Tae Kwon Do obsolete for Self Defense

Windsinger

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Actually, I can think of one very good reason why Kacey's tactic, and anyone else who would employ such a tactic, are making a very strategic mistake.

Kacey swung first.

Kacey swung first, but the drunk grabbed her - technically that qualifies as assault. If he had just been following her, harassing her but never actually touching her, and she swung, yes, she would have been at fault. As it is, the fact that he grabbed her, twice, makes a big difference.
 

Errant108

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A grab of the wrist can be "explained" in various different ways by a shrewd attorney as being a non-violent action. Now, you, me, & everyone else may know that this guy was being a complete and utter nutbar and probably deserved well more than what Kacey gave him. But he didn't swing at her.

Remember, in a trial, it's not what actually happened that matters.

It's what a jury can be convinced to believe.

He grabbed her wrist.

She swung at him.

That was an escalation and could easily be used against her.

Note, I'm not saying she wasn't justified in do what she did, however, saying that pulling some sort of Van Damme-esque "Read between the lines" tactic could backfire on you in more ways than one. Saying that this, actually physically swinging on someone, is safer legally than hitting someone, is not logical.
 

newGuy12

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I'll say it again: if you weren't there, then you can't say what I should have done. There are too many variables involved that just didn't come up in my original description, and even more than I wouldn't have taken in consciously but that were part of my decision to do what I did.

I, for one, hope that I do not seem like I am second guessing you, or anyone else. I completely understand that there's NO WAY that anyone can rightfully assess this type of thing unless they were there.

Its just that I am still susceptible to the "adrenaline drop", and I have the tendency to suspect things can go from bad to WORSE. That is why I am not a trouble maker -- in the US, as everyone is saying -- trouble begets more trouble, its not good.

Also, I can say this -- in the late 70's and 80's people did not think the same way as this -- the general rule of thumb was -- they give it to you, then you give it back, plain and simple. Perhaps the courts were not so screwed up then. They give you trouble? Okay, then, here we go...

But this thread is very nice. It is a good topic! Just everyone be advised that I am not trying to critique the way that this particular scenario went down. All is well that ends well, is what I say!
 

newGuy12

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I'm just tickled that after three years on this board I finally started a thread that's gone five pages...

Haha, FearlessFreep starts the thread out with some kind of big talk that will produce all this output! You have instigated this, now, I am up at night reading this, loosing sleep!!!

Haha!
 

Shadow tkd

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Very good topic taekwondo is a very efective self defense martial art and I dont belive it is in any way obsolete if someone is attacking you and you are an experianced practitioner of taekwondo you can very easily knock them out.A lot of people believe that if you try to use strikes in a street fight you will lose because the attacker will block and take you down but from personle experiance if an experiance taekwondo practitioner kicks you and you block all that will happen is your arm will be in a cast.
 

exile

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Very good topic taekwondo is a very efective self defense martial art and I dont belive it is in any way obsolete if someone is attacking you and you are an experianced practitioner of taekwondo you can very easily knock them out.A lot of people believe that if you try to use strikes in a street fight you will lose because the attacker will block and take you down but from personle experiance if an experiance taekwondo practitioner kicks you and you block all that will happen is your arm will be in a cast.

But the issue isn's whether TKD is effective, in a purely combat-based sense. The issue, as FF makes pretty clear, is whether a dedicated scorched-earth striking art—such as TKD—is what legal realists are going to be looking at most favorably, given the nature of current legal culture and the frequently litigious response of damaged attackers to the defenders who have inflicted that damage, no matter how justified we might think their response was. And a further point raised by some of the posters involves the question of just how scaled-down you can make your response in a striking art, to handle cases where a 10-megaton response might be hard to justify ethically (look back at some of the preceding posts for various scenarios along these lines).

My own approach to TKD involve a good deal of locking and controlling moves, which normally would be used to fix and control the target preparatory to a finishing strike, but which should be useful in and of themselves to bring the assault to a standstill. For me, the really dicey part of the discussion is, just what happens at that point? Opening a genuinely secure getaway window for yourself, once you've halted the attack, seems to me to be the really tricky bit... but in any case, no one is arguing that a competent TKDist can't badly hurt an attacker. The OP issue is a bit different from that.
 

