A Newb Hapkido student from Houston!

kubachi

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Hi! I'm currently living in the Houston (Katy, actually) area and have been rolling and falling and bruising myself in Hapkido for a month now and LOVING every minute of it! I browsed a few other forums and decided this was the best place to be. I've already learned so much from lurking and have read some things that made sense, like another newb to Hapkido saying that the art "has many moving parts". That rung so true to me. Watching Hapkido on YouTube or even live in NO way reveals what's actually going on. All I ever saw was a large aggressor being floored in half a second by a tiny person. I'm a very tiny female at 5'2, 110 lbs and after competitive kickboxing for 15 years and doing nothing for 5, I realized I'm all kicked and punched out. Plus, I just turned 41 and the ol' body has suffered plenty of abuse so I decided I'd finally dive into Hapkido. I've always been extremely intimidated by Hapkidoists, knowing that no matter what someone threw at them, the aggressor would end up writhing on the ground with broken bones and the Hapkidoist would be long gone. I've always thought of them as a sort of Korean ninjas who don't attack first. I really had NO idea what was in store for me. In a very short time Ive grown to respect this art so much as well as the practitioners. Im not out for glory and Im in no rush. This will be a life-long discipline and Im looking for it to change me and my life. And, its nice to know that if anyone needs a quick Hapkido demo, all they have to do is grab me. Im not 100% sure that the dojang Im using is the best possible place in my area, though. I did some research, went to about 4 places and chose that one because 1) I immediately liked the GM and 2) it wasnt overpriced 3) its so close to my residence that I could walk if I wanted to. However, after spending a week reading through all the posts, it seems that many of you have a much more structured class environment. The GMs (there are two of them) are Korean and the Master who instructs our class is Vietnamese and was raised to his current position over a very long period by the two GMs. Apparently there are very different teaching schools of thought between Asians and Americans. One being that Asians tend to throw you in the mix and its a sink or swim sort of mentality. I had no problem with that at all and actually like it that way but I also would to see more attention being paid to the breathing discipline and why its so important, for example. I found some awesome videos on YouTube showing proper ways to do front rolls, back rolls, falling, etc. and I was thinking, Now, If Master ***** had shown me like this I wouldnt have this beautiful bruise on my shoulder. There was little instruction on the rolls; just enough to let me know that whatever rolling Id done in the past was not the rolling I would be doing here. So, my goal on this forum is to hopefully make new friends and to learn from all of your triumphs and trials. Thanks for having me!:ultracool
 

oftheherd1

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Wow! Two new Hapkidoist in a couple of days. Things are looking up at MT. ;-)

Glad to see you here and glad you are enjoying Hapkido so much. It is indeed a good art.

Don't know what to say about there being different schools, and how they teach. I am not there to evaluate them, and what would be good for me might not be good for you anyway. It does sound like you may be in a more traditional Hapkido school. I would suggest that when you don't think you understand something, ask. I would be very surprised if you didn't get an answer. I once asked my GM about a pressure point as I didn't think I had it right. He very graciously showed me. Four times in succession. It hurt for a couple of weeks. But I then knew how to apply that pressure point. ;-)

Looking at youtube, or other instructors is not necessarily bad. Sometimes one method of demonstration just clicks better. Then you can go back to class and let your teachers see if you have it, or need further work. It might or might not be good to let them know. Some teachers are a little funny about that. But I know in the Hapkido I learned, we were taught the way that was expected to work, but above all, told that we had to make it work for us. You may also want to ask fellow students that seem to have it right. As I mentioned to the other Hapkidoist, pay attention to the feet, and unlearn the idea of retreat before counterattack or having to keep our "western distance."

Keep us informed of your progress.

Good on you for recognizing breathing as important. I don't know about anybody else, but I didn't find breathing such a big deal. Yeah, OK, breath like I was taught, concentrate on the Tan Jon; is it time to begin stretching and get past the kicks so I can start practicing techniques? Then, suddenly one day, I realized that had more stamina, more power, was very conscious of my gi, and understood the importance of breathing. And we probably spent less time that some schools I have heard of.

Anyway, welcome, and let us know how you progress and if you continue to enjoy it. You have made a discovery many non-Hapkido teachers have made: Hapkido is devastating to opponents, and works better as we get older.
 
