Observations on Hapkido

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by Kong Soo Do, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    One of my favorite areas of training are on what I would refer to as Hapkido (or Aikijujutsu or Chin Na) techniques. Mostly because I use them in the vast majority of my uses-of-force. Specifically, I'm talking about balance displacement techniques and locking.

    I very much enjoy observing GOOD Hapkido, Aikijujutsu and Chin Na training. I very much dislike the BAD stuff I see offered. I know that sounds a little simplistic, so let me clarify both a little further. My instructor sent me a short video a couple of years ago from a pretty large Hapkido gathering. I recognized many people in the crowd. Mostly HKD but some other KMA's represented. The video was a demonstration of several Hapkido techniques. And the quality was so poor that at first I thought my instructor had sent me a spoof or gag clip. But like I said, I recognized some folks of between 4th and 7th Dan. The demonstration was apparently suppose to be serious. The problem was that the 'bad guy' was throwing his punch very half-heartedly and about two feet to the side of the 'masters' head. And then leaving it hanging in mid-air for the master to grab and then do a throw or lock. But it was all so half-****. And all the median to higher BB's were acting like it was really something to behold.

    On the flip side, I saw a differrent Hapkido demonstration (different people, different location). The bad guy in this was throwing a serious punch like he wanted to take off the head of the 'master'. And the master was intercepting him in such a way as to off-balance him every time and send him sailing. I'm not talking about slick choreography. I'm talking about a man REALLY using Hapkido at a high level against guy REALLY doing a good job of keeping it real! It was a pleasure to watch. And a stark contrast to the above poor example.

    Has anyone ever experienced this either in person or on video? Anyone get stuck at a seminar and saying to themselves, 'this really sucks' or 'wow! this is an awesome demonstration of skill'!

    Just thought it would be interesting to get others experiences.
     
  2. milewski

    milewski White Belt

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    I think that everybody has been to seminars where some instructors just sucked, while others were really good and taught great technique. You just have to ignore the bad stuff and concentrate on the good.
     
  3. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Never been to a seminar myself. I have been to demonstrations of Hapkido in Korea where things looked pretty real. In fact, that was one of the things that got me interested in Hapkido. The first time I saw it demonstrated, I thought it had t be faked, but it wasn't on closer observation.
     
  4. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    I think anyone who has trained with or been present for a Hapkido Pioneer demo truly has witnessed no fakery at all in fact alot of the cheering or aplaus during and after is equally given to the poor SOB's that were willing to be really abused severly in many ways and few only the best in shape and experienced to take that kind of punishment can assist.

    One of biggest negative to trying to teach real technique is that the general public is unwilling to be made uncomfortable or experience constructive pain to learn realistic and usable SD. Worse if you are an isolated expert you have limited sources of people to stay proficient with in your imediate circle. I find it necessary at times to hire wrestlers or MMA people who are in very good shape so I can train full on also its good to experiment with different body weights and types 10 people may react 10 ways keeps you more reactive instead of in a box.
     
  5. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Yes, I think that is one of the problems with people wanting to learn Hapkido, as opposed to being in another art and learning a few techniques:

    We tend to move into the attack and grab body parts, if we don't have speed and accuracy, we are in trouble.

    We use joint locks. If the practice attacker doesn't have some idea what is coming and of where to go, damage is likely to result. Regardless, there will be pain. Sometimes a lot. I used to joke with my students that Hapkido black belts feel no pain. We do, but we learn to keep in stretch and put up with it. Not everyone wants to do that.

    We use pressure points and you only learn them by applying them. That hurts. Most of us don't like pain. But if you don't see your practice attacker in pain from a pressure point, you didn't do it right, If you don't do it right in practice, you won't do it right in real life. But it hurts.

    We defend against a lot of grabs. I think that often makes women uncomfortable. If you want to be able to defend against being grabbed you have to be grabbed. That includes front chest grabs, hair grabs, wrist, elbow, upper arm, neck, etc. Then you defend. I say that due the the small amount of women I see in Hapkido.

    It tends to be violent in its application. We apply strong joint locks, we throw people to the ground forcefully, we kick joints as well as manipulating them.

    I understand your problem Master Dan. I am lucky that I can do a minimal amount of practice from time to time with a man I know who has studied Aikido. It isn't really something to keep proficiency, just keep from forgetting.
     
  6. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I have maintained a nice circle of fairly experienced hapkidoin. Some are more experienced than I, some less. Some stronger strikers, some stronger grapplers. Some love flashy kicks and gymnastic breakfalls, others are more bare bones. Some are men, some are women. All are great partners to work with.

    As far as seminars and videos go, there's a lot of bad stuff to weed through in order to get to the good.

    Daniel
     
  7. dortiz

    dortiz Black Belt

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    In October I went to see Kim Nam Jae our founder of the Kyung Mu Kwan. Yes, he would unbalance folks and leave them flying with such minimal effort. He is no big man either. It was VERY IMPRESSIVE!!
     
  8. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    One of the things I stress when covering joint locks is being able to execute them regardless of the position or situation you may find yourself in at the moment. Of course, there will be some angles or positions where you can't successfully lock someone up i.e. if you're face down on the ground it becomes a bit difficult LOL. But what I mean is that I see so many demonstrations and videos that ALWAYS have the bad guy directly in front of you while he's grabbing your wrist. Now, it's fine to learn that way initially. But the deeper principles of a lock need to be covered as well. That way a lock can be successful if you're grappling on the ground, the attacker is at an 'odd' angle to you, your higher, he's higher etc. In otherwords, I like to say, 'Okay here is an ABC lock from the standing position. Okay, now here is the same lock but we're fighting on the ground. Okay, I've slipped on a bananna peel and he's towering over me holding me down so here is the same lock from that position'.

