I've watched dozens of short video clips on the Internet showing me how to defend myself in nasty situations, yet I've never really tried any of these methods. In a bad situation, where I am confronted with an aggressor, I doubt that I would be able to do much to defend myself if all that I had ever done was watch these clips and hope my brain had stored the information. It's only when you actually get up and start practicing the moves you've seen that you can really consider yourself anywhere near equipped to defend yourself. Your body needs to rehearse the movements needed over and over again. You need to program your limbs to react very quickly to your brain's command in confrontational situations, and in a very specific way, and while most of the simple methods you can teach yourself online work very well, it is extremely important to practice as much as possible. If somebody comes at you with a knife ready to stab you, all your hard work should prevent you from freezing and putting yourself in more danger.
One reason that I prefer to learn hand to hand combat techniques in the comfort of my own home is because I prefer having the choice between spending ten minutes teaching myself, or two hours teaching myself. That's what works best for me. I like to be able to watch a move, learn it, and practice it over and over again until I think that I've got it right. Lessons at a gym or training facility of some sort would not suit my needs at all. Sure, I could get hands-on instruction that I can appreciate would probably be better, but I know that sometimes I need more time to learn, sometimes less, and sometimes I have no time at all. Training myself at home is the perfect solution and it works, but I'm sure that I can teach myself faster, and to a higher standard if I have a good training partner.
Family and friends can help you perfect simple techniques
If you are learning hand to hand combat techniques for self-defense, and you are teaching yourself with the help of online guides and video demonstrations, than try grabbing a willing family member, or friend, to help you with your training. The moves you will teach yourself are far more quickly learned when you are training with somebody. The most important aspect of learning with the help of another human being is for your partner to act in the manner that a real attacker would. Do not just tell him to stand there while you go over the same techniques again and again. Instead you want him to try to attack you. Use soft, similar shaped household items to serve as knives, guns, or other weapons, and instruct your partner to try to strike you with them just as a real attacker might.
I also recommend advising your training partner to use loud, very harsh language during training, especially if you are not used to hearing curse words, or not used to being shouted at. It's surprising how much more powerful an attacker seems when he is using foul language that matches his aggressive and threatening demeanor. Many people have frozen in bad situations simply from the shock of being screamed at in this way, so prepare yourself for it. Instead of shying away from aggressive shouting you should incorporate it into your training.
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