THE ART AND SCIENCE OF SELF-DEFENSE
Many martial arts schools teach a subject which they call "self-defense." More
often than not, these schools teach various methods of physically causing
injury to an attacker to prevent him from causing you harm. While it is good
that we have such schools around, it is unfortunate that many of these schools
are not teaching self-defense at all. Some of them are teaching methods to win
trophies in martial arts tournaments, some of them are teaching ancient
outmoded ways of combat, some are teaching methods intended to be self-defense
but are really methods of committing unlawful acts, and some of them are
teaching elaborate methods to commit suicide during the process of attempting
to protect oneself. The first rule to learning effective self-defense is to
know the meaning of "self-defense."
Webster's dictionary defines self-defense as
being, "THE ACT OF DEFENDING ONESELF OR SOMETHING THAT BELONGS OR RELATES TO
That pretty well sums it up. It does not mention
trophies, it does not mention fighting, and it does not mention punishment.
Self-defense is simply the act of protecting oneself, one's family or friends or
one's home and property. It does not involve (in most cases) the wearing of
elaborate uniforms, bowing, squaring-off in fighting stances, rules of combat,
trophies, or any other of the trappings which go with sport.
It does not mention the necessity for causing an attacker permanent physical
harm, the need to repeatedly strike an attacker as he is attempting to flee, or
any number of idiocies which will land him in the hospital and you in jail.
A common thread which runs through self-defense as an Art and as a Science is
that it should always be based on proven principles and laws. Toward this end,
the International Sungja-Do Association has spent over forty (40) years researching
and testing various theories of teaching and practicing self-defense so as to
root out those superstitions, myths, and simply poorly-designed techniques which
can result in more harm to the defender than to the attacker.
There are five (5) levels of self-defense: