In martial arts training, we always emphasize that our foundation is self-defense. But is self-defense the punches, kicks, blocks, etc., or is it something else?
Self-defense is all about common sense and using your mind to control your environment. You train to become aware of your surroundings. When you walk into a room, you immediately look for exits and objects that might be used as weapons. You look at the people in the room and the nature of the activities in the room. For example – if it’s a conference at work, you’re probably not at risk. If it’s a bar where the booze runs freely and the music is so loud that it will kill small insects in the air, turn around and leave. That is a high risk environment and you do NOT want to be in there.
In order for common sense to work, one must have a clear mind. That means no booze, no drugs, no nothing. Period. Drugs of any kind impair common sense and reactions, and if you take them, you’re doing it to yourself and you lose your edge.
Common sense will cover 99.9% of our daily activities. The physical training of Taekwondo and other martial arts is for that last 0.1%, when the bad guy jumps out of the weeds and we do not have time to control the situation, we can only react to it.