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How to Choose the Right Self-Defence Class for You

In today’s ever-changing world, the ability to protect yourself is very important. However, with many self-defence programs available, selecting the right class that suits your needs and goals can seem daunting. At Combined Defensive Arts (CDA), we understand the importance of finding a self-defence program that not only teaches effective techniques but also fits your world view and lifestyle. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the options and make an informed decision.


Identify Your Goals


The first step in choosing the right self-defence class is to clearly define your goals. Are you looking for a program that focuses on physical fitness and combat skills, or are you more interested in learning situational awareness and conflict avoidance? Perhaps you're seeking empowerment and a boost in confidence, or you need specific training tailored to women, children, or seniors. Understanding your objectives will help narrow down the choices and find a class that best meets your needs.

Research the Curriculum


Once you have a clear idea of what you're looking for, research the curriculum offered by different programs. A well-rounded self-defence class should cover a broad spectrum of techniques, including strikes, escapes, ground defence, and situational awareness. It’s important that the things taught are realistic and applicable to real-world scenarios. At CDA, Head Instructor Lee and his team emphasize practical skills over flashy, impractical moves, making sure that students are prepared for real-life situations.


Consider the Instructor’s Credentials and Teaching Style


The quality of instruction is crucial in self-defence training. Look for instructors with credible backgrounds, certifications, and a good understanding of self-defence principles. However, credentials alone don’t make a great teacher. The instructor's teaching style and ability to create a supportive and inclusive environment are equally important. Visit potential classes, observe the teaching in action, and even participate in a trial session if possible. This will give you a sense of whether the instructor’s approach is in line with your learning style and comfort level.

CDA Cheltenham self defence students
How to choose the right self defence class for you

Evaluate the Class Environment


The atmosphere of the class and the academy should be welcoming and encourage learning. A positive, respectful community not only improves the learning experience but also creates a sense of belonging. Pay attention to how students interact with each other and the instructor. A supportive community indicates a healthy learning environment where students are encouraged to grow and challenge themselves safely.


Assess the Flexibility and Accessibility of the Program


Consider the logistical aspects of the self-defence class, such as location, schedule, and cost. The program should fit into your lifestyle without causing massive inconvenience. Accessibility is key to maintaining consistency in training, which is essential for skill development. Also, check if the program offers different levels of training, allowing you to progress at your own pace and improve your skills over time.


Safety Measures and Class Size


Safety should be a top priority in any self-defence class. Inquire about the strategies in place to prevent injuries and create a safe training environment. Smaller class sizes are often preferable, as they allow for more personalized instruction and feedback, making sure you’re performing techniques correctly and safely.


Listen to Your Gut


Finally, trust your instincts. After considering all the factors, choose the class that feels right for you. The best self-defence program is one where you feel challenged and comfortable, supported, and empowered.



Choosing the right self-defence class is a personal decision that requires careful consideration. By following these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to finding a program that not only teaches you useful skills but also improves your life. Remember, the goal of self-defence training is safety and empowerment, and the right class will help you to navigate the world with confidence and peace of mind.

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