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Category Archives: Self-defense

Master Sanders USA seminars and grading report

On 30 May 2016, Master Peter Sanders and his wife departed from the Netherlands and arrived in Oscoda, Michigan (Birthplace of Paul Bunyan). The purpose of this visit was to conduct an ITF HQ senior black belt examination at the Munyon’s Korean Martial Arts Academy and conduct a self-defense seminar. During his visit he got to experience a variety of activities. These activities included observing Mr. Michael Munyon’s Taekwon-Do and HapKiDo programs (kids and adults), Urban Defense Solutions Firearms training course, local shopping and enjoying the fine dining offered in Oscoda.

The students of the Munyon’s Korean Martial Arts Academy (registered dojang with ITF HQ) received good reports on their Taekwon-Do training during Master Sander’s visit. On 3 June (Friday), three examinations were observed and evaluated by Master Sanders.

Mast. Munyon performing during his 7 Dan test

Mast. Munyon performing during his 7 Dan test

From 5 pm until 6 pm, several Taekwon-Do students were examined for their next rank and performed the entire composition of Taekwon-Do (fundamental movements, tuls, sparring, breaking and more). Next the HapKiDo candidates were evaluated and demonstrated HapKiDo hyungs, falls/rolls, strikes, joint locks, take downs, weapons and more. Finally, from 7-9 pm black belt candidates were evaluated. Amongst them were Mrs. Patricia Care (4th Dan) from Pennsylvania and Mr. Michael Munyon (6th Dan). Candidates performed a variety of Gup, Dan and their rank required Tuls, Step-Sparring, Hosinsul and Breaking Techniques.
Master Sanders observing Dan test

Master Sanders observing test

Following a senior black belt examination was Master Sander’s Self-Defense seminar. This seminar was open to anyone regardless of rank, experience, affiliation and etc. Participants comprised of people with no self-defense experience, gup ranks, black belt ranks, local police officers and more. Master Sanders shared his unique style of self-defense which comprised of Taekwon-Do, HapKiDo and Tuekgong Moosool. His 4 hour seminar helped both beginners and Master ranked black belts bolster their self-defense toolbox. Several participants came from all over Michigan, Pennsylvania and Colorado. A variety of martial art styles were present to include Taekwon-Do, HapKiDo and Tang Soo Do. Guest black belts included Mr. David Quigg (founder of, Mr. William Kocur, owner of Kocur’s TKD, Ms. Jerri James, Master Rick Brown, owner of Sabumnim martial arts, Master Floyd Soo, owner of Floyd Soo’s Korean Karate and Master Raymond Saint out of Wisconsin and a Tul Tour participant. Certificates of participation and photos were taken upon the conclusion of the seminar.
Senior instructors with Master Sanders

Senior instructors with Master Sanders (L-R: Mr Quigg, Mr Kocur, Ms Care, Mast. Munyon, Mast. Sanders)

Later that evening, Mr. Munyon hosted a semi-formal dinner at Hsing’s Garden located in East Tawas, Michigan. Over 50 people attended this prestigious evening. Students who passed their examinations were presented with their new belts and certificates. Additionally, four individuals were presented with “recognition awards” for their outstanding contributions to the martial arts.
Presentation of 7 Dan black belt to Master Munyon

Presentation of 7 Dan black belt to Master Munyon

After these presentations Master Sanders and his wife were presented with gifts for their outstanding leadership and marksmanship on the shooting range. Moments later, Master Sanders had an announcement. He stated that Mrs. Patricia Care was promoted to 5th degree black belt and Mr. Munyon was officially promoted to 7th degree black belt. Mr. Munyon had a little extra surprise for one of his students. During this event, Mr. Munyon proposed marriage to his long term girlfriend, Ms. Kelly Sowerby. She said “yes”. This was indeed a special event for everyone. In conclusion, members of ITF HQ work hard to ensure high standards, quality training and quality training, which in the ends results in quality people. For more information about ITF HQ visit

AUTHOR: Munyon ID picMaster Michael L. Munyon (7 Degree Black Belt) is the owner of the Munyon’s Korean Martial Arts Academy/Urban Defense Solutions located in Oscoda, Michigan and travel throughout the state giving lectures and training on topics such as Work Place Violence, Active Shooter, Physical Security and more.
He served his entire career in the Security Forces career field. His assignments include Montana, Michigan, California, Korea (Kunsan and Osan Air Base), Mississippi, Portugal and Nebraska. During this time he has deployed to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan on numerous occasions. Mast. Munyon has been recognized for his work with the United States and Foreign military by senior enlisted leaders and has received numerous awards of recognition for his talents and volunteer work. In 2009 Mast. Munyon was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame in Long Beach, California. Later in 2013, Mast. Munyon was inducted into the Official Taekwon-Do Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, Nevada. Finally, in 2016, Mast. Munyon was inducted into the United States KiDo Federation Hall of Fame earning the award entitled “Master of the Year”.

