Can you really learn martial arts from a website?
The short answer is yes you can. When you learn martial arts in a school you essentially watch the teacher and try to emulate his movements.
Then the teacher watches you and corrects deficiency in your movements. In Hapkido you also grapple with an uke (partner). Hapkido Online requires a partner to learn. A skilled instructor can watch you and a partner training and see if the technique is correct. As you gain skill you will also begin to intuitively know if you are doing it correctly.
Is learning Martial Arts from a website easier than a brick and
Emphatically no. Learning Martial Arts from a website requires greater self discipline than attending classes in a school. It also requires self integrity for only you know if you are actually practicing. A skilled instructor can usually spot somebody who isn't putting in the time though.
What advantages are there to learning from a
Well first off, you will get one on one instruction, albeit through the computer.
In a traditional school the instructor might have to watch over some 10 to 30 students, it's hard to focus on each one. With a website I can watch your techniques and focus on them. You can watch my teaching over and over and focus on it, without distractions. The other advantages is it's great for people who have busy lives or people who move about from place to place. You can decide what time class is and where it will be held. You can take your teacher with you everywhere you go.
Can't somebody just fake it to pass the test?
First of all. We aren't here to get belts, we are here to learn Hapkido. If you just
want to get a bunch of belts, go to your local strip mall and join a McDojo. If you want to learn
something than you are in the right place. An instructor can spot somebody who isn't doing the techniques correctly, it's as plain as the nose on your face.
Is this cheaper than learning from a traditional Hapkido School?
Is this inferior to a regular school?
Well I might be cheaper, some schools teach for free. I have taught people for free for years and years and so has my teacher, as a labor of love. The only reason Hapkido Online isn't completely free is it costs money to own and maintain. I can say that I've gone to great lengths to make it as affordable as possible. It is considerably cheaper than most traditional
Hapkido Online is inferior to no one. Hapkido Online IS a regular school. In fact Jon teaches people regularly in person. I would even say that Hapkido Online is better than 90% of the McDojo's out there. If you want to learn an effective martial art then this is a perfectly
acceptable way to do it.
We have noticed over the years that teaching people for free and or very cheaply often gives people the impression that what we are teaching isn't as "Good" as the schools that charge $100 a month. It is only a perception though and is
usually totally wrong. Our students are as skilled as anybody and often they are better.
A school that relies on your money for income has them working for you, you are the boss. It's not in their best interest to say or do anything to upset you. Whereas Hapkido Online and our partner schools don't rely on your income, we don't work for you, you aren't the boss. We are the teacher, you are the student.
What do I need to buy to learn
Well, nothing really. I am not selling anything here. Modern schools sell crap to make money, it's their income. Historically all you need to learn Martial arts is a teacher and a student (you will need an uke). Don't waste your money on trappings, save it for more important things like your kids college.
You obviously will need a computer and video camera. A good webcam would really be an asset. I assume that since you are reading this online you at least already have a computer.
The other items are fairly affordable nowadays.
What about training
Our school traditionally requires a dobak to be purchased by the time of your first test.
In the interest of making Hapkido training available to as many people as possible I have waived the requirement. Whatever clothes you normally exercise in are acceptable.
If you do decide to purchase a dobak then the rule is you may only wear colors if you've earned that color on a belt. For example Jon often wears a red top with black bottoms, since he has earned both of those belts it is acceptable.
What about a punching bag or padded targets?
This things can be useful to develop power and accuracy. We don't require them
but they DO help. I suggest finding this stuff second hand at play it again sports or a similar place. In a pinch, an old military duffel bag filled with old washed clothes works fairly well.
If you are a person of means, I am particularly fond of the water filled punching bags.
Can Hapkido be used for tournaments?
Hapkido is not a sport, it's a Martial Art devised to protect you against violent attack. If you want to learn sports than you should look for a good Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or MMA School. Incidentally the modern trend is for Martial Sport schools to tell people that what they teach can be used for self defense. It can be used that way but it's not ideal. For example a moped can be used to drive from coast to coast but wouldn't you rather take a plane? I do not mean to slight Martial Sports, they are fine if that's what you are looking for, Hapkido just doesn’t happen to be one of them.
Is Hapkido appropriate for
Teenagers and up please. Why? Would you teach a child how to break some bodies arm or choke them; how about how to shoot a handgun? Hapkido is a powerful weapon, it should be handled with care by responsible, mature people. Hapkido Online reserves the right to terminate memberships of any student that is found to be irresponsible, without refund.
Do you spar?
We do occasionally spar, the emphasis is not on scoring points though. The emphasis is on mastering range, power, speed, tactics, and strategy. If you choose to spar with your uke then both of you assume all risk of injury, Hapkido Online is not liable. Please take precautions such as protective gear and keep the emphasis on becoming better fighters and not on competition. Remember training injuries impede progress.
Does Hapkido have forms
Some schools do and some don't. Hapkido Online as yet is not teaching forms. If a student desires to learn forms he or she may ask to learn them and I would be happy to oblige but
they are not part if the testable curriculum. To the best of my knowledge most
'Hapkido Forms' are actually borrowed from other martial arts. This is not uncommon in the martial arts world. For example many Tae Kwon Do hyung are derivative of Okinawan Karate
katas. To some extent, a punch is a punch, a kick is a kick, a block is a block. It's how you do them that sets you apart.
Do you thing forms (hyung) are
I do think they are useful actually and encourage people to learn them.
What about weapons?
Hapkido Online mostly focuses on how to defend against various modern weapons (knives, guns, clubs). If you want to learn swordplay or archery from horseback then you should look elsewhere.
How do I test?
You may visit a member school or send a video to us and we will review. You can
also schedule a test in the digital Dojang and teacher and student can interact
in real time. We focus on ability. If you can demonstrate the techniques and principles we teach you will be promoted. Upon passing the test you will be mailed a certificate.
You can buy your own belt or send us money and we can buy one for you.
What if I've learned another martial art somewhere else, will
you honor my rank?
Yes! In fact I prefer students that have some previous training as they often
grasp the concepts more rapidly. I have had students that actually outrank me in other martial arts that just want to add to their arsenal of skills. We make room for everybody here.
What about people with
I am willing to teach you if you are willing to learn. If your disability prevents you from
doing certain techniques then we will substitute techniques that you CAN
do. It is advisable to get the permission of a doctor first. My goal is to teach people Hapkido, we all have strengths and weaknesses, we will work within them.
Teacher and Hapkido Online Developer.