Rotherham Martial Arts – Self defence guide for non martial artists

Rotherham Martial Arts – Self defence guide for non martial artists


Ofcourse your chances of getting out of a physical altercation are much better if you train in the martial arts….. but what about those of us for whatever reason, don’t have martial arts training? There are still practical tips for people without formal training and I have gathered a few from Instructors at our Aktive Rotherham Martial Arts club.


Right Attitude

To win, you need to have the right attitude. We live in  a polite and civilised  society (for the most part!) and have been programmed by mothers to  “play fair” and “not cheat,” and we have learned these things to coexist in society.

In a physical confrontation we need a far more ruthless mindset. The difficulty is how to acquire that primal and animalistic kill or be killed attitude. Many of us never will truly, but we can certainly make some progress with a few of my other tips….


How to hit properly

Martial arts students spend years learning  how to punch correctly, hit with an elbow just right, or snap your foot out for a precise kick. In reality the person that hits first and hits hardest will tend to win.

A lot of people think they are pretty good a throwing a mean shot.  The truth is you are probably average Take a group of ten and place yourself in the group. Odds are five will be better than you and five will be worse. There is no guarantee that you have Rocky’s right hand.

To hit something, simply close your hand and punch or push straight out hard and fast, you may break your hand but that is probably a fair trade for winning. Or pound down with your fist like a hammer. If you can kick then do so and do it hard and hit their legs. Forget about kicking to the head or ribs unless you have lots of training. Remember if the legs go the opponent falls down.

As you get nearer hit with your elbows instead and hit until you’re completely worn out. You have the ability to hit through their blocks if you keep swinging and if you damage their arm or hands in the process all the better. You are in this to win.

Your knees are great tools too.. They automatically rise to the level of the groin. Use them! If you fall to the ground, keep swinging and maintain control of your foe.

Biting is good. Your mother told you no biting and she may have been right. But in the realm of a street fight biting is good. So is sticking your finger in their eye. Fish hooking their lip and tearing is brutal but works. Head butts work! You need to keep a sane attitude about how you would use the technique but when you are close and their guard is down, slam their nose with your forehead.

There are two rules to winning the fight. Rule one is to hit hard and fast and rule two is to hit again. Remember this is about winning a physical altercation in which you or your loved ones lives are in danger. So hit and hit again.


How to Take a Hit

If you are going to be involved in a physical confrontation  you must accept the fact that you are going to be injured. You can try to do everything in your powers to not be struck or injured but in reality you will be injured.  Accept it.

At some point we must learn to be hit, take the hit, and keep fighting. The best tips for this is to…..go get hit.

Join a Martial Arts Club (like Aktive Martial Arts) a  boxing gym, or just get a group of friends together and have a round robin king of the mountain match. You can have rules to keep from getting overly injured but you need to realize that getting smacked in the face hurts and if it happens once you will learn two things very quickly; keep your guard up and hit first.

If you do the round robin realize that you have to keep a level of civility to the exercise. These are your friends and you might not want to go to work the next day with a black eye and chipped teeth. Boxing gloves do wonders to stop the heavy injuries but they still let you feel the smack. Anyhow, it does wonders for making your mind work under stress.

The point to remember is the confidence we discussed earlier is built in many layers. Learning to be hit is just one of those layers.



You must have some basic understanding of how to block a punch or simple kick coming at you. First off remember you are not trying to be some 95th level black belt or a ninja. You are just trying to not get your head knocked off by the person or persons in front of you.

Here are three simple rules:

One, make a fist and keep both fists in front of your face about one foot in front of your nose with your elbows down. As a punch comes towards your face slightly shift your forearm in or out to help deflect the blow. This is not perfect but is better than keeping your hands down at your side with your face sticking out like a big balloon.

Two, don’t reach out to try and block the punch. The further you move your fist away from your body the less strength your block will have. Let the punch come in and use the strength of your forearm and upper arm for the block.

Three, if you see the punch or kick coming at you try to move off to the side. You are much better off letting the strike miss you completely than letting the opponent keep hitting your arms.


Think right.

If you lose control of your brain, odds are you will lose the fight. I have heard many people say “I just saw red” and went berserk. Their going berserk breaks the social and norm and can work to your favor but if you lose too much control you won’t see the guy behind you or the knife slip out of the opponents pocket just before they move in.

This too is a skill to be developed.  Boxers take a beating but can still keep their brains in a fight. They learned how to take a hit and accept that fact. You must learn to not lose your brain. This is where getting over the stress of being hit helps.



Weapons exist everywhere and I don’t mean a knife. Throw a handful of pocket change at their eyes. Scream a blood chilling yell as you come to blows.

The voice is a great weapon and can buy you that split second of delay for you to hit first. Pick up anything that is available and throw it. It does not matter if you make hard contact just remember a weapon can distract as well as do damage.

If the opponent has a weapon seriously consider running away or at least keep backing up. Pick up something to help keep a solid object between you and the weapon. Your shoe works, a rolled magazine, purse; the options can be endless if you keep your brain.

If you do get stuck with a knife don’t stop fighting. Do everything you can to lock down the knife but don’t stop hitting. The odds of then finishing you off with one poke from a knife is extremely limited, it is when you lose your brain and stop fighting that the knife will most assuredly keep coming in. Again, if you are faced with a knife seriously consider running away!

Know When to Run Away

If you can’t win or know the outcome is not going to benefit from your fighting then leave. Only get in the fight if you absolutely have to. If they start pounding on your car don’t get out and bring the fight to them. Drive off, call the police, or try and wait them out. You have car insurance for a reason. The macho response is to go out and beat them up, the rational response is to use your brain and only engage in the fight if absolutely necessary.

If you are protecting your family have a prearrange command word or phrase that tells them to run to a predefined safe location(s) and what to do when they get there. Remember, you are in this to win and winning might be as simple as delaying the conflict for the family to leave the area so you can follow after them.


Do I need to practice?

Yes, no, maybe. This is a question that only you can answer. But I will throw out a bit of hard earned wisdom. Learning to be involved in a martial sport, martial art, or any hands-on smacking type martial activity will change you. You will learn things about yourself you wish you never knew as well as be surprised by some of the great things you took for granted.

Training in a marital style may not be necessary but in the long run learning some basics and being able to develop a different attitude about physical conflict realities would benefit anyone.


My Children are with me

When you change the equation and add family to the encounter scenario the conflict takes on a completely different reality. You may be able to handle yourself and escape without much injury but what do you do if you must win or survive long enough for mother to get a couple of young children into the car and secure.

This situation gets a whole lot more difficult if you are faced with two or more assailants. Do you fight to win or do you fight to delay and give time for the wife to exit the scene?

This holds true for women. Can you really survive an attack by a 15 stone bloke or will your mind shut down with the first confrontation? How about when you are struck the first time in the face?

Winning does not mean physically beating the opponent.

You do not have to beat the opponent into the ground to win. You may have to but the goal may simply be to survive and escape. This statement will greatly offend many but we are not talking about a macho encounter where there has to be a top dog. We are taking about survival.

This is where we learn from our childhood again. In the school yard we learned very quickly how to disengage from the bully. The same thought process and motivation needs to be kept in this type of encounter. Don’t stand and fight unless absolutely necessary.

Back to Attitude and Mindset

I cannot give you the attitude or mindset to survive a hand to hand encounter; nor can anyone else. But many good trainers do exist that can help you find and develop some basic skills that will allow you to get beyond the polite society rules of the school yard. This confidence is what will allow you to find your survival attitude.

Adult martial arts Classes - Childrens Martial Arts - Rotherham Martial Arts