Being the victim of violence often leads to feelings of disempowerment. Learning a martial art is a good way to overcome these feelings and regain your self-confidence. Other benefits include increased fitness and a greater awareness of people and your surroundings. It is also a great way to build new friendships. In fact, it is often difficult to trust people after being attacked, but new relationships with your Sensei and fellow students will help you to overcome this. Violence is not tolerated in the Dojo!
Martial arts training will teach you ways to avoid being grabbed, struck or thrown. However, being able to defend yourself is very much a state of mind. Martial arts are a mental discipline, as well as a physical one. You will become more sensitive to your environment, learn to spot potential dangers and eventually you will project a persona that repels potential assailants.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to avoid confrontations, and this is why techniques like striking, kicking, throwing and grappling are taught.
Martial arts aren’t just beneficial for the victims of violence. Bullies and perpetrators often lack respect for people, and have difficulty controlling their emotions and behaviours. Self discipline and a respectful attitude towards others is the cornerstone of all martial arts. Martial arts develop mindfulness and self-control, and they teach students that everyone deserves respect.
Perpetrators of violence also often lack empathy, but developing empathy is integral to martial arts training, as you have to train with a partner and anticipate their actions. Training with more advanced students also helps the perpetrators of violence to develop some humility. Since they are often driven by a desire to dominate others, they will be able to experience what it feels like to be at the mercy of someone who is stronger and more physically capable than they are.
The victims and perpetrators of violence often have one thing in common: both are likely to suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of insecurity. This can be effectively addressed through martial arts training.