Practicing martial arts has numerous benefits, both for health and fitness and for self-defense. Watching martial arts movies, boxing matches, and MMA fights is a lot different than having to defend yourself on the street, where the most unexpected violence can occur. Fortunately, practicing martial arts trains your reflexes and enhances your situational awareness, allowing you to respond quickly to aggressive situations.
No matter what type of self-defense you prepare yourself with, you’ll be more capable of handling yourself if you train in martial arts consistently. Numerous stories are out there in which real-life people used their martial arts training to protect themselves; here are six who just might have saved their lives.
A Prepared Restaurant Worker
At a restaurant in China, one woman was working late when a man knocked on the window and said he needed to use the restroom. The restaurant was closed, but she let him in. Upon entering the restaurant, the man attacked and attempted to sexually assault the woman. Much to his surprise, the woman he was attacking was not the average victim.
He attempted to attack her twice, and each time she defended herself so effectively that her assailant ended up on the ground. The second time, she pinned him on the ground and held him in a choking position, all while security cameras recorded the entire incident.
This is an example of how martial arts preparation can quickly turn the tide of a violent scenario. Had she not been capable and ready to use her skills, the situation may have ended in disaster for her.
Robbing the Wrong Woman
In Brazil, two thieves on a motorcycle stopped and attempted to rob a group of people. They coerced the group into giving them their phones and planned on a clean, speedy getaway, but they had no idea who they just robbed. As it turned out, one of the women in the group was Monique Bastos, a 23-year-old mixed martial arts fighter who just so happened to be on her way to Jiu-Jitsu training.
“I tried to hold my phone, and I realized they were not armed,” said Bastos in an interview with MMAfighting.com. “When they tried to escape, I lifted the rear wheel of the bike and they fell on the ground. The guy who took my phone ran away, but I was able to get the other one.” A corresponding video on YouTube shows Bastos holding the thief in a choke.
Bastos is no stranger to being targeted by thugs, stating that this incident was not the first. Her martial arts training and quick thinking allowed her to protect herself and her friends.
Muay Thai Arm of the Law
In Malaysia, Normaswanida Alias, an off-duty policewoman, was attacked by a thief with a knife while she was on her way to her car. He approached her and asked for her phone and money. When she refused, he slashed her in the neck with his knife.
After he swung the knife at her, Alias kicked him to the ground with classic Muay Thai accuracy. She told him she was a police officer and he tried to slash at her again. She protected herself and chased him for 200 meters until he hopped on a motorcycle with a buddy.
Alias used her practical training in Muay Thai to save herself from a potentially deadly scenario, delivering devastating kicks that were violent enough to cause an armed robber to flee. Her martial arts practice and execution no doubt saved her life.
An Unassuming Couple
At Boynton Beach, 63-year-old Fred Kemp and his wife were getting into their car when they were attacked by a would-be robber. After the robber began hitting him, Kemp grabbed his assailant and moved away from the car into the street. He proceeded to sweep the robbers legs out from under him while keeping the robber’s gun pointed away from him.
After some scuffling, Kemp eventually got his attacker into a rear naked choke and held him there until police arrived. This instance proves how effectively martial arts engrains itself into a person’s reactions—Kemp brushed off his college wrestling moved and protected him and his wife from danger.
A Day at the Movies
While waiting in line with his kids for theater tickets to Superman, Fouad Ben Ahmed noticed the man at the ticket booth holding up the theater employees with a shotgun followed by robbing other bystanders.
Instinctively, he told his kids to stay where they were and sneaked up behind the assailant. He surprised the attacker by employing a Jiu-Jitsu rear naked choke, and then switched to side control to wrest the shotgun out of his hands.
Ahmed used his knowledge of martial arts to protect his family and several innocent bystanders. Having a background in Jiu-Jitsu allowed him to return to his normal day after what would otherwise be an unfortunate or even deadly encounter. He even continued to watch Superman, feeling it would help his kids from becoming traumatized.
While in Dubai, a U.S. Navy sailor was attacked by her bus driver. The situation could have ended disastrously for the military woman had she not had a background in Jiu-Jitsu. She was able to save herself from imminent danger by utilizing a triangle choke and putting her attacker to sleep.
Knowing martial arts is particularly useful while traveling. Some parts of the world are inherently more dangerous than others, and it pays to be prepared wherever you go.
No matter what type of martial art you practice, whether it be Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Aikido, Karate, or even kickboxing and wrestling, preparing yourself for a possible violent encounter will ensure you can escape with your life. As these six people have shown, the mental and physical advantages will set you above the average population, preventing you and those you are with from becoming victims.
The best time to start martial arts is now. Any training is better than no training, and finding a teacher who is committed to your self-defense is the first step in becoming proficient in martial arts. It just may save your life someday!