Best Self Defense Martial Art
One perspective is that the best self defense martial art is probably the one you are taking right now. This is because if you are currently learning something that bills itself as a self defense martial art and if you stop now and start over to learn a new set of reflexes it delays your ultimate goal of gaining self-defense skill. Self-defense is more than a set of techniques that you drill over and over. It is an attitude that you should be able to turn on and turn off and use instantly if the need arises.
If attacked, your body must react automatically. If there is a delay in response because you have to return to the body position you learned in class, it could be too late to defend against the attack. If applications do not exist in your current martial art and instead, it is just one sparring match after another, it cannot be effective in the case of attempted bodily harm or worse.
Many martial arts have been converted into sport as a result of modern business necessity. In order to keep a student’s interest, it was judged that there had to be ‘competition.’ Competition is fun and worthwhile and teaches students, especially young students, the positive aspects of competition and sports. However, all too often, any idea of gaining self defense skill is left behind due to different emphasis and lack of class time dedicated to the finer aspects of real world survival.
A caveat that a student is usually never told in some schools is that defending yourself is much more than choreographed sequences. In fact, once sequential skills are developed, they should be discarded in favor of automatically adapting to each individual attack angle and timing. WingTsun™ training is all about this aspect of self defense. Several of the drills and classes offer this hard-to-find training.
All of WingTsun training is directed toward this goal of self-defense in its own specialized area. Stances are upright and hand positions are close to the center of the body mass. Moving into self-defense posture is instant. One does not have to crouch down and withdraw a fist.
WingTsun movements are straight-line and practical. Students are taught to never ‘telegraph’ a movement – in fact, WingTsun concepts within the forms are invested in this idea.
Students are taught never to clash with an attacker’s force as in the motto: “Stay with what comes, follow through as it retreats, spring forward as our hand is freed,” when coming into contact with an opponent.
Once a student gains traction in the basic coordination and health-enhancing activity of the lower student grades, movements in real time are put forth and not fictionalized; attacks are always aimed directly at a defender. Sticky hands skills are real and assist in the safety of WingTsun classes.
The best self defense martial art might be the one you are taking now or it might not be.
-Sifu Keith Sonnenberg