Are Martial Arts a Waste of Time?

Sometimes, I really wonder about this. At the end of the day, it all comes down to simply being aware. Aware of your surroundings. Aware of higher threat environments, times and places. Aware of indicators of someone about to launch an attack or start a fight and know when that attack is inevitable.

Awareness is Key

If awareness is there, all you need to do is avoid the high risk areas, and if a possible threat has been detected, leave that area. And if you cannot avoid the threat and have detected it early enough, you have denied the attacker the element of surprise and it is up to you who has the initiative now.

You can try some simple de-escalation strategies such as non aggressive posture and keep them at a safe distance by using what is commonly called 'the fence'. And if they press with their intent to attack, just go in hard and continue your attack until the threat has stopped. Do not give them a chance to regather themselves and come at you again.

Surprise and Initiative

Attack, all of a sudden. Surprise THEM. YOU want the element of surprise. YOU want the initiative in the encounter. These simple things will greatly increase your chances of emerging unscathed.

It doesn't matter how good your technique is, if you don't know the fundamentals of Low Tech Combat, the whole house of cards is going to fall down right when you need it.

Street Wise

All you need really, is some street smarts. Know the high risk times and places. Know what to look for to detect a robbery or assault attempt. Know how to talk and de-escalate a situation if that is possible. And if it comes to it, just sucker punch the attacker or something similar then press your attack.

So are martial arts a waste of time? Do they adequately prepare people for the real thing? Is there a simpler way?

A follow up post to this one can be read titled The Sucker Punch and Cheap Shots.