Updated: Mar 1, 2020
What does it mean to learn "self defense"? Is it the ability to properly execute a series of techniques for each of an infinite number of situations? Is it becoming a part of a martial lineage? Is it learning how to fight 1 on 1 in a cage? Is it learning one specific style that works against all others? How would you truly "pressure test" your skills? Is it a personal journey, or one that has been mastered?
Having had the unfortunate personal experience of having to put this side of my training to the test, it's a topic my students ask me about frequently.
I claim little to no real original thought in my martial arts journey when it comes to self defense, only what has been passed on to me by my teachers. In each discipline: Judo, Muay Thai, Silat, Savate, Eskrima, American Combat Karate, and of course Aikido, I have been blessed with gifted and wise teachers. Unfortunately this is not always the case for so many thousands of those seeking efficacy in survival in dangerous situations.
Mind. The Mind is Key to Survival.