Basics of Self Defense

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Basics of Self Defense
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Before starting Self Defense Training please make sure you speak with your doctor to make sure that you do not have any health concerns that will not allow you to start self defense or martial art training.

The information posted here is for education only and should not be done without proper training by professional. The the craze of cage fighting and street fights on youtube everyone thinks they are "fighters" and fight schools and clubs are opening up at alarming rates with people who have no clue what they are doing. The Best training is done by people who know what they are doing so if you are planning to start self defense training make sure that you visit local schools in your area. I personally can not advice you to look into traditional martial art training enough however the choice is honestly your own. I am sure that if you look in your cities phone book you will find a number of martial art schools each offering wonderful programs and you should look into the styles that interest you the most. There is no superior martial art style only superior martial artist so the best martial art is the one that is best for you. If in your area there are 3 martial schools that teach Taekwondo do not visit one of the schools and think you know what Taekwondo is all about. You may hate the first of the 3 schools and love the others so turning your back on a potential style that may work for you would be foolish. It is also best once you have narrowed your list down to 3 or so schools to see if you can watch a couple of classes and perhaps even take a week of free classes before you commit to the school. Be careful of schools that push contracts as soon as you walk into the school because once you sign the contract you are responcible for the school fees until that contract is done no matter what. Also be careful for schools ran by people who trash all the other schools in their area and tell you how he/she is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Normally these people are full of themselves and use cheap salemenship and high pressure to get you to take their program because after all "it is the best in town". I can not stress enough to watch classes, speak with current students outside of the school and try a few classes this way you will have a more complete idea of the school before making the commitment. Also use your intuitive nature because your inner voice will scream when you should run out of the school as well as which school you should train at. Listen to your higher self and you will not go wrong.


The Targets posted here for for Self Defense Purposes. For competitive martial artist many of this targets will be off limits and it is important that you learn what you can use as a target and which strikes you can hit that target with.

We do not waste strikes, so when you use hand strikes or kicks aim at the area, do not swing for the fences. A well placed strike to the Chin can knock out just about anyone. A 1ince strike could mean the difference between a hard shot, and a dislocated sternum that will end the fight quickly. Also please not that for competitions any stake below the belt and on the back side of the body will most likely get your disqualified.

Strikes to some of these areas can and will cause several injuries up to and including death. In most street situations it is not that serous to cause real injuries however if your life is on the line you need to make the choice. Again I can not stress nearly enough that anyone attempting what they read on this forum is doing so under their own means and this site or its founders can not be held legally, ethically or morally responsible for actions taken by what is read here. If your practice or attempt anything of what you see here you are solely responsible for those actions.

1. Temples
2. Forehead
3. Eyes
4. Nose
5. Jaw Line
6. Chin
7. Throat
8. Collarbone
9. Sternum
10. Solar Plexus
11. Lower Rib/Floating Rib
12. Abdominals
13. Genital
14. Knees

Rear Targets
1.Back of the head
2. Below the ear
3. Back of the Neck
4. Kidneys
5. Base of Spine
6. Back of the Knee
7. Calf Area
8. Achilles Tendon


Joon Bi (Ready Stance for TKD) Stand at attention Slide the left foot out to your feet are shoulder width apart. Keep your arms straight out in front of you, and hold your fists one inch from in front of your body, about one fist apart from each other.

Horse Stance Traditional training stance for beginners Feet are two shoulder width apart, feet are parallel to each other, knees are slightly bent. Lower your body into this stance keeping your back straight and upright Should your arms at belt level, with your hands in a fast with your palms facing up( yours arms are at a 90 degree angle) Stand in this stance for as long as possible for a strong leg work out.

Flamingo Stance This is a stance you use for just about every kick you throw. Start in horse stance, and then bring either your right or left leg up. Keep your leg bent and raise your leg as high as possible. You knee should be parallel to the ground. Try holding this stance for 5 minutes with a quarter on your knee. LOL we had to do that at one school as part of a belt test, if the quarter fell you did pushups and sit-ups and started again. (Front kick, side kick, even you back kicks all start with this position)

Front Stance Start in a horse stance; take a step forward with one foot about 1.5 shoulder widths apart. Your front knee is bent, and holding about 10% of body weight, someone should be able to kick your front leg from under you and it should not break your stance. Your back leg is straight holding 90% of your body weight. Your hips, shoulders and face are facing forward. Your back foot will be either at 45 out degree angle, or facing forward. (This will vary from person to person. Also the space between your feet will also change as you progress. My stances are usually low at 2 shoulder widths apart. This is not a goal to shoot for it is just your own comfort and movement ability. Your front stance is your advance stance.

