If you’re wondering whether you can use taekwondo techniques to defend yourself in the street, then you’re not alone! Millions of people search the internet every month for some information on self-defense.
So, is taekwondo good for self defense?
The short answer is – it depends! Yes, taekwondo is a martial art that can be applied to real-life fighting.
However, its effectiveness depends heavily on the training you’re receiving and your ability to use those techniques under pressure. Let’s delve in and find out whether taekwondo is indeed a good self-defense technique.
What is Taekwondo?
Taekwondo is a modern martial art with ancient roots. It is the “national sport” of South Korea, where it’s practiced by more than 70% of the population.
It means that all Korean children learn taekwondo during childhood and can apply its techniques in real-life scenarios if needed.
It was developed after World War II in South Korea, shortly after the end of the Japanese occupation. It aimed to equip citizens with martial art skills that they could use for self defense.
At that time (1945) there were no police forces in the country, so most people weren’t able to defend themselves from potential attacks. That’s why taekwondo is based on self-defense and countering opponent’s attacks.
What Makes Taekwondo an Effective Form of Self Defense?
Taekwondo kicks are trained to be extremely fast and efficient. They can knock out any attacker quickly and easily, regardless of their size and strength.
Besides, taekwondo has several grappling techniques that can immobilize an opponent quickly. These techniques are usually applied in the clinch range against bigger and stronger attackers.
Best of all (and this is only my opinion), taekwondo employs a great amount of mental training to develop your self-discipline. To be good at taekwondo you need to concentrate and focus on the training. This often carries over into your daily life with an improved ability to deal with stress and distractions.
Taekwondo Self Defense Techniques
Despite being a modern martial art, taekwondo still employs age-old self-defense techniques that were successfully used for centuries. They are applied in different forms, but the idea behind them is pretty much the same.
Taekwondo uses both punching and kicking techniques to attack an opponent. With some training, you’ll be able to pack a pretty good punch to soften your opponent up. When you see an opening, make sure to follow it with a hard kick (preferably to the head).
Here are some of the most common taekwondo techniques used for self defense:
- Switching or Circular Kick
This is one of the most effective taekwondo self-defense kicks. It can be used to attack an opponent’s head or legs. To perform the kick, pivot on one leg with your knee bent and your foot turned inward so that it makes a 45-degree angle with the ground.
Using this momentum, rotate the other way while extending your heel towards your target. Hit your opponent with the heel of your foot.
- Spinning Back Kick
This is another taekwondo self-defense kick that can be used to attack an opponent’s head or torso. To perform it, you need to jump into the air and spin around on one leg while extending the other straight out behind you. When you’re about to land, snap your hips forward and strike with the heel of your foot.
- Front Kick
This kick is most effective when an opponent closes in on you. It’s important to note that it can be used for defense against punches or even knife attacks.
Just pivot on one leg while extending the other one forward along the line of your body. Keep your foot straight but slightly turned out. You can strike with either the heel or ball of your foot to the vulnerable spots of your opponent’s body.
- Hammer Kick
This is an effective self-defense technique that can be used if you need to free yourself from a clinch range. When an opponent grabs on to you, immediately snap your hips back and rotate your body 45 degrees. This will allow you to strike an opponent’s inner thigh with the back of your heel.
- Low Front Kick
This is another kick that can be used when an opponent tries to close in on you. At the same time, it can be used against attackers trying to get over fences or walls (when escape is not possible). Once again, pivot on one leg and extend the other one straight forward along the line of your body. Snap your hips forward and strike with the front of your foot.
Taekwondo can be a great form of self-defense if you know how to use it properly. Of course, there are many more taekwondo techniques that can be used for self defense. These are just some of the most common ones that I wanted to share with you so you could understand the basic idea behind them.
Is Taekwondo Good for Self Defense: My Experience
For me, taekwondo was a key element in my self-defense arsenal. At the time I started taekwondo I was around 150 lbs. and couldn’t fight my way out of a wet paper bag.
I knew that if someone attacked me randomly, it would be very difficult to defend myself using pure street fighting techniques.
So, I decided to try taekwondo. And boy am I glad I did!
I’ve gotten a black belt in taekwondo and trained extensively in self-defense techniques. After a few years of training, my body changed completely. My legs became powerful. I also got flexible enough to perform taekwondo kicks at full speed and power!
The mental aspect was just as important for me.
I always tried to keep my mind clear and focused during the training. The self-discipline that taekwondo requires seemed to spill over into other areas of life, increasing my ability to deal with distractions and stress.
I learned quite a few practical self-defense techniques that helped me in many different situations (not just street-fighting scenarios).
Is Taekwondo Good for Self Defense? The Conclusion
Yes, taekwondo is good for self defense. It has many practical and effective techniques that can be used to quickly disable an attacker in the street.
It doesn’t matter how big and strong your opponent is (in most cases), you can still defeat him if you know how to use taekwondo kicks in the right way.
So, if you want to give your self-defense game a shot – why not try learning taekwondo?
If you’re already practicing it (or any other martial art form) I’d love to hear about your experience!
Is Taekwondo Good for Self Defense? FAQ
Q: I’m pretty big and strong – is Taekwondo still a good choice for self defense?
A: Yes! Taekwondo techniques have been specifically designed to be used by people of all strength and body types. For example, the various spinning kicks (wheel kick, back kick) can be performed at full speed even by advanced practitioners, so they are perfect for dealing with sudden attacks.
Q: What belt level do I need to be before learning taekwondo self-defense techniques?
A: All the moves I described above require only basic knowledge of taekwondo forms. If you have never practiced taekwondo, then it might be a good idea to train the basic techniques first (i.e. punches, kicks, blocks) before moving on to more advanced skills like spinning kicks.
Q: Where can I learn taekwondo for self-defense?
A: There are many places you can go! For example, your local martial arts club or community center. You can also sign up for taekwondo lessons online.
Do a quick Google search and you’ll soon find what you’re looking for.
Q: I want to learn taekwondo, but I don’t want to compete – is this possible?
A: Yes! As mentioned above, the main goal of taekwondo is not competition. It’s about developing your fitness, coordination, and self-discipline.
If you don’t want to compete, there’s no need to sign up for a tournament class. Instead, just find a class that covers the basic taekwondo styles and techniques (this is easy as there are only about 4 of them).