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Critical Thinking for Self Defense

A martial artist spends a long time perfecting the techniques used by his or her art. Even simple techniques are difficult to master, and require years of practice before true proficiency sets in. After tens of thousands of pushups and gallons of sweat, the martial artist hones his or her body into a weapon.

Martial Arts

The danger is that the martial artist can become so focused on the physical aspects of the art that the mental side is neglected. The typical self-defense technique involves a specific attack with a predetermined response that usually is very bad for the aggressor. When this is needed in a real situation, one has to wonder what the mind was doing before it started. It is extremely rare to just find yourself in a situation where you need to use martial arts. Somehow, something has to have led up to it. Bad tempers? Alcohol? Poor judgment? With any confrontation, it is conceivable that the events that led up to it were at least partially under the martial artist's influence. Obviously, not all the time, but not none of the time, either.

There are instructors out there, myself included, that believe that using anything you have learned to hurt someone else is a failure on your part. When it comes to self-defense, you have to do whatever it takes to protect yourself. Once the survival switch gets turned on, do what must be done. On the other hand, violence might have been averted with a little bit of forethought. What comes before the confrontation is at least as important as the actions of the fight itself. Using critical thinking, you can plan for safety, not just react to it. The following sections are just some of the useful ways critical thinking can be used by a martial artist.

















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