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Self defence for Tassie Devils from Master Muleta

Master Michael Muleta VIIIth degree black belt, provided an insightful and educative workshop for the Tasmanian Martial Arts Council today at the dojang of Southern ITF Taekwon-Do in Hobart, Tasmania. Master Muleta is the owner of Global Fitness Institute and the President of United ITF Taekwon-Do and with over 35 years of experience in Martial Arts, Fitness and Education he brings a depth of knowledge second to none. Today’s seminar was attended by over 30 of Tasmania’s most enthusiastic practitioners from Karate, Ju-Jitsu and Taekwon-Do including many senior ranked Instructors.
Master Muleta began his workshop by outlining why it is necessary to learn self-defence techniques and when it is appropriate to use them. Unlike many other self-defence instruction courses he didn’t just focus on a sequence of routines or techniques but looked at when and what techniques are necessary for situations and he then proceeded to, not only show how to perform them, but also how to teach them.
His education background really showed in his presentation methods as well as his knowledge of anatomy and how to apply appropriate tools to vital spots. He draws from his knowledge of several martial arts to bring an interesting perspective to his technique. One of the points he makes is that the knowledge gained through training in different arts should be seen as growing student’s skills rather than replacing one set of skills with another. MM2
Although very professional in his presentation, his manner encourages interaction and questions from students of all skill and age levels. He quickly endeared himself to all of the senior instructors and had them helping out throughout the workshop. All in all, this, the first TMAC workshop conducted by a non-Tasmanian Instructor, was a very successful event that was enjoyed by everyone who participated. MM3
A long-time friend of Master Steve Weston, there is no question Master Muleta made a large group of new friends this weekend and it is anticipated he will have many more trips to Tasmania both as a martial arts instructor and as trainer of some of the country’s leading fitness coaches.

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How to Make Taekwondo Work For You

I’m not going to lie. In a real fight, Taekwondo can be really hard to use. Like, seriously hard.

Now, hold on! Put that pitch fork down for a second and hear me out.

Taekwondo has a lot of sexy kicks. But that sexiness involves lots of jumping and spinning. Both of those variables make a move way, way more risky to try…and even harder to land.

These moves put you off balance. And if they don’t land, they will leave you quite vulnerable.

You’re more likely to end up on your rear end using one of those moves than you are knocking out an attacker.

“How the heck am I supposed to use Taekwondo to defend myself, then?”

By now you’re probably nodding your head. You know this dilemma. Flashy kicks are cool but they are rarely reliable when it really counts. You know this because you try them in sparring all the time.

And if you spar, you’ll know that the advice I’m about to give you is true.

So listen up. Taekwondo can be an effective self-defense art. But if your instructor isn’t keeping you grounded, then you have to make it work for you.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Stick to the Basics. It might surprise you that the most basic kicks and punches are the biggest scorers in Taekwondo matches. The basics are also the safest, most effective techniques to use when defending yourself in real life. You don’t need a good 360 hook kick.You need a good back leg round kick. So what are the basics? Great question, click here to learn more about them.

2. Preempt and/or Overwhelm. Your opponent, that is. When you know the guy is going to hurt you in the next couple seconds, strike first and strike hard. That’s called preempting. And as long as you have good reasons for doing it (like legitimately fearing for your well being), you should be justified legally.

But if you don’t have the luxury of a preemptive strike, put the gas on and go 100% with aggression. The idea is to swarm and overwhelm the opponent.

3. Be Explosive. This goes hand in hand with point 2. Train yourself to make quick, powerful, efficient, dedicated strikes. This will go a long way to overwhelming your opponent, and doing so effectively. It also means you have potential one hit knockout power! Combine this ability with the simplest, most realistic moves, and your Taekwondo will become a piece of cake to apply to a real fight.

