Home > Karate, Martial Arts, Random Thoughts, Self -Defense, Training > Are Martial Arts Relevant In Today’s Society?

Are Martial Arts Relevant In Today’s Society?


Someone told me one time that karate and the martial arts were not relevant in our modern society. They stated that in these times with our advanced knowledge of weapons and the availability of hand guns, if someone was going to attack you, you ran much more of a chance getting shot than anything else. They believed that “Drive By” shootings were the norm.

Were they right?

Not entirely.

Although it is logical that with the level of violence in our society today one runs a much better chance of encountering an assailant with a firearm there are situations where your skill and training could possibly save your life.

Every day in this country thousands of people head off to their jobs in our prisons. I am speaking from experience as I have worked in the prison system for over twenty-three years. The majority of citizens do not realize that when a Correctional Officer enters his or her facility they enter a totally different world. Although we live in a modern era and utilize technology in many ways, a lot of the environment inside of those walls is decades behind the modern world.

Karate and the martial arts in general were created to defend ones’ self from three major attacks:
• Hand-to-hand combat
• Blunt weapons
• Sharpened weapons

These are exactly the sort of attacks a Correctional Officer can expect to encounter at any given time during their shift. In most cases the officer is armed only with a radio and a set of keys. Not much of a fair match by any means. The self – defense skills taught in karate are ideally suited to protect one from these types of attacks. I have personally used my training to defend myself or others on several occasions over the years. I cannot stress enough the importance of participating in some kind of training to anyone who walks those cell houses on a regular basis. Most states and the Federal Government provide some sort of training on an annual basis. Even though the instructors have nothing but the best of intentions, let’s face it, any sane person will know that four hours of training a year (or less) in not enough to build any kind of muscle memory that is essential in self- defense.

Inmates have time. They are doing time. They have twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week to think. Some of the things they come up with are ingenious. I have saw weapons made in a prison that would awe the average person. Many people who have had the chance to take a look at some of these weapons could only say “How did they DO that?”

If you are in this very honorable line of work you owe it, not only to yourself but to your family as well, to get some kind of training under your belt.

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  1. November 16, 2011 at 8:20 am

    awesome post (~_~)
    first; I have a story I will make quick, I taught the local law enforcement, tactics and techniques, one officer did not like coming to class and was always disgruntled about having to spend time in a martial arts clas when he felt his gun would serve him in any situation. I told him to point the wooden gun at me and say bang when he felt he needed to pull the trigger. I took the gun from his hand and he never got to say bang. We did this several times, several ways and he became a devoted member of our school. He is in the K-9 unit of Marion County Sheriffs dept.

    Second; I now am a correctional Officer and work in a prison an I have had to remove weapons made from plastic mugs that they drink out of, I am blessed to have the training that I do.

    (~_~) bows humble Art

  2. Chuck A.
    November 24, 2011 at 6:11 am

    THANK YOU
    Thank you for the great post! I don’t practice martial arts any more because of physical problems (mostly the one that has to do with too many birthdays). In my youth I practiced Shotokan karate.

    I enjoyed this post very much because I retired from the State Of CO Dept of Corrections a few years ago and know exactly what you are talking about because I lived in that world for many years.

    This posting made me go back and read a lot of your other writings on your blog and take a look at your website as well. It sure brought back a lot of good memories. I know that there are a lot of “karate” schools in our town. I know a little about a few of them but I think you guys have hit the nail right on the head with your training, your philosophy and your honest dedication to your art and style.

    Keep up the good work and thank you for a blog on a karate sight that talks about KARATE! There is another karate page with a blog where the guy tries to tell people how to live a better life and stuff. In some of his posts he’s down right demeaning and insulting to us people who are making an honest living or struggling to get by on retirement. Your blog and your school is a very good reflection of what you guys are all about – teaching karate to make people’s lives better that way.

  3. November 25, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Thank you, Chuck. I also thank you for your service and dedication. Ah, retirement. I am very close myself.

    Shotokan is very close to our style and has many similararities. A very good style.

    As far as the rest, I learned a long time ago that I can’t help what other people do. I am what I am and I teach and carry myself the way I do because that’s just me.

  4. B Drew
    November 29, 2011 at 3:11 am

    I’m glad you posted something about this.

    I can’t recall how many times I have been running a seminar and had someone tell me they would just use their gun to protect themselves, family etc. I immediately ask them to remove all ammunition from their weapon so we can demonstrate it for the class.

    This inevitably leads to a response like: “I don’t have my gun on me” or something similar and that lends me to remind people that our hands are never left unloaded in a glove box.

    Anyone working in a professional environment where they might have physical confrontations should be well aware of the tools they always have on them and Mr. White’s reference of the correctional environment is a great example of this.

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