Of course, there are sparring competitions that are part of the martial arts training process.  This doesn’t mean that instructors encourage kids to fight.  Taking these classes means that a student learns how to fight, but also how to get out of unnecessary danger.

The basic concept, especially for young students, is to teach them to know when to walk away and when to stand up for themselves.  If they must fight back, then they will have the skills to do so, thereby limiting the risk of serious injury.

Move Side-to-Side It is a natural instinct to flee from an oncoming force – a punch or kick – but in martial arts, the student is taught to move side-to-side instead, which allows them to deflect those strikes.

Keep Moving Another big mistake made by those unfamiliar with fighting techniques is to stand still.  This makes the person an easy target.  Martial artists learn to remind light on their feet and to be in a state of constant motion.  This doesn’t allow the opponent enough time to plan the next attack.

Redirect the Energy Often, the martial artist is not make the attack by tiring the opponent by deflecting blows.  The movements learned allow the person to move in a way that prevents any direct hits or kicks to connect.  The opponent who continues to launch attacks begins to feel frustrated and tired, which means that the martial artist can more easily subdue him.

Think Ahead It is not all about responding to the attacks, but also learning to predict what the opponent will do next, so the martial artist remains one step ahead.  Again, this kills the opponent’s confidence.

Know How to End It Sometimes this means talking your way out of the fight before it even begins.  Other times it means placing the opponent in a hold until help arrives.  Other times it means knowing how to execute a maneuver that will take the opponent out of the fight without causing permanent harm.