What is Academic Hapkido?

Among the many issues facing Martial arts instruction is the need to provide education in an art whose heritage is closely related to a particular ethnic group or nation. In the case of Hapkido the use of the Korean language, Korean social protocols and a particular pre-occupation with a hierarchy of deference has often impaired students progress. Many instructors who sought to remove most or all of these ethnic underpinnings produced systems which were devoid of very necessary philosophical connections. The result was often combat systems lacking guiding principals for their application.

Academic Hapkido is not a new art. Rather it is a fundamental reorganization of Yon Moo Kwan Hapkido techniques and material; a change in the method by which the art is taught. The result is a logical progression of material from the simplest to most complex techniques and finally to weapons training. Unlike the traditional presentation of Hapkido material in which the practitioner is asked to master disparate techniques defined by application, the academic approach invites the student to learn in a logical progression building later levels of expertise on earlier levels of mastery. In this way Academic Hapkido produces three major advantages to the Hapkido practitioner.


Retention. Using the Academic Hapkido approach students have a logical format to help them organize their art. This allows them to experience a wider range of techniques and recall those techniques for additional practice and comparison.
Goals: Using the Academic approach assists the student in identifying how far and how fast they care to progress. With a clear understanding of how the art is organized and progresses, a student is able to make informed choices about their Martial art training just as with any other educational experience.
Progress: Using the academic approach insures that the student is consistently aware of their place in the curriculum and what skills require their attention at any given time.
Simplification: Using the academic approach respects the incorporation of Korean culture in classroom instruction at the discretion of the instructor and as the ability of the students provides. By re-organizing techniques in a logical fashion, and reducing some cultural aspects of the art, the academic approach allows the practitioner to focus primarily on improvement of their skills and their personal growth.

If you have further questions about this approach to Hapkido instruction please contact us at Midwest Hapkido. We're glad to hear from you.

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