Self-Defense is a major component of most martial arts schools. This is true for Shaolin-Do, but we believe our approach is different. True to the spirit of kung fu, we try not to focus our minds strictly on hurting other people as this promotes negative and unhealthy feelings in the body. Rather, we focus our energy into learning to control our own bodies and move them with precision and efficiency. Being able to defend ourselves is just one of the many benefits that comes as a natural result of this work. In fact, we believe our well-rounded kung fu system, passed down from Taoist and Buddhist monks, is the best way to keep people accountable while learning self-defense. It's almost irresponsible to teach people how to use their bodies as weapons without also grounding them in mindfulness, self-control, and community.
Why Learn Self-Defense?
Most people will never have to physically defend themselves or their families. However, many people spend their lives living in fear of being physically assualted. By learning self-defense, you not only prepare yourself for the unlikely scenario of being attacked, but, more importantly, you gain a confidence of self-sufficience that allows you to live your life free of fear or anxiety.
Self-Defense Training at Shaolin-Do
In our group kung fu classes, we focus on five main aspects of self-defense training:
- Person-on-person scenarios of attack and defense – These are 2-person drills that teach you how to use the weight of your own body and your opponent's force to neutralize an attack, and ultimately retaliate. Rather than being exactly what must be done in a specific attack scenario, you'll learn practical principles that can be applied in a variety of situations. You'll learn 3 of these in your very first weekday class, and will go on to learn up to 30.
- Striking and Kicking – In just a few classes, you'll learn HOW to strike and kick effectively, and WHERE on the attacker's body are most vulnerable and will generate the biggest incapacitation for the least amount of force.
- Weapons – As you progress through the curriculum, weapons like the staff and short stick are introduced. By learning these, you'll be able to improvise in an attack situation and use common objects that can be found in your surroundings. We also teach how to use and defend against a knife.
- General Fitness – Getting yourself healthy and in-shape is one of the most important aspects of keeping yourself safe. All of our classes have components of natural strength and conditioning using ancient training techniques, as well as the most effective modern fitness exercises.
- Breathing – This is a commonly overlooked aspect of self-defense. When a person is afraid or anxious, the breathing gets shallow and quick. This decreases the amount of oxygen your brain is getting which decreases your ability to act rationally and efficiently. Developing a breathing and mindfulness practice now will give you tools to rely on when you are in a scary situation. By breathing normally, you can return to focusing on the present moment and the matter at hand and act in a way that will keep you safe. While all of our kung fu classes have aspects that focus on breathing and chi kung, the Tai Chi Foundations class is where you'll get the most mindfulness training.