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Common Self-Defense Instruction Terms

Self-defense instruction is available in a variety of forms with each emphasizing different types of techniques. In addition to learning how to defend yourself, taking a self-defense class is an excellent way to get exercise. The following are a few common self-defense instruction terms to be familiar with when looking for a class.

  • Dojo – A dojo is a martial arts training school. The word dojo is Japanese and may sometimes be used to refer exclusively to Japanese martial arts facilities. However, it is also used generically to describe places that offer instruction in non-Japanese martial arts.
  • Aikido – Aikido is a Japanese method of self-defense that is intended to cause limited damage to an attacker. Courses teach students to redirect attacks as a means of protecting themselves rather than fighting off an attacker.
  • Judo – Judo is a Japanese martial art technique commonly practiced competitively as a sport. The object is to take down an opponent by forcing them to the ground or by immobilizing them. Judo gives instruction on techniques for getting opponents into choke holds and other self-defense positions.
  • Kickboxing – Kickboxing is a sport or self-defense method that focuses on kicking and punching done in a standing position. Kickboxing practices vary, with some practicing it as a contact sport while others do it as a form or cardio exercise.
  • Jiu-Jitsu – Jui-jitsu is a martial art that teaches students to fight against attackers who are armed with weapons. Jui-jitsu courses also focus on teaching techniques that will enable a smaller person to successfully fight off a larger attacker.
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    AIM High Martial Arts
    5373 W Baseline Rd, Hillsboro, OR 97123
    Our gym offers a unique combination of martial arts including Thai kickboxing, ju-jitsu, tae kwon do and more. We have kid programs from 2 years old and up! Come check out this family martial art studio!
    (503) 640-8628
    Family Martial Arts Academy
    11513 Sw Pacific Hwy, Portland, OR 97223
    Family oriented Karate academy with a fun, challenging, yet non-competitive atmosphere. Teaches primarily shorin-ryu karate, with Tai Chi and Mixed Martial Art classes held late at night.
    (503) 977-3300
    Krav Maga Oregon
    2029 25th St Se, Salem, OR 97302
    (503) 584-5667
    Salem Extreme Fitness and Street Combat
    2040 Church St Ne, Salem, OR 97301
    (503) 967-6761
    Silverton Self Defense
    208 Lewis St, Silverton, OR 97381
    (503) 873-4555
    US Taekwondo College
    771 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401
    (541) 344-2715
    Northwest Martial Arts
    755 Charnelton St, Eugene, OR 97401
    (541) 484-6962
    Hwang's Martial Arts Academy
    642 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401
    (541) 345-4167
    Krav Maga Self Defense & Fitness
    5484 Se International Way, Portland, OR 97222
    (503) 786-6917
    Krav Maga Self Defense & Fit
    12745 Sw Walker Rd, Beaverton, OR 97005
    (503) 646-1910
    United Studios of Self Defense
    11663 Sw Beaverton Hillsdale H, Beaverton, OR 97005
    (503) 641-1941
    Multnomah Aikikai
    6415 Sw Macadam Ave, Portland, OR 97239
    (503) 246-8120
    New Breed Jiujitsu
    9213 Se Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97266
    (503) 775-7800
    US West Coast Tae Kwon DO
    9738 Se Washington St Ste S, Portland, OR 97216
    (503) 775-8669
    US West Tae Kwondo
    4200 Ne Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97213
    (503) 284-7843


    Self defense instruction courses are a great way to keep yourself in shape, while improving your ability to defend yourself from an attacker. There are a range of self defense classes to choose from, so you can be sure to choose the course that will train you to fight in your favorite style. For example, a self defense class for women will teach a woman techniques specifically designed to fight off a street attacker who is larger than she is, and who may be armed with a gun or other weapon. Of course, women aren’t the only ones who should learn to protect themselves, and they might be interested in something more advanced also, such as martial arts instruction. Anyone can try their hand at martial arts. It’s even a popular sport for children. One kind of martial arts, perhaps the most popular, is Karate. Karate focuses on utilizing moves such as kicking and punching, but stresses that these moves should only be used in self defense. Another popular martial art is Aikido, which focuses on the tactic of using your attackers’ own strength and power against him. To find a local self defense program, you should contact your local police station as many offer free self defense classes. If you are more interested in martial arts, you should call a dojo – or martial arts studio – in your area. No matter what your motivation, learning to defend yourself is both a wise and rewarding decision that will allow you to have fun while learning a valuable skill.
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