Self Defense = Self Awareness
By: Mckinley Howard
The first rule of self–defense, which is taught in martial arts, such as Taekwondo, is to avoid the need for self–defense. By learning common awareness and diffusion tactics, practitioners will find avoiding confrontation all the easier.
Self–defense should be treated like using tools in a woodshop; you would not use a saw to cut a piece of paper, and self–defense is not used until lives are on the line. If caught in a situation where someone seems hostile, attempt to diffuse the situation before taking physical action.
Since you never know when you will need to use self–defense, being prepared is important. This does not mean fear every new thing or person, rather it means to always practice caution. If you are in an unknown and/or dangerous area, it is best to travel with others. Stay aware of your surroundings, even if you are familiar with where you are.
If you can, the best way to diffuse a situation is to walk away. Avoiding a situation that might call for self–defense is the best move. When that is not an option, try to resolve the issue between you and the aggressor. Try to understand where they are coming from, avoiding sounding angry yourself. Come from a position of strength, however; do not lose your confidence.
Taekwondo Basic Form 1 - Video by JYMOON TAEKWONDO
Confidence and intensity are key to being successful in self–defense. If you have the opportunity, be as loud as possible–you want people to notice your situation, because the more people who are aware of what is going on, the more likely an attacker is to disengage or run away. While executing techniques, be strong in your movements. The goal of self – defense is to escape with your life. When practicing self–defense in a classroom setting, the techniques can seem over–the–top, but such an extreme procedure is necessary in life–threatening situations.
Self–defense is not a game of strength; it is reliant of thinking in the moment. This is why martial arts teaches not only physical ability, but mental discipline. Many Taekwondo schools practice meditation before the physical portion of a class to clear the mind and ready the body.
There are some situations where you may escape with your life at the expense of your money or valuables. If there is an overwhelming threat, be prepared to give up certain material possessions.