TKD 2nd Dan, just passed Hapkido Yellow Belt, hardest test so far

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by skribs, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. skribs

    skribs Brown Belt

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    My Taekwondo master also teaches Hapkido. I have been taking Taekwondo with him since 2013, and have taken a total of 16 tests for Taekwondo, including 1st and 2nd Dan tests, as well as 3 more tests since getting my black belt. I have done Hapkido off and on during that time (probably a year's worth of training during that time, once a week), and finally felt ready to test for my yellow belt.

    I have to say, while there might be more to remember at the macro level for Taekwondo, and the black belt test requires far more physical endurance for Taekwondo, this is the hardest test I've taken yet. Compared with any Taekwondo test I've taken, today I had:
    • More corrections on my technique
    • More attempts to do the techniques correctly
    • More criticism to apply to future training
    I've worked longer to prepare for my yellow belt than I have for any Taekwondo test I've taken thus far. We had a new student today, and in class before the test he told me "you're not a white belt," and I told him I was actually planning on testing today. Even so, I was very nervous during the test, and several times had to stop, close my eyes, and breathe for a few seconds before trying something again.

    I am now 2nd Dan in Taekwondo, and yellow belt in Hapkido, and I'm just as proud of my yellow belt as I am of my 2nd Dan.

    (This is, of course, not to criticize Taekwondo, because it's a lot of fun and I've practiced really hard to get my techniques to where they are. It's just that with Taekwondo, it's mostly a matter of building muscle memory for me, whereas with Hapkido I have to really work hard to get my techniques correct).
     
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  2. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    CONGRATULATIONS! There is muscle memory as well, if that is what you want to call it. You will get to a point when you feel certain things develop and just react based on what you feeling, into a block or a joint lock. Stay with it. It takes time. I have mentioned before that I never felt so uncoordinated as when I started studying Hakido.
     
  3. JP3

    JP3 Master Black Belt

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    Based on your report, I'd say that first, your teacher knows you are 2nd dan in TKD so he expects much more of you than he would a typical yellow belt. Next, I'd guess that he may personally enjoy hapkido more than TKD, for much the same reason as you are now experiencing, i.e. more fulfillment in the learning. I agree with you, my own experience with TKD was that it was primarily a muscle memory and physical conditioning regimen, whereas the hapkido was actually a truly tactical art of application of the TKD skills set with the added bonus of expanding the target locations as well as joint manipulation. It's a whole different universe and I'm glad for you that you are enjoying it.

    Nice! Another convert, I think.
     
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  4. skribs

    skribs Brown Belt

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    I think I had higher expectations for myself than he did for me. He had an easier time than I did remembering I was testing for yellow belt. The test itself is a bit harder, because there's more resistance from the people I'm working with. They're making me apply the techniques instead of just showing my rote memorization, if that makes sense.

    I agree that there is muscle memory to hapkido as well, and maybe I didn't clearly explain what I meant. Taekwondo, for me, has been something where I learn a technique and then I spend a long time making it smooth, fast, and strong. It's sort of a sliding scale. Hapkido is something that it's like I don't get it, I don't get it, I don't get it, OH! I got it! I understand that I can get more consistent, that I can get a better feel, that I can improve my footwork and my speed, and that I can get a feel for what to do if my technique is resisted, but it just kinda feels like a bunch of trial-and-error until I figure it out, compared with a steady increase in competency that I have in TKD.

    Nope, not a convert. Taekwondo is still my primary art, and in fact last Friday I took a test for 2nd Dan, 2nd Gup. However, I also enjoy Hapkido, and plan to do both.

    Thanks for the support, guys!
     
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  5. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    @ skribs - How is your Hapkido progressing? In the Hapkido I studied, from white to yellow, it was pretty much defense against grabs. At yellow, we continued with grab defense, then at the next gup, began studying defense against punches.
     
  6. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Well good for you. Congratulations. I had a friend who also trained under an instructor that taught both Taekwondo and Hapkido. You had to be a 1st Dan in Taekwondo before you could even start training in Hapkido.
     
