Added two more High Red Techniques this evening: Slip Back to Horizontal Center Lock and the Head Grab Take Down!
Just five more video's and the basic instructional content from white belt to 1st Dan black will be complete!!!!! Wahoooo....
I must say when I began Hapkido Online I expected to have all this done in a year.... That was uh three years ago...
So I am a little slow.
However looking back, I am kind of glad I went slowly. You see in many DVD series you might buy for Hapkido they probably film all basic instruction over a long day or maybe two. I just did a video here and there for several years and so each move has my full attention. I am not thinking okay, now let's film the next one.
You can kind of sense my willingness to just make the move about the move and doing it well. For those of you who signed on in 2012, the stuff we are shooting now looks light years better than my early content. Some that old video is still on the site. Don't worry I plan to go back and little by little replace and revise.
What has changed since then? Well for one thing, I have changed. I am much better at demonstrating and teaching Hapkido now than I was three years ago. Why? Well that is three more years of diligent practice. In fact when I began Hapkido Online I was a 1st Dan Black belt and now I have earned my 3rd Dan Black Belt.
Also I must express my appreciation to my teachers. Master Tim Feathers who drove out to see me and practice with me. Also Grand Master Rodemaker who also has come here to teach us locally.
My camera equipment has improved as well. In the beginning I used my wife's Flip Camera and a broken tri-pod. Very low budget but hey it's what I have. That first Flip ended up getting broken in a practical joke run amok.
Okay I'll digress and tell you what happened. My daughter Sophia was using the flip to shoot a little video in her room. Her Grandparents and I were in the process of tearing out the wall just behind where she had set the camera. I had this great idea that we could score the wall board a few times and then I could crash my head through the wall and yell "Here's Johnny!". Just like the movie The Shining. I was hoping the video would capture her complete surprise and perhaps terror. It was all going to plan. My head went right through the wall and she shrieked and jumped back which of course caused Julies poor camera to fall to the floor and break. Yeah, not my finest moment.
I replaced Julies Flip camera and bought myself a used Sony Webbie Camera. It has some advantages, for example the screen could be rotated around. Prior to that I had to put a mirror behind the Flip Cam. Still the image quality left a lot to be desired.
Then a kind photographer, Mr. Pat Mills, took an interest in my Hapkido project and helped me to purchase the ideal rig. What we ended up with was a little robot product called a swivl that holds lightweight cameras and automatically points them at a remote. The little flashy gizmo you see in the latest video's is the remote. The remote also acts as a microphone. He set me up with a proper Tri-pod, and most importantly we ended up getting an iPod touch 5 that has excellent camera's a screen that I can see and connects directly to the swivl with the swivl app.
So now we have high quality video, even hi-def if I so choose. We have high quality sound. The only thing that was still kind of off was the aspect ratio. The focal length of the camera was such that you could see my upper body but not my feet or my feet but not my upper body. Pat suggested a small thimble sized Wide Angle Lens that literally pops onto the iPod touch like a magnet. It took me nearly 6 months to heed his advice but I finally bought one from a website called photojojo.com . Huge improvement, now you can see my whole body in frame for each technique.
In 2012 I started with little more than a dream. I made the basic website. It looked cruder then, than it does now. But all the elements where there. I set up my old broken tripod and borrowed camera in our living room and started filming white belt.
Now in 2015 Hapkido Online looks refined. We have custom artwork from my friend James Barnes. We have very high quality video and I feel personally that my instruction has improved significantly. Not only is it better but I am not as awkward in front of the camera as I used to be. Finally we are nearing the end of my original goal to have step by step video instruction streaming online from white belt to black belt.
Am I finished? No Way!!! I am just beginning. First I want to go back and refilm white belt. Less chatter and more actual movement. With the new camera gear etc.
Then I plan to push forward into the Dan Levels. I want to add cane, stick and knife techniques, kubotan, ground survival, steel baton, and all the wonders that were originally laid out by Grand Master Rodemaker and Senior Master Ziot's in the Tactical Hapkido Encyclopedia.
I was looking at my old belt certificates the other day and it slowly dawned on me that my very first martial arts lesson was in February of 1991. So this month is essentially my 24th anniversary of practicing martial arts. It also represents 24 years of friendship with Master Feathers my teacher.
February is also very significant to me because it is my wedding anniversary to my lovely wife and best friend Julie. This year will be our 11th.
Sorry to ramble on, this could be the longest news post we have on Hapkido Online. What can I say, I am feeling blessed. Thank you God for my wife, my teacher, and my students.
Teacher and Hapkido Online Developer.