In this Korean martial arts video, International Tang Soo Do Federation founder C.S. Kim and his son, Y.D. Kim, take you through a self-defense sequence that could inflict significant injury upon an opponent.


C.S. Kim wasn't particularly tough when he was young. Like millions of other kids around the world and plenty in Songtan, South Korea, he had problems with coordination and self-esteem. What made C.S. Kim different from his peers is he found a simple solution to his problems: the martial arts. He started judo and boxing when he was 10. Then he visited a tang soo do school run by Song Ki Kim and joined the next day. "I loved it," C.S. Kim said. "We trained two or three hours a day for five days a week." When C.S. Kim received his green belt, he thought he knew everything and stopped attending class. Three months later, he started up again because he missed it. He worried that his master would be angry about his absence, but the old man welcomed the lost sheep back into the fold. "I never quit again," C.S. Kim said


In 1963, C.S. Kim joined the Korean army and became head instructor at Osan Air Base — where he instructed both Korean and U.S. military personnel, including a young Chuck Norris. Learn more about Chuck Norris and his legendary films in our new FREE download: How Chuck Norris Films Seem to Bend the Course of History

Early Training

Training was tough. “Before my master got a school, we practiced outside in the dirt," said C.S. Kim, who earned his black belt when he was 12. “If it rained, we couldn't practice. We didn't have any equipment, but sometimes we used a rice bag filled with sand as a punching bag."

C.S. Kim and his classmates spent most of their time doing kicks, punches, forms, one-step sparring and free sparring — especially free sparring. “My master would have 20 people stand up, and each student would spar for five minutes with each person," he recalled.

Tang Soo Do Self-Defense Moves: Then and Now

The skills C.S. Kim worked to perfect then are identical to the ones he and his instructors teach now. “I don't believe in changing techniques," he said. “Modern instructors may create new styles, but what's going to be around in the future? The traditional martial arts. The world changes every day, but anything traditional should not. People need some stability in life, and traditional martial arts can provide that. As we grow old and die, traditional martial arts like tang soo do can last forever."

Tang soo do legend C.S. Kim shows you the art's universal lessons in this FREE download! Tang Soo Do: How the Traditional Korean Martial Art Teaches Universal Lessons for Effective Self-Defense Moves

Bringing a Traditional Martial Art and Its Self-Defense Moves to the World

To help promote traditional tang soo do to a wider audience, C.S. Kim left Korea in 1972. He had an opportunity to relocate to Europe but elected to settle in the United States instead. In 1973 he appeared on his first magazine cover. In 1974 he organized his first tournament, which attracted 700 people. Now based in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, he admitted that his federation's teaching methods — but not its techniques or self-defense moves — have been modified a little to better deal with students' busy schedules. Because of school activities and sports, children just can't invest as much time in their training, he said.

The Positive Effects of Martial Arts Training

“But parents need to remember that martial arts can help academic studies," C.S. Kim added. “I tell students what my master told me: On one side you have education, and on the other side you have martial arts. It's the perfect balance."

For more information about C.S. Kim and his self-defense moves training rooted in tang soo do and karate, visit his official website at cskimkarate.com.

Related Martial Arts Books, E-Books,
DVDs and Video Downloads

Tang Soo Do Basics — Volume 1

Hwa Rang Do: Defend, Take Down, Submit

Warrior Odyssey: The Travels of a Martial Artist Through Asia

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Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
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Looking to buy some weights to gain some strength?

Looking at Dumbbell, Kettlebells or Weighted bar? How about an all in one that won't just save you some good amount of money but also space? Look no further, we bring you the GRIPBELL!

Let's face it, when we do want to work on some strength building, we don't want to go around shopping for 20 different weight equipment things. That would just not want us to even do any sort of strength training. But what if we only needed a few, a few that can do the things we want without having 20 things lay around? That's where the GRIPBELL comes in. Let me clarify with you first, these are not some heavy duty, muscle exploding weights, they are for building the level of strength we as martial artists want without going crazy and insane in bulk sizing!

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Many different types of "blocks" are taught in most martial arts school. We are taught high blocks, low blocks, middle blocks, knife hand blocks, etc. Some schools will also teach how to use the legs to block an attack, as well.

The purpose of this writing is to possibly open some minds to the possibilities of going outside the box and considering alternatives to the basics.