Back Stance Your foot positions and spacing is the same as front stance. The only difference is your front leg is now straight, and your back leg is bent. This is your defensive stance. You can move to and from front and back stance with a shift of your weight. In self defense and sparring this is my favorite stance it allows me to move, block or counter an attack.

Fighting Stance Start in front of back stance and straighten you legs. Keep your arms at a 90 degree angle in front of your body and your fists closed. Your hand positions again will change from person to person. If you can be easily pushed off balance then move your feet further apart.

T Stance
T Stances are similar to front stances except both of your feet are pointed towards the front. This stances is widely used in many styles as a teaching/learning stances. This is also the worse stance to use in a competition or self defense situations as it leaves the person you are going against with a large number of targets to choice from.

Bow Stance
Bow stances like the T stance is also similar to the front stance except both your lead and rear leg are pointed at 90*angles to the side. This stance is a defensive stance and leave very little open to your attacker.

8 Basic Blocks Right/Left The best way to learn, and to start practicing blocks is from the horse stance, then front and back fighting stance, and then finally your fighting stance. The saying of best block is no be there is completely true, however if you can not move fast enough these blocks will help prevent sever damage. Remember we are martial artist not boxers, we are not going to allow others to hit us so we can show how tuff we are.

The Value of solid strong blocks is often overlooked by a number of people. Do not forget that strikes may be blocks and blocks may be strikes. Blocks, Hammer Fist Strikes and Back fits look a lot a like when in conflicts. It is try that blocks are used to keep your attacker from striking you however when you use them use them with force. If you use powerful down blocks on a person trying to do a right leg round house kick on you can damage cause enough damage where they will either stop using that kick because they know your blocks cause damage or you will cause enough damage that will effect their foot work. Remember with blocks you are aiming for the ankle and wrist not the hand and foot. If you aim for the hand or foot then odds are that your blocks will deflect some of the power but they will still land with power.

1. Start in horse stance
2. Place your arms down at you sides.
3. Bend your arms, at a 90 degree angle. (Your arms should now be at your waist level.)

1. Outside Block The goal of this block is to intercept and redirect your attackers hand strikes that were thrown at you upper body and face. Move your right arm so your fist is parallel with your left shoulder, and about 2 fists away from your shoulder. Next all you need to do is sweep your arm across your body so your fist is parallel with your right shoulder. Your arm should still be at a 90 degree angle in front of you. Your left out block is done the same way except of course you are using the other side.

2. Inside Block This block in reality is just the opposite as the outside block. The best way to learn this block is to simply do the outside block in reverse.

3. Raising Block This block is primarily used to keep hand strikes from connecting with your face. Start with your arm at belt level. Turn your arm in so your fist is parallel with your belly button, and 2 fists away. Sweep your arm up in a straight line until it is just above your head. While sweeping your arm up you also want to rotate your fist so palm is facing out.

4. Low Block Your low block is used for any attack to your solar plexus to your groin. In most cases this will be used against kicks Again start with your arm at belt level and your palm facing up. Move your blocking fist up to the opposite side of your face, just about 1 fist distance from your ear. Swing your arm down in a pendulum motion until it ends up parallel with the same leg. While your arm is swinging down it is also going completely straight.

In Taekwondo class they used to confuse me a good bit of the time for my first session of classes. When doing inside blocks they would call out to inside, and when doing outside blocks they would call in to outside block. I was used to only hearing in or out so I would do the first thing I heard and look really funny when I was doing the wrong block. Honestly I still make this mistake from time to time but not nearly as much.

A good drills for working both footwork and blocking at the same time.
Start in Joon bi stance
1. Half moon back with your left foot and do a right out block
2. Half moon back with right foot and do a left out block
3. Half moon back with left foot and do a right in block
4. Half moon back with your right foot and do a left in block
5. Half moon forward with your left foot and do a left raising block
6. Half moon forward with right foot and do a right raising block
7. Half moon forward with left foot and do a left down block
8. Half moon forward with right foot and do a right down block.