  7. skribs

    skribs Brown Belt

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    At my school you either have to be 1st Dan in Taekwondo or you have to be an adult. So kids and teenagers who are black belts can take the hapkido. For the teenagers and adults, we also teach some basic hapkido in the Taekwondo class, but it's a watered-down version with safer, easier-to-use (but less effective) versions of the techniques, and we usually finish with a punch to the nose instead of a submission hold or break.

    I'm getting close to my purple belt. Each belt has a theme, I think after purple belt I graduate away from defending against grabs to strikes.
     
  8. skribs

    skribs Brown Belt

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    To follow-up: I did eventually get my purple belt, and just recently tested for my orange belt. Pretty sure I passed, but I'm still waiting on my belt ceremony.

    I'm finally going to learn some punch defenses! (Although I already have plenty of those from my Taekwondo side).
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'm confused by the colors - what is the order of the colored belts you guys use?
     
  10. skribs

    skribs Brown Belt

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    White - Yellow - Purple - Orange - Green - Blue - Red - Black
     
  11. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    That's just confusing (for those of us used to something different, of course :D). Thanks for the clarification, Skribs.
     
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  12. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Hapkido punch defenses will probably be a little different, unless your teacher has been incorporating some Hapkido into the Taekwondo he teaches. At least in the Hapkido I studied, the blocks seemed strange until they became second nature and then we applied strikes, breaks and throws as part of or following the blocks.

    If you have been happy with the grappling you have so far learned, be patient. The rest of the journey will be just as much fun in finding out things about the body you probably hadn't suspected.

    It might make more sense to gpseymour and me and others, to say what each gup is. For example in the Hapkido I studied, there were two gup at the white belt (10 then 9 gup), two at yellow, two at blue, and 4 at red. At white, we studied 7 strikes against a wrist grab, then seven breaks, then seven throws. Then a variety of clothing grab defenses, from front and rear. At yellow, we continued grappling, then the next gup was punch defense. And on from there to kick defenses.
     
  13. skribs

    skribs Brown Belt

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    We do what I call "Hapkido Lite" in our Taekwondo. The movements usually involve more leverage than pressure points and wrist control, and we usually finish with a punch in TKD, instead of a wrist break or submission hold like we do in HKD. Some of our more advanced punching defenses in TKD (like the green, blue, and red belt defenses) feature some wrist control, but again - not as detailed as in HKD.

    As far as patience, a lot of the people at my school (me included) have what I call "Veruca Salt syndrome". We want to know how to do all the things, and we want to know NOOOOWWWW! I exaggerate a bit, but after having someone do a higher level technique on me, I typically want to learn how to do that. It doesn't help that I was a white belt and all my classmates were blue or red belts.

    I guess I can start using keub rank. We have 7 keub ranks at our school. Keub 1-3 are hand grabs, so at keub 4 I'm learning punching defense. The majority of our HKD students (and all of our current students) are TKD black belts already.
     
  14. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Sounds like your teacher has done a lot of blending of Hapkido into the TKD he teaches, and vice versa. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. The more tools one has, should be for the better. I learned that use of leverage is necessary for most joint locks/breaks. In the Hapkido I learned we ended many defenses with a punch or kick.

    Looking back, I don't think I ever had a problem with patience. First, I was learning at a very fast pace. That made it necessary for me to do a lot of work on my own, as well as learning a lot of new techniques all the time. But I understand your frustration. There is so much in grappling arts that is just so neat. Who wouldn't want to learn all of it at once. But in fact, at least the Hapkido I studied, a lot of what was learned at any one time, needed to be perfected because parts of it were likely to show up later as part of another technique. Having already learned part of it made putting the new technique together faster and easier, for me anyway.

    It's good to hear your enthusiasm for Hapkido techniques. There are a few that show up in forms, but they have been changed so much, they are hard to see as such. Sometimes you will see kick defenses, but probably wouldn't recognize them unless you were already a Hapkido student, and maybe not even then. They are often said to be a part of the 'art' of TKD martial arts. OK?
     

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