Self-Defense vs. Martial Arts

I have been practicing self-defense strategies on Damian Ross’ website ( while my daughter has been practicing Karate at the local community center. An acquaintance recently criticized my decision to enroll her in the karate class, saying that martial arts is “just” a sport and won’t do her any good if she is ever attacked.

I know what he is saying. It is the same line of thinking that I’ve heard Ross say in his marketing videos for his Self Defense Training System. He’s trained cops and military and bodyguards and… in real-life situations. Because Bad Guys won’t always fight fair, won’t attack in a well-lit dojo on mats, won’t follow any rules, and won’t pull their punches.


I watch my daughter’s karate class closely. Her sensei teaches many tactics from many disciplines. He has students practice combinations over and over and over again, then changes them up. Just in case. He teaches them about muscle memory, that automatic response that will kick in over any panic or shock. He shows her that anything can be used as a weapon if you think quick enough and strike an attacker’s most vulnerable parts.

Yes, she learning, we’re both learning, a structured skill set in a controlled environment. But I have every confidence that with continued practice, we are capable of using those skills effectively do defend our safety and well-being in any situation.