Friday, May 11, 2018

Self Defense Classes

By Jen Hancey, Blue Belt

Taekwondo is one of the oldest forms of self-defense, dating back thousands of years. Soldiers in armies were taught self-defense in Korea, Masters taught students, and fathers taught sons. Taekwondo has evolved through the years to be available to the masses in many countries. Over 30 million people practice Taekwondo in more than 156 countries (taken from “Taekwondo thus, is the technique of unarmed combat for self-defense that involves the skillful application of techniques that include punching, jumping kicks, blocks, dodges, parrying actions with hands and feet.” (taken from

Two girls kicking while practicing self defense classesAt Colorado Taekwondo Institute, the art of self-defense is taught on a daily basis, in nearly every lesson. The student is taught various applications that are vital in self-defense situations. Not only are the students taught to be physically fit, but to be mentally aware - both of which are crucial for female self-defense. Students are taught to use every one of their senses to heighten awareness of their surroundings. For example, it is important to look first before executing a move, to visualize an attack coming so that the correct block or counter attack can be executed correctly. Students must maintain objective focus, and not lose concentration, no matter the surroundings, so that if a situation arises in real life, the student is ready to defend them self and not be distracted or taken advantage of.

Being physically fit and practicing basic moves like kicks, punches and blocks with a great number of repetition improves muscle memory, precision, accuracy, speed and strength - all of which are necessary in self-defense.

Specific self-defense attacks and counters are practiced with a partner to give students a variety of experience should they encounter a real world situation where they need to defend off an attacker. This includes various positions, possible weapon choices and counter attacks to increase the students’ knowledge and awareness for real world situations. The higher the belt that is earned, the more self-defense situations a student is taught.

At Colorado Taekwondo Institute, students are also taught “Ho-Shin” which means “Self-Control before Self-Defense”. This is so important, because even though students might have the physical skills needed for self defense classes for girls, it is crucial that students practice self-control FIRST. To be aware that there might not be a need for a physical response to a situation. To always exercise mental awareness first. To be respectful, objective and thoughtful before a physical response might be engaged. To be a LEADER in the community through the education received. Students are taught to be respectful of their instructors, fellow students, and to help friends and family members understand the rules of CTI. To practice high level of respect, spirit and integrity.

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