Hapkido Online

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by Instructor, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Put it up on Youtube. This is free as far as I know.

    Good luck with the venture. I was a curious person who tried to hit your link but it seems to require registration with some website before you could see anything. ( I did see some of the white belt clips.) Sorry, I need to see a little more before my lazy self goes through the effort. A few sample clips on Youtube of actual class training would probably help immeasurably.
     
  2. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    The trouble with youtube is most of my students are military and youtube isn't permitted on our computers. I might eventually make a demo clip and post it to generate interest with the general public though.
     
  3. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Unfortunately I had to change from 'lifetime membership' to a 3 year membership.
    Apparently 'lifetime membership' has some legal pitfalls for me and my family.
    Sorry guys.
     
  4. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    I added the following FAQ to the website:

    Can you really learn martial arts from a website?

    The short answer is yes you can. When you learn martial arts in a school you essentially watch the teacher and try to emulate his movements. Then the teacher watches you and corrects deficiency in your movements. In Hapkido you also grapple with an uke (partner). Hapkido Online requires a partner to learn. A skilled instructor can watch you and a partner training and see if the technique is correct. As you gain skill you will also begin to intuitively know if you are doing it correctly.

    Is learning Martial Arts from a website easier than a brick and mortar school?

    Emphatically no. Learning Martial Arts from a website requires greater self discipline than attending classes in a school. It also requires self integrity for only you know if you are actually practicing. A skilled instructor can usually spot somebody who isn't putting in the time though.

    What advantages are there to learning from a website?

    Well first off, you will get one on one instruction, albeit through the computer. In a traditional school the instructor might have to watch over some 10 to 30 students, it's hard to focus on each one. With a website I can watch your techniques and focus on them. You can watch my teaching over and over and focus on it, without distractions. The other advantages are it's great for people who have busy lives or people who move about from place to place. You can decide what time class is and where it will be held. You can take your teacher with you everywhere you go.

    Can't somebody just fake it to pass the test?

    First of all. We aren't here to get belts, we are here to learn Hapkido. If you just want to get a bunch of belts, go to your local strip mall and join a McDojo. If you want to learn something then you are in the right place. An instructor can spot somebody who isn't doing the techniques correctly, it's as plain as the nose on your face.

    Is this cheaper than learning from a traditional Hapkido School? Is this inferior to a regular school?

    Well I might be cheaper, some schools teach for free. I have taught people for free for years and years and so has my teacher, as a labor of love. The only reason Hapkido Online isn't completely free is it costs money to own and maintain. I can say that I've gone to great lengths to make it as affordable as possible. It is considerably cheaper than most traditional schools.


    Hapkido Online is inferior to no one. Hapkido Online IS a regular school. In fact Jon teaches people regularly in person. I would even say that Hapkido Online is better than 90% of the McDojo's out there. If you want to learn an effective martial art then this is a perfectly acceptable way to do it.

    We have noticed over the years that teaching people for free and or very cheaply often gives people the impression that what we are teaching isn't as "Good" as the schools that charge $100 a month. It is only a perception though and is usually totally wrong. Our students are as skilled as anybody and often they are better. A school that relies on your money for income has them working for you, you are the boss. It's not in their best interest to say or do anything to upset you. Whereas Hapkido Online and our partner schools don't rely on your income, we don't work for you, you aren't the boss. We are the teacher, you are the student.

    What do I need to buy to learn Hapkido?

    Well, nothing really. I am not selling anything here. Modern schools sell crap to make money, it's their income. Historically all you need to learn Martial arts is a teacher and a student (you will need an uke). Don't waste your money on trappings, save it for more important things like your kids college. You obviously will need a computer and video camera. A good webcam would really be an asset. I assume that since you are reading this online you at least already have a computer. The other items are fairly affordable nowadays.

    What about training clothing?

