International Hapkido USA
International Hapkido USA is a full-time, professional Hapkido and Kuhapdo dojang (i.e. Korean martial arts gym) located in the Bucktown neighborhood in Chicago's near northwest side. The dojang is owned and operated by Master Kevin Sogor who is also the head instructor and actively teaches classes 7 days a week.
My Experience: I have trained at International Hapkido USA, a Jung Ki Kwan dojang, for nearly a year now and appreciate my training more and more with every class. I trained at a different Hapkido dojang, also in Chicago, several years ago and truly feel that I am learning far more here than I did at the other school. I enjoyed my first experience in Hapkido but fell into the expectation of receiving a belt advancement every 4-8 weeks. Under Master Sogor's instruction, I really feel that I am becoming much more grounded in the art and know that expectations are much higher of me here despite a very casual and comfortable learning environment. In order to advance, I truly have to put in time and effort so that I can effectively demonstrate my proficiency time and time again before being considered for a belt promotion. This is definitely more frustrating at times for my ego but I know that I am gaining a much more thorough understanding of the material I have been taught and I really look forward to class as an opportunity to become a better, stronger person.
I definitely encourage anyone to visit International Hapkido USA to learn more about the Hapkido, Kuhapdo, Women's Self-Defence, and/or Women's FitCut sword fitness classes. The environment is comfortable and the resources available are amazing!!!
Basic Info: For those who are unfamiliar with Hapkido (hap ki do or hapki-do; Hangul: 합기도), it is a dynamic Korean martial art developed by Grandmaster Choi Yong Sul and first taught after his return to Korea from Japan (1912 to 1943). The art places heavy emphasis on energy redirection and gravity through the use of circular motion, non-resisting movements, and general control of the attacker. This is achieved through footwork and body positioning to achieve leverage regardless of size differences, and avoiding the use of sheer strength against strength. As a result, size and strength are less important for success in this art than in many other martial arts so it is equally well-suited for anyone with a slender build.
Hapkido's focus is to be able to quickly end a fight as completely as deemed necessary. As a result, practitioners also employ techniques such as joint locks, kicks, strikes, pressure points, throws, and a variety of traditional weapons such as the short stick, rope/belt, knife, and cane/staff (bo).