From What I Know
The Musings of a Karate Guy
In my opinion, I lump self-defense seminars into the same group as:
- marriage seminars
- parenting seminars
- teaching seminars
- training seminars
- diet/nutrition seminars
Seminars don't work. Sure, they provide a ton of helpful resources and suggestions; practical tips and adjustments are shared, but seminars don't work. All they are, are presentations of material and ideas.
Don't get me wrong. I've been to some amazing seminars for all sorts of topics; and many have been incredibly helpful. Over a decade ago I went to a movement seminar with Michol Dalcourt that to this day informs the way I train/workout. I've been to teaching seminars with the likes of Ned Hallowell and Rick Lavoie, which continue to have a benefit on my classroom teaching and the way I interact with students. Those were GREAT seminars, but the magic was in ME.
No, I'm not going on an ego trip. You just have the realize and understand the phrase "It works if you work it". See, if I would have taken my notes from those seminars and tossed them on my desk, never to look at them again...I would have gained nothing. Rather, I would have lost out on time and money! Those seminars continue to have benefit to me, because I consistently revisit what I learned from those teachers/instructors. I am able to consistently practice an hone the skills that I picked up from them.
And that's why I don't do self-defense seminars. In fact, I think self-defense seminars are downright dangerous. Sure, there's benefit into learning more about conflict resolution, situational awareness, and the basics of escaping or engaging in a fight BUT without regular practice, regular training, those skills you learn over the course of a few hours will not serve you when you need them.
If you don't practice what you learn, the skills just wont "stick"; ESPECIALLY when it comes to situations where you need to defend yourself, or someone else.
Think of it this way. Most people have never been in a fight. You're not going to go from zero to pro in one seminar. You've got to train that part of you!
So...ditch the idea of signing up for a self-defense seminar and instead find yourself a good martial arts academy (I may know a really good one here in the DMV;-) and commit to scheduled, regular training!