I started my self-defense trained in a small town in Georgia immediately after high school in the early 90's. I was a skinny kid that got into scuffles all of the time growing up. I really figured it only made sense. And well, I have been training off and on since that time. - Survival
Unfortunately I have not reached ninja status or anywhere even close (not Karate Kid status), however have learned a few things other than techniques... What I've learned are a couple of very important tips which will help other people starting their learning self-defense. I guess you could say I've gained some wisdom.
Slow it Down
The first tip I have is to simply slow while training. Seriously, enter into sloth mode. So many people beginning in self-defense training want to learn a technique as quickly as possible... And this just isn't a good idea in any respect. For one, you need to invest some time with every technique so that you can learn it correctly. If you do not take your time and be patient, you are able to pretty much bet you may not master the technique. This means basically you have wasted your time and effort and money.
Secondly, if when getting started you move too fast, the prospect of injuring your training partner skyrockets. Consider it, you have someone who has just learned a leg bar, and rather than taking it slow, they hop on you without any control and fully execute a leg bar. Bam! See ya later elbow!
You'd think listening would be a given. And also you would think listening would likely be the respectful thing for college kids to do. However, many people that start off training need to provide the class and the instructor with their inexperienced opinion on the reasons why a certain technique won't work or whatever else... They would like to say things like, "Who would ever grab you want... ", "How would this work if... ", "This is not realistic because... " Okay folks, here's the contract, you need to just become all ears when it's time to train. I'm able to almost guarantee that when it's all said and done, and you're looking back, you will understand why your instructor taught you ways they did. That has been the case for me.
Even if you normally need a partner to rehearse your jiu-jitsu, aikido or whatever discipline you may be studying, whenever you are away from the dojo training, run through your techniques in your head. This will help commit these details to memory. And then for any striking arts, shadow box. Which is all I have to say with that. - Survival