I recently read a comment where the author said he did Tae Kwon Do for self defence and to protect his loved ones. How does Tae Kwon Do, do this?

The World Health Organization estimates a third of women in relationships are beaten. According to the US Justice Department, two-thirds of violent attacks against women are committed by a man they know. The FBI says 2 million men beat their partners every year. The greatest danger to 'loved ones' comes from inside the home.

In the online magazine 'Bloody Elbow' an article appeared which contained interesting information: "Christy Mack held back tears as she voiced those harrowing words on HBO's critically acclaimed ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.' She recounted the disturbing tale of her ex-boyfriend, former UFC and Bellator fighter Jon Koppenhaver, as he allegedly brutally beat her to the point of convulsions. Using public records as their main resource, Real Sports determined that the national rate of domestic violence arrests is around 360 per 100,000 men. On the same chart, they contrasted that against NFL players, which found 210 arrests per 100,000, while MMA saw a staggering rise to 750." https://www.bloodyelbow.com/.../hbo-segment-domestic-violence-ufc-mma-christy-m...

Considering the practitioner wants to protect loved and statistically he poses the greatest danger: Does Tae Kwon Do teach practitioners not to beat up their partners? How? The same question would also be applicable to Wing Chun, Kung Fu, Karate, Aikido, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo etc.

NOTE: Although my solution has been to stop teaching adults as they all land up fighting or doing competitions, I believe there is a more generally applicable answer to the question. Long ago, after I had invited him to join Kyokushin, a mercenary told me he prefers doing Shotokan katas to calm down between 'missions'. I cannot speak for Shotokan but it might be some practical solution like that.

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    First, I think there is a good question in there. However, as it currently stands it reads as a rant (mixing actual unreferenced data and anecdotes) and is utterly unfocused. Are we talking about one martial art or all of them? Is this about partners defending themselves against abusers (note no gender implied here) or is it about martial arts teachers' perceived (rightly or wrongly) duty to not teach potential abusers? What concrete problem are you trying to solve? Sep 21 '17 at 8:04
  • I think it is rather an ethical and juridical question. This is what I understood: If a martial artist abuses her/his capabilities to harm other people, what is the responsibilty of the teacher or the martial art organisation? What are they doing to prevent such incidents and what should be done?
    – Endery
    Sep 21 '17 at 9:20
  • If you're a bad person that attacks people, no feel good lesson in a martial arts class is going to stop that. It's not the responsibility of martial arts instructors to dole out life lessons.
    – coinbird
    Sep 21 '17 at 18:51
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    Right now this is a jumble. Here's possible, more focused questions - 1) What do martial arts teach to prevent practitioners from becoming abusers? 2) What can martial arts teach people to do to better survive/escape domestic violence, especially in face of social/legal problems that support domestic violence? I often say self defense is like having a fire extinguisher - it's good but if you're in a town full of arsonists, you have a different problem altogether that requires a larger society-wide solution.
    – Bankuei
    Sep 21 '17 at 21:12
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    @gideon_marx: What concrete problem are you trying to solve by asking this question? Sep 22 '17 at 6:53

There are two very distinct answers to your question.

One answer can be found in Gen Choi's Encyclopedia of Taekwondo. There are many references to building character and integrity, but to sum it up with a specific answer, I quote p16, Vol 1, under the chapter "Charter of Taekwondo":

"A beginning constitutes a significant part of the whole endeavor. Therefore, students of Taekwondo should not fail to take action whenever to do so might benefit the society. If he behaves thus ["improve health", "nourish intellect; enlarge spiritual realm"; be "humble, merciful, and selfless"; and "demonstrate equality and brotherhood of man"] he himself will benefit most."

So there you have it: a knight in shining armor.

Except that there's a second answer, and equally poignant.

The style doesn't do the teaching - an instructor does that. That means, what one learns depends on what is taught by the instructor. People do not go to Taekwondo classes in order to calibrate their moral compass; they go to learn to fight (sport) or to get out of a fight (self-defense).

Turning aside from your question to your other points, the 750 per 100,000 statistic you point to to say that "Clearly 'martial artists' are a great danger to their partners than unknown attackers and it seems the 'art' is more often used to beat up wives than 'bad guys'."

Nothing could be further from the truth. You have come to a conclusion post hoc ergo propter hoc: a logical fallacy. You could just as easily have postulated that "all men are a great danger to their partners". You have shown no study that proved that completely honorable men were suddenly influenced into abusing their partners simply by studying martial arts, or MMA. For myself, I have not found any studies that found men who were pre-disposed to being abusers also take up MMA and join the UFC, and so can't make that postulation, either - although that is what I suspect is the case, due to the culture of the UFC, use of steroids, and the type of media coverage it gets.

All I can do is say: you have drawn a dangerous conclusion.

And now you have this preposterous solution, which is to stop all adults from learning (or continuing to learn...) a method to help them when someone - who may not be a martial artist - tries to do them harm. Sorry, that is not going to fly. That is akin to the slogan "if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns".

Your link is broken. But the url suggests your beef is with UFC - and not martial arts. Your misunderstand the differences between what martial arts, Taekwondo, MMA, and UFC.

Neither Taekwondo as commonly taught today, nor MMA, nor UFC are martial arts. These are all fighting sports (the UFC is just an organization which uses the fighting sport of MMA). They are not martial arts, and they are not used for self-defense.

  • Generally it is best not to answer questions that are contentious. It stops askers to refine their questions so that they are reopened and generally does not answer the final question… Sep 22 '17 at 10:09

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