The question comes up often, and I am sure I am not the only instructor who gets this question over and over.
You say I should train to protect myself, train in what style?
When I urge people to train, I am not suggesting that I am the only one who should teach them. I am certainly not trying to sell them lessons with me. If someone wants to train with me, great! If they want to train with someone else, great!
The point is in getting physically conditioned to be able to actually fight back when you need to, should you ever need to do so.
I have been around martial artists almost all of my life (so far). I have also been in enough situations where things went sideways that I can tell you without hesitation, most of their skills looked sloppy as buttered hell when training theory met improvised application. I never understood why until I was knocked goofy. When you get hit square in the nose, all of your theories fly away and all you will have left to work with is basics and whatever skills you have honed.
Get some training in anything. Improve your overall health, balance, focus, physical strength, awareness, and confidence. Training improves you on many levels.
I don’t care about style. I have, in the past, questioned the usefulness of some styles. I now see that if you like the style and the instructor, you will have a base. If you are willing to study and keep your mind open to the idea that your style does not have every answer, and that these answers can be found and mastered with some further outside study, you are going to be ahead of the curve. Yes, there are boxers who would not be able to stop a determined mugger, but I personally know some who would turn him inside-out. I poke fun at a lot of what goes on in sport karate, but there are some sport karate people who are also real fighters.
The old line about it not being about the style, but being about the person. Yeah. That one. It happens to be true.
When I say get training, I mean it. It is not a commercial for my school, system or style. I mean; find someone you like training with, in a style that is a good fit for your body and temperament, and train.
Hopefully, you will never need to defend yourself or your loves ones from the bad guy. I really hope neither you nor I ever face that day. But there are people out there who hurt other people. I study this subject, and I can tell you; there are some scary individuals out there. You can hope the bad guy never sets his sights on you. Or, alternatively, you can be prepared so that if he ever does notice you, he gets the creeps and moves on with his day. Preferably elsewhere.
I hope that answers the question. It isn’t about a commercial or chest thumping. I want people to be able to protect themselves effectively. The first step is going to be found in starting to train in some method of self-defense.