Home / Around DB Articles / Self-defend! Traditions of Combat

Self-defend! Traditions of Combat

Posted in : Around DB Articles, Fitness on by : Around DB , , , , , , , , , Comments: 0

Local experts, Cedric Sum, Paul and Michelle Jones and Billy Woo, provide the lowdown on three popular martial arts disciplines – judo, ju-jitsu and taekwondo.


PHOTOS BY Richard Gordon – www.richardgordonphotography.com & courtesy of Paul Jones

There are so many different types of martial arts but they all have one thing in common – people love them. And why not? Martial arts teach focus, self-control and the ability to self-defend; they boost confidence and
provide a productive way to release energy. They are also a lot of fun to watch.

Each martial ar ts discipline has its own techniques and objectives, so choosing the right one for you (and your kids) can be a challenge. For this reason, we’ve brought together four local experts, all of whom teach classes for children and adults in DB, to provide the lowdown on three of the most popular forms of martial ar t – judo, ju-jitsu and taekwondo.

Meet Cedric Sum, Co-Founder of Daruma Judo Club; Paul and Michelle Jones, Co-Founders of Kaisei Ryu Ju-Jitsu; and Billy Woo, TaeKwon Master at Cheung Do Kwan.



Judo was introduced in 1882 by Kano Jigoro, a prominent Japanese martial artist and educator. Unlike other martial arts, it does not allow kicks, strikes, hits or leg locks, but if taught well, it can be extremely effective for self-defence.

“In Judo, you learn smart and strategic ways of taking your opponent down through both force and balance,” opens Cedric Sum, Co-Founder of Daruma Judo Club. “You learn to throw an opponent on his back (for the highest score) or on his side. Once on the ground, students are taught to find the quickest
and easiest way to make an opponent submit, often through chokes and arm locks.”

Judo is about using minimum physical force to bring your opponent to submission and as such, it translates as ‘the gentle way’. Every aspect involves self-control, strategy and consideration for your opponent. “Judo teaches you discipline and to be considerate of others. You learn respect for your opponent and your teacher,” Cedric says. “These values can help make our world a better one.”

It follows that judo has a complex set of rules designed to ensure participants’ safety. “Beginner judo starts with what we call ‘ukemi’ (breakfall), a practice giving new joiners an understanding of key safety concepts and how to protect themselves from the impact of a fall,” Cedric explains.

“Judokas are taught to observe their opponent’s age, height and weight to ensure that they land safely. Judokas also learn to react quickly, for instance when their opponent loses balance and a breakfall needs to be performed.” Judo is also known for its extensive moral code, which includes the principles of politeness, courage, sincerity, honour, modesty, respect, self-control and friendship. “Respect is key, no matter whether you are younger or older than your opponent.

Competitions start with both sides bowing; it’s about showing respect to your opponent. If you want to be respected, learn how to respect others,”
Cedric concludes.

Daruma Judo Club holds classes out of Discovery College, at their dojo in Peng Chau and soon in Tung Chung.

To enrol and get the latest schedules, call 6244 6093 or email [email protected].



Ju-jitsu was designed to supplement the swordsmanship of a warrior during combat. Its origins date as far back as 12th century Japan, when it was used by the samurai as a means of defence without a sword.

“Ju-jitsu is all about close combat and self-defence,” opens Paul Jones, Co-Founder and Sensei of Kaisei Ryu Ju Jitsu. “It’s about ‘closing the gap’ with your opponent so you can control them. We always show respect towards each other, aiming to defend ourselves and others in the most efficient way possible.

“Kaisei Ryu Ju Jitsu is a blend of traditional Japanese martial arts with modern self-defence techniques,” Paul adds. “Our style consists of body conditioning (breakfall), rolls, stand-up fighting (kicking and striking, throwing and locking techniques), ground fighting and submissions. For adult students, we also teach defensive weapon techniques.”

For Kaisei Ryu Ju Jitsu Co-Founder Michelle Jones being able to teach students to defend themselves is key. “Hong Kong is a bubble and we tend to forget how important it is to know how to defend ourselves,” she says. “Ju-jitsu can be used as a means of defence against all types of attacks. You learn to use kicks, punches and throwing techniques to destabilise an attacker. Joint locks are also very commonly used in combination with these self-defence techniques.”

While Paul and Michelle are both in top condition from years of training, they stress that ju-jitsu does not require brute strength. “Unlike other mar tial ar ts disciplines, we rely on body mechanics to manipulate an opponent rather than physical strength alone,” says Paul. Indeed, ju-jitsu translates as the ‘yieldingart,’ as its core philosophy is to use an opponent’s
force against him rather than confronting it with one’s own force.

“In ju-jitsu, we aim to outsmart our opponents, consciously controlling the situation to minimise injuries,” explains Michelle, an experienced educator. “Ju-jitsu can strengthen children’s critical thinking abilities as they are encouraged to respectfully challenge their opponents.”

Kaisei Ryu Ju Jitsu holds classes out of DB Community Centre. To enrol and get the latest schedules, call 5315 0227, email [email protected] or visit



In Korea, taekwondo is a discipline synonymous with national pride, it is taught in the military to soldiers, and it can be taken as a degree at university. It was developed during the 1940s by a group of Korean martial artists who wanted to create a combat sport that combined Korean fighting styles, such as taekkyeon, with foreign mar tial ar ts, such as karate.
“Taekwondo centres on power ful and fast kicks (Tae), strong punches (Kwon) and good manners and etiquette (Do),” opens Billy Woo, TaeKwon Master at Cheung Do Kwan.

In fact, one of the things that makes taekwondo so exciting to watch is the
emphasis on spinning jump kicks, head-height kicks and fast kicking techniques. “Turning or roundhouse kicks are among the most common, where you use the balls of your feet to strike your opponent,” Billy says. “Then there are the middle punches which have three intensity levels: low, medium and high, depending on the part of the body being targeted. For example, low-section punches are aimed at the opponent’s navel, while high-section punches are usually aimed at the face.

“Techniques are vital in minimising the use of energy, while producing maximal force,” Billy adds. “Strategy, on the other hand, is essential in sparring as you need to calculate your distance from an opponent and read an opponent’s movements to per form counter kicks.”

And what of the ‘Do’ in taekwondo – good manners and etiquette? “Taekwondo values respect most of all, schools also teach the Tenets of Taekwondo which include courtesy, integrity, perseverance and self-control,” Billy explains. “We never kick our sparring partners when they are down, and we always exchange bows before and after the match to show respect.

“Our goal is to build confidence by helping students overcome challenges,” Billy concludes. “Taekwondo teaches students not to give up when it gets tough. Learning respect and self-defence definitely boosts the confidence of students.”

Cheung Do Kwan holds classes out of DB Community Centre and throughout Hong Kong.

To enrol and get the latest schedules, call 5406 9281, email [email protected] or visit www.hongkongtaekwondo.com.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Add New Comment


× Thank you for your comment. Your feedback has been submitted to an administrator for approval.