Self defense (Hosinsul)

Hosinsul (self defense) is one of the four principles of taekwondo. Although taekwondo is a "self defense" sport in itself, it focusses on high and spinning kicks which are not very suitable for real life (street) application. Hosinsul is a mixture of all kinds of techniques, including grappling/locks as well as depending against armed attackers etc. (The photo shows Yvan de Wever, 6th dan Hwalmoo Hapkido)

Self defense is something that cannot be practised alone. You will need a partner that has equal strength. You will learn how to react (and how not to react), proper freeing techniques, locks and strangling techniques.

The following techniques are generally (this is not a rule, of course) practised (where the opponent either uses his body (i.e. hands), a knife or a stick):

You will often see a big resemblance between the self defense techniques used in taekwondo and those applied in Hapkido.

Linear vs. Circular

There are two sorts of self-defense (this is a BIG generalisation): The hard or linear way and the soft or circular way. In the linear form one uses arms and legs to block a strike of the opponent. The advantage is that there is a direct counter-threat, which results in pain for the opponent. The disadvantage is that this method requires a lot of power and it may look extremely violent for outsiders. The circular form has a different view. Here you use the power and speed of the opponent to neutralise him/her using circular movements. The advantage is that you can neutralise your opponent without hurting him and that no strength is required. The disadvantage is that it takes a lot of skill and practise to come to the necessary level. You will most likely use a combination of both.