Dream wrote:I think the best thing you could do for your personal safety would be to learn to carry yourself with calm confidence. If you don't look like someone who is likely to be a victim, but equally don't look like someone who is concerned with the local riffraff, you're probably not going to encounter trouble. If martial arts and strength training help you carry yourself like that, then by all means do it.
Also, if you do wind up in an actual fight, your opponents aren't going to play by your martial arts' rules; the one thing I've been taught that's almost universal among martial arts: if you have to fight, and you never
have to fight, don't fight fair. If you train in MMA and can't use thumb holds? Use thumb holds, kick or punch below the belt, do whatever you have to do to get out of that situation. The longer the fight, the less luck and the more fatigue you're going to have to last you through to the end of it. You don't prolong a fight, you don't generally kick and you almost never use fancy and technical moves; you end the fight as quickly and as simply as possible - again, that usually means you run the hell away.
There aren't many times when a fight is the preferable alternative. If you're getting mugged at knife or gun point, that is not the time to fight; you let them take your shit and report it to the police. You see someone else getting mugged? Again, not the time to fight: help the person out (first aid/cpr certification is something everyone should have), and help them by giving a statement to police. The only example of a time someone I know had
to fight was when my father, a Navy sailor and total badass, fought a couple guys outside a bar because they were trying to bully this girl in to leaving with them: he didn't win, but those guys left her alone after that.
Run the hell away, don't play fair, avoid fights
*Unless it's at a martial arts tournament, because those can be all kinds of cool.