First, while there are common elements between a martial arts and self defense the goals of each is different. Self defense is specific in instruction with defined goals in mind; such as to incapacitate an attacker and get away. A martial arts is more about the journey along with the goal to make it an opportunity for growth of the individual. Second, both a martial arts and self defense require a commitment to succeed. If you do not think a defense or art will work then it won't. As a student in both a martial art and self defense you need to make sure you understand the technique and that is works for you. Finally, there is no single self defense technique that works every time or will stop an attacker immediately. You must take the knowledge of the instructor and the technique they are showing and apply it to you; your body type, your physical state, and your mental state. This is usually done with multiple sessions and a the time needed to build muscle memory.
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