Violence, whether it happens within the workplace or outside of it, can cause considerable harm to employee morale, increase work-related stress, and decrease the overall level of workplace harmony, not to mention the potential human resources and compensation issues.

Employers should provide their employees with a safe work environment, and indeed, some provide pepper spray, automatic locking doors, or other devices to deter attacks. Most companies have taken at least some steps to ensure that their employees remain safe. Some even provide self defense programs to teach you how they would like you to handle such incidents. Apart from the primary benefits of educating a company’s employees in a practical, effective, rapid-learning self defense program which goes far beyond just teaching “techniques”, and includes Legal and Moral Rights and Responsibilities, and Physical Tools of Self Protection – there are many other very important and beneficial reasons why every company should offer such a program. Just as with most other types of insurance, one of the benefits found is in the peace of mind and knowledge that you are protected if something should ever go wrong.  

In this article you will find the list of the 5 best martial arts techniques that can be used for self defense in the workplace. 

1.      AIKIDO

Aikido’s followers learn how to use an assailant’s strength and energy against them. Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. Further, if thrown to the ground, aikido practitioners are experts at falling. Thus, they are good at avoiding injuries as a result. Once on the ground, or sometimes while still standing, aikido practices joint locks and choke holds to varying extents. Thus, practitioners are capable of fighting where the majority of self defense situations go. Weapon training is common in aikido, and followers are taught to defend themselves against staffs, swords and knives.

2.      KARATE

Karate is primarily a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands and ridge-hands. In most styles grappling, locks, restraints, throws and vital point strikes are taught. This martial art is supremely valuable because of not only its health benefits, but also its role as a self defense tool. According to the precepts, it can also be used, “… as a way of avoiding a fight should one be confronted by a villain or ruffian.” However, the karate based martial arts types are highly limited in their takedown defense instruction and grappling, so practitioners need to keep some level of distance in an altercation. On the flip side, since karate is a striking style that focuses on incapacitating strikes, it can be used against multiple attackers with a level of confidence.


Like traditional jujutsu and judo, the Brazilian form emphasizes throws and groundwork, making it a popular tool for today’s mixed martial artists. With more than 60% of any street fight ending up on the ground, Brazilian jiu-jitsu allows size and strength of the attacker to be taken out of the equation. Brazilian jiu-jitsu does not teach a fighter how to be a good stand up fighter. It does, however, teach people to avoid being hurt on their feet, take others to the ground, and then apply a submission. Further, through the use of leverage, it also teaches practitioners to take on bigger opponents and fight from their back via the use of the guard position.

4.      KUNG FU

 In martial arts circles, kung fu refers to a ton of Chinese martial arts substyles. Kung fu is primarily about striking. Thus, the majority of styles within this realm teach incapacitating strikes to vital areas. This is a good thing in a self defense situation, as speed is the key. What’s more, kung fu does teach a lot about distance control and moving in and out of harm’s way effectively, which limits the damage that can be done to you, the practitioner. Striking tends to be diverse; lots of kicks and punches, including unorthodox ones. As is the case with most martial arts, kung fu’s worth lies in both health benefits and self defense knowledge. 


In self defense, one wants to move in and out of harm’s way quickly, incapacitating an opponent along the way. This is especially true when up against more than one opponent. One also wants to inflict damage and not be hurt; taking chances isn’t always a good thing. Taekwondo teaches its followers to do just these things. Further, it teaches very powerful strikes designed to incapacitate. Taekwondo training generally includes a system of blocks, kicks, punches and open-handed strikes and may also include various take-downs or sweeps, throws and joint locks. Taekwondo practitioners are skilled in strength, stamina, speed, balance, and flexibility.

Self defense training has been shown to improve employee discipline, morale, and critical thinking; it can help to dissuade workplace violence before it starts; it improves creative problem solving skills and is excellent for building workplace unity and enhancing teamwork. Smart companies know that taking steps to keep their employees safe and healthy by implementing things like health and dental insurance, wellness programs, and on-the-job safety training is not only the right thing to do for their employees, but it’s in the best interest of the company’s own fiscal health, longevity, and success.  Furnishing them the proper personal protective equipment (i.e., safety glasses, gloves, hardhats, etc.) for their particular job is the front line of their defense. 

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This article was submitted by UMA, Melbourne based Ultimate Martial Arts & Fitness school.Facebook:

We appreciate this version of safety at work; it would pay if there were some employees on site that could be trained in any one of these martial arts. pb