This is the ultimate truth of the martial arts that not many will acknowledge. Yes, you should seek instruction from a quality instructor and stay with them at least until you reach black belt and have mastered the basics of a single system.
If you do not have access to an instructor or cannot afford to take classes, do not let that keep you from your journey. Seek out video, books and articles from the best instructors you can find. Learn the basics and practice them diligently with a partner or in front of a mirror. Find a partner to train defenses with and train seriously. It’s better than doing nothing.
Either way you go, your training eventually will rely on you and the threats you will most likely face. You will have to tailor your skills to meet your abilities and limitations and to address your specific needs. In this way, your opponent will become your teacher.
Your enemy will become your ego, your desire to compete, win medals, prove yourself better than the next guy or using the arts to make money and achieve fame. These are not why the arts came into existence and are not their purpose today. Many will insist you must be in a school, a member of an organization, or that you must compete to test your skills. That’s all fine for those that choose to do those things, but they are not a necessary part of your martial journey.
Your journey is about YOU, making yourself a better version than you were the day before. Striving for perfection even though you know it isn’t attainable, and adjusting your technique and art as you age. This is the stage I find myself in today. I have been walking this path for 31 years and it has taken it’s toll physically, but the benefits far outweigh the aches and pains of time.
I intend to fulfill my obligation to pass on my knowledge to the next generation in the next couple of years and then focus solely on my own training, writing articles and an occasional book, but no longer actively seeking to teach.
Wherever you are in your journey, realize the journey begins and ends with you and that everyone’s path is unique. I pray you are as blessed as I am as you walk yours.
Hello, I have been a student of the martial arts since 1985 and have studied various styles, always focusing on the self defense aspects of the arts. I have taught in the military, privately and publicly and have been a certified personal trainer. I believe that everyone should know how to defend themselves and that this can be learned from home through videos and written material. I am dedicated to you, the reader, in helping you learn self defense so that you are able to handle an attack on the street.