Taekwondo master Hee-Il Cho may be 71 years old, but this Korean-American martial artist can still move! As founder of the Action International Martial Arts Association and a 50-year veteran of the martial arts industry, Cho has been featured in more than 70 martial arts magazine feature stories and holds a ninth-degree black belt in taekwondo. See what Cho has to say about groin kicks in this self-defense video shot exclusively for Black Belt!

TAEKWONDO SELF-DEFENSE VIDEO | Hee-Il Cho Discusses Proper Execution of a Front Kick to the Groin

Depicting a double-wrist grab by the attacker, Cho explains, "If he's a very strong man, [a groin kick] won't do too much. He can take your shot. But as soon as this is done, what I want to do most importantly is weaken up his hold." Cho then proceeds to demonstrate a groin kick with his entire shin surface, followed by a quick head butt and a knee to the groin. "Then you gotta get out," Cho says. "Let's not try to teach [people] right away, 'Oh yeah, his thumb's not stronger than my forearm.' That's what they teach you," Cho continues. "Realistic means how easy it is to execute [self-defense techniques] more effectively." Black Belt Executive Editor Robert W. Young, on-site for the shoot, asks Cho, "Are you striking with the shin on this technique?" It's a question that leads to a humorous moment, wherein the 71-year-old taekwondo master goes groin hunting with his foot. "How am I going to find his groin, kicking like that?" Cho asks, putting his foot up to the target zone in question. "Where's his groin? Just go for it with everything you have: the shin, the knee and the whole leg. Just strike into it. How am I going to find it [in a front kick] with my shoe on and everything?"

LEARN MORE ABOUT TAEKWONDO AND THE KOREAN MARTIAL ARTS! More articles about the Korean martial arts and martial artists who specialize in such training are available now!


After executing the macro-strike to his opponent's groin, Cho explains the getaway: "You just have to go through, then this [wrist grab] weakens. The guy's going to let go." In discussing the head butt, Cho says that the technique has to be executed properly to be effective. Otherwise, "you're going to end up with [the opponent's] teeth coming right down into your head," Cho says. "You've got to hit him like it's soccer," he says, gesturing to his forehead. "It's just like striking. That's the only way it's going to be working ... not just a 'smoosh' [move] or [upward]. It's just not going to work." Watch for an article coming up in a future issue of Black Belt in which Hee-Il Cho delineates mistakes that martial artists make in various kicks!

KOREAN MARTIAL ARTS: BOOKS AND DVDs! Martial arts multimedia options abound in our online store, with new and vintage books and DVDs on hapkido, hwa rang do, taekwondo and tang soo do!

For more information about Hee-Il Cho, be sure to visit the Action International Martial Arts Association website at aimaa.com.
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