Lions Self Defense

This is a future program for the Lions Martial Arts Foundation (LMAF). The head instructor is John Pratt.

For now, any further development of this program will be on John's personal time, as the LMAF is diverting its resources toward getting the Taekwondo program established.

Introduction to Lions Self Defense

LMAF Self Defense is a martial arts program for adults.

The mission of Lions Self Defense is to create a non-competitive environment with an emphasis on proper values, where people can enjoy learning practical martial arts self defense skills with less risk of injury.

The problem with any kind of practical martial arts in a competitive environment is the high risk of serious injury. For example, among pro UFC fighters, having a serious injury in their career is almost inevitable.

Self Defense?

Just like with any other "Self Defense" program out there, the wording "Self Defense" is a just a colloquialism.

Literally speaking, Sunday School is a better self defense program than any martial arts program could ever hope to be. This is because real self defense mostly comes from things like being nice to people, being in the right place at the right time, avoiding alcohol, drugs, etc.

One of the most powerful self defense lessons of all time can be found in the sermon on the mount:

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:38-39 KJV)

That same, powerful self defense lesson is found, in different words, in Brother Elden's Rules for Success

"To bear an injustice without retaliating."

In other words, crimes should be reported to the proper authority. It is not your job to retaliate. If you do retaliate, you could get yourself killed as well.

Concepts that we learn in church, combined with plain ol' common sense will mitigate probably 99.99% of real world "self defense" situations. And, even after that, the ability to run fast would come in handy more often than the ability to fight. And, we haven't even talked about firearms yet (a discipline that the Lions Self Defense program doesn't teach).

So, what's the point of self defense martial arts? Building discipline, confidence, fitness, stress relief, all while at the same time building skills that could potentially be useful in a self defense situation you will probably never encounter. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be prepared for that.

Or, perhaps your occupation (for example, if you work in law enforcement) puts you at a heightened risk.

Why not Taekwondo?

For this discussion, "Taekwondo" means the current day Olympic-style Taekwondo.  It does not what we might call "old-school" Taekwondo.

To a large extent, (Olympic-style) Taekwondo's strengths are also its weaknesses.

For example, consider the belt system: The belt system is great because it keeps students interested by giving them clearly defined short term goals to work toward. The Taekwondo belt system has a huge amount of content to keep students working on the next new thing. The downside is, this encourages being mediocre at a thousand things instead of getting really good at the basics. It also encourages curriculums to not change, even when confronted with compelling evidence to change, because it creates a problem where the people who have already earned the belt no longer qualify for that belt.

Another strength Taekwondo has is the ability to have competitive sparring (which, again, keeps students interested) without having a lot of serious injuries. This is accomplished with "point sparring". To oversimplify, the only thing you have to do is touch the other guy before he touches you, and you get the point. This leads people to use strategies that don't work in fights for the sake of getting the first touch, and the curriculum tends to favor this.

Taekwondo just is what it is. It's a great system for a lot of people. Lions Self Defense does not have the same target audience.

The target audience of Lions Self Defense is a somewhat similar target audience as the MMA gyms. If you have visited some of these gyms, it might leave you wishing there was a place where only our own members could train there.