University of Leicester Taekwon-Do Club



Self Defence | Release From Hold | Sudden Attack | Throwing & Falling | Armed Opponents


Technically, Taekwon-Do is an art of self-defence, and thus all its techniques are self-defence techniques. However, this specific section relates to the use of techniques which are extensions of the moves practiced in patterns and sparring to counter more practical scenarios. The defender needs to know how to make best use of their own weight and body position as well as the attacker's momentum and force to achieve the desired result. These techniques are more advanced, and are thus introduced to students at higher kup grades.

How To Release From A Hold (Jappyosul Tae)

In theory, a student of Taekwon-Do should be able to prevent an opponent from taking hold of them. In practice, this will often be unavoidable, and some sort of release will be necessary. Releases in Taekwon-Do are split into three categories:

Attacking Motion

Attacking motions are a direct attack to a vulnerable or vital spot on the opponent in order to incapacitate them.

Breaking Motion

Breaking motions are directed against the joints of the attacker's hand or arm in order to break or dislocate the joint and thus force them to release their grip.

Releasing Motion

Releasing motions are designed to force the opponent to release their grip by directing the force of the motion at the attacker's weak point, such as the thumb. While not damaging in themselves, they are usually followed up with a counter attack, just to be sure.

Defence Against A Sudden Attack (Dae boori gong gyok)

The techniques learnt in the course of practicing patterns and sparring all tend to assume that a defender is standing upright, ready for an attack, and usually facing their opponent. In real life, this may not be the case; an attacker may strike while the defender is seated or otherwise occupied, and will often have the advantage of surprise. This section adapts the standard techniques for use in these situations.

Throwing Techniques (Dunjigi)

Throwing techniques are used when you wish to take an opponent to the floor, usually because you want to remove them from the action without seriously injuring them. There are numerous varuiations, some of which are demonstrated in the document below. Particular care must be taken to not expose yourself to a counter attack while attempting a throw.

Falling Techniques (Torojigi)

While it is obviously better to remain on your feet whilst fighting, there may be times when this is not possible. For these instances, the emphasis is on learning to fall without hurting oneself, and being able to recover as quickly as possible. Falling has to be practiced to the point where it is a natural reaction to being upended, and as such tends to be saved until the student reaches higher grades, however there are a few basic rules that must be followed:

Defence Against an Armed Opponent (Dae moogi)

Defence against an armed opponent is much more difficult than against an unarmed opponent, and thus requires the very highest level of skill in order to avoid injury. Some examples of common defences can be found in the document below.

Self-Defence And The Law

Status of Self-Defence

Essentially, self-defence is a ‘complete defence’(legal term) used to mitigate liability to charges of criminal violence, from assault up to murder - if self-defence is proven, the defendent will be acquitted.

Self-defence exists both in common law and by statute. The common law component has existed for centuries, and allows for reasonable force to be used in order for a person to:

The statutory component is given by Section 3(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1967:

"A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large."

Principlesof Self-Defence