    Our school traditionally requires a dobak to be purchased by the time of your first test. In the interest of making Hapkido training available to as many people as possible I have waived the requirement. Whatever clothes you normally exercise in are acceptable. If you do decide to purchase a dobak then the rule is you may only wear colors if you've earned that color on a belt. For example Jon often wears a red top with black bottoms, since he has earned both of those belts it is acceptable.

    What about a punching bag or padded targets?

    These things can be useful to develop power and accuracy. We don't require them but they DO help. I suggest finding this stuff second hand at play it again sports or a similar place. In a pinch, an old military duffel bag filled with old washed clothes works fairly well. If you are a person of means, I am particularly fond of the water filled punching bags.

    Can Hapkido be used for tournaments?

    Hapkido is not a sport, it's a Martial Art devised to protect you against violent attack. If you want to learn sports than you should look for a good Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or MMA School. Incidentally the modern trend is for Martial Sport schools to tell people that what they teach can be used for self defense. It can be used that way but it's not ideal. For example a moped can be used to drive from coast to coast but wouldn't you rather take a plane? I do not mean to slight Martial Sports, they are fine if that's what you are looking for, Hapkido just doesn’t happen to be one of them.

    Is Hapkido appropriate for children?

    Teenagers and up please. Why? Would you teach a child how to break some bodies arm or choke them; how about how to shoot a handgun? Hapkido is a powerful weapon, it should be handled with care by responsible, mature people. Hapkido Online reserves the right to terminate memberships of any student that is found to be irresponsible, without refund.

    Do you spar?

    We do occasionally spar, the emphasis is not on scoring points though. The emphasis is on mastering range, power, speed, tactics, and strategy. If you choose to spar with your uke then both of you assume all risk of injury, Hapkido Online is not liable. Please take precautions such as protective gear and keep the emphasis on becoming better fighters and not on competition. Remember training injuries impede progress.

    Does Hapkido have forms (hyung)?

    Some schools do and some don't. Hapkido Online as yet is not teaching forms. If a student desires to learn forms he or she may ask to learn them and I would be happy to oblige but they are not part if the testable curriculum. To the best of my knowledge most 'Hapkido Forms' are actually borrowed from other martial arts. This is not uncommon in the martial arts world. For example many Tae Kwon Do hyung are derivative of Okinawan Karate katas. To some extent, a punch is a punch, a kick is a kick, a block is a block. It's how you do them that sets you apart.

    Do you thinK forms (hyung) are useful?

    I do think they are useful actually and encourage people to learn them.

    What about weapons?

    Hapkido Online mostly focuses on how to defend against various modern weapons (knives, guns, clubs). If you want to learn swordplay or archery from horseback then you should look elsewhere.

    How do I test?

    You may visit a member school or send a video to us and we will review. You can also schedule a test in the digital Dojang and teacher and student can interact in real time. We focus on ability. If you can demonstrate the techniques and principles we teach you will be promoted. Upon passing the test you will be mailed a certificate. You can buy your own belt or send us money and we can buy one for you.

    What if I've learned another martial art somewhere else, will you honor my rank?

    Yes! In fact I prefer students that have some previous training as they often grasp the concepts more rapidly. I have had students that actually outrank me in other martial arts that just want to add to their arsenal of skills. We make room for everybody here.

    What about people with disabilities?

    I am willing to teach you if you are willing to learn. If your disability prevents you from doing certain techniques then we will substitute techniques that you CAN do. It is advisable to get the permission of a doctor first. My goal is to teach people Hapkido, we all have strengths and weaknesses, we will work within them.
     
  5. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Hello Hapkido Friends,

    First I would like to congratulate Tony for earning his Yellow Belt this week, great job Tony!

    I just want to remind you all that I will be on leave all next week attending Master Tim's Hapkido conference in Tennessee. I hope in my absence you will continue to meet and practice.

    Master Tim has been kind enough to let me film a host of new material with him for Hapkido Online so when I return I should be able to add loads of new content. I know we will all benefit from his wisdom.