    Anyone else explore locks from other than standing?
     
  9. Master Dan

    Master Dan Master Black Belt

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    As it relates to locks, grapling, PP all of the above I have worked from all angles ground and up many different types of bodies some especially natives from many regions say 250 to 350 pounds it never ceases to amaze me how each individual may react depending on nerve damage or sensativity large guys donw on the ground screaming at the top of thier lungs and the next person smaller what ever almost no effect and in real situation or strong resistive training its fluid you have to move fast and smoothly with confidence or your in deep trouble fast.

    I walked into another masters senior bb teaching Hapkido with a head push this is also good for a release from a head lock and I suggested using the nose points and then he said go ahead use it on me he screamed and made all these isometric techniques so he could resist well of course he conditioned for it knew it was comming and do we train to fight other masters? I did not want to embarris him in front of his students but in Hapkido when applying many different techniques you follow with a softening hit they do not expect to loosen thier resistance, also in Kiyusho Jistsu his reisting with his neck muscles like so many other set ups just makes it easy to efect a hit or manipulation in a totally different area for effect.

    In your Hapkido how much do you experiment with energetic meridian or cross meridian manipulation to excelerate or increase the impact of your locks or joint manipulation?

    Boy your right about people do not want to experience pain to gain knowledge and the teacher has to be willing to endure some as well or the student will not know if they are getting it right its a real trusting and sharing to get there. Unfortunately peopel are doing a whole lot of stuff they read or see on DVD with out knowing the health impacts especially for over 40 effects on organs and plaque releases in the blood streem that can cause heart atacks or strokes months or years later over 40 cannot have more than 15 minutes of hard manipulation of some areas in a tw3o week period?
     
  10. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    While I agree that one must be able account for conditions different from optimum, I do not agree with committing to a joint lock that is too difficult because of position.

    I don't know your history in studying Hapkido. The videos you reference, while no doubt seemingly too easy, are building blocks for later techniques. If you have taken Hapkido from beginning to black belt rank, you of course know that. If your training has been at seminars, that may not be so obvious. Even so, some of the techniques for wrist grabs can be a little complicated. But even though they had some application to older sword wielding warriors, they are building blocks as well as standing on their own for defense or offense. There are however, a lot of techniques to do the same thing. I don't know them all, but I know more than one.

    If one technique is too difficult, I think one might want to consider another technique. Many times in Hapkido, a technique needs a certain type of footwork to be most successful, or successful at all. Being on one's back may make that impossible. Ground techniques usually are intended to do damage and allow the practitioner to recover his feet, not to accomplish a wrist lock simply for control. You just don't have all the same options on the ground. You must get back on your feet as soon as possible. If you can to damage to an attacker in the process, so much the better. Also, if an angle makes it too difficult to accomplish a technique, another technique needs to be considered.

    Also, the completion of a joint lock is the damaging of the joint, taking away the use of that limb for combat. In LEO use, a joint lock may get submission and control. That can be goal in itself against one attacker. In combat, especially multiple attackers, you want to take attackers out of the fight. Dislocated joints, pressure points, gouged eyes, twisted/sprained necks to remove the attacker, make it difficult for the attacker to continue the fight, reducing the amount of attackers. You need to use the technique that works to do that quickly.

    Again, while I see your point, I think you make it sound like you must commit to a certain technique regardless, and I don't see that as necessarily the best solution all the time.

    EDIT: Also one needs to be ready for Master Dan's scenario where a technique may not even work, and another must be considered. I have found it more likely a pressure point may not work than a joint lock, but I suppose that is also possible when trying to use the lock for control through pain compliance.
     
  11. kubachi

    kubachi White Belt

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    You know, this is something I thought about just last week. Being new to Hapkido, I never really thought about how I would train other than in the dojang. Fortunately, mine is very close to where I live and I'm welcome there anytime but if that were not the case, what would I do? I can't just walk into any gym and say, "I need to practice Hapkido. Who here wants to get hurt?" During class last night I was working with the Master and said to him, "You must be in constant pain." He didn't respond at all, which I took as a "yes". But man, that poor guy takes it several times a week. Even as new as I am, I hurt him every time I work with him. I'm a female and I do agree that most women wouldn't like the physical nature involved with the training and maybe growing up with older brothers whose idea of fun was pulling a full nelson in the living room and griding my face in the carpet is why it's never been an issue with me. I've never seen any REAL Hapkido going on, though. And I'd sure love to. I wonder at least once a day if I'd be able to think fast enough to do a joint lock or pressure point tactic if I was attacked in a parking lot or whatever. After so many years of kickboxing in a ring I'm certain I could throw down to an extent but we all know that's useless in most cases. I keep telling my instructor that if I'm doing a move incorrectly, rather than just show me how to fix it, he needs to show me WHY it's wrong and put me on the ground. He's doing it now. And it helps, FOR SURE. But I'm definitely keeping my eye out here in the Houston area for some real demos because the one I saw on the website of my current dojang was so lame I had to stop watching.123
     

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