Shadow tkd

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But the issue isn's whether TKD is effective, in a purely combat-based sense. The issue, as FF makes pretty clear, is whether a dedicated scorched-earth striking artsuch as TKDis what legal realists are going to be looking at most favorably, given the nature of current legal culture and the frequently litigious response of damaged attackers to the defenders who have inflicted that damage, no matter how justified we might think their response was. And a further point raised by some of the posters involves the question of just how scaled-down you can make your response in a striking art, to handle cases where a 10-megaton response might be hard to justify ethically (look back at some of the preceding posts for various scenarios along these lines).

My own approach to TKD involve a good deal of locking and controlling moves, which normally would be used to fix and control the target preparatory to a finishing strike, but which should be useful in and of themselves to bring the assault to a standstill. For me, the really dicey part of the discussion is, just what happens at that point? Opening a genuinely secure getaway window for yourself, once you've halted the attack, seems to me to be the really tricky bit... but in any case, no one is arguing that a competent TKDist can't badly hurt an attacker. The OP issue is a bit different from that.
Very good point if you dont want to seriously hurt your attacker then I think tkd is one of the hardest martial arts to tone down simply because it's so brutal when used by someone who knows what they are doing
 

exile

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Very good point if you dont want to seriously hurt your attacker then I think tkd is one of the hardest martial arts to tone down simply because it's so brutal when used by someone who knows what they are doing

This point is what a lot of the previous posts are kind of revolving around... how to use the art in a non-lethal but defensively effective fashion. And it's a hard one, all right.

It might be useful to reframe the OP point as a kind of challenge:

(i) let's agree, TKD emphasizes hard, damaging strikes, with both kicks and hand/arm techs. The moves are of the no-quarter-given-or-asked-for variety.

(ii) Let's also start from the premise that TKD is not obsolete, i.e., still represents a useful set of strategic premises and techniques, even in an era of lawsuit-happy felons and a somewhat topsy-turvy legal view of self-defense (defend yourself too effectively and you could be perceived as the main offender, that sort of thing).

(iii) So the challenge is to solve the problem: how should TKD best be trained/applied so that (i) and (ii) are compatible?
 
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FearlessFreep

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(iii) So the challenge is to solve the problem: how should TKD best be trained/applied so that (i) and (ii) are compatible?


Excellent question.

I believe some have answered it by borrowing 'softer' techniques such as from Hapkido. I use the term 'softer' not because they are not painfully effective but just because they are designed more for negation of the attack then destruction of the attacker.

What other approaches are appropriate?
 

Andy Moynihan

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This point is what a lot of the previous posts are kind of revolving around... how to use the art in a non-lethal but defensively effective fashion. And it's a hard one, all right.

It might be useful to reframe the OP point as a kind of challenge:

(i) let's agree, TKD emphasizes hard, damaging strikes, with both kicks and hand/arm techs. The moves are of the no-quarter-given-or-asked-for variety.

(ii) Let's also start from the premise that TKD is not obsolete, i.e., still represents a useful set of strategic premises and techniques, even in an era of lawsuit-happy felons and a somewhat topsy-turvy legal view of self-defense (defend yourself too effectively and you could be perceived as the main offender, that sort of thing).

(iii) So the challenge is to solve the problem: how should TKD best be trained/applied so that (i) and (ii) are compatible?

Then, too, the answer I gave you happens to work in *my case* it may not for someone of different ability.
 

bigfootsquatch

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Good post, FF. Two things occur to me off the bat:

(ii) the flip side is, a grappling/controlling art still leaves you with the problem: what do you do with the assailant once he's under your control? If you disengage without damaging him, there's an excellent chance he'll come back at you. Whether it's a control/grapple strategy or a linear striking one, you still reach the critical point when you have to decide how to keep the guy out of the fight long enough to make your getaway. And aikido, jiujitsu or hapkido are just as capable of doing major damage to an attacker as TKD, karate or San Soo. Maybe different types of damage, but damage that could land you in court nonetheless, if you use them to force a 'window of safe withdrawal' after bringing down your assailant. And if you don't do that, you've thrown away your greatest advantage and are back at square one, except now (i) he's even more pissed off at you and (ii) he knows what kind of stuff you might do and will be primed to evade it. So you'll just have to do it again, under more difficult circumstances, always a bad idea.

