Sports & Fitness

These Self-Defense Workouts May Also Save Your Life

Don’t build muscle—build skill


Want an exercise routine that does more than just help you shed a few pounds? Here are a few ideas for fitness programs that’ll extend your lifespan in more dramatic ways. 



Kickboxing is still one of the most effective fat-burning exercises that exist today. You know it’s effective because it’s often utilized by Hollywood athletes who need to lose a lot of weight quickly for a role. It is effective because it’s not linearly repetitive, meaning there is enough variation to keep your muscles engaged even with repetitive routines and it gets the entire body moving. On top of this heavy cardio, by going through a kickboxing workout, you learn how to strike with force while keeping your balance—something a surprising number of people can’t actually do. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself, sometimes not feeling physically helpless is enough to not make you a victim. 



This Korean contact sport is very popular in the Philippines alongside Japanese Aikido and Chinese Karate. What sets Taekwondo apart is its focus on the legs, featuring faster and stronger kicks than other martial arts. Why is this important? After a few months of Taekwondo you’ll find that you have not only become extremely flexible, but your legs seem to weigh next to nothing, and you can climb, jump and kick with ease. Though Taekwondo is marketed as a self-defense art, it’s unlikely you’ll ever be in a clean enough position to land a well-placed kick in a dangerous situation. Instead, stronger legs mean better mobility, which will help you get away from would-be attackers or at the very least, surprise one with how strong your legs are. 



This may not seem like self-defense class or activity, but again, most of the time it won’t be people that will be putting your life in danger. It should be a point of priority (especially to those of us who live in an archipelago prone to floods) that everyone close to you including yourself should learn how to swim and swim well. This means learning how to tread water, kick and stroke without using up all your energy and how to keep breathing. Many fatalities in water are not actually from lack of swimming knowledge but lack of swimming experience, with victims knowing how to do the strokes but panicking in water. You want to be confident enough in your ability to traverse deep water such that a flood is no different from a pool to you. Most importantly, when you are a strong enough swimmer to save yourself, you can save other people as well.     

Alex Lara

is a creative that loves to tell stories through art direction and curating images that capture, inspire and excite whoever sees them.

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