There are many martial arts practitioners that work on the physical aspects of martial arts; footwork, self-defence skills, kicks and punches, but they lack the most important aspect – “awareness”. I understand the importance of being able to dodge and weave an oncoming attack and position yourself for an effective counter, but when you leave the dojo this is where is all begins.
Outside there is no rules, no-one to stop the bout if things get rough. I understand that you will receive the odd bruise or knock to the body in class, but this is from a fellow student that has been raised up with respect and control. When you leave the dojo you need to be aware of your surroundings; you need to be asking yourself questions. Who is behind or in front of me? Where are my escape routes? What am I carrying that could be used as an effective weapon? People outside have a different agenda.
So if you don’t want to be the next victim, learn to be aware of your surroundings. If you read the previous article on self-defence it may also be of assistance.
Keep your eyes open