Then again, a grappling art gives you the option to control the attacker. I'm not sure I can kick someone just enough to disable them without actually doing serious damage. Clearly there are situations that lend themselves to controlling someone before a 3rd party, ex. -the police arrive. Maybe other members here have more control of their ability to strike just enough to stop the opponent without serious injury, but when situations heat up, i'm just not sure how much control strikes would have. Proper restraint is generally a deterrent in itself due to the attacker causing pain on himself. A proper kick, especially if we are being rushed, may do more damage than is needed....just my two cents
 

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(iii) So the challenge is to solve the problem: how should TKD best be trained/applied so that (i) and (ii) are compatible?


Excellent question.

I believe some have answered it by borrowing 'softer' techniques such as from Hapkido. I use the term 'softer' not because they are not painfully effective but just because they are designed more for negation of the attack then destruction of the attacker.

What other approaches are appropriate?

I think that every system needs some method of ground survival for those OOPS moments. I've some TKD artists use kicks on the ground, but once again I don't think everyone deserves to be limping or nurse broken ribs for 6 months over a silly altercation.
 

exile

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Then again, a grappling art gives you the option to control the attacker. I'm not sure I can kick someone just enough to disable them without actually doing serious damage. Clearly there are situations that lend themselves to controlling someone before a 3rd party, ex. -the police arrive.

No question—but bear in mind, this requires favorable circumstances. A drunken jerk in a bar where you're a regular and management is happy to call in law while you keep the attacker controlled is one thing. But what if it's just you and him on a subway somewhere, with a bunch of scared bystanders who want no part of either of you? I've been in situations which could easily have gone that way. Sure, you have a cell phone.... but you can't use it to call 911, because both hands are engaged in maintaining the control.

Maybe other members here have more control of their ability to strike just enough to stop the opponent without serious injury, but when situations heat up, i'm just not sure how much control strikes would have.

Anyone who can use a damaging impact strike technique for control (as vs. termination) purposes is a way, way more skilled craftsperson in the art than I am (or anyone else I know personally is). Very low probability, I'd say.

Proper restraint is generally a deterrent in itself due to the attacker causing pain on himself. A proper kick, especially if we are being rushed, may do more damage than is needed....just my two cents

Yes, no question. But if all you do is establish control, you're taking a big, big chance that you'll be in the clear when you release control.

It's a nasty dilemma, no question. The easy cases are the ones like my original friendly-bar scenario. But when trouble finds you, it's almost certainly going to be in a much more isolated, trouble-filled context.
 

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No questionbut bear in mind, this requires favorable circumstances. A drunken jerk in a bar where you're a regular and management is happy to call in law while you keep the attacker controlled is one thing. But what if it's just you and him on a subway somewhere, with a bunch of scared bystanders who want no part of either of you? I've been in situations which could easily have gone that way. Sure, you have a cell phone.... but you can't use it to call 911, because both hands are engaged in maintaining the control.

Not to mention scum ALWAYS travel in pairs and packs. If you plan to control you better bring friends.
 

exile

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Not to mention scum ALWAYS travel in pairs and packs. If you plan to control you better bring friends.

That is very true also. The danger of stopping at pure control goes through the roof if there's more than one involved in attacking you. In that situation, I'd say, you'd be better to do the most damaging move available in the shortest time, and then use the effect as an exit. You're probably only going to get one chance there...
 

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First off, this is an excellent, excellent thread. There are several things that I want to cover, so I'm probably going to get long-winded, which I have a tendany to do, so anyone reading this is now warned!

So...first, dealing with the self-defense aspect of the art...

I think it's all about how you're taught. I think of it like the difference between Miyagi-do and Kobra-Kai. One instructor may teach you to be defensive in your physicallity, and another instructor may teach you to be more aggressive in your physicallity. I also think that it comes down to each of us as individuals as to how we react to a situation.

I, personally, act defensively. I fight defensively. I prefer to try to talk my way out of an escalating incident rather than get it over with. How I react is not wrong for who I am...I'm comfortable with how I handle situations, and I'm very confident that I can handle myself however I need to.

On the other side of the coin, I know of 2 people off the top of my head that act offensively to escalating situations. How they react is not wrong for them...they are confident enough and well-versed enough in their MA's to know how to properly handle a situation using the aggressive approach.