    We will have practice today 1530 - 1630 I hope to see you there. I regret that I am going to stop streaming the practice on the Digital Dojang. It seems the gyms Wi-Fi just isn't up to the challenge. The Digital Dojang will still be available to remote students via appointment. Simply send me an email and we will schedule a time to get together to conduct distance learning.

    Very Respectfully,
    Jon
     
  6. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Hello Hapkido Friends,

    I just wanted to let you know that I've added a lot of new video to the yellow belt section. I am particularly proud of a little 'extra credit' clip we made of escapes from the Goose Neck technique. To my knowledge nothing like that exists on the web anyplace.

    Also I've created a tutorial about how to use your hands to get maximum leverage for wrist locks which utilizes some in depth x-ray graphics of the hand. This has been one of the more difficult lessons to convey through the website because it relies largely on the 'feel' of things. In having to teach this difficult concept in this medium I've really had to explore it in ways that I never would have considered.

    If anybody has suggestions on how Hapkido Online could serve us better I am always open to new ideas.

    Finally, I have not heard from some of you in awhile and I would really appreciate it if you would check in. It's important that I track your progress. I am looking forward to seeing your video's. If some of you have moved on and would like to stop receiving updates, just let me know and I can remove you from the list.

    I recently queried the martial arts supplier Tiger Claw (www.tigerclaw.com) about sponsoring us. I have used their training equipment for years. In fact I have a set of kick targets that are twenty years old and we still use them three times a week! I have dobak (uniform) from them that are just as old and still serviceable. Tiger Claw is a Tennessee based company and a worthy partner. Pray that they decide to help out!

    Well that is all for now. I hope all of you are practicing and really enjoying Hapkido!

    Very Respectfully and God Bless,
    Jon Ferguson
    Founder of Hapkido Online
    Member of the Tactical Hapkido Alliance

    www.hapkido-online.com
     
  7. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Good to see you are still around and teaching. How has it been working out?
     
  8. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Well it's still early in the game, hard to say what impact I am having if any. I have had a lot of interest and a few folks join up which is wonderful. Many people have been very supportive.

    Occasionally I get a nastygram from a person who thinks it's a bad idea. But that is okay. Most schools and systems have good press and bad. I just soldier on.

    Ironically some of the most promising feedback I get is from martial artists with a decade or two under their belt. These are people who know and they often give me the greatest moral support.

    Whatever the future may hold this project has certainly taken my Hapkido to a whole new level. I am often surprised that my brick and mortar students often use Hapkido Online to 'read up' on practice. They are telling me that they often use it at home outside of practice.

    I have one particular student who seemed to improve measurably after a few days. He told me he was practicing at home with the website!
     
  9. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Yep, I expect it't going to be slow going for a while. How do you feel the video learning is doing? That's got to be one of the harder parts to get a lot of serious students in. Brick and Mortar schools often loose students after a couple or three months. Online retention could be even harder. One of the advantages of paying, besides off setting costs, may be a sense of commitment on the part of students when they go beyond one month.
     
  10. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Hapkido Online is not really a commercial venture for me. The fees exist to cover costs. Whatever profit I might garner will likely be reinvested. I was never really interested in drawing in the masses. Actually for me this is mostly about providing continuing education to a core group of dedicated students. I expect retention to be much like it's brick and mortar counterpart. One student in a thousand might hang in there through first dan. Such is life.
     
  11. iron_ox

    iron_ox Black Belt

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    Hello all,

    I am curious, do you have your material vetted by someone with more experience? Are you using the curriculum from a particular group now? I ask because I was looking at some of the white belt material and I noticed that there where a few things I would call into question. Namely you had some remarks about the hand, noting that the last two knuckles were not supported "by the wrist" while the first two were...did you get this from someone with anatomical knowledge? Then you remark as to its uses in striking, which again I would question.

