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Self Defense

Stephen Eng extending a left side kick.

Fundamentals of Self-Defense: Beyond Physical Skills
by Shirley Bailey and Kirk Werner

Taekwon Do strives to teach the student that fighting, even if for self-defense, is not the goal. Learning to avoid situations where there is a need to defend oneself - learning to have enough confidence in who you are to walk away from confrontation rather than escalating it - is the essence of Taekwon Do. In order to do this, broaden your perspective of self-defense to that of maximum personal well-being. This involves more than knowing how to fight or to defend oneself against an attack. It starts with a strong, positive physical, mental and spiritual grounding. It includes such things as a good diet, exercise, poise and high self esteem. It means keeping yourself physically and mentally fit.

If you carry yourself in a confident manner, it is far less likely you will ever be attacked. High self-esteem also will allow your good sense to prevail and keep you away from dangerous situations. Daily practice of Taekwon Do will not only give you the necessary self-defense skills, but also build self-confidence to maximize your personal well-being.

Preferred ways to maintain maximum personal well-being:
  1. Stay away from potentially dangerous places or situations.
  2. If you wander into such a situation, do not panic, but leave promptly.
  3. If confronted, don't encourage an escalation of the conflict. Keep your cool.
  4. If an attack is imminent, get away fast if that is possible.
  5. If you cannot get away, shout. Draw attention to your predicament and attempt to scare away your assailant.
  6. If it becomes apparent that you absolutely cannot elude the attacker in any other way, you have no other choice than to defend yourself.

Maintaining your personal well being, both physically and mentally, requires continuous commitment. To have effective power, speed and technique, one must practice regularly and diligently. Likewise you must constantly strive to be a better person on a mental/spiritual level.

Classes build strength, stamina and flexibility, which can be maintained over a long lifetime if the student practices on a regular basis each week. Classes also seek to instill a positive, pro-active mental outlook- one where students are encouraged to reach for their full potential - not to realize their limitations. There is no quick-fix solution to obtaining a state of maximum personal well being. A constant maintenance, or total way-of-life approach is preferred.

Taekwon Do - it is a way of life.

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