It is said that there are two things you train in martial arts: the 'seen', and the 'unseen'.
Sometimes it is described as external and internal energy, or strength/power and chi. But let's keep it simple, because it is challenging to train that which you cannot see. The simple answer is that self-defense takes hard work over time.
At Hung Tao Choy Mei we believe there is no easy way to learn self-defense. There are no short-cuts to defending yourself. It takes time to become stronger, to learn to take a hit and not go down, to move fast and efficiently enough to get away, or to control an aggressive move. It takes training to move simply when adrenaline courses through your veins, making you physically shake, or to persevere when you're physically and mentally exhausted. It is repetitive training that helps you tactically make a bad situation into a close call, or to avoid what could be dangerous when stress is clouding your mind.
So we gear up and we spar. We learn how to be stronger but with control. We learn how to remain calm to be faster and smarter. We learn how to breathe to build confidence, endurance, poise. And that takes time.
For the average person it means coming to class 3-times a week; reviewing forms and meditation at home or elsewhere. Several months of training builds up the big muscles in the legs for strength and endurance. Half a year changes your muscle-memory so that your reaction time shortens. You learn to be relaxed and confident under stress. In a year, the average person learns how to knit together the seen and the unseen to defend against multiple attackers.
In our school, you will go on a personal journey of training both of what you can see and that which you cannot.