Self-defense techniques and recommended behavior under the threat of violence is systematically taught in self-defense classes. Commercial self-defense education is part of the martial arts industry in the wider sense, and many martial arts instructors also give self-defense classes.
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While all martial arts training can be argued to have some self-defense applications, self-defense courses are marketed explicitly as being oriented towards effectiveness and optimized towards situations as they occur in the real world.
It should not be presumed however that sport based systems are inadequate, as the training methods employed regularly produce well conditioned fighters experienced in full contact fighting. There are a large number of systems taught commercially, many tailored to the needs of specific target audiences (e.g. defense against attempted rape for women, self-defense for children and teens). Notable systems taught commercially include:
- civilian versions of modern military combatives, such as Krav-Maga, Defendo, Kajukenbo and Systema.
- self-defense oriented forms of jujitsu, such as Aikijujutsu, Aikido, Bartitsu, German ju-jutsu, Allkampf-jitsu and Judo.
- rape prevention, including Rape Aggression Defense System (RAD), AWARE, IMPACT/Model Mugging, etc.
- Reality-Based Self-Defense (RBSD), Defensive Tactics.
- Sport based systems, such as kickboxing, Muay Thai, Boxing, Savate, Shoot Boxing, Sanshou, Judo, BJJ, Sambo, MMA and Wrestling can be adapted as self-defense.
- Traditional unarmed fighting styles like Karate, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Pencak Silat . These styles can also include competing.