    Again, I am not trying to sound overly critical, if this is "Jon's Hapkido", all power to you, and as useful as a jab may be, it is not (as a single example) part of Choi Dojunim's striking arsenal.

    Thank's in advance for any clarity you can shine on this.
     
  12. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Well thanks for asking such excellent questions Kevin. Firstly my curriculum is based largely on the Tactical Hapkido Alliance curriculum.

    However the things I say and teach on Hapkido Online are essentially my own. If I say the wrong thing please let the responsibility for that wrong thing rest squarely on my own shoulders. If anything I am teaching is right then please pass the praise on to my teacher and his teacher.

    Sitting here looking at an x-ray of the hand and wrist I can certainly see why you have called me out on this statement and upon reflection I might actually revise the learning material. It is....inaccurate.

    However it is generally unwise to strike with those last two knuckles in certain ways as they are prone to damage. A point I need to relate in a better fashion.

    In regards to the jab I suppose I have deviated from 'authentic Hapkido' in some areas. I mean absolutely no disrespect to schools and teachers who pursue this ideal. I do not think I am the first Hapkido teacher to do this and will likely not be the last. It might be smart for me to add a note here and there explaining that certain moves have been shamelessly stolen from other arts. :)
     
  13. iron_ox

    iron_ox Black Belt

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    Hello,

    I only mention the knuckle thing as there are several arts, Wing Chun, for example that use several knuckle configurations with strikes. In addition, and I might be wrong, it seemed like you were indicating that the Sudo, or Knife Hand had some knuckle impact, I think it is better done at the base of the hand, avoiding any contact with the little finger at all (if that makes sense).

    I am all about utilitarian effectiveness, but for my money I would prefer if you added a little note to things that are not truly Hapkido related...only my opinion.
     
  14. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    I think that is perfectly reasonable Kevin and is in keeping with my own philosophy. Not having your roots I am not always certain what is and is not 'pure' Hapkido. I am the sum of my experiences to this point, for better or worse. If you had the time I might ask you to volunteer to assist me in creating the site. :)

    You are right about the knife hand finger thing. My feelings are that you close the fingers together to reduce the chance of incidental damage. They are not the primary striking surface.

    Keep it coming by the way! You will make me a better teacher.

    It is important to me that I get this thing right. As right as possible anyway. I am only one man and not an expert by any stretch.
     
  15. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    How about this?

    Anybody here can film themselves teaching that same lesson or any of my lessons. If they do it better I will use the footage and credit the teacher that submitted it at the beginning and end of the film along with his or her school and organization.
    I can't offer money but I can offer recognition, and perhaps traffic.
     
  16. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Well folks time for me to sign off. I just want to thank all of you for expressing your interest and observations. I am humbled by your experience. I meant my offer 100%.

    I want Hapkido Online to be a very good representation of Hapkido. I admit freely that their are plenty of teachers out there who excede my training and current ability. Perhaps if the Hapkido community were to assist we could collectively make something that is a credit to all Hapkido. If I want to be a great teacher I first have to be humble and willing to be a good learner.

    Perhaps the entire Hapkido Community regardless of your affiliation or stripe could benefit from this resource. I know for a fact that my students will.
     
  17. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    In order to prevent new people from misconstruing what I teach at Hapkido Online with traditional Hapkido I have added the following note:

    Instructor Note: The jab is a fairly modern addition to Hapkido and was not part of the original style. Some purists would say a jab is not Hapkido. We at Hapkido online place utility first and feel that though the jab was not a part of the art as conceived it is still a useful technique and one a you might encounter in the modern age.

    Thank you for your honesty Kevin.
     
  18. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    Just to update since my last posting Hapkido Online has grown both in learning content and capability. We've picked up our first international student. We also gained our first sponsors. In all I am pleased with the progress. We still have a lot of work to do but so far things are working out well.

    V/r,
    Jon
     
  19. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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  20. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Congrats! I wish you many more years and much success with your digital dojang!
     
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