Aliveness in Taekwondo (TKD)

A common question that is occasionally raised on Aliveness, one of our key concepts here at as SBG, is how it relates to the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do. I’ve seen Matt Thornton, SBG Founder at seminars, be asked about where Taekwondo fits within his philosophical frameworks for real fighting systems. While Taekwondo is a traditional martial art known for its spectacular kicks, its also an Olympic sport with a competitive ruleset. There is little doubt that with respect to the flexibility of their competitors, such as when watching someone like Kim Tae-Hun, or their fitness or reflexes. However as a means of self defense, there are simply better options whether you are an adult looking for a new way of keeping fit or a parent looking to give their child confidence at school or a way to make new friends.

Where Taekwondo Doesn’t Work?

Taekwondo has no grappling aspect at all. Focusing predominantly on kicks limits the range of combat. Many Taekwondo student keep their hands very low, which is fine for Taekwondo competition but leaves your head vulnerable to kicks. Its also questionable as to whether you want your child kicking others at school, even in self defense, when correct use of grappling can disable an aggressor without hurting them and avoiding a visit to the principal’s office. And the same applies for adults too.