Self-defense is important for everyone, not just those in the military, law enforcement or security professionals. You have the God given right to protect yourself, but do you have the training to ensure a positive outcome? In this article we’re going to look at what we believe to be the top 4 means of practical self-defense. This list is based on personal experience, let’s see if you agree with my choices.
Before we get started, let’s be clear. While hand-to-hand combat is taught at thousands of gyms and dojos across the country, it’s just about the worst-case scenario. Going hand-to-hand with an attacker opens you up to a lot of possibilities for life-changing injury or even death. However, there’s times/places where it is either impractical or illegal to carry a firearm. That means you’re unprotected, that is unless you yourself…become the weapon *strikes Gong*. Let’s get right into the action starting with Boxing.
Now, I will admit a degree of bias here as I have been boxing since I was 7 years old. Despite my bias, boxing is an extraordinarily effective martial art. Boxing teaches you more than just how to punch effectively; it teaches you controlling your footwork, evading attacks, & controlling the distance between you and your opponent. Not to mention, it is a remarkable form of exercise, and physical fitness is highly important when it comes to being able to appropriately defend yourself. Even an amateur boxer will typically have the tools they need to protect themselves against untrained individuals, which is predominantly who you will have to defend yourself against the majority of the time. It’s not like you’re going to be fighting Kamaru Usman, or Canelo Álvarez. Boxing is easy to get into, and with time, & proper training, it is an extraordinarily effective means of general self-defense. If you’re looking for a martial art with more striking options, then I’d highly suggest Muay Thai kickboxing. Muay Thai teaches many of the same fundamentals as boxing, but with the addition of some very effective kicks, knee, and elbow strikes.
#3 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:
While boxing is nothing but striking, not all situations call for knocking someone out. Sometimes, you just need to be able to wrap someone up into a pretzel, and calmly convince them that they need to stop their nonsense. It’s for this reason many Law Enforcement Officers are turning to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While estimates can vary wildly, roughly 70% of fights end up on the ground. That’s a bad place to be if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s where Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu comes in. It’s a submission style of martial arts, where you learn to close the distance between you & your opponent, take them down and then use your body position to restrict their movements. Having done a fair amount of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu myself, I can say that if I only had one tool in my toolbox, this would be it. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is also a fantastic form of exercise and is a great way to de-escalate situations without always having to do serious damage to your attacker. Now, if you were to train in Boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, then you’ve got yourself quite a powerful combination that would prepare you for both a standing and ground fight.
#2 Mixed Martial Arts (MMA):
Strictly speaking, MMA isn’t a form of martial arts but a mix of various forms of martial arts. With the growing popularity of the UFC, Mixed Martial Arts has become increasingly popular. MMA gyms teach a multitude of self-defense styles, though not all MMA gyms teach these exact same styles. They combine various forms of martial arts in their training such as boxing, Muay Thai kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling/grappling and more. Essentially, MMA looks for the most effective components of various martial art forms and incorporates it into a fighting style with real world applications. Mixed Martial Arts is also incredible way of getting & keeping fit. Speaking from experience, one of the most valuable take-aways I got from MMA training was the opportunity to spend a lot of time sparring with people of all skill levels. It takes some work to keep focused when your adrenaline kicks in, MMA training gives you the opportunity to become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. MMA gyms specifically train you not only in self-defense, but how to win a fight.
Unfortunately, martial arts can only go so far. Don’t bring fists to a gun fight. Which brings us to our final recommendation.
#1 Conceal Carry Firearms Training...Emphasis on "Training"
Conceal carry laws are becoming more friendly to gun owners year-by-year with 25 states approving constitutional carry (no permit required) at the time this article was written. Many other states offer Concealed Carry Certifications which allow you to legally carry a firearm on your person. Obviously, you need to check your state laws to see if there are any restrictions on concealed carry where you live (and consider moving to a different state if there are, just saying). However, just because you own a gun and can carry a gun, doesn’t mean that you’re good with a gun. If you ever go to an indoor gun range and look at the ceiling, you’ll typically see lots of abrasions from bullets striking the ceiling (scary stuff). Learning how to safely handle a gun comes first, but there’s a lot more training that should follow. Even the simple act of pulling your gun from a holster is a movement that should be given serious training time. Take some classes from a reputable firearms instructor, not just some guy who looks cool on Instagram. While you’re at it, take some classes that teach emergency medical application. Knowing how to use a tourniquet such as the CAT tourniquet found in our AFAK med kit could save your life or a loved one.
Why stop at 4 options? Concealment body armor has come a long way in recent years and there’s no way we could have a discussion about self-defense without factoring it in. The great thing about body armor is that it offers a means of passive self-defense. So long as you’re wearing it correctly then you immediately gain significant protection. For example, our Ghost Concealment shirt is perfect for providing protection against handguns up to .44 Magnum when paired with out IIIA Flex Fused Core™ soft body armor. You can also use our lightweight Armis IIIA hard armor inside the Ghost shirt to provide some additional stab resistance. If you’re looking for even more coverage on your sides, our IIIA Wraparound Concealment Vest provides the most amount of level IIIA (handgun) coverage. Hopefully you never have to draw your gun in self-defense, but having concealed body armor to protect your vital organs is a significant advantage that could determine your survival.
In closing, get some self-defense training, but also consider getting multiple types of training. Concealment body armor is an easy passive self-defense solution that can greatly compliment your firearms training. If you’re looking to buy body armor, we have a wide variety of options purpose-built for a range of scenarios. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we’re happy to answer any body armor questions you might have.
Stay prepared. Stay protected.
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