The Role of Personal Security in the Martial Arts

The Role of Personal Security in the Martial Arts


(Picture Above: The two men who sexually assaulted a twenty year old female in their Brazilian Jujitsu class.)

I was recently informed of a situation involving the rape of a twenty year old female by two of her fellow students in her Brazilian Jujitsu class on New Years Eve (Click here for the news story). This is a disgusting and shocking situation that had me thinking of the role of personal security and how it relates to the martial arts world. While many people think that martial arts and personal security are the same thing, the truth is that the vast majority of martial artists have very little knowledge of how to take charge of personal security. As the CEO and Chief Instructor of Bayani Warrior Group LLC., I make sure to emphasize the importance of security and how it pertains the lifestyle of the Filipino martial arts.

The importance of personal security cannot be emphasized enough. Personal security is the foundation of why the martial arts came into existence. Throughout history, humans have found it necessary to develop means to protect them from physical threats, and developing a combative skill set is part of that. Learning how to shoot a gun, swing a sword or club, and throwing a punch or a kick are all valuable elements of learning how to protect oneself from a physical threat. In light of this, most people mistakenly believe that martial arts schools equate themselves to practicing personal security. While fighting skills are an essential part of personal security, the fact is that martial arts and personal security are not necessarily one in the same. 

There is a difference between martial arts and personal security. The difference between the two is that martial arts, as it’s commonly practiced today, are focused primarily on the physical skill sets regarding combat. However, personal security is a far broader topic that covers multiple layers of protection. This includes protecting oneself from everything including physical violence, disease, illness, exposure to the elements, and also includes protocols regarding how to remain aware and conduct oneself in social settings. The truth is that the vast majority of martial arts schools do NOT cover personal security as much as they focus on teaching punching and kicking. 


(Picture Above: While many people believe that learning martial arts is the same as Personal Security, the truth is that it is only one part of the puzzle, not the whole puzzle.)

One main security violation that many martial artists fall prey to regards alcohol consumption. Regarding the rape story at the beginning of this article, the twenty-year old female went out socially with the two male students from her Brazilian Jujitsu school on New Years Eve to a party, and there was a good deal of alcohol involved. Intoxicated, the female student was taken into a desolate parking garage and raped repeatedly by the two males. Alcohol consumption is fine in moderation, but when one is intoxicated, it leaves one vulnerable and open to attack. It slows down reaction time, leaves one physically disoriented, which leads to lack of balance and awareness. This is not to say that I blame alcohol as the main reason for the attack. However, it did contribute to it in a major way. In Bayani Warrior, while we do not have a problem with social and moderate drinking, we do not permit drunkenness, especially among our instructors. Drunkenness has no place in the warrior-lifestyle. A true warrior must be alert, ready, and aware at all times to keep those around them safe, and alcohol greatly diminishes one’s ability to do that.


(Picture Above: Drunken behavior is a common problem in the martial arts community, and has no place in the warrior lifestyle)

Another security violation involves awareness. Now, many martial arts and self-defense instructors talk about awareness as it pertains to one’s environment, but the truth is the vast majority of these individuals don’t know the first thing about being aware when it really matters. I feel that the instructor of the two male rapists in this scenario should’ve seen and identified tell-tale signs of his two students’ behavior way before this happened. Now, a lot of people will say that “Well, you can’t see everything.” I disagree. A true instructor and warrior-leader will see tell-tale signs of inappropriate behavior among his students before a negative situation occurs. In addition, the female involved lacked awareness due to being in a situation in which she was under the influence of alcohol. Awareness truly is the basis of all Security methods. 


(Picture Above: A true leader can observe and identify the behavior among his students, and can help prevent negative situations by identifying signs of inappropriate behavior.)

In essence, Personal Security is more than just martial arts or combatives. In reality, it is a lifestyle in and of itself. Security involves more than just possessing fighting ability. Rather, it encompasses a wide-spectrum of skill sets, attributes, and topics that are meant to protect one from any possible physical threat. 

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