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The curriculum taught at Midwest Hapkido is a reorganization of traditional Hapkido techniques. The techniques themselves continue to be taught in their traditional format, but the overall organization of the order in which the techniques are taught has been has been changed to support an improved training experience for the students. If  this seems like double talk, lets remember how Hapkido, in fact, most oriental martial arts are taught.

Founded in traditional oriental culture, martial arts usually were organized as a haphazard series of survival "tricks" that were taught ancillary to the more broadly accepted weaponry of ancient battlefields. The first real organization came with the infusion of Buddhist thought in the 400-s and 500-s AD. With the Buddhist approach one essentially trained until their teacher decided the student was competent either to move on to other interests or to be identified as having mastered their art.

Centuries later, the infusion of Confucianism introduced the use of tests and a hierarchy of grades. This advancement at least brought standardization within individual styles, and one could expect to master a roughly standard curriculum, though with variances from teacher to teacher and school to school. This is the approach with which most martial artists are familiar. However, this standardization comes at a cost.

Because the Confucian approach can be unique from teacher to teacher a single teacher can present a certification and the student will assume that his instructor will be as well-educated in the art as any other. This is not the case. Martial arts, including Hapkido, is rife with individuals who are spoken of albeit in hushed tones regarding the questionable circumstances under which they attained their rank or market themselves to the public. The Confucian approach shields these individuals by making it difficult to bring them to accountability for what they teach. You have probably heard that Hapkido is an "eclectic" art. This is not true, but given this explanation its probably easy to understand how this reputation began. 

More importantly, with its wide variance of organization, the martial art student experiences considerable difficulty in retention and organization making a challenging journey much more difficult than it needs to be.

The academic approach used at Midwest Hapkido has reorganized the philosophy, concepts and techniques of the art of Hapkido in such a fashion that subsequent levels build directly on preceding levels. Emphasis is solely on the technique itself with combat or "street" application relegated to the practicum portion of each class.

In addition, each level of Hapkido training includes units concerning the personal growth of the student. In mastering the physical portion of this art, it is very important that the student simultaneously develop a maturity and ethic that will help them to make good decisions concerning its use. conjunction with the more.

For further information regarding this teaching approach, organization of the various training levels, or availability of the training manuals, please contact me at

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