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DWx
KF Sensei
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6148
Location: UK
Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: How long should it take to learn Self Defense? Reply with quote

If a school or style claims to teach "Self Defense", either directly or as a by-product of training, how long should the average student expect to study before they gain a proficient level of self defense?
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you consider a proficient level?

Training at least 3 days a week at most Jiu-jitsu/Judo schools you will be quite competent to defend yourself against anyone that doesn't know Jiu-jitsu/Judo in about 6 months to a year depending on your athleticism and the intensity with which you train.

But for how long? This training is like firearms or running or any other physical skill.
That is to say: It degrades quickly without use.
If you train for 6-months to a year and then stop, the real question is: How long will you retain enough to still be effective?
And that, I cannot answer. It REALLY depends on the student. Their mindset. How much they absorb. How physically fit and adept they are.
All of the above.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It'll take as long as it will take, and no time sooner. The variant learning curves affect each person differently in reaching a recognized proficient level. Often times, one emotional level affect each person differently in achieving ones desired proficient level.

The good thing about this is that there's no such thing as there being one big fat proficient level for everything.



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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
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Joined: 15 Aug 2016
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Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As with most things time is subjective.

The part that always bothers me about claims of time to proficiency is that the student is the factor and only factor that dictates this. If your naturally athletic, have a high IQ, and can memorize and learn very fast then your time will be much quicker than the average person.

Of course then you have to define proficient. Does this mean that you can hold your own against an average thug or does it mean you can step to a trained fighter and hold your own?

Time and proficiency is dependent upon the student. There are some arts that take a life time and others that take years. It really all depends on what you wish to get out of it and accomplish.

Oh and there is one more factor - what they are teaching? I have watched and also taken "self defense" classes and these are subjective as well. In fact I do not think some actually qualify as teaching actual techniques that could be used against a live person and are basically a waste time.

Inn this example I thing a minute and you've learned everything you need to from that instructor.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
As with most things time is subjective.

The part that always bothers me about claims of time to proficiency is that the student is the factor and only factor that dictates this. If your naturally athletic, have a high IQ, and can memorize and learn very fast then your time will be much quicker than the average person.

Of course then you have to define proficient. Does this mean that you can hold your own against an average thug or does it mean you can step to a trained fighter and hold your own?

Time and proficiency is dependent upon the student. There are some arts that take a life time and others that take years. It really all depends on what you wish to get out of it and accomplish.

Oh and there is one more factor - what they are teaching? I have watched and also taken "self defense" classes and these are subjective as well. In fact I do not think some actually qualify as teaching actual techniques that could be used against a live person and are basically a waste time.

Inn this example I thing a minute and you've learned everything you need to from that instructor.

Solid post!!



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singularity6
Pre-Black Belt
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Joined: 26 Jun 2017
Posts: 958
Location: Michigan
Styles: Jidokwan Taekwondo and Hapkido, Yoshokai Aikido, ZNIR Iaido, Kendo

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our school philosophy is approximately 5 years if you attend class regularly and advance appropriately. Our master instructor says that if we earn a black belt under his training, then he is confident that we should be able to effectively defend ourselves against a single attacker on the street.

That being said, I'd say our blue and red belts should do fine... while it's not the same, I think it speaks a lot: Our blue and red belts go toe-to-toe with black belts from other schools and win in tournaments!
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
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Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: How long should it take to learn Self Defense? Reply with quote

DWx wrote:
If a school or style claims to teach "Self Defense", either directly or as a by-product of training, how long should the average student expect to study before they gain a proficient level of self defense?


Ok, a couple of ways to look at this.

I think that from day one, a student should probably be learning something that can applicably help them in some self-defense situation, be it lesson on environmental awareness, or a simple choke defense. The student should take something away from that very first lesson.

Now, becoming proficient in anything just takes time, training, and experience, and it varies for everyone. What's important is that the instructor can teach the system in an efficient manner that allows the student to be able to begin applying it. Again, this all takes time, and all students are not created equal.

So, that said, its a tough question to answer, especially in a concrete manner. I would hope that within at least six months training time a student should be confident enough to be able to defend themselves in a situation. That doesn't read "win a fight," though. That reads "being able to get away."
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TJ-Jitsu
Blue Belt
Blue Belt

Joined: 30 Sep 2014
Posts: 316
Location: PA
Styles: Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai

PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempest wrote:
What do you consider a proficient level?

Training at least 3 days a week at most Jiu-jitsu/Judo schools you will be quite competent to defend yourself against anyone that doesn't know Jiu-jitsu/Judo in about 6 months to a year depending on your athleticism and the intensity with which you train.

But for how long? This training is like firearms or running or any other physical skill.
That is to say: It degrades quickly without use.
If you train for 6-months to a year and then stop, the real question is: How long will you retain enough to still be effective?
And that, I cannot answer. It REALLY depends on the student. Their mindset. How much they absorb. How physically fit and adept they are.
All of the above.


Hmmm, well... but... eh hem- maybe.....

Yeah I've got nothing to add
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Higher Self
White Belt
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Joined: 11 Mar 2018
Posts: 18
Location: Kansas
Styles: Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe you start to learn as soon as you start to think about self-defense and make it a priority. As someone stated here, self-defense should be considered more of a lifelong pursuit. There are many things that can be accomplished, simply by increasing your awareness and making it a priority in your life. The more you train, however, the better you are able to apply the concepts and principles of any system. Generally speaking, self-defense, is very different than sport martial arts. Although, all martial arts contain self-defense concepts, if self-defense is truly my goal, I am going to seek out a school or instructor that teaches that as a priority. To answer the question, every step you take along the path of martial arts or self-defense makes you better prepared to handle a confrontation than you were before. To take it seriously, you will never stop learning. Thanks.
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OneKickWonder
Purple Belt
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Joined: 17 Feb 2018
Posts: 513

Styles: Tang soo do

PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The difficulty with the question is that it kind of assumes two things. 1. That the student initially has no self defence skill at all. And 2. That the training given will arrive some point enable the student to defend themselves effectively in any situation they might reasonably expect to find themselves in.

On point 1, this is flawed because we have built in, inherent self defence skills. Those being the instinct to run, hide, lash out like a crazed wild animal, as appropriate. Those are just animal responses that we're born with. Life experiences will modify those inherent abilities over time.

On point 2, any teacher that promises effective self defence ability is a lying marketing person rather than a real self defense teacher. Can anyone 5 ft girl effectively defend herself against a gang of much larger and stronger armed thugs with a history of violence? No. Therefore there can be no guarantee of self defence ability.

What we really should be aiming for, is to improve our ability within realistic boundaries. Fortunately, for most, the necessity to actually resort to combat is rare. For most, martial arts or self defence is for fun or fitness or interest rather than a necessity. So we should really train for our goals without expectation of guarantees.

Specifically on self defence though, the main skill is to avoid violent encounters in the first place. If you have to use physical force, you're already right up to the point of failure in self defence terms. Escaping from grabs, disarming someone then breaking their limbs, throwing them to the floor, the need to do any of this means you failed miserably to avoid the fight, and therefore have performed very poorly in terms of self defence.
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