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bitprophet
4/08/2007 11:36am,
If this would be better suited to another forum here (looked around but the only other place it might've fit was the main discussing-Bullshido forum, and not sure this is serious/big enough to go there) please let me know and/or move it :)

Having seen some various YouTube/Google Video clips of Hapkido (because we all know video clips == TRUTH :icon_roll) I was hoping to check it out, as it looks like my sort of thing. However, the only place in New York I've been able to find that teaches it seems to smell slightly of bullshido (despite the fact that the only reviews or mentions of the place I've been able to find are 100% positive).

Their website is http://www.worldmartial.com and contains the usual handwaving about the art being X thousand years old and making you younger and blah blah. OK, fine, that's marketing for you - not necessarily a deal-breaker. The promo video on the front page (~6 minutes) was...interesting. Most of it looks overly showy, which again, not necessarily a deal-breaker as it's a promo, but still a little disconcerting, especially all the hand-waving by the black guy (I assume that's Li'l John Davis of Sanuces/"Kumite-ryu" JJ fame) and the constant twirling of all the weapons shown.

Then we get to the SaBumNim page which lists the instructors; they're all Grandmaster this and Soke that, in various styles including Sanuces/Kumite-ryu which from my reading is at least pretty controversial in terms of effectiveness/lineage/BS quotient. Their materials on the site and elsewhere tend to advertise as teaching not only Hapkido but also Judo, JJ and TKD; whether that's because they actually mix those in, or just because some of the instructors have cross-trained, is unclear.

Finally, I can't find any mention of the "World Pro Hapkido Federation" that they claim to be certified by, except that it's another single school in California with few references. And one of their grandmasters' bios says he's the VP of the "World Hapkido Federation" (no "Pro") which is listed in a few places as being legit, but I still can't find any good links for it other than a Yahoo store, and googling that individual's name finds no links either.

Anyway, just trying to show that I've tried to do at least a bit of research and have come up short - has anyone heard anything else, good or bad, about this World Martial Arts place? I'd like to learn hapkido but would prefer it be as authentic as one can get with an art that is fairly fragmented and controversial (i.e. all the mixing with TKD schools and the drama surrounding its founder Choi). Any further wisdom about their video or the site info would also be appreciated.

OmegaBot
4/08/2007 11:37am,
Welcome to the Bullshido Forums bitprophet... Make sure you review your dojo (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=83) and add it to your user control panel so you can get the http://www.bullshido.net/images/dojoreview1.gif icon in your user info bar in your posts.

Jeffrey
4/08/2007 12:17pm,
I did Hapkido for about six month, so I'm certainly no expert, but I'll give my opinion.

Take a couple of their sample classes and see if you like it. This is what I recomend you look for:

1. Do they stress physical fitness? Are their advanced students fat or wimpy?
2. Do they do a lot of compliant akido-like drills? All Hapkido schools will do some, but if they do this stuff mosly, stay away.
3. Do they spar with contact? Do they practice open randori (e.g. unscripted standup grappling)? Do they grapple on the ground? All of these are good things.

Some Hapkido schools are good places to train, most are not. You'll just have to try it out and see.

rsobrien
4/08/2007 12:57pm,
Pro Hapkido looks pretty cool though, if they spar using Pro Hapkido rules I would probably do it. It looks like fun.

bitprophet
4/08/2007 1:00pm,
Jeffrey: thanks, it's good to have some pointers as to what to look for. I do plan to stop by and look for myself either way; I'm just trying to gather as much outside info as I can prior to showing up :)

rsobrien: I don't think they're necessarily Pro Hapkido in the sense that I've usually seen it used in - a more sport-oriented version. It's possible, of course, but I would've expected to see more mention of it being "Pro Hapkido" instead of just "HapKiDo" but the only place the Pro shows up is in the 'Certified by' blurb.

kwoww
4/08/2007 1:13pm,
Grandmaster Billy Davis is 10th degree Black Belt in Sanuces Ry Jujitsu and has 48 years of training under his belt. He is a retired police officer and a member of the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. Grandmaster Davis is also a Technical Advisor and member of the Board of Directors for the World Martial Arts Center. He has dedicated much of his life to teaching practical and reality-based martial arts.


:bsflag:
'nuff said.

bitprophet
4/08/2007 1:57pm,
:bsflag:
'nuff said.

Oh yea, that reminds me, that 'Martial Arts Hall of Fame' is another topic I saw badmouthed all over the place.

Don't suppose there's any chance that a place might still teach okay hapkido even if it has bullshido practicioners on staff? Guessing no, but ugh, the worse this place looks the more I want to actually try a decent hapkido place :( and there aren't any others I can find despite this being freaking New York City.

Jeffrey
4/08/2007 5:00pm,
Good Hapkido places are sadly quite rare. If you're ever in South Florida I can point you to a pretty decent one.

bitprophet
4/08/2007 5:11pm,
I'm actually in Ft Lauderdale and environs about 2 times a year, as my fiancee's family lives there. However I don't usually have the time to hit up martial arts classes during these trips :D but oh well.

