Most martial artists would not survive a real-life street encounter. In their arrogant overconfidence gained from training in strictly controlled one-step and free sparring, their survival instinct has been dampened. They have become Taekwondo athletes, similar to dancers. They know the techniques, but they lack the "killer instinct" necessary for survival.
Do not think think this "killer instinct" is unnecessary or that you could never develop that kind of instinctive, animal-like focus. When a mother is forced to protect her child from harm, she instinctively enters this mindset. When you are so anger and indignant that you no longer care about the consequences, you are also in this frame of mind. You can, and you must, learn to consciously cultivate this mindset. You must be prepared to fight as if you were about to die at any moment. This overpowering desire to survive at any cost is what self-defense is really about.
Self-defense has nothing to do with breaking boards or kicking and punching while making loud yells. It is a state of mind, a type of consciousness, a peculiar awareness that keeps you alert and able to respond to any possible danger. The actions are merely physical movements, which are totally useless without a survival mindset.
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