"Speak softly and carry a big stick." Theodore Roosevelt
Some people boast about who they have beat up and all the fights they have been in while some of the best martial artist in the world fly under the radar. These martial artists are the ones you won’t see on television and you won’t see them win a championship belt. They study and work in silence, honing their craft, making themselves better every day.
Who you can beat up changes day to day. There will always be someone younger, stronger, or faster. Work to develop your art and prepare your body for combat. But, more importantly, develop your mind to be able to avoid combat.
Stay calm and composed. Think with your brain not your ego. Have confidence in yourself and your skills, not arrogance. There is no need to brag and boast about your skills; this draws attention to yourself, takes away the element of surprise, and distracts you from being aware of your surroundings and possible threats.
Keep your head on a swivel. Know where the exists are. Pay attention to those around you and get away from danger as quick as you can. If you are forced into using your martial arts in self-defense, stay focused. Keeping your wits about you will help you execute your technique with speed and strength to neutralize the threat as safely as possible.
Carry a Big Stick-
Being able to neutralize a threat when necessary requires you to develop your skills to the best of your ability. Study multiple arts and techniques. Train to be prepared for every situation you can. You’ll become safer as you develop more skills and as you train to handle more situations. The more you learn the bigger "stick" you will have.
Training will teach you how to identify and escape dangerous situations so you can avoid using your physical training. Training will also provide you with the necessary tools to defend yourself if you are forced to use what you know.