There is no denying that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has gained significant popularity in recent years, largely due to the success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). However, with the growing popularity of this sport, many people mistakenly assume that MMA is the same as traditional martial arts, when in fact, it is a distinct combat sport that incorporates elements from various martial arts disciplines. While MMA may share some similarities with traditional martial arts like Taekwondo, such as focusing on physical conditioning and technique, it is a highly specialised and regulated sport requiring specific training and skills. As such, when it comes to the popular question of how a traditional martial artist would fare in a ring, it is crucial to understand that despite being a competitive sport, traditional martial arts were originally developed for self-defence and nothing more.
Is Taekwondo Good for Self-Defence?
But still, the question stands: How effective is Taekwondo as a means of self-defence?
Taekwondo traces its origins back to South Korea over 2000 years ago, but it has since transformed into a modern combat sport that has gained popularity worldwide. In fact, it has even become an Olympic event since the 2000s. Originally conceived as a self-defence martial art, Taekwondo emphasises full-contact training that teaches individuals to effectively use all parts of their bodies, such as kicks, punches, knees, and elbows, as “weapons.” Along with these offensive techniques, Taekwondo also incorporates fundamental grappling methods to provide a well-rounded approach to combat training.
This means that enrolling your kid or yourself in Taekwondo classes can be an effective means of self-defence because it strengthens your physical abilities and cultivates mental fortitude. It also prepares you to handle real-life-threatening situations in a composed manner.
What is the Taekwondo Self-Defence Technique?
The name Taekwondo is derived from three Korean words; “Tae” means to “kick” or “smash with the feet”, “Kwon” means to “punch” or “destroy with the hand or fist,” and “Do” means “way” or “method.” This unarmed combat system is designed for self-defence, and practitioners must skillfully execute techniques such as jumping kicks, blocks, dodges, and actions with hands and feet to avoid physical attacks. However, Taekwondo is not just a physical fighting skill; it represents a way of thinking and lifestyle that demands rigorous discipline. This is made clear by the five tenets of Taekwondo — courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit.
Therefore, it is clear that Taekwondo is a holistic training system that aims to develop the practitioner’s mental and physical character.
However, Taekwondo, like any other self-defence system, has its advantages and disadvantages.
Benefits of Learning Taekwondo for Self-Defence
In Taekwondo, self-preservation goes beyond physical skills and encompasses developing the right mindset. The martial art instils self-confidence and cultivates awareness of one’s surroundings in its practitioners. This heightened awareness enables individuals to avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Beyond that, one of the key principles of Taekwondo is self-control. During Taekwondo self-defence classes, the training sessions usually place emphasis on the development of discipline and control over one’s body and mind. This teaches individuals to control their impulses and emotions, which is important in self-defence situations where reacting impulsively or out of fear can lead to mistakes or poor decisions.
Shortcomings of Learning Taekwondo for Self-Defence
However, while Taekwondo techniques can be helpful, relying solely on them may not be sufficient, making it crucial to explore all options to better equip oneself with the skills to defend oneself in a dangerous situation. But why is this so despite Taekwondo undoubtedly being one of the most impressive martial arts?
This can be linked back to the evolution of the martial art. Today, a competitive sport, some Taekwondo schools in Singapore prioritise competition over practical self-defence approaches, leaving practitioners unprepared for real-life confrontations. This means that some Taekwondo classes may place a greater emphasis on kicks over punching strikes with reduced focus on key grappling techniques, potentially limiting practitioners in situations where active self-defence is required. And, of course, one cannot forget that Taekwondo might be rendered ineffective against armed attackers.
Enrol Your Child in KTMA’s Self-Defence Classes in Singapore
From the above, it is clear to see that attaining self-defence training through Taekwondo can provide numerous benefits, including mental discipline as well as practical skills for protecting oneself in dangerous situations.
KTMA Academy recognises the importance of self-defence and not only offers Taekwondo classes for kids and beginners but also self-defence classes for children to help them develop the skills they need to defend themselves. With the guidance of experienced instructors, students can learn the principles of self-defence, including awareness and physical techniques. With every step your child takes, you can rest assured knowing that they’ll feel more empowered and self-assured.
Make an appointment with us today and have your child attend a trial Taekwondo class at any of our KTMA locations across Singapore.