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Hosinsul – Self-defence

Maeng Ho Taekwondo Academy teaches advanced and effective self-defence. Part of our self-defence system is based on the US Marines hand-to-hand combat which Grandmaster Sung Bok Joo learnt in exchange for his Taekwondo training during his military service. Our Academy’s distinctive factor is that our self-defence includes essentials such as grappling, take-downs, joint locks, immobilisation techniques, choke holds and pressure point manipulation.

The Importance of Self-defence


Traditional Taekwondo in the 1950s and 1960s included all these elements in self-defence, however, commercialisation of the martial art has seen useful self-defence disappear altogether from most Taekwondo schools. At Maeng Ho Taekwondo Academy, these elements of self-defence have been preserved. Grandmaster Sung Bok Joo has always greatly emphasized the high value of self-defence and taught this throughout his career. Some of our outstanding black belts have gone on to become army officers, policemen and security guards all having deeply benefited from their Taekwondo self-defence training.

A Combination Approach


Maeng Ho Taekwondo’s self-defence training incorporates:

  • Taekwondo

  • Hapkido

  • Brazilian Jiujitsu

  • Judo

  • Krav Maga


Kyorugi – Sparring


Taekwondo is renowned for having some of the best fighting in martial arts. This sporting facet of Taekwondo is well highlighted in many tournaments such as Olympic Games.

Maeng Ho Taekwondo Academy teaches three types of sparring in a safe and well controlled training environment: 3 and 1 step sparring, free sparring and multiple attacker sparring.

Step sparring


Step sparring is a systemised format of fighting and an excellent way for beginners to learn how to attack, defend and visualise using fundamental techniques. This also forms a good basis of self-defence. Three-step sparring is taught to beginners while colour belt students are taught 1 step sparring. As students progress in their Taekwondo development, more advanced techniques such as intricate footwork and counter-attacking are taught within step sparring which students then translate into free sparring.

Free sparring


As the name suggests, free sparring is where Taekwondo practitioners are permitted to use any Taekwondo technique in a fighting situation. Tournament fighting is highly regulated with certain techniques forbidden to be used for the safety of the fighters. Maeng Ho Taekwondo Academy teaches free sparring with the extensive integration of punching combinations and elbow and knee strikes which are critical in close confrontation fighting. Sparring at the intermediate to advanced levels is conducted while wearing appropriate guards with student safety during training a top priority. A strong focus on footwork is also emphasized in all kyorugi exercises.


Poomsae - Patterns


Patterns, also called ‘forms’, consist of predetermined Taekwondo techniques arranged in such a manner as to educate practitioners how to defend and attack.

Each pattern has particular applications to fighting and self-defence scenarios.

Perfect poomsae is the culmination of many years of dedicated Taekwondo practice.

Practising patterns gives students great opportunity to improve their:

  • Balance

  • Flexibility

  • Technique

  • Visualisation

  • Coordination

  • Sense of direction

  • Concentration skills

Each level in Taekwondo has a pattern which is part of the syllabus. There are 2 Basic Patterns for Beginners, 8 Taeguk Patterns for Colour Belts and 9 Black Belt patterns.




A willing attitude from students to give 100% effort is the most valued attribute in class.

Sparring is a very intense form of exercise which our students enjoy. This is highly aerobic and requires great stamina and reflexes which develop with time.


A substantial amount of our fitness regime is based on pad work. Using various pads we exercise Western boxing techniques, speed and accuracy kicking and power kicking. Depending on how intense the Instructor coaches, this can be extremely demanding even for the fittest students. As well as the usual Taekwondo techniques, other fitness activities are also diligently exercised in class such as push ups, sit ups, sprinting, endurance running and slalom running.


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