Self-defense situations in U.T.F. Taekwon-do concentrate on tools, targets
and techniques not usually permitted in sparring situations. They are taught in
order to give students a graded variety of responses to choose from in
confrontational situations when a fully combative response is not desirable or
These self-defense pages (not available on this site yet) are intended for the purpose of organizing and
focusing the teaching of this skill. A qualified instructor is essential for the
student to properly learn how to apply the principles and methods outlined here.
The teaching purpose is to replace involuntary brute force reactions arising
from panic with aware responses chosen for their maximum effects with the least
effort and repercussions for a particular situation. Once a particular technique
is "understood", it is necessary that it be repeated many times, at different
times, in different conditions, with different people until it can be used
spontaneously whenever needed to the degree appropriate. Only then can it be
Several entire martial arts have developed using only "hands-on" self-defense
techniques. It is quite possible to spend a lifetime just specializing in these
types of techniques. In our Taekwon-do training it is the intention that the
basic principles and methods behind these techniques be learned so that the
student can adapt and apply them whenever a new situation arises. Learning
many does not replace learning well. Ultimately, beyond knowing a
certain number of basic responses, it is not the quantity of techniques
known, but the quality of the knowing which will determine the studentsí
- Use knowledge rather than brute force.
- Realize that being grabbed also offers you a connection to control the
attacker: if they have you, you also have them.
- Use a larger part of yourself against a smaller part of them.
- Donít go against where their power is concentrated, but use your force
where their power isnít.
- Donít put yourself in a more dangerous position in the process of getting
out of the original predicament.
- Break their focus, especially if it is necessary to go against their
- Use the concept of leverage to multiply your force.
- Pressure points are preferred to pain infliction, because they:
- are often easier to regulate in their degree of effect,
- work even when the person is "feeling no pain" from drugs or other
factors, since they act directly on the nervous system and are not
mediated by any decision-making process,
- do not usually need a healing time to recover from bruises,
- are less likely to cause "now itís my turn" reactions.
(These last two are worthwhile considerations for keeping friendly
relations among practicing students.)
9. Brute force is a last resort, but does have itís applications.