Wrist Strengthening Drills
You need a partner for this drills and yes will hurt.
You want to start in a horse stance will facing your partner. You will both go through all the blocks listed above and you will class wrists in the middle. On the outside block you will hit on the inside of the wrist, on inside bock you will cross at the outside, on down blocks and raising blocks you will clash at either point.

When you are done with this drills you will have red marks from where you clashed and your wrists will hurt for a few days, however if you keep it up then your joints will become stronger.
Basic Hand Strikes
1. Front Punch "Jab" The jab in known for its speed. The jab is not known for its power. Jabs are used either as fast strikes to the chest and chin, or as combination starters. At the end of this section I listed some hand strike drills that are essential for learning basic hand

2. Reverse Punch "Cross" Start in left lead fighting stance. Same as above except you are using your rear hand. The other difference is you are also going to turn your hip toward your target. This adds your legs and core muscles into the strike. This adds a lot more POWER

3. Hook Start in left lead fighting stance. Hooks can be thrown with either hand. Unlike the jab or cross that go straight out to their targets you are going to pull your fist back and outside of your body before you launch it out. Your fist will approach it target at an angle. You are also going to turn your hips toward your target like the cross.

4. Uppercut Start in left lead fighting stance. Your upper cuts are a bit different. You are striking with the same surface, but your palm will be facing you. The only real target for this strike is your attackers chin. You are also using your legs for more power. In done powerful this strike has awesome knock out power. Start in fighting position. Bend your knees a bit more then normal, like you are squatting down. Bring your striking arm down towards your waste. Explode up with speed and power as you are extending your arm up and out you legs back up to their normal fighting position. When you fist meets its target your legs will be normal, this one will take timing, and lots of practice, but the power is worth it.

5. Thrust Punch Depending on which hand you are using (front or rear) the only differences are is your palm is vertical and the eye is on the target list. Start in left lead fighting stance.

After you complete the skill sets once from the left lead Switch to the right lead. Keep switching sides so techniques feel natural on both sides. If you do not want to invest in sparring gear, sub shadow boxing instead.

Practice Set 1 Jab, Cross Jab, Cross, Jab jab, cross, jab cross
Practice Set 2 Jab, cross Jab, cross, hook jab, cross, hook, upper cut
Practice Set 3 Jab, hook Jab, hook, upper cut Jab, hook, upper cut hook

To make things a big easier remember each strike by its number
1 = jab
2 = cross
3 = hook
4 = upper cut
5 = thrust

When you practice this with a partner have them call out number combinations using the 1-5 system. Do 3 two minute rounds of hand strike combinations. If you are using a heavy bag you may wish to invest in a pair of bag cloves, or even MMA gloves. If you can not afford or do not want gloves then atleast pick up a set of hand wraps to keep from breaking the skin on striking area.
Basic Kicks
Front Ball Kick Your kicking surface is the ball of your foot. You can aim from the groin to the head. Remember the higher you go the more flexibility you need, and the more off balance you will be.
1. Start in fighting stance
2. Pull your kicking leg into flamingo stance.
3. Extend your kicking leg.
4. Strike through not to your target.
5. Retract your leg the same way you brought it out. This kick can be done with either your lead or rear foot, depending on the situation.

Round House Kick
Your kick surface is your shin for low kicks, your ball for hip level, and the top of your foot for head kicks.
1. Start in fighting stance
2. Shift your body into a bow stance.
3. Bring your body into a flamingo stance. With your rear foot as the kicking foot.
4. Rotate your body towards your attacker as you are extending your foot. Hip rotation is extremely important for power with this kick.
5. Retract your kicking leg the same way you through the kick. This can also be done with the front leg.

Side Kick
This is one of the best offensive, and defensive kicks, and for many of us our most powerful kicks. It starts out just like your round house kick.
1. Fighting position
2. Switch to bow stance
3. Bring your lead foot into your flamingo stance.
4. Extend your foot out side ways towards your attacker. You are going to use your side blade or your heal as your kicking surface.
5. Pivot on your back foot for range, and power.
6. Retract your kicking leg the same way you through the kick.

