Posted On:3/06/2005 6:49pm
Style: hapkido, sword, daito-ryu
My name is Matthew Rogers and I am one of Master Hwang's senior students. Training with Master Hwang has been the most rewarding experience of my martial arts training which has included training with very senior teachers of hapkido, aikido, jujutsu and judo in Korea and Japan.
I know that seems hardly surprising declaration considering Iím one of his students but there is also a reason Iíve always returned to his school when Iíve been in Canada and could have trained anywhere. He teaches from a system where theory and practice coincide completely.
The school at Adelaide and Simcoe is East-West Hapkido and is run under a fellow who trained primarily under Chung Kee-Tae and sought to affiliate his school with Master Hwang after receiving private lessons. His training is not representative of Master Hwang's approach whether what he is doing is impressive or unimpressive. Watching a video of someone else's school with not give you a fair representation of what we do.
The early stages of hapkido training primarily focus upon training basic striking and so I am not surprised that you felt as if you were watching a TKD school. At the upper levels one does increasingly more grappling, throwing, and, the heart of hapkido, which is standing jointlocks. Good basics are important regardless of where you go. If you train defenses against people without good basics you only train to counter those who are easily countered.
Information can be found on Master Hwang at www.eaglehapkido.com and www.worldhapkido.com.
Master Hwang is the Headteacher for the World Hapkido Federation and was previously the Chief Instructor for the Korea Hapkido Association Headquarters in Seoul. Some of fellows who practised at the same school as he did were Bong Soo Han (Billy Jack movies, IHF president), Myung Kwang-Sik, Kim Chong Sung. In short the most senior teachers in North America. ( see www.hapkido-info.net for information on Hapkido lineage)
I trained in Korea for 2 years and could train anywhere for free by merely stating my teacher's name. Master Hwang is the real deal if you are looking for hapkido. However hapkido isn't for everyone. I would also encourage you not to make any judgement on any school based upon a single visit.
I run a small training group myself in Scarborough and do my best to share with others what I have been able to glean from my 19 year association with Master Hwang. www.spiritforging.com
Lastly, the key to doing well at Master Hwang's has nothing to do with the classes. The classes are just organized exercise at Eagle. Master Hwang watches how you train on your own and will give you personal instruction based upon how much you 'sweat' through what he has taught you. Heís very Ďold schoolí and isnít interested in people who arenít committed and arenít giving it their all. He loves hapkido and has been very important to its development. We are very lucky to have him here in Canada. There are very few teachers his level in Korea.
Posted On:3/06/2005 7:48pm
Style: BJJ, ex mcdojo
Firstly, welcome to Bullshido. It is always nice to have a representative from one of the schools we are talking about. I have heard of your master before and indeed his credentials are certainly impressive. I would like to respectfully ask a question of you in regards to training methods and techniques. In the first post of this thread, the original poster mentions that he saw your master appear to make someone faint by gazing at them. Is this a standard technique taught in your system and if so could you explain the principles behind it? I appreciate being able to have this discourse with you and hope that your answer will provide some insight into your techniques and beliefs.
Posted On:3/07/2005 2:30pm
hmm well this is old now but i am going to answer.
i am the tall young guy in question. essentially these videos were taken from my orange belt testing. by the time i had fought her i had already fought 6-7 people, best 2 out of 3 bouts. AND completed over an hour of technique. so needless to say by this point i was totally exhausted and barely able to move.
AND the girl in question is a brown belt, is surprisingly tough and knows her stuff.
after a certain point a lot of our sparring just comes down to having the mental toughness to just drag yourself back up and keep fighting. we do 10-12 rounds best 2 out of 3 and you do not pass without fighting.
at one point east west was a branch school of eagle but our schools no longer have any connection. IMHO if you are located in toronto and you are interested in learning hapkido go by both schools and make the call for yourself.
Originally Posted by wingchunnewbie
Interesting. I liked some of the stuff in those videos, but vid 3. looks suspicious. Why is that dumpy little housewife apparently able to beat up the tall young guy ? She enters with feeble flailing little body punches and he doesn't appear to respond, just backs up clumsily waiting for her to knee him.
Posted On:3/09/2005 8:08pm
Thanks for the interest in my teacher's school.
I hesitate to answer this one as I'm pretty sure that I would be telling you more about my own take on "ki" and its external forms rather than accurately representing Master Hwang's views, which of course are best gotten from him.
I'd like to be clear in one thing however that Master Hwang does not represent such "ki" manipulations as being a practical fighting tactic or a "no touch throw" of the type promoted by some nei-gung teachers or aikido teachers. I believe he feels it is merely an exercise which is supposed to show how if one is sensitive one may feel external manifestations of "ki" in other people. That he and other hapkido-ists believe in Ki is however undoubtable. ( He doesn't ask others to believe however and in Korea the concept of "ki" is well centred in the culture with words like "ki-bun" referring to people's moods, spirit or energy. )
I myself have felt a feeling of being "pushed" at such moments in demonstrations but do not display such abilities nor pursue them. Nor is it something which is irresistable. Some might feel it is hyponotism but Master Hwang doesn't believe that this is so.
This internal exercise is something Master Hwang works on and is not something which other members can perform nor is it something which members spend much time on developing, as hapkido training is primarily practical. Good punching, kicking, throwing and jointlocks are the emphasis of Eagle. Breathing practise allows us to relax and perform in a relaxed manner when under pressure. It also helps allow us to calm down when in a state of agitation or anger. Meditation and breathing exercise is good for one's life rather than good for 'throwing down'.
I hope that that in some small way answers your query but I would encourage you to talk to Master Hwang himself if you really wish to know about the details of his art.
Posted On:12/16/2007 9:47am
This post is two years old but I stumbled across it and thought, 'why not?' I recently started at Master Hwang's here in Toronto and thought I would share my thoughts.
I come from a Kyokushin background and the transition has not been easy, I must say. The punching and kicking systems are quite different than what I'm used to so I'm doing a bit of unlearning while I learn. Do I need to unlearn? In this case, yes. I've always been a decent striker with good power in both my hands and my feet. However, with Master Hwang's technique, I found my striking power and speed has multiplied noticeably. It actually is completely changing the way I approach striking.
I initially decided to check it out because I work in the Toronto nightclub industry and know many of his students who also work in the industry, and though all of them are really decent guys (this is important to me... I didn't wanna join the Cobra Kai), they are fearsome fighters that impressed me greatly when I witnessed them in action.
Upon watching a class and talking to MH, I was sold on the place. As mentioned in a previous post, some of the 'ki' work he does is purely for informational purposes. We do NOT train that way, it is all completely practical and fight based. There's also a heavy emphasis on groundwork, throwing, grappling, and of course, joint locks.
Yes, there is often full contact fighting with no padding. As you advance in experience, the fighting you do also increases. Obviously head contact has to be kept to a bare minimum because of the lack of ANY sort of protection.
Eagle Hapkido is by no means a McDojang and belts do not get handed out easily. There is no official grading days, you must be ready to test at anytime, and at times, you don't even know you're being tested. The school is not fancy, it's in a basement and is certainly lacking the chrome, mirror and fern feeling of many modern dojos... but we have what we require.
Would it be effective in an MMA ring/cage? I have no idea. Does it work in reality based situations such as a streetfight? Without a shadow of doubt and for me, someone who has no interest in stepping in a ring, that is all I require.
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