Thursday, 29 September 2016

Visualisation for Hapkido, by Rebekah Apelt

Visualisation for Hapkido (and any other physical skill you want to practice)

Practice is essential for any new skill you want to master but many Hapkido practitioners find it hard to practice at home where they may not have the room to practice, an appropriate practice mat or a partner to practice with. Visualisation becomes useful in these situations and makes it possible to practice anywhere at anytime.

Visualisation is where the student imagines themselves completing a move or technique successfully. It is important not to focus on mistakes. By practicing with visualisation student will find themselves more familiar with each technique allowing for better flow and control. They would notice improvement in consistency especially in the details of each technique and a greater ability to focus during practice and gradings. It would also help with memorising the large number of techniques that have to be learnt and the order they are performed in.

Visualisation works best if students use it regularly. 5 to 10 minutes per day is adequate to make a real difference but any visualisation practice is better than none. During this time students can practice similar to how they would in class but imagining themselves doing it. There are 2 main types of practice we do at Hapkido

Memorisation - this is going through the technique, often without takedowns,
to confirm students remember the order. Students can go through the techniques from 1 - 10 or 10 - 1 or all even numbers then all odd numbers or any other order they can think of.

Detailed practice - this is going through a set of techniques step by step
and making sure their hand positions, stepping and takedowns are correct.

Memorisation is most useful before gradings because by this point the students would already know all the techniques and just need to re-enforce the order. Detailed practice is more useful straight after learning a new technique as it helps students to remember all the details of the specific technique they just learnt. It can be useful to keep a note pad and pen close by when doing detailed practice so students can write down any questions about the specifics of a technique they were not sure of. Both forms of practice should be done regularly on techniques that were learn’t in previous grades.

An added benefit of visualisation is that it is considered a form of meditation and so many of the benefits of meditation can also be found with visualisation.

It is not only a useful technique in martial arts, but also other activities where it is not possible to practice in real life over and over (such as doctors performing surgery, or parallel car parking).

Monday, 26 September 2016

Hapkido Brisbane Logo Explained

Hapkido Brisbane Logo Explained

A review of my time at Hapkido Brisbane, by Aaron Henry

I was asked to write a review of my time at Hapkido Brisbane as I am leaving the club almost six years after I first joined.
The reason why I am leaving is that I and my family have decided to return to Ireland (my first home) and in a way this decision is connected with what I have learned during my time at the club.
I could not have explained why it was important to me that I learned self-defense when I first decided to learn, I just knew that it was important and something I needed to do. Sometime later when I read the student manual something that Sabumnim wrote gave me the answer to that question.
Sabumnim wrote that self-defense is a right, not a privilege. This straightforward point resonated with my own attitude. And this affirmation it makes it clear for people who have a certain way of looking at things that in fact no explanation is needed for why you would want to learn self-defense.
This attitude and so much else about Hapkido and about our club has been a perfect fit for me.
When I decided to join Hapkido Brisbane it was not because I knew anything about martial arts or what to look for in any style, but I did know that I would be able to say I had found the right club judging by the atmosphere during the class and by the character of the teacher.
I knew after my first Hapkido class that both of these conditions were present at Hapkido Brisbane and I knew I had found what I was looking for.
During the past six years what I have seen is that every student has had the opportunity to improve in every class that he or she attended. The only question was whether that person took the opportunity or not.
Our Sabomnim has created the conditions that allow for each student to grow as they need to whatever their individual goals are.
In any field of human endeavor there are certain values that are sought after and there are those who set the standard in those values.
And just as it is true that no river can rise above its own source, our Sabumnim’s example is that which we aspire to and in truth it is why we are part of Hapkido Brisbane.
The values of integrity, respect and discipline are the values that people respond to and seek out most commonly and are values that can only be delivered by people. But answering how these values are delivered, how well and by who, is not such an easy task.
At Hapkido Brisbane it is clear to every student that we have the standard; our Sabumnim is the example that we aspire to and every student knows that without doubt.
As my time at Hapkido came to an end I began to see what the single biggest change that had happened for me over my years at the club was and what it is that now has contributed to my decision to return to Ireland.
When I first joined the club I attended class each night expecting to get something, to take something away from each class. Eventually I came to see things differently.
I began to see that this was my club and it was no longer about what I could get from the club but what I could give to my club, like my Sabumnim’s example I resolved to offer what I could give to other students.
Hapkido Brisbane has given me a sense of power which I never had before.

 Hapkido Brisbane has led to me believing that I have a positive contribution to make and just as with my decision to learn self-defense, no explanation is needed for why I would want to do this.

