Question about David Herbert 's Hapkido School in New York City?
Hi, My name is Manny and I am a newbie in this forum...I am interested in training at David Herbert's hapkido school here in New York City (www.happykicks.com) and I was wondering if anyone can comment on it....
Re: David Herbert's Hapkido
There are legitimate questions about his style of Hapkido. I have known about him for a number of years now having first met him back in 1995 when his school was located on 598 Broadway. He was sharing space with a highly regarded master of the Chinese internal arts, David Lin. One of my former instructors, David James, (Vee-Arnis-Jitsu) which you all know especially since his art has been the topic of discussion on this board, did a seminar there awhile back. David Herbert is suppose to have studied under Lil'John Davis of Kumite-Ryu and is a high ranking member of Master Davis' organization. Master Davis just happens to be part of the Vee-Arnis-Jitsu family, having studied under Professor Vee back in the day. For what it's worth, David Herbert once appeared in a martial arts documentary a few years ago with a bunch of other notables and the NY Daily News once listed his school as one of the best in terms of martial arts instruction. I am aware that the school does participate in tournaments and their students have visited Korea, as well.
In 1995, I opted to sign up with VAJ instead and got to know Professor Vee . I regard both Professor Vee and Professor James as my greatest influences.
Going back to David Herbert (he also goes by a Korean name, Yong Ji-in), it was those doubts about his background that convinced me to look elsewhere. I had met Hapkido grandmaster Chang Chinil (the handpicked successor of Choi Yong sul-who is the founder, if you accept his version of the art's origins) who was teaching up in the Bronx, but the school was too far away. I happened to mention GM Chang's name to Master Herbert, but he didn't know who he was which further created more doubts. I even called up the late GM Mike Wollmershauser in an effort to find an affiliated Hapkido school near my area, but other than GM Chang Chinil (who he seemed to have great respect for), there was no one else in NYC. I am still leaning on David Herbert's school, but not because he claims it's Hapkido, but mainly because he's got a flexible schedule (open as early as 6:30am and open 7 days a week up til 11pm) and the techniques generally look effective for self-defense. He could have called the art anything he wanted, but as long as the techniques look like they work, I would still consider signing up.