Even in a modern, mostly safe world, knowing how to defend yourself is an important skill. But how long does it take to learn actually to fight and protect yourself?
The basics of most martial arts can be learned within six months of training. That should teach you enough to be way better off if you must defend yourself. Most of the learning happens during that initial six-month period and you should be able to learn to fight within that time.
Let’s dive deeper into the timeframe on how long it takes to learn to fight. As well as why you should learn to defend yourself.
How long does it take to learn to fight?
Learning the basics of martial art should be done within the first six months of training. That will give you a head start when it comes to fighting. However, you won’t be able to master martial art in that time.
You can fasten that timeline by doing some training on your own, as well as training more on a weekly basis. This of course depends on your gym’s schedule on how many times per week you are able to practice.
The best way to speed up that timeline to learning a martial art is to watch tutorials on YouTube as well or take an online course about that martial art.
Mastering a martial art takes a longer time, more like 5 to 10 years in most cases. It also depends on martial art and how many different techniques it has.
Another thing that matters is how often you practice. You could only practice once a week, but the progress will be slower.
A good timeline for mastering a martial art in this Brazilian jiu-jitsu belt guide, where I will go through how long it takes to reach each belt.
In general, you should be able to learn fighting within that initial six months of training martial art.
How to learn to fight?
Fighting is a classic skill that comes in handy if you have to defend yourself.
One of the best ways is to learn a martial art, that is suitable for self-defense in the real world. That might be MMA, Krav Maga, or Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Martial arts offer a safe environment to learn to fight with a lower risk of injury, compared to practicing on the streets.
I have a list of the 5 best martial arts for self-defense with explanations, you can find them here.
Another way to further practice fighting, in general, is to try out different martial arts compared to just sticking to one. That can give you a more comprehensive image of fighting in general.
On top of that, you could attend different martial arts competitions to benchmark your skills. Competitions can also work as a great motivator to keep on practicing. Martial arts offer a lot of other benefits as well.
Of course, you could learn to fight just in “the streets”. However, that is a lot riskier way to learn, since you could get really hurt or you could hurt someone else and end up in trouble that way.
The best way to handle those situations is to know how to defend yourself so you don’t have the need to prove anything to others, risking getting injured or injuring someone else badly.
All it takes is for someone to hit their head badly and they could never be able to live the same as before.
Can you learn to defend yourself alone?
Learning to fight by yourself can be a double-edged sword. Let me explain.
The pros of learning to fight by yourself are that you don’t have to pay any gym fees, you don’t have to drive up to the gym and go by their training schedules. You can practice whenever you feel like doing so.
On the flip side, you won’t be able to spar with anyone, and implementing what you have learned in the real world can be a lot more difficult, due to actual human contact when practicing.
The best way to practice fighting is to combine martial arts gym training with some home practicing. You could take an online course about a martial art to give yourself a headstart or just watch some YouTube videos.
Before joining a martial arts gym, it would be good to know the basics and manners of martial art. With some basic knowledge, it will be much easier for you to focus on the actual training, not the basic habits of the gym. More tips for beginners in this guide.
Why should you learn to defend yourself?
Even though the modern world is fairly safe, of course depending on where you live, you might end up in a situation where someone threatens you or someone close to you physically.
The best way to handle situations like this is of course talking and trying to walk away.
However, that is not always an option. That is why it is good to know how to defend yourself, at least up to some level. You don’t have to be a master of martial arts in order to defend yourself. Learning the basics of some martial art can go a long way.
Now, all that being said, I do have a post about the best martial arts for self-defense. If interested, you can find the list here.
Here is a video about why you should learn to defend yourself. I am not the creator of this video.
In conclusion, you could learn the basics of martial art within six months. Handling the basics should be enough to know how to fight better than most people.
However, in six months you still won’t be a master of fighting. That first six month is the period where most of the learning and progress happens if you have no prior martial arts or fighting experience.
You can speed up that timeline by practicing more and/or taking an online course about that martial art to further increase your learning speed.
By no means is that necessary and everybody learns at their own speed.
In the US army, martial arts training starts on day 3. That is one place to learn how to fight.
Hopefully this was helpful to you, have a wonderful day and stay safe.