Self Defense and Taekwondo
After a year of training, I had rather formed the option that I hard learned how to kick, stand, and move, but not a lot a Self Defense techniques. However, one week the instructor decided to add some self defense technique, and all of a sudden I discovered that the moves, stances, and blocking that I had learned for patterns actually could be used for self defense. The current class I am attending spends more time on showing how Taekwondo can be used as self defense; so if this is a particular interest to you, then choose a class that routinely covers this type of training.
For example, stand in ready position, and have someone punch you in the centre of the chest. At this point it is worth noting the lesson my older brother once had. He had been training and was very proud of his excellent stomach muscles. In front of this girlfriend, he told our younger brother (then ten) to punch him as hard as possible in the stomach. My brother did this, but aimed half a meter lower. The results were rather comical (to me anyway). My older brother collapsed with a look of astonished pain on his face, my younger brother bolted for the door (following the fundamental rule of self protection -run very quickly away), and the girlfriend leapt forward in great concern. Anyway, taking care, have someone punch you. Move to the side, outside the blow (if the punch is right handed, move to the left). Execute a middle section inside block (left hand in our example). Then double punch to the ribs. One simple self defense move learned.
It is recommend that patterns are done against invisible oppents. Imagine they are attacking with various move and you are blocking and then striking. For example, several of the early patterns start with a lower block followed by a middle punch. It is easy to imagine a turning kick (round house) which you block followed by an attacking move.
Outer Block, Inner Block.
This a fairly basic move. Could be used in a self defense situation but caution should be used directing blows across the body where weapons (like bottles) are being used.
Move into a fighting stance, hands up (both attacker and defender should have the right foot back to start). The attacker uses a reverse straight punch to the face or body (i.e. just punch the defender with the right hand).
The defender deflects the blow to his right by bringing the left hand from the left to the right (rather like an inner block but not so exaggerated). Try with an open palm aiming at the elbow of the attacker. It's a good idea to get in the habit of the defender moving the left as well, step left foot and then drag right foot into place if using fighting stance; or a better training guide is to step into the horseriding stance.
Now the defender brings the right hand onto the inside and keeps deflecting the attacker's punch outward (again defenders right hand is moving left to right, plam aiming for the attacker's wrist.
A nice finish, which works well if the defender is heavier and in a better stance, is to grab the attacker's wrist and pull back. This should pull the attacker off his feet, or at least make them stumble forward. If you are lighter than the attacker, the trick is to pull (the attacker starts to resist pulling bakc) and then you charge forward knocking them backwards, but thats a bit advanced at the moment.
Another varient, which is works if the attacker is really close and space a bit tight, is to start with the left hand deflecting the blow; however this time bring the right hand under the left hand and grab the forearm close to the elbow. Lock on and pull back. One thing you will notice with this move is that even if your hand slides down the arm is nearly aways catches on the wrist which is an excellent point of gripping.