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Self Defense/Taekwondo and self defense


I recently decided to train in martial arts to increase my self defense skills. The only martial arts style taught in my area is Taekwondo. I was offered a free class and attended the other night.

I trained with the white belts and then watched the other belts, including black, train.

To be honest it doesn't seem like most of the fighting elements in Taekwondo would be very practical or effective in a street fight scenario. I know I could be completely wrong about that but that was the impression I got.

So do you have any advice? Is Taekwondo effective for self defense and I have just judged too quickly?

Are there any self defense elements I can take away from training in Taekwondo until another style becomes available?

Any advice is welcomed.

Hello Lee! Thank you for your question.

I can understand your frustrations in looking for self defense training that is suitable for your needs. Often I get the same feedback...people sign up for something nearby their location and (typically a MMA or Traditional Arts school) and come out disappointed as they have not learned the information they were seeking. Problem is that often people aren't educatedto know what they really want, and most gyms have become more "art" than "martial." Let me give you a little insight...then you will have a few things to consider, and hopefully some options too.

First thing we need to do is understand the 3 types of schools:
1) Traditional:
  PRO: These are arts based schools such as karate, tae kwon do, kung fu, etc. These will help you understand history, culture, discipline, and develope strong fundamentals in that art. You'll be working on forms, kata's, board breaking, etc.
  CON: The information taught is typically centuries outdated, and not very applicable to today's self defense standards.

2) Sport:
  PRO: These gyms have a very competitive feel to them and lead to excellent conditioning. A MMA or Jiu Jitsu gym would fall into this catergory. And some of the information taught can be used in self defense application.
  CON: At the end of the day, it is still a sport. It will not deal with realistic factors such as weapons, multiple attackers, or true self preservation tactics. Afterall, in reality we don't have the luxury of picking a date, with an equal sized opponent, a referee, 3 judges, a matted floor, a 16X16 octagon, fans cheering, and safety rules. PLUS...I dn't particulary enjoy grappling on element most BJJ guys never realized. Most of the info is based on wrestling, Kickboxing, and Jiu Jitsu.

3) True Self Defense:
  PRO: You will find schools like Jeet Kune Do Concepts, Krav Maga, and Kali in this catergory. Tough to find good schools as they are rare, but worth every penny! Here you will deal with ambush style attacks, no rules tactics like eye gouging, edged weapons, firearms, multiple attackers, breaking necks etc.
  CON: Very tough to find! And lots of "immitators" out there! Not as concentrated in any one particular art, so if you want to be a great Jiu Jitsu practitioner...this isn't the place.

Now that we understand the 3 types of schools....let's talk about the 3 types of mindsets in training.
1) Self Defense: This means you want to learn the bare minimum to escape or remove yourself from the situation. You will see concentrated workshops, seminars, etc on this.

2) Martial Arts: This is a deeper training and understanding. We are dealing with skill vs skill in this with a punitive end such as a knockout or submission. You will learn technique and proper attributes to functionalize the technique.

3) Combat: Very simply put....your life or mine. We don't care about how, or skillsets, or circumstantial factors. Your life...or mine! Then end result is only 1 guy goes home.

Now that you you know about the 3 types of schools and 3 tyes of training will have to decide what you want, research your options, and experience it for yourself before you will know what to do for sure.

Let me say this, I have spent 10's of thousands of dollars and hours training with some of the best in the world! Most of the time I would travel all around the country and globe to find what I truly wanted. This is why so many people contact me, and fly out to my studio for a weekend and train. Or so others have me come teach a seminar at their location, business, gym, and sometimes their garage! It's simply because the "true" self defense/combat component isn't available by them. This might be an option for you. I would invite you to contact me if you'd really like to hear some more options/opportunities.

Hope this helps!

Sifu Nik
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Nik Farooqui


Although I can offer expertise in several areas of "self defense," the following are some frequent questions I often answer. These are just a few examples, and my experience takes me much further than these questions. 1) What exactly is Jeet Kune Do and how does it apply to today's self defense? 2) What is women's role in martial arts/self defense and why should they learn? 3) What kind of things can I do to AVOID combative situations? 4) Is there a particular art or style that I should know? 5) What kind of weapons are involved in self defense tactics? 6) What precautionary measures can I take at home to prevent intrusion? 7) How do I know what techniques I should be using? 8) How will learning self defense change my life beyond just physical gain? 9) How has Jeet Kune Do evolved and why? 10) I've never been in a fight, so why should I train now?


1) Owner/Chief Instructor of Xtreme Training Academy, and S2 Strategic Defense. 2) Fully Certified Jeet Kune Do/Filipino Martial Arts Instructor under Sifu Paul Vunak, Sifu Thomas Cruse, Sifu Harrinder Singh, Sifu Roy Harris and more. 3) Fully Certified Instructor in Edged Weapons tactics 4) 20 years total martial arts experience including Muay Thai, Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Kali, FMA, Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu, White Crane Kung Fu, and more! 5) Teaching elite military/law enforcement groups since 2004. 6) Teaching civilian classes since 2000. 7) Teachng domestic violence victim programs since 2002. 8) Over 100 seminars taught covering various subjects in 16 states, and 3 countries. 9) First JKD instructor to bring a JKD seminar in Puerto Rico 10) Featured multiple times in SWAT Magazine, Black Belt Magazine, and others 11) Member and Instructor at International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Assoc 12) Featured Speaker at events such as Int'l Chief of Police Conference, Chicagoland Gun Show, and more 13) Recipient of Instructor of the Year, LEO Instructor of the Year, and Achievements in Martial Arts awards. 14) Program and Business coach to nearly 12 martial arts academies/academy owners.

Author of upcoming book "The JKD Chronicals"

Bachelors Degree in Accounting 3 year technical degree in Construction Management

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Ballistic Fighting Methods has nearly civilian 100 students including business owners, housewives, sales personnel, computer professionals, college students, police officers, lawyers, ex-military personnel, and more. I would be happy to put AllExperts in touch with several students upon request.

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