How does Soo Bahk Do (karate) help you in real life?

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Dojang X students having a weekend morning park training session!

As a beginner, or even someone interested to start martial arts for the first time, a common question is: ‘will this help me in real life?’  Although this question is actually quite vague, what many typically mean is: ‘will this help me to deal with conflict?’

In this article, we share 3 key ways how training in karate, and Soo Bahk Do in particular, can help you in real life.

How does Soo Bahk Do (karate) help for real life self-defence : Part 1

When we think about how a martial art can help us to deal with conflict, we often first think about the self-defence aspect.

For many, the definition of self-defence is a response to a physical conflict.

Most martial arts, by their nature, teach students how to block, strike and counter.  Some styles specialise in one body part (e.g. using arms/fists in boxing), whilst others like Soo Bahk Do apply both arms and legs.  

Since Soo Bahk Do is a martial art with a greater focus on self defence rather than sport, we teach how to strike powerfully.  Along with these techniques, our students learn how to release themselves from unwanted grabs and to control the situation. 

It’s important to note here that these techniques need practice, which frequent class attendance provides. As with learning any skill, the more one practices, the better they become.

How does Soo Bahk Do (karate) help for real life self-defence : Part 2

What…there’s a Part 2?!

Sure is!

You see, it’s less common to consider the other dimension to self-defence, which is even before a physical confrontation begins.  However, this is a really important part and that’s why we’re going to cover it!

The philosophy and translation of Soo Bahk Do (and the Karate term in general) is to prevent/ stop conflict.  This aim kicks in during the period before a confrontation escalates physically.  After all, it’s best that the situation can be diffused and prevented in the first place.

Through Soo Bahk Do training, we learn how to present ourselves calmly and confidently whilst also knowing that we’ve been trained with skills should we ever have to use them.

This isn’t an easy skill to have – and explains why in daily life we see people losing their temper verbally and even sometimes physically.  However, as martial artists, we learn how to approach situations with calmness.  It’s our view that the better person is the one who can control the situation.

Improved wellbeing though Soo Bahk Do

Let’s face it, many of us experience stress more than we’d like.  

Unfortunately, it can be challenging to manage the feeling of stress constructively.

We may lose our temper, say things we did not mean, undertake bad habits or just generally decrease our work performance and have a lower mood all from the stress that we feel.  When we think about our life and what we’d like to achieve in our days, weeks, months and years ahead, stress can be quite an opponent to overcome.

An uncommon consideration is just how effective a traditional karate style, such as Soo Bahk Do, helps us in real life.  For example, we have a meditation session at the start of each class and learn breathing techniques in our training.  These are designed to help calm the mind and body and bring us better focus for what we wish to achieve. 

This isn’t just effective for martial arts training either! 

We encourage our students to use these techniques outside in their daily life when they experience feelings such as stress or overwhelm, which helps them to keep pushing forward and make great contributions in our society.

Wrap up

From this article, you’ll have noticed that there’s 3 main aspects to conflict: physical, verbal confrontation, and personal.  In each situation, someone who trains in karate, and our Soo Bahk Do style in particular, is equipped to assess the situation and take reasonable action.  

We believe that when people ask questions related to ‘who would win…’ etc. are simply missing the point to the essence of traditional martial arts. 

We don’t train to pick fights in the street. 

No good martial arts club should ever promote this. 

Instead, we train to understand and master ourselves internally and externally.  It’s relevant and practical for both our Soo Bahk Do (karate) training in the dojang and how it can can to handle situations in real life. 

Recommended read

Curious to learn more about the Soo Bahk Do karate style?

Check out this article:

The beginner’s guide to Soo Bahk Do

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