If someone grabs your arm walking home from work, what would you do? Do you know how to defend yourself? Self-defense is a skill every woman needs to learn. Aside from the satisfaction of throwing a few punches after a long workday, Asphalt Green’s martial arts director Chad Simon talks why the practice is an essential life skill.


1. It’s life insurance. Like you insure important items—home, jewelry, cars—your life should be at the top of the list. You can’t predict the types of situations you will encounter, but you can be prepared. Mr. Chad stresses the skills are not acquired in a single one-hour session. Repetition is the key to preparation. Techniques become muscle memory after practicing them in various settings over multiple classes.


2. Get in serious shape. Toned arms? Yes, please! Self-defense requires physical strength. During class, you are constantly moving while learning how to protect yourself. Between punches and kicks, participants are doing pushups, burpees, squats, or planks. You are always on your toes, which builds multilateral skills like balance, coordination, agility, and flexibility.   


3. Feel confident and empowered. It’s normal to be a little timid at the beginning, but as participants become more confident in the techniques, Mr. Chad notices changes in body language, in the way women carry themselves. Being in control is empowering.


Watch Mr. Chad teach PIX11’s Lisa Mateo a few moves, and check out our adult martial arts offerings here