Self defense has always been the hot topic in the martial arts. In Chesapeake at our TaeKwonDo Academy, we teach skills vital to protecting your life, health and loved ones in the event of an assault. But if you never find yourself under attack, are you getting any benefit from your investment of time, effort and money? YES! The training imparts numerous skills that you can use every day outside of the Academy. They are skills that will protect you from other harmful threats, besides a mugger on the street corner.
1. Breakfalls – We teach breakfalls during the White Belt Escape Skills. Why? Did you know that accidental falls make up 30 percent of emergency room visits? Somebody in America dies from a fall every half-hour. People fall down stairs, off bikes and skateboards. They slip on ice or trip over dogs. Accidental falls are the number 1 cause of nonfatal injuries. As we get older, the ability to fall without getting hurt becomes even more important. Of seniors who fall and break a hip, 29 percent are dead within a year. Learning how to fall is a benefit that lasts a lifetime.
2. Situational Awareness – We teach awareness as the first stage of combat. Know where you are, know how to get out, know who’s near you and know what they’re likely to do next. You develop your peripheral vision, reaction time and intuition when we spar so that you’re ready for anything. Although assaults are rare in the developed world, accidents are a different story. Motor-vehicle accidents cause 15 percent of deaths and 14 percent of injuries. Accidental slips, impacts, cuts and burns send somebody to the hospital 8 million times a year. While you’re on high alert looking for the next mugger or terrorist, you’ll probably be better off using some of your attention to watch the floor and the road. In all cases, your awareness is heightened, and that can help you hit the brakes sooner or turn the steering wheel in time to avoid an oncoming car or even lift a pot of hot soup up high as your kids come running through the kitchen.
3. Cardiovascular Fitness – You know the feeling: your heart pounds in your chest and your breath comes in ragged gasps, sweat drips from your head and your shirt sticks to your back. You’re so winded you can barely see. And now an instructor calls you up for another round. Of the top 10 causes of death, four are directly affected by heart and lung health. Heart disease, heart attack, stroke and respiratory disease kill 70 times as many people as violence. Reduced weight and increased energy are two other entries on the long list of the benefits of regular aerobic exercise. It doesn’t matter how as long as you get it. We joke in the classroom that we need to stay one step ahead of the bad guys. That’s true, but it also keeps us one step ahead of the killers most likely to take us down.
4. Stress Relief – How many times have you gotten off work or out of school and felt drained, only to finish class feeling refreshed and ready for more? The simple fact is training feels good. High stress has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. It reduces the effectiveness of the immune system. Our classes are a great remedy for stress. The exercise improves blood flow and stimulates the release of helpful hormones. Complex Forms and drills take your mind off daily troubles. Consistent practice reinforces positive experience and allows the achievement of tangible goals. All of these factors can reduce stress and prolong life. Plus, you get to punch and kick things.
5. Community – Sometimes you go to class because it’s fun. Sometimes you go because it’s good for you….and sometimes you don’t want to go – but you do because you don’t want to let down your training buddies and instructors. Involvement in a community has been shown to improve length and quality of life. A recent study of retirees found death rates were reduced by up to 22 percent in subjects who remained active in a sport, club or group. Nobody’s found a concrete reason why it’s so, but the conventional wisdom is clear: Community means friends, an opportunity to stay active, encouragement during depression and support in attaining goals.
Community not only prolongs life but it also makes it more fun and worth living. Did you know that community is rapidly vanishing from American culture? The close-knit neighborhoods our parents and grandparents knew no longer exist. Church attendance dwindles every year as does membership in scouting and other service organizations. Families are often separated by thousands of miles. But the Academy is a place you can find a community walking tall. The camaraderie on the workout floor is obvious and you know your fellow classmates are there for you. Over time, they become your extended family and the Academy a second home.
Obviously, self defense training prepares you for threats far more common than those posed by muggers and assailants. It leaves you better prepared to survive in the modern world. If you would like to learn more about martial arts classes in Chesapeake, Contact Us. We can let you know about the many classes we have available to help you prepare for anything life may throw at you.