Thanks again for the help.

kwoww
4/08/2007 5:12pm,
Oh yea, that reminds me, that 'Martial Arts Hall of Fame' is another topic I saw badmouthed all over the place.

Don't suppose there's any chance that a place might still teach okay hapkido even if it has bullshido practicioners on staff? Guessing no, but ugh, the worse this place looks the more I want to actually try a decent hapkido place :( and there aren't any others I can find despite this being freaking New York City.

There is a chance, but it's slight. You're more likely to find a school with good instructors who have been brainwashed into teaching ****.

vinhthekid
4/08/2007 6:37pm,
i stopped by the one on 14th and it looked hella bullshido. lots of air hitting and they were hella evasive when i asked them about sparring.

they do tout self defense in this huge banner that looks over 14th street though. i kinda have this huge desire to dojang storm them and be like... self defense what bitch? lol.

bitprophet
4/08/2007 6:46pm,
i stopped by the one on 14th and it looked hella bullshido. lots of air hitting and they were hella evasive when i asked them about sparring.

they do tout self defense in this huge banner that looks over 14th street though. i kinda have this huge desire to dojang storm them and be like... self defense what bitch? lol.

Good to know. Was there anything else bullshidoish about it besides those two things? How were they evasive - I assume they tried to basically say "uh we don't spar but you don't NEED to spar" or something like that?

Looks like I might be better off looking at a Hung Ga school that's been recommended...might still stop by this place just for kicks, though.

Sushi-Boy
4/08/2007 8:15pm,
Hi bitprophet!

I mainly studied Japanese/Okinawan MAs but in my late teens I was

especially curious about HapKiDo (the Rhee brothers techniques were

interesting - see Best of the Best 2/3) and looked at a few schools in

the UK and talked to some practioners.

Here are a few pointers to bear in mind:

* Traditionally HapKiDo has no kata/forms. The site you mentioned

had a guy in a beret doing something, or other.....

* Good Hapkido will resemble Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu with high kicking.

* Bad Hapkido will resemble rudimentary Aikido with kicks.

* The best guys I practiced with were from a school under

Master Bong Soo Han. They could match my hard Karate and

also did a fair bit of throwing and stand-up grappling during our

sparring.

I hope my experiences are of some help to you.

vinhthekid
4/09/2007 12:57am,
Good to know. Was there anything else bullshidoish about it besides those two things? How were they evasive - I assume they tried to basically say "uh we don't spar but you don't NEED to spar" or something like that?

Looks like I might be better off looking at a Hung Ga school that's been recommended...might still stop by this place just for kicks, though.

they said they sparred, but were evasive about how hard they sparred and whether they did any ground work. also, they had this attitude where they knew so much more than me that it wasn't even worth explaining.

come to sbgi, www.roninathletics.com

we're a great school on manhattan that won't charge you an arm and a leg and we're filled with great folks and have a great teacher.

mudo
4/09/2007 12:16pm,
Watching the vid, I wasn't sure what to think. There is a lot of focus on non-fighting. Katas and such, I noticed kids practicing with staves which I have never really heard of in hapkido (the weapon of choice is cane). Then the whole class was doing some weird slow crap. So it didn't look too great.. but then came the POINT SPARRING, and I stopped the vid.

Definately stay away.

If you're ever in Toronto, there are three great hapkido schools here :) That's unfortunate to hear that you don't have a better choice for hapkido in the area. Is it possible there is another school in the area that maybe doesn't have a website or isn't as well-advertised?

bitprophet
4/09/2007 2:50pm,
Vinh, thanks for the suggestion for Straight Blast - unfortunately I'm not really looking for MMA or I'd have just gone straight to your place or one of the myriad other MMA/BJJ type places here, and skipped the hapkido :) Instead, I'm trying to find something that I guess is somewhat in-between that and e.g. aikido...some school/style where the focus is neither entirely on practical application nor on fancy hand-waving/'larping'. And hopefully with strong elements of kicking and locks/throws. This may well be a pipe dream, but I'm going to try :)

Mudo, I've looked as hard as I can via Google and the various martial arts forums/listings/etc that I've been able to find (i.e. hapkidoforums, e-budo, aikidojournal, martialartsplanet, etc) and the only other local mentions of hapkido I've found are the ones that are tacked on to a TKD school, or are similarly pseudo-authentic such as Kuk Sool or Hwarang Do. Nothing that can honestly track back to Choi or Ji, which is what I guess I'd consider "authentic" HKD.

So for now I'm focusing on investigating (mostly northern) kung fu styles, shorinji kempo (which while it doesn't have much sparring and has a little too much philosophy, looks otherwise up my alley), maybe a kicking karate style like Kyokushin or Seido, or (if I give up on kicking) judo/JJJ.