So just how many techniques does your hapkido program have anyway?

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by Daniel Sullivan, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    In another thread, a poster mentioned that traditional hapkido has thousands of techniques.

    I study traditional hapkido and I think we'd be lucky to get to five hundred and are probably closer to three hundred. Of those, many are variations on a theme (wrist lock against an attacker who is not grabbing you, wristlock vs. same side grab, wrist lock vs. cross hand grab, wrist lock vs. clothing grab, etc.) as opposed to completely separate techniques.

    Is it your experience that hapkido has a thousand plus separate techniques?

    If yes, are these a thousand different techniques or are is it a smaller group with many permutations?

    Daniel
     
  2. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    Yeah, I'm not sure how you tally up thousands of techniques unless they are all variations on the same hold. Aikido has about 7 standing base techniques. If you consider irimi, tenkan, omote, and ura variations you can probably knock them up to around 400 techniques or so by my quick guesstimate. Then you can start looking at the sitting techs and the weapons defenses. I guess you can get into the thousands if you count things that way.
     
  3. Disco

    Disco Green Belt

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    I have asked this question before and there was no real answer, for the problem lies with defining just what actually constitutes a technique. A simplistic offering that I gave was the following: Lets take a simple block, that is one technique. Now you take that same block and add a punch, does this now become a second technique or just an extension of the first technique and so on and so on. In my estimation, the numbers of techniques being projected within Hapkido are grossly over stated and for nothing more than "mine is better than yours", But the possibility does arise, if we can determine the exact parameters of just what a technique consists of. Using the simple example, we constantly add something to the original given movement, then we can go to crazy numbers of techniques, if this is how a technique is determined. Personally, I teach the concepts of the discipline and show how to utilize these concepts and let the student discover his/her own strong suits, for that's what they will use in a stress induced situation. I've never heard anyone say, when asked what they did in a situation, say...........I used technique number 75 and then went to number 1,906 and then finished it off with number 3, 006.
     
  4. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    I think we hit right around 300.

    300...

    Maybe I should start a dojang where our dobok is a flowing red cape, high sandals and a leather speedo.

    Pushing kick is a must. Weapons would be sword and spear. Shield use would be required.

    Male students must have beards or be too young to grow them. We'll do 300 ab exercises each class: all students must have washboards by BB.

    Then we'd do demos and I could start them out shouting, "THIS IS HAPKIDO!!":p

    Daniel
     
  5. IcemanSK

    IcemanSK El Conquistador nim!

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    Now you've really gone over the line. Can you really teach someone & call it Hapkido if they are too young to grow a beard?!:ultracool
     
  6. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Yes, but they cannot be dan ranked until they grow that beard in. Women are exempted from the beard requirement, though a 300 Hapkido woman with a beard and a six pack is a fearsome opponent indeed!

    Daniel
     
  7. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    In all seriousness, beards, washboards, capes and leather speedos aside, Both my gm and head instructors all came out of the IHF. They put together an HKD curriculum for the school (we are essentially an independent, but he started his own local association).

    We have 72 hoshinsul gisul, eleven distinct kicks plus knee strikes, stomps, and shin stikes, six distinct punches, probably seven or so distinct hand strikes that are not punches, probably about six or so distinct blocks, and several hand techniques that are offensive, but not 'strikes' per-se. After first dan, we get into weapon defenses, and there are about seven to ten or so vs. knives, guns, sword, defense using a belt, and then cane techniques. Then there are variations on all of the above, plus applications against multiple opponents. We have a very light groundwork section that is mainly (but not entirely) geared towards getting back up, not towards groundfighting as one would see in judo or BJJ.

    Unless I count every permutation of every technique as a separate technique, the number simply is not that high.

    Now, we have instructors at our Frederick school that have groundfighting experience (had a taste last night; twas fun and educational:)) but that is not hapkido, but experience that they have in other arts.

    Daniel
     
  8. Haakon

    Haakon Blue Belt

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    That sounds very similar to my school. 65 ho sin sool to 1st dan, 9 distinct kicks (excluding jumping and spinning), 5 forms - not counting all the weapons forms, and so on.

    Is a particular ho sin sool considered one technique, or is it compromised of 3 or 4, or if you want to include footwork maybe 10+ "techniques" if you want to inflate the count.

    Depending on how you break down "technique" the system could number into the thousands, or a few hundred. I think I would tend to lean towards the 'few hundred' point of view.
     
  9. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    I'd really have to think my way through it.

    Many of the "techniques" that are required in the curriculum are found elsewhere from a different grab, for example, or from another position.

    I agree that it isn't really all THAT many, though.

    I mean, if you are looking at inflating that number of "techniques" in a curriculum you could, for example, count a front kick at the knee as a different technique than a front kick at the mid-section — double that for using the front leg / back leg, etc., and so forth.
     