Sunday, 10 July 2016


Self Defence, Martial Arts, Hapkido

The use of reasonable force to protect oneself or members of the family from bodily harm from the attack of an aggressor, if the defender has reason to believe he/she/they is/are in danger. The force used in self-defence may be sufficient for protection from apparent harm (not just an empty verbal threat) or to halt any danger from attack, but cannot be an excuse to continue the attack or use excessive force. Reasonable force can also be used to protect property from theft or destruction.
Martial Arts
The term martial arts refers to all of the various systems of training for combat. These different systems or styles are all designed for one purpose: physically defeating opponents and defending against threats.
Hapkido is a traditional Korean martial art which focuses on defence rather than offense, and is designed to neutralize an opponent through a range of techniques. The techniques in Hapkido are not designed for sport or fun, they are designed to damage, cripple or kill. Hapkido can be a vicious fighting form emphasising bone jarring throws, deadly strikes and violent joint locks.
Hapkido is a discipline which is also designed to clarify and calm the spirit, and those who practice Hapkido are also attempting to develop themselves as individuals

Hapkido, in Korean, means the way, or do, of ki, which refers to life energy, and harmony, or hap. It is designed to be a martial art which harmonizes body energy while maintaining a state of non-aggression, and can be practiced by men and women of all ranges of size and strength. Hapkido is about calculated moves rather than brute force.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Mind over Matter

by Aaron Henry

Our minds are perhaps more important than our physical strength or conditioning when it comes to realising the fullest potential of our power.
The Hapkido student looks to co-ordinate as much of his or her power as possible when delivering techniques. However long before any of our muscles were put into action to develop our Hapkido skills, all of us somewhere along the line, made the choice to undertake this effort.
Without that force of will, without our power of the will, our physical power would remain unused. The simple act of choosing is an example of will-power in action. And there is much more mind-power that is available to us.   
Popular examples of the ‘mind over matter’ phenomenon are visualization, for athletes, meditation and having a positive outlook, all these examples employ our mind towards achieving an actual effect in what we are intending to do.
However just how much a certain way of thinking can go to achieve physical results can be seen in research relating to ‘the placebo effect’. 
The placebo effect is a positive physical outcome caused by a drug, which cannot be attributed to the properties of the drug itself because the drug which was given to the patient was inert, fake and is usually just a sugar pill. 
The positive result must therefore be due to the person’s belief that the drug will work for them. 
Placebo treatments have been seen to stimulate real physiological responses, from changes in heart rate and blood pressure to chemical activity in the brain, in cases involving pain, depression, anxiety, fatigue, and even some symptoms of Parkinson’s.
In a 2013 article from Harvard Magazine it was reported that two weeks into a clinical drug trial, nearly a third of 270 subjects complained of awful side effects. 
All the patients had joined the study hoping to alleviate severe arm pain: carpal tunnel, tendinitis, chronic pain in the elbow, shoulder and wrist. 
Half the patients received pain-reducing pills; the others were offered acupuncture treatments. 
In both cases, people began to call in, saying they couldn’t get out of bed. The pills were making them sluggish, the needles caused swelling and redness; some patients’ pain ballooned to nightmarish levels.
The side effects were simply amazing but even more astounding was that the pills which had been given to the patients were actually made of corn-starch. The “acupuncture” needles were retractable shams that never pierced the skin
However the side effects were exactly what patients had been warned their treatment might produce. 
There are good reasons why Hapkido students train mind AND body to the best of our ability.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Improve your grip for Hapkido with Hand Grippers

Improve your grip for Hapkido with Hand Grippers

Hand grips are a compact and portable piece of equipment that is great for increasing your grip strength.
1/ For timed holds, hold the gripper in one hand for as long as you can, while making a note of the maximum amount of time you’re able to hold it. Repeat with the other hand, and match or go over the original time.

2/ For speed repetitions, hold the gripper and try to close it as many times as you can for a set amount of time. Repeat with the other hand. Make sure to maintain the amount of time with each hand, and pay attention to the amount of pressure you’re exerting on each grip session. This exercise is as much about quality as it is about quantity.

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Dan-jun and force (by Aaron Henry)

A definition for the centre of mass of an object is; a point representing the mean position of the matter in an object.
In other words, if you were to start pushing on something at the point of its centre of mass you will encounter the greatest resistance. Or if something pushes on you concentrated through its centre of mass, you will have the hardest time resisting.
When you see a picture of where the centre of mass is for different objects, it makes more sense; except perhaps for the ‘donut’ shape.

When you see where the centre of mass is on the human body you will also see that this is the same place as the area we learn and know as our dan-jun.
In Hapkido we are instructed that on the human body the dan-jun is approximately the measure of 3 fingers below and 3 fingers in from our belly-button.

There is much more to ‘dan-jun’ in Hapkido other than it being a person’s centre of mass. However a person’s centre of mass is located where we locate our dan-jun and this is important to know.
We are told to train with awareness of using our ‘dan-jun energy’ when delivering our techniques.
We aim to do this among other reasons to use as much of our mass as possible, rather than relying on the strength of some of our muscles alone.

Why try to use dan-jun?
One reason we use dan-jun is because we can deliver much more force in a technique if we use our dan-jun. This is not just a Hapkido principle but it is also a basic law of physics. Force is equal to mass multiplied by acceleration.
[Force = Mass x Acceleration]
So the more mass and acceleration that we can put into our actions the more force we can generate.

If you want a more forceful technique, whether that is a punch, kick or Kibon Su etc. put your dan-jun into it!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Sabum or Sabumnim

Sabum or Sabumnim

(Hangul - Sabum 사범 - Sabumnim 사범)
Sabum is Korean for Master, as used in Hapkido. In general, rank of 4th dan (4th = sa in Korean) is called Sabum.

The suffix -nim is added to show a measure of respect.

When you address a teacher, you will therefore use the term Sabumnim. The teacher will call themselves sa bum (you never use the suffix -nim when you're talking about yourself)