If I were to try to act aggressively, I don't think I would be successful in stopping the situation, and the same goes for the guys who react aggressively naturally...if they try to react defensively, it's probably not going to work for them, either...

What I'm getting at is this:

I'm a big guy. I'm 6'1", around 285 lbs (give or take a few). I'm not in the best shape, but I'm no slouch, either, and I know how to use my weight and size to my advantage in a physical situation. I prefer not to have to use any of my physical skill to get out of an escalating situation. Instead, I prefer to talk my way out of it and walk away...that way, no one gets hurt...

What I tend to look at in situations is this: Exactly why are things fixing to get physical? Is it because I accidentally bumped into this guy in the bar, and his drink spilled? Is it because I feel like this person is coming at me with mallicious intent and I feel my life is in danger?

I like to weigh my options here. If I feel like something's fixing to get ugly because someone's pride (myself or someone else's) was hurt, I'm going to leave it alone and walk away, talking my way out of the situation. If talking and walking away do not work, and the person attacks me anyway, then I'll do what is necessary to make them stop attacking. That doesn't mean I'm going to break the guy's neck Segal-style. If it means that I can move out of the way of the attack and he falls on his face, then that's what I'll do. Nothing more. It's just not necessary...and I can deem what is necessary as I'm a blackbelt...I'll get into that in a moment.

If I feel like something's fixing to get ugly because my life or someone else's life is in imminent danger, then I'll use whatever force I deem necessary to make them stop attacking. In this case, if that means that they won't stop attacking me unless they're dead, then so be it. That would be the last option, after I've exhausted everything else at my disposal.

Now, I mentioned a moment ago that I can deem necessary what force to use. As a blackbelt in TKD, I should be an expert as to judging how much or how little force should be administered to defend an attack properly to render the attacker unable to continue attacking.

I've bolded those words for this reason: If you use force that is beyond what is needed to defend yourself to the point that you are no longer under attack, then you are, yourself, going on the offensive.

Think of it this way: You can view volence levels as you would a scale...with no violence being the neutral point. You have yourself on one side and your attacker on the other. When your attacker begins the attack, the scales are lower on their side, since the scales are weighed down by violence. Your goal should be to even the scales to the point where no violence takes place, and to keep it that way.

Now, it's up to you, as the defender, to decide exactly how much force is going to be necessary to return your scale back to its neutral position...if you have to simply pop the guy in the nose, and he stops, then great...but if you have to subdue your opponent until help arrives to stop the violence, then this should be done with the correct amount of force.

Let's take a look at 2 situations here to demonstrate what I'm talking about. We're going to assume that I'm unarmed, but I don't know if the other person is unarmed or not.

I've just bumped into that guy in the bar and spilled his drink...I've said excuse me, and offered to replace his drink, but he will have none of it. He's dunk, so he's not listening to normal reason. Instead, he contiues to push me physically on the shoulders until my back is against a wall, and I can see him drawing back to puch me.

We'll say that the guy isn't as big as I am for the sake of argument, and that I am 2 inches taller and outweigh him by 50 lbs or so.

As he's drawing back to punch me, I deliver the hardest punch that I can to his nose, shattering it. He flies back into a table and lies still, unconcious. It is later discovered that I have broken his nose beyond the point that it can heal properly, and he will have to have reconstructive surgery done. Not only that, he lost a great deal of blood as he had a lot of alcohol in his system.

That's scenerio 1.

Scenerio 2:

As the guy is drawing back to punch me, I deliver a strong, shoving punch to the guy's solarplexus, knocking the wind out of him. He doubles over, unable to breathe well.

I walk away quickly, not giving the guy enough time to chase after me to continue the fight. I pay my tab and leave the bar.

Now, both of those scenerios have happened before, in real life, but not to me, thankfully. I was present when both happened, and saw what could have and should have happened in both situations.

As far as the legal standpoint goes, I agree that if you're in a physical altercation, you're sunk. Period. Even if you are simply defending yourself. IMO, though, why give the legal system extra ammo to use against you? If you can stop the fight with a small amount of force, then that's what you do. If you know that a small amount of force won't work, then you do what is necessary and worry about the legal consequences later.
 
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