  10. spud

    spud Yellow Belt

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    We have roughly about 360 techniques, many are variations on the same thing being applied in different circumstances or angles. I've also heard it said their are a "possible 10 thousand variations" but even the masters say they don't know them all. It all sounds like my HKD is bigger than yours LOL.

    I've learned over the years its far better to master the most practical ones that suit you personally but as everyone is different those will change from one person to the next.

    Quality wins over quantity every time in my book anyways.
     
  11. American HKD

    American HKD Brown Belt

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    Sinmoo HKD according to Doju Ji Han Jae has about 800 techniques. However many are variations of the basics. This number doesn't include combinations which can be endless.
     
  12. kiddk1

    kiddk1 White Belt

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    I have 1058 techniques, I follow He-Young Kimm's hapkido.
     
  13. dortiz

    dortiz Black Belt

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    I prefer less focus on how many techniques and more focus on where or how they are used.
    As an example I want to see a student demonstrate from a wrist grab same side, cross grab, punch, Sleeve, elbow, shoulder, choke etc.
    Then I want to see it done when the technique fails and flow to the next technique. Heck if they did 2 variations but could flow through all these positions and transition from failed techniques and add a counter, well thats good Hapkido to me.
    Its too hard to count when the locks come on!
     
  14. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    While we have 72 formal hoshinsul techniques, many are variations as you described: wrist grab same side, cross side, punch, etc.

    Through the 72, a smaller selection of techniques is applied in different ways and in different scenarios.

    Daniel
     
  15. kubachi

    kubachi White Belt

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    Haha! I love this forum! It's so awesome to read you guys discussing stuff I've been wondering about for so long, even before I started training recently.

    Ok, so even if there are, in all actuality, only 300 original techniques (for example)...the fact that I've been focusing on 8 just blows my mind! I mean, not even kidding...I could break a large man's arm with very little effort or pull him to the ground whincing in pain by only a little force and my small hands and I know only 8 different techniques. How cool is Hapkido?!?!?!

    The way we are trained at my school is to learn a set amount of techniques while in "battle stance", basically, kind of reminds me of holding up a right guard in kickboxing. Once that's learned, the same techniques are used with oncoming punches to the face, then the same 8 are used when someone's got you by the shirt then by the belt, etc. I love that. It shows me that just because I learn something one way doens't mean I can't use it effectively in another situation. Plus, the same concepts, building blocks, are being reinforced again and again and again before we move on to completely new stuff. Like last night in class, I was training with the Master instructor and he repeated several things before adding new ones and at one point the glazed over look on my face told him it was too much information. So back we went. I don't think anyone can truly know how many moves Hapkido has. That makes it the tootsie roll pop of the martial arts world. :)
     
  16. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    I'm not sure why claiming thousands of techniques would be a selling point, at least from the perspective of self-defense. Which Hapkido is often (and correctly) related. A student needs perhaps a couple of dozen or so, of which they'll master about a half dozen 'go-to' movements that they will revert to under duress in a crisis situation. Anything beyond this is simply informational overload and will slow/negate the possible reactions.

    Claiming thousands of techniques sounds like penis envy :uhyeah:
     
  17. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    It is meant to assure a perspective student that 'this art has no holes.' In reality, they are simply counting every variation on every technique as a separate technique; wristlock, clockwise wristlock, wristlock while glaring at the enemy and talking like Batman, wristlock while wearing pantyhose, etc.

    Also, some people just like to break down, compartmentalize and categorize things. I don't necesarilly see it as compensating for something as it is probably a mindset that the person who enumerated the techniques applies to every area of their life. And that kind of cataloging is very appealing to like minded people.

    Of course doing that also has the effect of scaring off some students who find that the idea of learning 3,257 core techniques to be a bit daunting.

    I view it as a personal preference issue and nothing more.

    Daniel
     
  18. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

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    I have seen this same discussion in other arts as well. Their is an argument about is more better or how many techniques do you really need to illustrate the concepts and principles.

    I think if you have too many techniques, a student becomes a jack of all trades, master of none and won't have the time to really train all of those techniques to make them workable. Unless, you are just counting variations on a theme and are essentially the same technique with a minor move added or deleted.
     
  19. Kong Soo Do

    Kong Soo Do IKSDA Director

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    One of our regular phrases was simply, "Less is more". For specifically the reasons many have mentioned above. Learning the principles of how the body functions and operates is more valuable than the individual technique. From a principle one can then apply a myriad of techniques naturally from many/any angle or position. My method of instruction was to simply teach the principle, then demonstrate a variety to techniques that could be used from that principle. From that information, the student could then discover what worked particularly well for them personally and then concentrate specifically on mastering that as one of their go-to SD moves.

    This is why the single form that I teach will differ from practitioner to practitioner and is all that is needed for a life time of training.
     
  20. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    That number comes from, in part, Daito Ryu. Daito Ryu claims to have 2808 or so techniques, and what happened was hapkido added techniques, and rounded that number to 3800-4000.
     

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