4. Use Quick & Dirty Takedowns. Judo throws are awesome — and they work. But only after hours and hours and hours of live training on just those throws. Taekwondo guys almost never have that kind of throw practice. Yet, knocking someone down is the best way to get control of them and finish a fight!

The solution is to stick with simple, high-percentage takedowns. I mean the nasty stuff from the Kukkiwon textbook, like the outside leg reap while shoving the throat!

5. Grab! Don’t float around in space relying on precise timing and accuracy when your life and safety are at stake. Grab hold of something! Then strike with the other arm! This is an effective strategy used by everyone from military personnel to old school karate guys. It works. Don’t fight “unattached.” Ever wonder why you pull your chamber hand back to the waist when you perform most blocks and strikes? You guessed it. You’re actually practicing a grab and pull to supplement your move.

6. Don’t Sit There & Slug it Out. Use your angles and footwork to gain a more advantageous position. Train your technique to perfection in live sparring. And don’t jump in and out like a ring match. Get the better angle and finish the fight as quick as possible. Otherwise, you might tire out. And then you’ll be in serious trouble.


So there it is. How to make Taekwondo work for you in a real fight. So if your instructor doesn’t emphasize these points, it’s on you to make sure you implement and practice them. Remember to stick to the basics, train yourself to be explosive, overwhelm the opponent, use quick & dirty takedowns to help control the opponent, grab the opponent when you strike him, and stay mindful of maintaining superior position and a mindset to finish the fight as quick as possible. Do this, do it well, and do it often.

Only then will Taekwondo training work for you!

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10 Best Self Defence Awareness Tips

The most important aspect of self defence is awareness. Below is my top 10 self defence awareness tips.
1. Evaluate where you are and where you’re going. Look around at your surroundings before using an ATM machine, walk down a street and so on. Is it well lit? Is there anyone hanging around the area that makes you feel uneasy? Trust your gut.

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2. Stay alert. Don’t walk or go jogging around with earphones in. Don’t walk around engrossed in your text messages or checking social media. Watching the latest cat playing a piano video or replying “LOL” to a friend’s status can wait.
3. Maintain your personal space. At my self defence school in London I teach my students that no stranger or hostile relation has the right to get closer than 5 feet to you without your permission. Maintaining your personal space allows you time to evaluate the situation and also provides you with a decent amount of peripheral vision to see the person’s hands. Any closer and you risk not being able to see that weapon they pull out of their pocket, or that punch or kick they throw at you and being able to react and defend yourself as effectively. If the person refuses to respect your personal space then you can perceive this as a threat and preemptive striking can be used. According to UK Law, you don’t have to wait for someone to physically attack you, if you genuinely feel threatened you can act first.
4. Walk wide around building corners. When walking around corners, walk around the outside at the widest distance you can. Some people hide behind corners in order to jump you, since most people ignore this tip and walk close to the wall/building they are walking around.
5. Watch your drink. Someone could slip a knock out drug in your drink. Typically used i abduction/rape/murder cases but also often used to drug men in order to rob them. I have heard many cases of women targeting wealthy business men in bars and clubs, promising them a “good night” and making their way back to his hotel room. She will then drug him and steal his wallet, laptop, phone and anything else he has in his room.
6. No stranger is allowed in your home. Even if it’s a little girl asking to use your phone to call her daddy because her mommy’s lying in the road bleeding to death. I’ve heard of some home invasion gangs using this tactic and also using women aswell. As soon as you open the door to help the little girl, a bunch of guys burst into your home. The classic trojan horse tactic. Unless you actually saw/heard the accident happen and can see the injured person, keep your door closed and call emergency services.
7. Flat tire in a bad neighborhood? Drive on your rims. New wheels are a small price to pay for avoiding being a sitting duck in a bad area.
8. People give you a bad feeling as you walk down a street? Listen to your gut, cross the road or walk down a different street.
9. When walk to your car or your home, have your keys ready in your hand to use. Don’t get to your door and then start rummaging through your bag or pockets to get your keys. In this few seconds you are distracted and an easy target. Before getting into your car, check the back seat to see if anyone is hiding in there waiting for your return. If it’s dark use a torch/flashlight to see inside.
10. Be realistic. If I had a £1 for every person I’ve heard say “I don’t need to learn self defence, I’d just co-operate and give them what they want” or “”I don’t need self defence training, I’d just shout for help” , I’d be retired at 32 years old and living on a beach somewhere. If you’re being mugged for your money and not going to harm you (how can you even guarantee this?) – sure be cooperative and just hand over what they want. Personal possessions can replaced. But bare in mind that some people attack first and just take your stuff whilst you are lying there on the ground beaten or stabbed. Not every mugger is a “gentleman” like you see in the movies, such as this mugging caught on cctv below:

