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UTA Self Defence Seminar
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On Saturday the 12th of November 61 members of the Unified Taekwon-do Association (UTA) gathered at a sports hall in Stevenage Hertfordshire, England to learn more about the aspect of street awareness and self-defence. Seniors and juniors of all ages enjoyed a three hour session of an interesting insight into the realities of defending yourself on the street. Mr Andrew Bryant 3rd Degree UTA events co-ordinator along with Mr Darrin Bonfield 3rd Degree UTA Secretary both hosted the event.

I, Mr Glenn Horan 5th Degree UTA Chairman, opened the seminar and Mr Steve Miles 4th Degree UTA Vice-Chairman, continued with the Oath and the Tenets. Ms Gloria Williams then conducted a brief warm up to get the students into to the right mood.

Mr Bryant went into detail about the need for awareness of our surroundings and why the physical aspect of self-defence is the last resort. Mr Bryant explained about the 3 Fs Fight, Flight and Freeze.

Mr Bonfield took the juniors to one end of the dojang to conduct basic releasing motions and take downs, while Mr Bryant took the seniors for a more in-depth look at controlling our personal space- The Fence. This covered a number of pushing away movements. In regard to the law on pre-emptive striking, Mr Bryant explained about reasonable force and the grey areas of this law. Pre-emptive striking from the fence, this involved a number of pushing movements followed by striking back. He then moved on to striking, standing grappling and defence against basic take downs i.e. rugby tackles etc. By this time all the students were quite involved and enjoying their experience with this close quarter work not often utilised in Taekwon-do. After 1 hour and 30 minutes there was a well earned break and the usual group photos.

After the break Mr Bryant went into detail with defending from the floor against a standing opponent. Then moving on to returning to a standing position safely. He then explained that it may not be you that are on the floor defending, it could also be someone on the floor attacking. So he went on to demonstrate defending and attacking against a fallen opponent. By this time the students we sweating and really getting stuck in with the moment. While all this was going on with the seniors, Mr Bonfield was taking the juniors through some defending against grabbing being taken down and restrained on the floor, the juniors looked like they were having a good time and really enjoying themselves.

Mr Bryant then moved on to the guard, being held on the floor by the mount position side mounting, striking from the mount. He then demonstrated and explained how to escape from the mount position and being able to return to a standing position. Also incorporation a rolling motion and then the interesting part came.

He then gave the opportunity for the students to practice all they had learnt in a free practice of fighting on the floor. Watching the students practice towards the end of the seminar was amazing in the fact that they had all encompassed the ideas and were able to achieve all the aspects of the teachings.

On behalf of the UTA I would like to thank Mr Bryant and Mr Bonfield for an enlightening, useful and very enjoyable seminar. Also a big thank you to Mr Steve Miles 4th Degree, Ms Gloria Williams 3rd Degree, Mr Mike Owen 3rd Degree and Mr Dave Miles 3rd Degree for their tireless efforts in assisting both Instructors.

Glenn Horan 5th Degree
UTA Chairman

Written by: Glenn Horan - 14th November 2005

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