How Self Defense Increases Your Freedom and Quality of Life : by Shihan Ron Schulmann
For years its been boggling me how many people living in NYC when asked if self defense is important, respond with ” no, not really.” How could this be?
“Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs identifies security as priority number 2, right after food, shelter and water.”
Is self defense important in life?
What I figured out is pretty simple. As these same students that thought self defense wasn’t important progressed in their training, they started to value their new found skill and the empowerment that came with it. Over the years, without thinking much about it, they have been adjusting their lifestyles to avoid any types of threats from confrontation. The result from each one of these adjustments was a systematic loss of freedom that was slow enough that they hardly noticed it. They had accepted it as normal.
Knowing self defense gives you freedom
Do you often walk away from or around anything that may bring about controversy even if you are in the right?. Do you avoid certain people and areas where you feel insecure, but not necessarily because there’s is a real threat present? Although it is good practice to go with your gut if you’re feeling uneasy about a situation, if it happens to often, it is unhealthy and results in a loss of freedom. This loss of freedom to do the things you want to do when you want to do them diminishes your very existence and takes a huge toll on your self esteem. The inability to stand up for what you believe in (because it may cause an altercation that would scare you) is not the way to go through life. It’s not the way to teach your children to go through life either.
Living without self defense
The concept that others will protect me in a timely manner, such as the police or other authorities, is proven to not always be the case. It is your own responsibility to be able to defend yourself and your loved ones.
The feeling of being powerless and vulnerable decreases the quality of your life. Slowly you start to accept it as normal which helps you to cope with it. You become a prisoner of your own fears.
The fact is you don’t even realize all the concessions you make, until you learn how to defend yourself and you don’t have to make them anymore. You stand up for yourself. You go where you wouldn’t have gone before and you confront people if need be because you feel like you’re not going to let anyone infringe on your rights. I have had countless students who finally got out of abusive relationships or confronted abusive coworkers.
Self defense gives you confidence
The skill of self defense and the confidence that goes with it is very liberating. You will have the courage to do the things you want to do. It will also reduce your stress level.
This is why Maslow put personal security as such a priority. One cannot live a full and wholesome life without the ability to protect themselves and their loved ones. Living without the ability to defend yourself is living without freedom.