Hapkido and Sparring

goingd

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So little positive activity takes place on this section. Well, not much takes place on this section in general... So I thought I'd ask a simple question that can be pleasantly discussed without the open doors to irritating arguments.

What is sparring like in your Hapkido system? Do you wear hogu? I have heard of some schools using Olympic Taekwondo sparring almost entirely, whatever the reason may be. Do you spar in your Hapkido system?

When I trained formally informally we usually sparred at the end of class without hogu. As far as striking went contact depended on your age - just nothing that could really harm you. The focus was on take downs but joint locks were allowed. About two to three minute matches.

Lets keep smiles on! ^~^

Greg L.
 

zDom

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What is sparring like in your Hapkido system? Do you wear hogu? I have heard of some schools using Olympic Taekwondo sparring almost entirely, whatever the reason may be. Do you spar in your Hapkido system?

When I trained formally informally we usually sparred at the end of class without hogu. As far as striking went contact depended on your age - just nothing that could really harm you. The focus was on take downs but joint locks were allowed. About two to three minute matches.

Sparring at my school is... rare. All too infrequent for my tastes (sigh - I LOVE sparring...)

I don't wear a hogu unless specifically told to.

We usually just spar in the week or two before competing. We then spar in class to match up with the rules of the tournament (point style or Olympic style), so no joint locks or low kicking.
 

Jeffrey

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We spar frequently and in a variety of ways, depending on rank, student toughness, and desire. All students are expected to perform open randori style grappling, and light touch/no touch striking. However, students who wish to can engage in a variety of hard contact sparring, with boxing/mma style safety gear (shinpads, headgear, mma or boxing gloves). We have a Friday night open mat class where fairly hard sparring is routine.
 
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goingd

goingd

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Does anyone know if Choi originally had his students spar?
 

Wey

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We spar frequently and in a variety of ways, depending on rank, student toughness, and desire. All students are expected to perform open randori style grappling, and light touch/no touch striking. However, students who wish to can engage in a variety of hard contact sparring, with boxing/mma style safety gear (shinpads, headgear, mma or boxing gloves). We have a Friday night open mat class where fairly hard sparring is routine.

I would love to train at your Hapkido school! Sounds great!
 

JimR

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In my school, we spar everyone, every time. I guess it's called round robin. Spar, rotate, spar, rotate. The last 15 minutes of class is dedicated to sparring. I use only gloves, shin guards and cup. It's supposed to be light contact, but boys will be boys. It ends up more medium contact to body, light or no contact to head, face or groin. Higher belts work in grappling and ground work, but not with lower belts. We tend not to spar lower belts past their abilities. Occasionally, we'll work two against one, rotating within groups of three.
 

howard

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Does anyone know if Choi originally had his students spar?

What exactly do you mean by "spar"? Do you mean competitive-type continuous fighting, or something like point fighting?
 
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goingd

goingd

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What exactly do you mean by "spar"? Do you mean competitive-type continuous fighting, or something like point fighting?

I wasn't thinking anything having to do with competition or point sparring. I simply mean, did Choi have his students practice fighting each other beyond defense techniques, free sparring.
 

howard

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Just curious. Do you mind me asking how you came to know that he did not have his students spar?

^~^

Not at all.

From direct experience with one of his longtime students, GM Lim Hyun Soo.

Choi taught techniques the way they're taught in Japanese jujutsu: through repetition of the techniques with partners (known as "kata" in jujutsu). One partner attacks in a predefined way specific to the technique being practiced, the other defends in a predefined way. That's the way GM Lim still teaches today.

Here's a quote from his website: "Unlike many of today's martial arts that are oriented to sport games, Hapkido has stuck to the traditional martial arts. Hapkidoists who like the tradition and originality say, "It is not a game to see who wins and places first and second."

In other words, there was no compettion component in Choi's original art. The techniques were designed and taught for self-defense. Their intent is to end a fight quickly, not prolong it in something like sparring.
 

zDom

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Not at all.

From direct experience with one of his longtime students, GM Lim Hyun Soo.

Choi taught techniques the way they're taught in Japanese jujutsu: through repetition of the techniques with partners (known as "kata" in jujutsu). One partner attacks in a predefined way specific to the technique being practiced, the other defends in a predefined way. That's the way GM Lim still teaches today.

Here's a quote from his website: "Unlike many of today's martial arts that are oriented to sport games, Hapkido has stuck to the traditional martial arts. Hapkidoists who like the tradition and originality say, "It is not a game to see who wins and places first and second."

In other words, there was no compettion component in Choi's original art. The techniques were designed and taught for self-defense. Their intent is to end a fight quickly, not prolong it in something like sparring.

It is evident that my instructor (and presumably his instructor, Lee H. Park, who undoubtedly was taught this way by HIS instructor) has this same view of hapkido as this is how we are taught and I have heard pretty much this same speech from him many times in the past :)

I found that my experience sparring in taekwondo (got to 2nd dan before I retired to focus on HKD), however, taught me and trained very valuable skills that I find VERY useful for self defense such as:

"closing the gap" with confidence to achieve optimal distance (i.e., close enough to penetrate but not be jammed up) for both kicks and punches,

and linking kicks and punches into combinations (something I don't see a lot of: most fighters punch OR kick in their combinations, or punch THEN kick or vice versa; very few link the two using both simultaneously and seamlessly)

keeping my eyes locked onto the opponent even when being punched and kicked, staying in the fight even when receiving concussive strikes

becoming familiar first-hand with how people REALLY react to strikes (and feints!) to enhance the use of combination strings


With the right mindset (combat, not a game) I think sparring can enhance a hapkido'ins ability to defend him or herself.

It could be that those with the ability to spar with the right mindset (but without actually injuring partners) are the exception rather than the rule, however, and that for most folk it just reinforces bad habits.
 

howard

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I found that my experience sparring in taekwondo (got to 2nd dan before I retired to focus on HKD), however, taught me and trained very valuable skills that I find VERY useful for self defense...

Scott, I agree with you completely. I don't have any doubt that the right kind of sparring can be very helpful to your self-defense capabilities. It's just that sparring was not used traditionally in hapkido the way Choi taught it (as you noted), just as it's not used in traditional Japanese jujutsu.

It's simply a different approach to training.
 
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goingd

goingd

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Not at all.

From direct experience with one of his longtime students, GM Lim Hyun Soo.

Choi taught techniques the way they're taught in Japanese jujutsu: through repetition of the techniques with partners (known as "kata" in jujutsu). One partner attacks in a predefined way specific to the technique being practiced, the other defends in a predefined way. That's the way GM Lim still teaches today.

Here's a quote from his website: "Unlike many of today's martial arts that are oriented to sport games, Hapkido has stuck to the traditional martial arts. Hapkidoists who like the tradition and originality say, "It is not a game to see who wins and places first and second."

In other words, there was no compettion component in Choi's original art. The techniques were designed and taught for self-defense. Their intent is to end a fight quickly, not prolong it in something like sparring.
I see. Very useful information. Thank you.
 

Jeffrey

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I'm with zDom. I find it hard to imagine training to be effective without some serious sparring and randori.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Our school has randori with protective gear reminiscent of what we wore in a karate school that I attended years ago: head gear, gloves, a mouthpiece, a cup, and instep pads.

The intent is to learn to execute the techniques on a resisting opponent rather than for competition.

Daniel
 
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