5 Step Self Defense Plan

The following 5 step formula comprises the ideas behind our self defense training. This is only listed as a guide and is used as required in various order, for example, the threat may end after step 3, therefore steps 4  and 5 are not required. To comprehend the formula, you are best to train the situation and awareness during class.


Step 1 Gage the situation

  • How serious is the threat to you? You must evaluate the threat in a split second.

  • Who and what is around? (how many attackers? any helpers? escape routes?)

  • Any weapons at my disposal, what objects can I use to defend or help attack?

  • Be in a state of readiness (hands up to shoulder height, palms out)


Step 2 Manage the distance

  • If you manage the distance, you manage the damage

  • Three-foot rule (the distance where harm can be done)

  • You can move faster forward than they can move back, be on the ball of your front foot.


Step 3 Attitude

  • Start from a non-threatening manner

  • Be humble, "I don't want any trouble", "I have a family", etc.

  • Maintain eye contact, do not look away


Step 4 Negotiate or Neutralize

  • In NC, if you have not been touched, you have a duty to retreat  

  • Can you talk yourself out of the situation?

  • You do not have a duty to retreat if you have been touched, grabbed or punched.

  • If they do try to punch you, you want to step into them and strike first. By stepping into them, it’s harder for them to throw a punch because you’re in so close.

  • Strike with the element of surprise (at an offbeat moment)

  • Be in a state of explosion

  • Strike vital areas: Eyes, Ears, Nose, Throat, Solar Plexus, Groin, Knees


Step 5 Submission

  • Continue attacking until your opponent seeks to withdraw or can't continue

  • Pin the attacker with a joint lock or choke and request pain compliance

  • In NC, if your opponent submits or seeks to withdraw you must let him.


“Always remember your Hapkido Skills are never to be misused and are only to be applied in a Self-Defense situation when there are absolutely no other means of escape.” Grandmaster Bong Soo Han

Clemmons Family Martial Arts 6311 Stadium Drive, Suite C Clemmons, NC 27012 | Phone: (336) 778-1260