When you develop new skill sets in martial arts, it builds your belief in yourself.
This is the skill set order that I prefer:
—Develop punching power first. When you know how to generate power from your hands, and realize the damage you could inflict with your hand strikes, you start getting in touch with your sense of personal power.
—Develop kicking power next. Once you start realizing that you can inflict even more damage with your legs, because your legs are twice as strong as your arm, you start appreciating how lethal you’ve become.
—Develop your blocking ability next. Once you learn how to effectively learn to use your limbs to block strikes, and how to use movement to evade strikes, you start realizing that not only can you inflict damage, but you also know how to avoid getting damaged. Developing breakfalls and rolls also falls in line philosophically here, as well.
—Develop your ability to strike and block with weapons. When you learn the basics of how to wield basic weapons such as a stick, knife, or bo staff, you develop a sense of empowerment of being able to enhance your techniques and escalate the damage with an object. You also gain empowerment know that you know how to defend yourself, with a weapon.
—Develop the ability to use grappling to shut down aggressive actions. You learn how to clinch, take down, control, redirect, and submit an attacker. This is arguably the more nuanced and complex skill set. But when you come to an understanding of this, you start believing your ability to defend yourself from virtually any size attacker. You may also develop a sense of being able to control someone and get them to comply without having to inflict too much damage.
Not everyone will agree to the order of skill sets I prefer. I created this order purely off of my personal preference. Some people start at grappling. Some people start at kicking. Some people start at weapons training. It really doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you start.