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Traditional Martial Arts Versus Modern Self-Defense Training for Women: Some Comments

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal Volume: 14 Issue: 2 Dated: March/April 2009 Pages: 89-93
Amy J. Angleman; Yoshihiko Shinzato; Vincent B. Van Hasselt; Stephen A. Russo
Date Published
April 2009
5 pages
This article compares and contrasts traditional martial arts (TMA) and self-defense training (SDT) for women, discusses components that make self-protection training successful, and examines investigations that have been conducted on the effectiveness of women’s self-defense training.
Evaluations of the relative effectiveness of various types of self-protection such as traditional martial arts (TMA) and self-defense training (SDT) have yet to be conducted. Public perception of TMA is that traditional training is characterized by techniques that are choreographed with little applicability in an attack situation. In addition, there is a tendency to assume that TMA are more suited to men than women. These perceptions are largely based on misconceptions regarding the nature and contents of TMA programs. It is suggested that the most important components to successfully ward-off an attack are proficiency in physical skills combined with an ability to execute these skills under duress. It is argued that these proficiencies can best be achieved through TMA, because SDT programs do not provide sufficient training to reach this level of proficiency. TMA also provides the ability to do training in a group and individual format as well as specialize individual training. In contrast, the brief nature of SDT only allows for standardized training across participants, and is often limited to a group format. TMA and SDT are the two most popular self-protection methods currently utilized. However, no investigations have compared the effectiveness of these two approaches. In a comparative analysis, this paper distinguished TMA from SDT, reviews research that has assessed behavioral outcomes of SDT strategies, and discusses factors that influence perceptions and efficacy of such programs. References


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