Is Taekwondo Good for Self-Defence? – Kicking to Safety

Martial arts often serve the purpose of some philosophy or other, in its roots. Some people, however, love martial arts because of its physical nature and a relatively safe environment in which you can practice fighting. On the other hand, some people want to learn martial arts to be able to defend themselves should a situation warrant defending.

Taekwondo can be really flashy and really fast, and with that in mind, it seems to be great martial art to learn if you want to defend yourself, right? Well, it depends…

Taekwondo – Flashy or Deadly?

The main problem people have with taekwondo is its focus on using the legs as opposed to the arms. What the same people often forget is that taekwondo teaches people how to use their arms, for punches and palm strikes.

It is true, however, that kicks are about 70% of taekwondo, the legs being more powerful than the arms and having more reach. With that in mind, is taekwondo good enough for self defence? It depends.

A Good Teacher – Good Defence

Teachers and instructors can make a really big difference in what you learn and how you practice it. If a teacher teaches you a wrong way to hold a stance, or disregards movement and mobility exercises, you might end up knowing how to kick in an inefficient way, which either leaves you exposed, or is too slow or simply put, bad.

A good teacher will start by teaching you the basics of standing in a correct position and of moving your legs and arms in the right way if you want to efficiently strike your opponent.

The Good About Taekwondo

Taekwondo teaches you to kick your opponents in various ways. Now, during a real fight, people do not wear protective gear, so kicks like the groin kick often work and can end a fight in a matter of seconds. Open palm strikes to the jaw can also send someone into the world of dreams rather quickly. Learning to move quickly and how to reposition yourself like professionals do is paramount and could help you turn a fight or get yourself out of a sticky situation. Skipping left and right, in and out of range is very helpful if your opponent has more range than you, or holds any sort of weapon, sharp or blunt. 

The Bad About Taekwondo

But, flashy kicks such as those where you rotate and kick an opponent are quite bad. You never want your head turned away from your opponent. Flying and jumping kicks are an absolute joke if you are anywhere near a real fight. Leaving the ground for any reason other than a dodge or a swift kick can be detrimental. People criticize taekwondo’s stance as being far from optimal in a street fight. 

Is it Good or Bad? – It Depends

Taekwondo can be great if you take the essentials and practice them to a level where you can dispatch an opponent quicker than they would be able to react. This means practicing stances, movement and kicks, as well as palm strikes, blocking and hitting with a closed fist. 

Taekwondo can be great for self defence if you have a great teacher and focus on the fundamentals, leaving the flashy stuff to demonstrators and professionals.