This is a guest article by Nick from . Nick has been studying martial arts since childhood, he now teachs both Kyokushin and Rifle Marksmanship. His blog focuses on integrating training across a variety of systems and platforms for the purposes of self-defense.
Self Defense

Self Defense (Photo credit: Pioneer Library System)

Self-defense seminars are a great way to get the self-defense subject in front of people, especially those people that wouldn’t normally dedicate significant amounts of their time to training.

Short seminars, especially those targeted towards women, also have a huge flaw.  People tend to attend them and then leave that as the sum total of their training.

There are several problems with attending a single seminar.  These classes may be advertised as a quick and easy way to learn self-defense, but you can’t possibly learn to defend yourself effectively from one class.  The biggest issue here is that preparing for defense is a continuing education type of topic.  It doesn’t end after “graduating” a short class.  In fact one of these classes is just the beginning.  Regular, consistent practice is critical to keeping skills honed and ready to use.

Another problem with the one-class-wonder is that most self-defense seminars are designed to build confidence in those students who take them.  While confidence is an important part of being prepared for self-defense, false confidence just puts you more at risk.  As a result many students will take one of these courses and consider themselves all set on the training front.  They are confident that they now have the tools, and it won’t be hard to fend off an attacker if the situation arises.  They may never feel the need to take another class,

Short seminars tend to also be very shallow and narrow in terms of content.  There isn’t too much you can show someone in a 4 hour block and expect them to retain.  To really be prepared you need to work on the skills you need for a much wider variety of situations.  But to someone who is brand new to self-defense, it seems like they have learned so much.  “Wow, so that’s what self-defense is all about!”  They think they have received a condensed summary of everything they would learn in a weekly class, so why waste the time learning more of the same.  But in reality, these students have barely scratched the surface, seeing only a few easy techniques that work in a one-class setting.

Don’t get me wrong, if you can’t get someone to take several longer classes or to spend consistent time training the skills they need to give them a fighting chance, a short seminar is better than nothing.  In a perfect world it would be more than you need to stay safe.  Unfortunately the world is far from perfect.

If you liked this post, check out, Nick Savery’s blog discussing integrating training across a variety of systems and platforms for the purposes of self-defense.