I look up stories all the time about practical uses for martial arts. I try to find the best headlines and stories about how Martial Arts is used in the real world and the stories I come upon are plentiful. They are from all over the world and it makes me feel good that Martial Arts help people. I found a story from Florida the other day and it proves once again that you can get your self out of a scary situation when you know Martial Arts, more-so than if you don’t. A person who is involved in martial arts is generally someone who is confident in them self. Working through a martial art and the belt ranking system gives you measurable goals to follow that are realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment we feel by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt follows us everywhere. It can even get us out of situations that non-martial artists would be lost in.
In the story, a Florida homeowner said he used his martial arts training to apprehend an alleged burglar who was stealing from his home. Brian Burch told the local news that he used his Brazilian jiu-jitsu training on a burglar, later identified as Josue Ortiz after he found Ortiz stealing from his garage. Burch said he walked into the garage to see Ortiz holding his jackhammer and airgun cases. Ortiz told him that his boss sent him to pick up tools from Burch’s house. He then tried to flee.
That’s when Burch said he stopped Ortiz with jiu-jitsu, which he studied for over 2 years.
A neighbor who saw the scuffle called police as Burch held Ortiz down. Once police arrived, they said they found several of Burch’s tools inside Ortiz’s car. “They told him he got exactly what he deserved,” Burch told the news. “He had a broken nose.” Ortiz’s broken nose and black eye were on full display in his mugshot after he was arrested and charged with grand theft and burglary.
So let this be a lesson to would-be burglars, you never know whose stuff you’re trying to steal. It is good to see that nobody was seriously injured in this situation.
The ability to defend yourself against an assailant is an empowering feeling.
Most martial arts use self defense as a cornerstone of the entire program. The precise methods will vary from discipline to discipline, but you can be certain that with regular practice, you will learn to defend yourself in a variety of different ways. Many martial arts schools also teach street-smart techniques to help you in real situations. The story about the burglar above reinforces all of that. Happy ending to an otherwise tragic situation.
It’s painfully obvious that most people are afraid of confrontation. There are a lot of people who have never been involved in a mutual physical altercation. Some people choose to avoid confrontation, others look forward to showing off their fighting skills. How many people do you think actually know how to defend themselves? Most martial arts teach you to NOT fight even though they show you how to do it skillfully. I would say that a very large part of the population has “dabbled” in some type of martial art in their lifetime. Whether it was their parents trying to get them involved in a sport, a bully situation, or they were simply fascinated by it, they have been exposed. How many people really know how to defend themselves though? One thing real Martial Arts teaches you is that life is not a movie.
The danger is real and there are people out there who really want to hurt you. Sad but true.
The first step to learning personal safety is accepting the fact that we live in a dangerous and violent world. To think otherwise is both naive and irresponsible on your part. In the violent world we live in today, you actually have only two choices. Fight or flight when the option is available. Only you can take on the responsibility of defending yourself against the possible harm someone is waiting to inflict on you or someone you love. As an instructor, I’ve watched introductory students struggle with the difficulty of crossing that bridge, from fearful potential victims to confident citizens capable of defending themselves if necessary. The ones who have no problems with the transition are the ones who, unfortunately, have already suffered criminal victimization. But no one has to wait until it’s too late.
In a study, people were asked what the main reasons for not learning self defense were. Fear of the unknown was one, this fear is legitimate, but that attitude will hinder you in all aspects of your life. Life is an adventure and we can’t avoid things simply because we are unfamiliar with them. Defeatist attitude was one as well but as I teach in my classes “I can’t do it!” is not within the scope of things you’re allowed to say in my class. Thinking the police will protect them was an actual answer. This one is crazy to me, police usually show up after the crime has happened. There is no doubt that a police officer would protect you if they were there when the crime was actually being committed, but that is hardly ever the case.
These weren’t the only reasons. Lazy personality was an answer, but I call it an inexcusable reason given in my opinion. Being lazy goes along with the other excuses that have no merit. Not having enough time, now see, this one is actually legitimate. If people only knew that a solid three hours per week would actually move them along at a good pace for learning a Martial Art. You can’t tell me that most people don’t spend more time watching T.V. for more than 3 hours a week on average. Spending time with family can be done in Martial Arts so it shouldn’t take family time away.
My vote is to take the time to learn to at least defend yourself. Being aware and intelligent about the possibility of assault is a great motivator…