In class, students often throw hypothetical situations at me asking how I’d deal with them- presumably expecting an extravagant display of martial arts prowess. As a true student of Wing Tsun, I adhere to the idea of simplicity and opt for the simple solution: Run and hide behind a row of chairs, or behind one of the spectators. It usually gets a laugh, but it is an important lesson for a martial artist to learn: When your life is in danger, there is no room for ego! Putting a barrier between you and your attacker is the smartest, safest and simplest way to defend yourself.
As a martial arts teacher, I have a responsibility to teach strategies that I feel are the best bet for self-protection. I take this very seriously as it could potentially save a life someday. When talking about self defense it is important to remember the point of self defense is to keep yourself safe, not an opportunity to show off your moves. The simplest way to accomplish this is to keep the attacker from being able to reach you.
Getting some material between you and an attacker is critical to protecting yourself. Why not use the environment to fight for you? Barriers for self defense benefit you in at least two ways: Barriers increase the effort required for an attacker to get to you, and barriers give you time to react.
So don’t let your ego get the better of you, Wing Tsun is an effective martial art, but should only be used when necessary. Start by being smart, and by staying in control. use the environment to help you out: a parked car, a shopping cart, a chair- anything to make it less convenient for someone to start attacking you, and to give you precious time to call for help or mount a proper defense.