Taekwondo, or “the way of the fist and foot”, is all about patterns. Training includes a pattern of kicks, blocks, punches, and open-hand strikes.
But what good are patterns? That’s a question an awful lot of Taekwondo students ask themselves at some point. They spend a huge amount of time learning patterns, but it’s hard to apply the techniques in the real world for self-defense. Patterns and sparring, after all, are too different from one another. It just doesn’t work.
Taekwondo for “Demonstration”
Some say the self-defense techniques are not realistic enough, that too much time is spent learning blocks, which can get you killed if you try it in the street.
They say Taekwondo techniques take the form of a demonstration event, much like poomsae.
Taekwondo for Real World Applications
You can actually use taekwondo for self-defense, teachers at Northvillemartialarts.com say. Normally, most people simply shield themselves and freeze during a troubling situation. But if you’re a Taekwondo practitioner, you can kick, block, and strike. You have timing, awareness, and the ability to cope with confrontation.
When trained particularly for a fight, Taekwondo is almost similar to Krav Maga, another combat system. And it’s brutally effective. When performed correctly, Taekwondo skills may seriously injure an opponent, fracture their bones, and even cause death.
In addition, Taekwondo tends to emphasize high kicking, with the idea that the legs are stronger and longer than the arms. Human reflexes in the arms are biologically faster than the legs, however. But with training, you can make your legs lightning fast, and therefore use high kicking in combat and self-defense.
Many of the strikes can be performed dynamically, too, and can work well. It’s the blocks and some other techniques that become a problem, because to block and dodge, you need excellent timing and lots of practice.
So there you have it. While Taekwondo is certainly not without problems, take comfort in knowing that the martial art is still a pretty decent way to defend yourself in the streets.