Need Self Defense Classes? The Best Martial Arts for Self Defense

Most of us experienced a moment when we have felt unsafe in our surroundings. Perhaps you have been bullied, or physically threatened. Worse still, maybe you were mugged or robbed. Stories in the media do not help our feeling of insecurity: vandalism, theft, home invasions, kidnappings, car-jackings, organised crime, gang warfare, terrorism can leave us feeling a bit concerned for a personal safety.

Whether a simple act of self defense against an individual attacker or more complicated plot that draws in many innocent people, it is good to know a few ways to avoid being hurt or being put in danger’s way.

As a result, lately there has been a lot of popularity of ex-military people who draw on their training and experiences to develop new systems to combat the world’s dangers - many are now teaching their self defense techniques to others.


Confidence is Key

Self-defense has a lot to do with mitigating dangerous circumstances or situations. What most people don’t know is that learning to carry yourself in a confident, self-secured manner can be one of the most important ways to avoid trouble. By not making yourself look like a target, you decrease your chances of being attacked. To do this, you are best off making yourself look larger in a few ways. If you look more confident and positive it will come across that way to any would-be predators. In nature, predators know which animals are the weakest. This translates to human behaviour as well. In many cases, posturing plays a large role; by keeping an alert presence, using a steady voice and projecting a strong facade you will force an attacker to think twice.

Through Martial Arts, you learn to recognise and explore your own boundaries. In this process you also learn the boundaries of others and how to respect them.

Next to the variety of developments in these systems, you can learn all sorts of tactics in fighting from straight army combat courses to the more common self-defense for senior-citizens.

Krav Maga

For the last 50 years, Krav Maga which translates into “combat contact” in Hebrew has been the primary form of defense and attack for the Israeli army. Lately this has become a choice for professional as well as recreational training.

The training is no-nonsense and focuses on dealing with attackers with knives and guns. The hallmark of Krav Maga is to take advantage of every negative situation and use every possible weapon at hand, even if this happens to be a newspaper, a briefcase or even reading glasses. If it is in your hands, it can be a weapon. Contact Protect Invest for classes at USC Universum and various other Amsterdam locations.


This is used by Russian special forces and police. It is based on quick, instinctive responses that need flexibility and the ability to go to the ground. It and Sambo (also Russian) are good for taking on multiple attackers and/or multiple weapons. For classes in Amsterdam, contact Russian Combat Stichting Systema.

Reality Based Personal Protection

This is a system that focuses on dangerous situations that are likely to happen to the “average Joe”, with the goal being to keep you as safe as possible until the police arrive. This system was introduced by Jim Wagner, one of the world’s top self defense experts.

Stichting Sta Sterk

A union that organises specific self-defense for girls and women. Their courses are available for females from 10 to 88 years old. Topics covered include: how to defend yourself against bullying and how to deal with physically larger and stronger opponents. Here, attention is also given to improving your charisma and self-secured projection.

Sta Sterk

Tai-Jitsu Kurodaiya

This is a multi-faceted martial art that draws on elements of karate, judo, aikido, Japanese sword techniques and other ancient skills. The lessons are great for families, women, security personnel, police, special forces and even hospital staff. All of the courses centre around easy to learn and applicable techniques. Usually intro lessons are offered as a way of getting non-traditional martial arts students interested.

Brazilian Jujutsu

Also considered grappling, masters are often crowned champions of the majority of mixed martial arts (MMA) tournaments. They use the ground better than most other martial artists. This is of course a “must” for serious mixed fighting. It is also a great way to learn to be flexible.


After reading about the variety of martial arts on offer, it is advisable to actually go and visit a few of the classes in and around Amsterdam. We have compiled a great index list of places for anyone who is curious. Remember to check with the instructor or dojo to see if you can watch a lesson... don’t be shy!