Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by adamr01, Jun 25, 2019.
This is an educational video on Hapkido, with some excellent demonstrations.
Interesting that some short stick and cane were shown.
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I like most of the techniques in your clip. What's your opinion on those "floating" throws at 6.17 - 6.37?
They look great for the demo, but the falling partners are not attacking that hard so this way he can pull off his techniques. There is something to it though. When I was first learning joint locks, when grabbing the wrist of my first Hapkido teacher, who was a Korean Grandmaster, all he had to do was widen his hand and open his fingers to expand his wrist, and I could barely hold on. And that was before he applied the technique. He explained that this was to allow KI energy to flow through his arm, which helps to execute the lock. The throws in the video look to me to be a demonstration of flowing KI energy.
This principle 'floating" also exist in the Chinese wrestling system. The demo partner has to flip himself to release the pressure on his wrist. If he doesn't flip, he may hurt his wrist or elbow joint.
IMO, all demo are 1/2 fake and 1/2 real. The
- fake part is your opponent will give you that opportunity.
- real part is you have to finish it by yourself.
If your opponent helps you to finish (such as the flip), that's fake demo by definition.
I like the clip (especially catching the kicking leg and horse back kick the rooting leg). But the "floating" demo may drag the clip away from the reality.
It is well established that Hapkido is less than eighty years old, and to a large degree based on Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu, so the historical claims of Hapkido links to Tan Gun and ancient korea is obiously wrong. Seems this video was created in the same political climate and time periode as the one that resulted in absurd claims that Taekwondo is an independently developed 2000 year old homegrown korean martial art.
It has nothing to do with ki - it's a mechanical thing. Make a tight fist with your dominant hand. Grab that wrist tightly with your non-dominant hand. Now open the dominant hand and spread it wide with tension. You'll feel an "expansion" in the gripped area, as the tendons slide up to the hand (putting the muscles under your grip, instead of the tendons). The more muscular you are (and depending somewhat on body type), the more pronounced the effect. Learning to use this well with other mechanics, it can have a profound effect on grip.
There are a lot of those in the aiki/hapki arts. They're not really throws in the normal sense - the fall is an escape from a lock. So used against someone who doesn't jump into the escape, it's meant to be a joint destruction. Some people - even without training - will jump into an escape, just as a response to the pain, but I wouldn't expect that to be a reliable response.
I'm tempted to do a post on my thoughts on technique demonstration and common critique. Sort of a Myth - Fact type of post. For example:
Myth: This only works because your partner is compliant.
Fact: If the partner was not compliant, I wouldn't be able to demonstrate the technique in detail.
Myth: This only works because your partner is not fighting back.
Fact: Done at fighting speed (instead of detailed demonstration speed) there's less opportunity to fight back
Fact: This is showing how the technique works, it will need to be modified based on the response of your opponent.
Basically, that in order to do a demonstration of a technique, you have to create a somewhat clinical environment in which that technique can be displayed. If I am trying to get a V-Lock and my partner keeps his wrist straight, there are certainly things I can do instead of the V-lock, but that doesn't help me demonstrate how to do a V-lock.
Myth: The throw looks like the demo, when applied for real.
Fact: Not always... sometimes the real world result can be very different than result in the demonstration.
Years ago when I was training in an MMA gym, one of the other guys had done Judo. We put on our gis and were running Judo style throws. We started working on this throw (the throw part here, not the other bits...)
One of the younger, less respectful MMA guys started talking about how that throw looked pretty, but was useless, as no would would fall like that. The MMA instructor told me to throw him. I asked if he was sure... he was.... The MMA guy was right! Non Judo people don't fall like that. He went straight down face first (I really enjoyed the look on his face), managed to turn and land on his shoulder, hard. Then he sat up and told me I needed to learn some control. The MMA instructor told him he needed to learn to fall, to wear a gi or to keep his mouth shut.
Anyway, the result of doing the throw looked very different than when demonstrating, or practicing the drill. But, when I applied the throw, I did everything the same. I guess everyone will have their own opinion of whether the throw worked or not. It did not cause the other guy to flip through the air and land in a good side fall position. It did put him down hard.
Many of the joint lock, arm whip type throws are similar. The real application would cause something to either break or someone to take a difficult fall. That said, I am not sure I believed all of those floating throws... some were better than others.
With a lot of the "floating throws", it's pretty clear they work from the point where the actual throw is. The problem is the complex and technical entry often required to get there. At the very least, you often bypass a couple of more useful, reliable techniques on the way.
I find there are some techniques that are hard to get to in most circumstances, but sometimes you accidentally find yourself there and it just works. I've had sparring sessions where I'm trying to make something work and get into a position where it's like "oh, I can press here" and instantly they tap.
And that's how I teach most of them. They're weapons of opportunity, so to speak. The real value of practicing them is getting to explore the principles and working the transitions in the entries. Funky stuff happens in fights, and being used to finding a solution in an odd sequence can be handy.
The "floating throw" is one of the blue belt testing requirement in Chinese wrestling. We use both hands wrist control and kick to set it up. If your opponent doesn't flip, the end result can look just like a "arm twisting lock".
IMO, to use both hands to twist on your opponent's arm is possible. But to use just one hand to twist on your opponent's arm is very difficult (if not impossible).
The funny thing is, we have a lot of throws that aren't floating throws, but people end up floating or rolling to try and avoid the lock.
Agree! When your opponent sweeps your leg and make you to fall forward, if you try to look at his hip, you will have a safe landing. If you don't, you may end with head hit on the ground.
If you have the grip at the hand (not the wrist), then step through, the twist is produced by body movement, rather than hand strength. One hand is sufficient if the grip is right. The issue is that the grip is damnably hard to get that right in the chaos.
One thing I think has been the hardest to learn in Hapkido is the footwork. The feet do 90% of the work.
You don't think about it, since it's supposed to be a wrist lock, but it is.
I agree with everything you said. But I ALSO think that in Hapkido, when you open your fingers wide like that, you are allowing KI energy to flow through your arm from your center. When you combine the mechanics you mentioned with the belief that KI energy is flowing through your arm, you get an even more powerful technique.
Absolutely. I've actually changed how I teach some of the NGA techniques for that very reason - to better emphasize the importance of the body/leg movements.
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