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Also, shouting for help if someone is attacking you…
a. Are you 100% sure anyone is going to hear you?
b. If they do, are you 100% confident that person has the courage to intervene?
c. If they do have the courage to come to your rescue, can you be 100% sure that your knight in shining armour can effectively protect you and themselves, especially against a knife?
d. In the amount of time for your hero to appear, how much damage have you already sustained? You can be stabbed several times in matter of seconds.
Shouting for help is good. It alerts people to what is happening, they can hopefully help you and also call emergency services – but it’s really important to learn how to protect yourself by attending self defence classes or finding a specialist self defence instructor to train you via private lessons – for those valuable seconds or minutes you are alone with your attacker!

If you live in London, UK you are welcome to visit my full time self defence school. The Apolaki Krav Maga & Dirty Boxing Academy offer highly practical and realistic self defence training via group classes, short courses and private lessons.

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Self-defense application of Taegeuk Il (1) Jang

As promised in my recent “love letter” to Taegeuk Il Jang where I laid out some of the reasons why I love that form I promised applications to the form. I have many apps to every movement within it and they fit the form to various degrees (i.e. some stray somewhat from the basic techniques but they are still close enough in my own opinion). The challenge for me is which to include and which not to include. I decided that I will share applications for each and every movement from beginning to finish so that anyone wanting to teach apps for Taegeuk Il Jang will have a (hopefully) good starting point to use or at least be inspired from, and then I can revisit the form from time to time in the future to share alternative or other apps that I will not share in this run through. This way we get through the form from start to finish in one series of blog posts instead of working on it for 3 years running; So where do we start and what level will we be aspiring to? I hope this post will benefit as many people as possible so I will include the more common apps along with the more “including” ones. Including as in using more of the basic movement than just the “obvious” movement.

Move 1 and 2

Move 1 and 2 of the form is turn 90 degrees and perform Arae Makki (low block) in Ap Seogi (Short walking stance). Then step forward with your right foot into another Ap Seogi (Short front walking stance) and perform a right momtong jireugi (middle punch).

Image 2& 3





Chamber for move 1                                    Low Block or Arae Makki (Move 1)

The photos for move number two is not presented, but picture it in your head that I move one step forward and deliver a straight punch.

Traditional app: Low Block against kick and middle punch. Alternative low Block against low punch and middle punch.

If you are going to use the low block as a block or parry you need to remember three things:

  1. As short movement as possible (no chamber, go directly into the block)
  2. Evade from the attack as you parry (don’t retreat in a straight line as is usually seen)
  3. Block on the same side as the attack is coming from (for a right kick/punch you block with your left arm. His right = Your left).

Image 4 & 5

Normal app for move 1 in Taegeuk Il Jang        Normal app for move 2 in Taegeuk Il Jang

Alternative app : Against a same side wrist hold:
I like to teach this one as one of the first ones because it is dependent on the complete movement. After thinking about Arae Makki solely as a low block, many emphasize the blocking arm and forget about the rest of the movement (i.e the chamber, and the pulling hand back to the hip.) In this app ALL of the movement must be done correctly in a traditional basic movement manner for it to work. Forgetting to twist the pulling hand back to the hip? Forget to chamber properly? Forget to put power into the blocking arm? Any of these common mistakes will deprive this app of the efficiency of the technique and so I hope that the app will drive the point home that even though they are taught basic applications to the basic movements (all makki as blocks for instance) that does not mean that the basic movement itself is not practical just as is, it only means that you have not been taught everything there is to know about how to apply it in combat. I think that for most makki techniques a “block” or “parry” is a worthwhile thing to learn for fighting purposes (you do need defensive techniques in a fight) but the block/parry apps emphasis just the “block” aspect of the movement while overlooking the rest of the complete basic movement. So the app itself:

The enemy grabs your right wrist with his left arm as in the picture below.


(The grab) Move to the outside of his grabbing arm. This puts you in a safer distance longer from the dangerous hand and buys you time. At the same time you chamber your hand as you would normally for an arae makki (low block).  (If you are too slow, the chamber can be used as a block itself against an incoming punch).


