What is it like to be a blackbelt in a martial art? Are you ever afraid of your own safety around rough people?

Look at it this way. A significant number of assaults causing lasting and permanent damage (those requiring multiple surgeries and facial reconstruction), and deaths caused by bare hands or with a weapon or instrument have occoured throughout the history of man and continue to this day.

I would wager that 99.9999% of those were caused by persons without any significant martial arts training at all.

It does not take a black belt degree in some martial art to inflict serious damage, maim or kill someone. Nor is a blackbelt any kind of guarantee that you will survive every encounter.

Our nations elite combat troops receive some of the best combat training in the world, yet, unfortunately, some of them do not make it back alive.

Martial arts training does give you a set of tools, figuratively speaking, and an ability and knowledge of how to use those tools.  This is coupled with a sense of self confidence and awareness that is also developed over years of training.

Fear can be an incredible ally. Being controlled by fear isn’t ideal, but ignoring it isn’t the way to go either.

William Stynetski writes about the military, martial arts, parkour, health and fitness.

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