Training that sharpens your mind and skill

Wellness Wednesday

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Tiger Rock Martial Arts Studio in West Huntsville offers self-defense courses to the public. Jake Simmons, owner and chief instructor of Tiger Rock says although there are many resources out there to help most aren’t as effective as one might think.

Whether it’s a local health club offering self-defense classes or an online course, Simmons says the art of self-defense takes time.

“In order to be truly prepared in a self-defense situation, you need to be involved in a training regimen. Self-defense is a skill, it’s a mindset that needs to be sharpened continuously, otherwise it fails,” Simmons said.

Most people don’t realize that self-defense is very much a mental exercise, knowing how to get out of a situation and being able to analyze.

Simmons says many people have to get comfortable with the act of violence when learning self-defense. “The violence that comes with an attack that you have to defend yourself against, that’s a mindset that must be trained before you can effectively use it,” Simmons told News 19.

The more you train the more you get comfortable and in a controlled environment you can hone in on those skills that will help you in real-life situations.

“We do that in several ways, one of the most common and popular ways we use is with sparring, you have someone who is kicking and punching at you and you must now react and defend yourself against those attacks.”

Whether you’re in good health or just starting you can start your self-defense journey at any time. Like all things, you start off with the basics and gradually work your way up to more advanced moves, technique and how you handle situations.

“It’s also going to include the conditioning and the physical aspects of what we call activity aspect exercises.”

Simmons says those specific exercises will not only boost up your cardiovascular health, but it will also strengthen the specific muscle groups used in self-defense moves and techniques, like kicking, sparring and grappling.

“I’m not going to bench press my way out of a situation, but we’re going to strengthen the muscle groups that we need to defend ourselves.”

As much as you train your body, Simmons says your mind and being aware are key in self-defense.

“The easiest fight to win is the one that never happens, situational awareness is paramount to any self defense situation. Make sure that I avoid all areas where I could be in danger, make sure that I recognize the danger, I look for my exit strategy and plan accordingly.”

Being aware of your situation is something you should always do and many don’t realize that they do. It’s never a bad idea to take a step back and analyze the situation you’re in and your surrounds, “I want to make sure I know where all my exits are in case I do need to flee,” Simmons said.

Self-defense isn’t just for adults, Simons says teaching your kids how to defend themselves with word and their body is paramount,” I think that a child’s ability to defend themselves is something that should be taught as soon as possible, it not only boosts their safety but it boosts their confidence.”

Tiger Rock Martial Arts is located in West Huntsville and is open Monday through Saturday. Hours do vary, click here for hours and more information on self defense training.

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