Blocking is taught as a way of protecting oneself from harm. Truly, we don't "block" anything, as a non-martial artist would think of it. What we call "blocking" is more of a redirection of an opponent's attack, or even a counterstrike against the opponent's attacking limb.

To block something would mean to put something, like your arm, leg or other body part directly in front of the attack. That would certainly hurt and possibly cause some damage. The goal should be to move the attack out of the way in order to prevent injury and provide a way to fight back. For example, many schools teach blocks as a limb moving toward the strike such as a circular high block.

The movement required for a block might have other uses, if you keep an open mind. The blocking techniques can also be used as attack techniques. For example, your "low block" may be used as a striking technique against the outer thigh of the attacker. Your high block might be used as a strike to the jaw. The set up for a block can be used as a deflection, as well as the actual block.

Doing a block or a series of blocks will most likely not end an attack. A block needs to be followed by a counterattack. While the block is usually taught as a separate technique in order to learn it correctly, it should also be used in combination with a counter.

The more you know, the more you realize how much you don't know. Intensive books can and have be written about basic techniques. With this writing, I am hoping to create interest in exploring the additional possibilities for what we have been taught and what we teach others.

About Grand Master Stevens

GM Stevens has been training in taekwondo for 47 years under the tutelage of the late legendary Grand Master Richard Chun. He holds an 8th degree black belt and is certified in the USA and in Korea. Grand Master Stevens is a member of the Board of Directors of the prestigious Richard Chun TaeKwonDo World Headquarters organization. He has been very active in his community and has been a volunteer with the Glen Rock Volunteer Ambulance Corps for over 11 years. He is a certified member of C.E.R.T. (Community Emergency Response Team).

Gary Stevens Taekwondo is located at 175 Rock Road in Glen Rock, New Jersey.

For more information: call (201) 670-7263, email: StevensTKD@aol.com or go to www.StevensTaeKwonDo.com

Having partners at or above your skill level is important for improving in your martial arts training. At some point, however, you will probably find yourself with a shortage of skilled partners, especially if you are an instructor.

This can happen for any number of reasons: students can move away, change their work schedules, start a family, etc., and just like that, you find that you're the highest-ranked student, or sole instructor, in your gym or dojo. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, if you take advantage of it, even working exclusively with lower-ranking classmates or students can improve your skills.

I used to host a twice-a-week training session at my dojo where I invited mostly black belts from other schools (as well as a few of my advanced students) to come and run drills. It was a blast. These were tough two- to three-hour sessions where I got to work with fighters of all different sizes, speeds, and technique preferences. My sparring improved dramatically over the next few months, and I don't think I've ever been in better shape. But unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. And as the old saying goes, "You gotta work with what ya got." So, make it hard on yourself.

I like to set handicaps when fighting my students. Specifically, I focus on forcing myself to work on improving my weak areas. Is you right leg weaker than the left? Then only kick with the right leg when sparring your students. Not much of an inside fighter? Don't kick at all. Training with partners of lesser skill not only helps you improve your weak points but gives them an opportunity to improve as well by working on strategy. It's also great for building their confidence. It can also be a low-cost opportunity to test new techniques and combinations, which benefits you as well.

In grappling, just like sparring, there is little benefit to wrapping lower ranking classmates into pretzels over and over, for them or you. Instead, let your partner put you in a bad situation. Let them get the mount; help them sink in that choke or armbar. If you start standing, such as in judo, allow your partner to get the superior grip before attempting a throw. This way you will get comfortable working out of a weaker position and your less-experienced partner can perfect their technique (and get experience using multiple techniques, if you get out of their first one).

You might think that giving advantages like these to students who may be far beneath your skill level is much of a challenge. Trust me, you'll reconsider that sentiment when you wind up sparring a 6'5" novice with zero control over his strength after deciding to only use your weak leg, or have a 250-pound green belt lying across your diaphragm trying to get an armlock after you let them get the pin. Remember, this is exactly what you signed up for: a challenge.

If you find yourself at the top of the heap without partners who are sufficiently challenging, there is no need to despair. Use it as a low-stress opportunity to improve your weaknesses and develop avenues to help your less experienced classmates and students to grow. You may even be surprised. One day they might present more of a challenge than you ever imagined!
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