while martial arts offer a journey of personal growth and body conditioning, with the journey lasting many years, sometimes a life time. Both martial arts and self-defence have their place and are valuable, but understanding their differences helps you decide what you want. Not all martial arts instructors can teach self-defence and not all self defence instructors can teach martial arts, choose wisely.

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