Back Kick
Do not confuse this with a spinning back kick!
1. Start in a ready stance with your back facing your attacker.
2. Bring your kicking leg into a flamingo stance.
3. Lean forward slightly for balance, and send your kicking leg out directly behind you, your heal is your striking surface.
4. The retraction is a bit tricky. You are returning to your flamingo stance, and then you are pivoting on your nonkicking leg so you turn 180 degrees to face your attack. Lower you foot down into your fighting stance.

Knees You have 2 ways to use your knees. You can do a raising knee which is done just like a front ball kick, only you are using your knee as the striking surface and not extending your foot. The other option is a round house knee, which is the same as the round house kick without extending your leg.
Kicking Combinations
Practice this with both your left and right lead fighting positions. This will allow you to defend yourself from both sides not just your traditional strong side. In sparring class and some points in completions I switch to a left handed fighter. This give you a great advantage because most people do not train for left handed fighters, or if you get stuck defending yourself from your weak side you will be more prepared. It will take time and you will feel awkward, but it is worth it, I will give directions for the first 2 combinations after that I am pretty certain you can figure them out for yourself.

Practice each combination 3-5 times each per leg in the air. If you are training with a partner us shield or focus mitts, if you hare along a heavy bag would be a wonderful tool. When picking up a heavy bag get it no heavier then 1//2 of current weight to start to avoid injury. Once you have mastered these combinations you are ready to move up to either burn outs or round training. Burn outs means you are doing each combination for 1 minute per leg. For round training cycle through combinations for 3 two minute rounds. If some of the combinations do not work for you just drop then will doing burn outs or round training and do the combinations that feel fluid for you.

Combination 1
Front Leg Front Ball Kick, Rear Leg Round House Kick. Start in left lead fighting stance, launch the front kick at attackers groin, solar plexus, or sternum, and retract your foot back to fighting position. As soon as that foot hits the ground launch out the rear leg round house. Once your skill level improves you can throw a rear leg jumping round house after you start to retract your front kick. Your first kick will either stun or annoy your attacker, and your rear leg will cause the damage. This combination is more of a trap, or defensive combinations.

Combination 2
Rear leg front kick, rear leg round house kick, step side kick Start in left lead fighting stance. Deliver a front ball kick with your rear leg to the solar plexus. After you make contact instead of returning it to its starting position allows it to drop in front of you and into a right lead fighting stance. Next deliver a rear leg round house kick to the chest. Same thing instead of bring your leg back to starting position; drop it down so you are in a left lead boe stance. Now pull your front leg up and deliver a powerful side kick to the knees, groin, abs, chest, or even the head. This combination is a powerful assault, and very well could end to conflict. To be effective you need powerful kicks and speed. Your attacker will be stepping backwards so keep that in mind as you are practicing this combination. To make this faster once you are good from both sides practice it jumping kicks.

Combination 3
Rear leg round house kick spinning back kick

Combination 4
Rear leg front ball kick, raising knee to the head.

Combination 5
Rear leg fronts, rear leg round, step side, spinning back kick.

Combination 6
Rear leg crescent, same leg front, back leg raising knee

Combination 7
Front leg front ball kick, rear leg front ball kick land in left lead, rear leg round house kick, spinning back kick. This is actually support to be all jumping kicks with an exception of the first kick. If done correctly this combination is extremely effective.

Mixed Combinations are combinations when you use your hands, feet, elbows and knees. Mixed combinations are useful for high low attacks. In a competition or in a street confrontation the last thing you want to do is throw only one strike at a time. It is always best to throw a furry of strikes out there with power and to target where the strikes are going to land. The only way to do this is by practicing combinations so much that you can do them in your sleep. Also be mindful if you are right handed you are naturally going to use a left lead stance, however it is essential to practice using both leads. I am right handed but I an fight with a right lead just as comfortable as with a left lead and in several situations this has come in extremely useful when I had competed against bigger people at tournaments, in the kick boxing ring as well as in the street.