The Chamber for low block (I should have moved more to the outside)

Perform the block as you normally do, twist and pull the grabbed arm toward your hip while striking it with your left forearm to facilitate the release from the grab. Note do not smack the arm away but “stick” with it.




The low block itself. Note that I am sticking with his arm, not smacking it away as you usually see in Taekwondo blocks.

Grab his arm now, and step in and punch.

9 n 9I stick with his arm so just slide the hand a little up to grab; I twist and pull his arm and step forward to punch. Note how this turns his “free arm” away from me.

Below is a series of photographs on the same app but shown from a different angle


(1) The grab; (2) Chamber for low block (3) Low block and “stick” to his arm (4) Grab his arm (5) Twist and pull his arm and punch.

Variation/What if: The chamber as a block of the incoming punch if you are too slow:


(1) The grab again. The opponent starts a punch immediately (2) Low block chamber. The block is in the chamber itself! Note again that I am not smacking his arm away, I am “sticking” to it. (3) As I am sticking to his arm I do the “low block” which frees me from his grab (4) I grab him instead and do as before. Twist and pull toward my hip (5) The twisting and pull moves his dangerous hand (his free one) far away from me.

Move 3 and 4 will for the sake of keeping this series at a manageable length and for sake of argument be a mirror image of the application I provided for move 1 and 2.

Move 5 and 6


Move 5 chamber for low block;      Move 5 the low block;  Move 6 the middle section punch

You move 90 degrees from your previous position and perform an Arae Makki in Ap Koobi (low block in long front stance). This can also be used against a wrist hold, or as a natural follow up from the previous app. Against a cross sided wrist grab (he grab your right wrist with his right arm), you move to his outside so that you get as much space as possible between you and his “dangerous” hand. Perform the chamber of the block as you move. You then perform the low block ending up in a straight arm bar.

Which you gain a strong position to finish the fight with a punch to the opponents head. Note that the punch is done in middle section but it is toward the opponents height. The preceding technique brought his head down.


Move 5 and 6 as a logical follow up from move 1 and 2

The same arm bar can be done by just grabbing the opponents wrist in the first app I shared in the beginning as you punch him in the ribs. Just keep holding his arm and apply pressure against the opponents elbow. This also teaches us important principles of distracting strike before locking, and not to seek the lock but to take advantage of it when the opportunity presents itself.

Below is an image series demonstrating a nice logical progression from app 1 to app 2


The grab and prep for punch (but this works if he does not punch too); Defends against punch and “stick” to his arm (this is chamber for low block or first move in the form); strike down and free myself from his grip while sticking to his arm
(this is the first low block in the form); I grab him


I step forward and punch while pulling and twisting his arm toward my hip. This is move 2 in the form; From the previous position I put pressure just above his elbow joint. This is the chamber for low block in move 5 in the form; Moving 90 degrees to the side by pivoting on my front foot I keep pressuring his arm downward as in the low block in the form (move 5 in the form); From the previous position I grab his shoulder and punch in middle section.
Note his head has been brought down by the preceeding technique in the form.
(move 6 in the form).

I hope this makes any kind of sense to you and I hope it is something that if you can not use then perhaps you can be inspired by it to make your own application. If you liked the application and want to see more of this in more Dojang around the world please share this post so as many people as possible can get the chance to see it.

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Cardio Kickboxing Routines For Fitness Enthusiast

Kickboxing is described as a ‘fine blend of martial arts, boxing and traditional aerobics’. So, just how do you observe these routines? Read on to find out.

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Work Place Violence

Work Place Violence is a serious safety and health issue. Its most extreme form, homicide, is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States

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Tournaments Won't Necessarily Make You Better Martial Artists

Do you wish to have a competitive career? Then you have to prove yourself at tournaments because the environment is incredibly competitive.

If you want to effectively defend yourself, then don’t train at a school that focuses primarily on tournaments. You’ll develop bad habits in the long run.

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What Powers A Strike

Angles open targets on your opponent, distance dictates the available techniques and timing plays the dual role of using your opponent’s motion against them as well as the proper orchestration of the movements required to execute a technique with power and accuracy.

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Is your child being bullied?

Bullying has and unfortunately will always be, a common issue in society. Here are some points to consider for ‘arming’ your children with the tools of self confidence, self-esteem, better communication skills and more

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