The start of a new year brings on those New Year’s Resolutions. In January, many people plan for their future, set goals and resolve to make changes in their life. Personally or professionally, reflecting on your past year and planning for your next year is a natural part of life. Many of these personal goals and resolutions revolve around getting fit and losing weight. I would invite you to take up Martial Arts as part of your New Year’s routine to help achieve those goals.

Why not seek out your local Karate school and begin to learn a new skill! This new activity will help with your fitness goals as well as give you valuable tools for personal protection. To help keep yourself on track, join with a friend or two. Having training partners will help to motivate you to practice and go to class.

Shop around, try a class or two at different schools. Then pick the one that is the best fit for you. No time for regular classes…… Enroll in a Women’s Self-Defence Course. Some training is better than no training. Make it an annual event to refresh those skills! There are so many reasons why practicing a Martial Art should be on your to do list this year. The benefits you will receive are wonderful. Here are my top 5 picks for the benefits of Martial Arts training.

5. Fitness

Karate and other Martial Arts are a total body work out. You will improve your cardio, balance, flexibility, coordination and strength. Classes will help you with weight loss and muscle toning too.

4. Fun

Starting a new activity is fun! You will learn so much in the classes. You will meet many new people that will want to help you learn and grow. There are also opportunities for travel or competition if that is something that interests you.

3. Stress Relief

You can really work out your frustrations in class. Having the discipline to focus can improve your mood & relieve stress. Lots of endorphins are released to help you feel happier when working out!

2. Confidence

Learning to protect your self is such a confidence booster. Working hard and seeing yourself growing stronger will really give you a sense of empowerment. This helps encourage other women too.

1. Self-Defence

Your personal safety is the number one reason to train. You will be learning potentially life saving skills. Having the awareness and the ability to mentally and physically respond to danger is invaluable.

The technique I have chosen to demonstrate today is from the ground. Here you have been knocked down or pushed. You still need to be able to protect yourself even though you are in a vulnerable position.

Knocked Down

• You have been knocked off your feet and are on the ground
• Don’t panic!
• Face your attacker with your hands up to protect your head and face

Double Block

• The attacker kicks at your head
• Use both your forearms to block this kick
• Keep your head off the ground to see what you are doing

Wrap and Grab

• My bottom hand grabs the attackers leg near the ankle
• My top hand begins to wrap around the attackers leg higher under the knee

Roll

• Keeping a tight hold of the attacker’s leg, begin to roll your body in towards and on to the attacker
• It is important to keep body contact for your roll

Continue Rolling #1

• Continue the rolling motion on to the attacker
• I chose this picture to show how I am taking back control and knocking the attacker down
• Your roll must be very fast and strong and constant body contact to be most effective

Attacker Down

• Using your body weight with the rolling motion, I have now knocked the attacker down and on to his back
• Notice I have not let go of the attackers leg and I have rolled on to my stomach

Continue Rolling #2

• With the attacker down, I can now let go of his ankle and continue my rolling motion
• My rolling motion is still going in the same direction and I am now on my back

Prepare to Strike

• As I roll on to my back, I have let go with my bottom hand and am raising it up, preparing to strike
• Notice I have not let go with my other hand

Elbow

• Elbow the attacker in the groin
• You can strike more than once if you need to
• Notice I am still holding the attackers leg and my body weight is still pinning the attackers leg down

Backfist

• Immediately following the elbow strike, strike again using a backfist to the attackers face
• The object here is to strike of course, but also to block their sight with your hand in their face

Push the Face

• With the same hand that did the backfist, push the face of the attacker away
• Notice I have now let go of the attackers leg and my body is once again rolling forward on the attacker

Hold and Roll

• Continue holding the face of your attacker away from you so they can not see
• Continue the rolling motion in the same direction
• Notice my body is beginning to be more upright

Take Back Control

• Finish your rolling motion until you are upright on one knee
• Keep the face of your attacker firmly under control

Strike

• Now strike down with all your force on to the face of the attacker
• You can use your fist or palm-heel if you prefer
• Repeat as necessary

Take Your Distance

• Once you have finished striking, stand up and back away so you will be out of reach
• In Martial Arts we call this taking your distance
• Keep your eyes on your attacker
• Now RUN!!!

I have broken down this technique to give the best possible photos and explanations. In reality, this will only take a few seconds to perform. As always, everything must be performed fast and strong to be effective. Remember to use your voice and seek help as soon as you are free.

Don’t Be A Victim.    Be Confident.    Be Prepared