Learning Martial Arts For Self Defense

One of the best aspects of learning self defense is that there are a myriad of different lessons and techniques involved with doing so. As such, here’s a small look at everything you should know before taking a self defense class.

Who Should Learn Self Defense

Self defense is one of the most important aspects of protecting your own body. Thankfully, self defense classes are suitable for nearly everyone, even children. Both men and women can benefit from self defense classes in different ways, though everyone will be able to gain confidence and better their social skills.

Where to Start

The first step towards learning self defense is to find out if any of your friends have taken local classes before. If they have, this gives you the opportunity to have a friend assist you in the process, maybe even attending classes with you once you’ve chosen a location. A local police station can also help in guiding you to the best self defense courses around town. Any online listings or phone books may also contain relevant information about local classes. It’s also possible to watch a class before participating in one, which could help you decide if you want to sign up or not.

Information you Should Know Before Taking a Self Defense Class

One of the best lessons that a self defense class teaches you is how to rid yourself of fear and learn to protect yourself. These aren’t classes that will make you invincible, but they will ensure that if something were to ever happen to you, you will be able to fight back. Not only will you learn how to stop an attacker, you will be taught on what you need to do to escape from them as well.

One of the lesser known benefits of learning self defense is that it will boost your confidence. While it may not be evident, much of what it takes to properly defend against an attack is confidence, and knowing what to do with that confidence. Lastly, these classes are there to help you get in shape. Fending off an attacker successfully often requires strength and agility, something that many of these classes will help with.

Most Popular Martial Arts

Taking martial arts classes is a fantastic means of boosting your ability to defend yourself. They will help you to gain full control over your body, giving you the confidence to face an attacker without fear. Here are the 5 most popular forms of martial arts that can be utilized for self defense.

martial arts
Photography by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious


Kickboxing can be particularly useful for self defense, as it utilizes 3 basic forms of attack: kick, knee and punch. There are many popular offshoots of kickboxing, as it is a quick form of self defense designed to distract and attack.


Karate is likely the most popular form of self defense in the world and uses its moves to deflect and parry attacks from someone else, before following through with an attack of their own.

Muay Thai

Muay thai utilizes a wide range of attack and defense styles, including punching, foot-thrust, elbow, knee and kicking, among others. This form of self defense can be very useful against attackers.

Krav Maga

Likely the most difficult on this list, Krav Maga is a martial art that combines punches, kicks and knees with elements of jui-jitsu. It’s specifically designed to target the most vulnerable areas of the body, such as the eyes and throat, as well as the groin area.


Popularized by Steven Seagal, the martial art of Aikido is wonderful for self defense, due primarily to its usage of joint locks. The defender will sidestep an attack and generally follow through with an attack of their own. Speed is essential to master Aikido.