2 Part Combinations
1. Jab, rear leg front kick
2. Jab, raising knee 3. upper cut, rotary elbow

3 Part Combinations
1. Rear Leg front kick, Front Leg Round Kick, Cross Punch
2. Side hook, Cross Punch, Rear Leg Front Kick
3. Rear Leg Front Kick, Rear Leg Round House, Hook Punch

4 Part combinations
1. Jab, Cross, Front kick, Round Kick
2. Front Kick, Cross, Raising Knee, Down Ward Elbow
3. Front leg front kick, front let round kick, cross, round house

When you do these combinations you want to toss out the strikes at different targets and find what works best for you. The combinations that involved Knees, elbows are not legal in many completive environments except for Muay Tai and the UFC but they are still perfect for self defense situations.

Once you are fluid with these combinations use the round practice drill of 3 two minute rounds.

All of the combinations will take 27 minutes total. Do one round of hand techniques take a minute rest, then do kicks, minute rest then do mixed combinations. Cycle through a total of 3 times. Once your endurance has picked up instead of 3 rounds per set move up to 5 rounds per set. If you are working on your own you can get a round timer that wraps around your lower arm that rings and vibrates as you finish rounds and rest sessions. You can set the time per round for either 2 or 3 minutes, the rest sets can be set for 30seconds to 1 minute and you can set as many rounds as you would like to.

For more combinations and training ideas check out the books listed on this site.
Basic Practice Session

Basic Practice Session
This section is very similar to the stuff I have posted in the past. The only thing that makes this different is the combinations posted here are part of my basic practice sessions so if nothing else I can work on them. I am doing a lot more with spinning hooks, heels and Creasent then I used.

Technique Focus Drills/Line Drills 3 sets 8 - 10 reps per leg

Single Leg Techniques
Rear Front Kicks Front Leg Front Kicks in place
Round House Kicks/Round Kicks in place
Side Kicks in place
Spinning Back Kicks
Spinning Hook Kicks
Spinning Creasent Kicks
Spinning Heel Kicks

Hand Techniques (These is more of my Shaolin Kempo aspect of Training)
Front Punch
Reverse Punch
Hammer Shrikes
Knife Hand Strikes
Ridge Hand Strikes
Spinning Back Fist

Combination Practice (Combination Drills are honestly unlimited when you think about it. The only thing you need to be mindful of is how combinations work together. For example you may think of a combination that would be extremely powerful, however once you try it you realize that the strikes do not flow together leaving you other extremely open to take a few shots, or off balanced. Remember when you practice play with everything you have and see what will work for you and what will not work for you. Everyone who has ever competed will tell you that in competitions the best combinations are ones that you came up with on your own instead of the same combinations that everyone uses in class.) After you work on Kick only combinations add a hand strike or two or perhaps a blocking movement then a hand strike. You may not score heavy points using hand strikes, however they are wonderful for setting up combinations or at the very least backing up attackers in the ring.

Front, Jumping Front; Round House, Jumping Round House; Side Skip Side; Back, Jumping back (Jr. Master Peschka)
Front Kick, Round House Kick , Front Punch, Reverse Punch
Out Block, Front Kick while landing with kicking leg forward, Punch to sternum with Reverse Punch
Inside Creasent Kick, Jumping Spinning Creasent Kick, Double Punch leading with Front Punch
Front Side Kick, Rear Side Kick, Jumping Side Kick(Kim’s Academy Testing Special)
Round House Kick, Spinning hook kick, double punch
Round House Kick, Hammer strike lead fist, spinning back fist.

Other Drills
Paddle Drills
Paddles are great for working on spinning hook, heel, Creasent kicks.

Kicking Shield
3 sets of 2 minutes random combinations.

Focus Mitts
3 sets 2 minutes of Hand strikes and some kicks

Heavy Bad
3 sets of 2 minutes of mixed combinations

Poomse Practice all 16 poomse twice a day (once in the AM the other in PM).
Taguek Poomse 3 times a day in practice sessions on Mon, Wed, Fri
Palgwe Poomse 3 times a day in practice session on Tues, Thurs, Sat

Sunday Practice
Poomse only all poomse 5 times each.
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Re: Basics of Self Defense
Post # 2

....This seems like its in the wrong spot to me and perhaps on the wrong site??? Not that it isnt informative....
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Re: Basics of Self Defense
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 3
This thread has been moved to Other Spells Discussion from Welcome.
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