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kubachi

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Thanks for the welcome! One reason I chose this forum is because during my web search for general Hapkido info and to see what all was out there about my own GM's, etc. I came across several forums where these Dans were TOTALLY going at it with each other and anyone else who commented about this GM at this school and the legitmacy of their 10th Dan or the lineage of another GM and his connection with Choi, and on and on and I thought, "Where's the behavioral example here???" And one of these tantrum-esque threads had much to do about my particular school, which was entertaining. I will always be a believer in the fact that a dan's behavior should positively represent the entire art. Yeah, I was totally turned off by that.

Since I'm still so new to the art and I'm still feeling my way around the instructor and my fellow students, I haven't asked anything yet. I do like the way we pair off each class, with a higher belt working with a lower belt and no two people working together many times in a row (although I've been stuck with the Master a few times in a row because there are only two females and the other one is very young and the M knows he can throw me on the ground when I screw up and all I'll say is Thank You, Sir. ) but as I continue, I'll HAVE to ask. Last night he did say my rolls were much improved from last week and I just smiled, I'd never say, "Well, ya know...that guy on YouTube was a HUGE help." I wanted to though. Another thing I've noticed is that everyone in class is SOOO serious. I don't know what the environment of other schools is like, but a few weeks back when we started incorporating the techniques we'd learned from a standing position into how to deflect punches, the black belt student I was working with was going on and on about reflexes and how they need to be quick (which seemed an obvious thing to say) and I said I needed to go home and practice killing flies with chopsticks and laughed. The look on his face was a cross between complete non-understanding and offense. I hope I didn't offend him but I've never asked him if I did, I just let it go. But I'm too devoted to my goal to NOT ask questions if I think it's truly impairing my progress.

And yes, you are totally correct in that seeing ONE tiny detail made the whole difference with the YouTube video. It was simply a leg positioning on the back roll that the lit the mental light bulbs like a christmas tree. My hallway immediately became a rolling practiceway.

I love that Hapkido isn't a spectator martial art like some others, in that we don't have the pressure of competitions and it really is, when all's said and done, about what works for us. I'm continually amazed at the complexity and simplicity of this art form. Plus, I love the idea that I become more and more devastating each week. :)
 

oftheherd1

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...

and I said I needed to go home and practice killing flies with chopsticks and laughed. The look on his face was a cross between complete non-understanding and offense.

eek.gif
Doesn't everyone do that?
Actually, I used to try and catch flies sometimes for practice of my speed and hand/eye coordination. Used to drive people nuts.
...

And yes, you are totally correct in that seeing ONE tiny detail made the whole difference with the YouTube video. It was simply a leg positioning on the back roll that the lit the mental light bulbs like a christmas tree. My hallway immediately became a rolling practiceway.

Enlightenment can be exhillerating can't it?
doh.gif


I love that Hapkido isn't a spectator martial art like some others, in that we don't have the pressure of competitions and it really is, when all's said and done, about what works for us. I'm continually amazed at the complexity and simplicity of this art form. Plus, I love the idea that I become more and more devastating each week. :)

Careful with that last paragraph. Some people here at MT actually like sport MA.
tongue.gif
But I agree that I like Hapkido for its practicality. Keep us informed of your progress.
 
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kubachi

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Yeah I probably should have mentioned my obsession with GSP and all the money I've spent on PPV UFC events, not to mention attending every BJJ and TKD championship in the tri-state area before I moved down here. I'm just glad that perosnally, I don't have the pressure of competitions anymore. (or it could be that I'm just old now and couldn't handle it!)
 
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kubachi

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It's not OLD old, just old for a martial arts beginner, maybe? I'm definitely the oldest in my class except for the instructor. However, like all martial arts, we get better at our craft the older we get. Classes are going well for me. I've, unfortunately, been out the past two due to havin to attend medical conferences but I'm done with those until the end of January so will be 100% devoted once again. :) Thanks for the welcome.
 
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kubachi

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Well, it's been a few months now and I'm still loving Hapkido, although.....I watched Ip Man and Ip Man2 over the Christmas break and now I'm interested in Wing Chun! My question is this: Is it a good or bad idea to mix studies, especially being so green to martial arts? The thing is, with my kickboxing background I'm constantly taming the brawler inside with the Hapkido. I've picked up the techniques really quickly and practice at home all the time but I feel like...I dunno, like I need something else. Is this normal? Should I attend a couple of Wing Chun classes a week or wait awhile? Advise! Thanks you guys...and HAPPY NEW YEAR! :)
 
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