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BLACCBILLYJACC
5/29/2009 11:50am,
Hi everyone in the Atl area, Has anyone trained at Black Knight Hapkido in Atlanta? If so how long & what was your take on it?
Also is the schools ground fighting up to par?

Jeffrey
5/29/2009 9:45pm,
No, but according to their website they don't require long term contracts, so you can try them out without a long term investment.

Chimaira
6/09/2009 4:47pm,
Hi everyone in the Atl area, Has anyone trained at Black Knight Hapkido in Atlanta? If so how long & what was your take on it?
Also is the schools ground fighting up to par?

I used to train there quite a while ago. I trained for slightly over three years so I think I have a pretty good grasp on things, unless there was some radical shift. There are good things and bad. For the most part the people were pretty cool, but on the negative side there were a few egos floating around. The egos never outweighed the good personality qualities around, otherwise I wouldn't have stuck around as long as I did. The training was hard, so if you are looking for a workout you well get one.

As for negatives, I mentioned the egos. I personally started to get an inflated ego as I rose up the ranks, but when I decided to make the switch to more "alive" training in BJJ that ego was checked, which I feel was very beneficial. Also, there is a definite mindset that the techniques, specifically the wrist locks, were too deadly to be practiced at full speed. This is true because they would break some **** if you did them at full speed, but it lessens the chance of their use in a fight. It's the same argument that has been on this site many times.

Concerning the groundfighting, it is okay provided your opponent has no idea what they are doing, or they are trained in the same system. It was based off the main instructor's experience with Japanese Jujitsu which had some collegiate wrestling in it. Put it against a BJJer or Judoka with good newaza and the results will not be pleasant. It is not so much the techniques or submissions employed as they are similar, it is that they are taught in a manner that is extraordinarily less effective than in most grappling programs. The head instructor is also pretty friggin huge in a Norse kinda way, so in a lot of the grappling you are just getting tossed around. If you want groundfighting there are plenty of good BJJ, Judo, and sub grappling schools around.

Overall, it depends what you want. If you want to get a workout in and socialize while learning a new activity, or are interested in traditional Korean styles, go for it. It would be great for that. If you want to learn groundfighting it isn't bad, but there are too many better options. Just two examples would be Alliance, who has the current World BJJ champion at his weight in Cobrina, and Unit 2 has a fucking Abu Dhabi champ.

BLACCBILLYJACC
9/20/2009 3:55pm,
Thanks Chinmaira, So are you saying that unless you go up against a person untrained in mma or bjj that it won't effective?
Also were you just looking to train & compete in mma or bjj?
Do you think that if you had to defend your self on the streets after your first 6 months training, "you could"?

Was the sparring any good? I see that the school is big with lots of punching bags & kick bags , so "are they utilized much"? How about the punching techniques , any good? Are there any nites that they train boxing or kickboxing style?

Any realistic style throws/take downs/ chokes or sweeps??

I don't plan on fighting in any mma style tourneys but I want to be able to defend myself against anyone who's a good fighter, or who's taller, bigger, or stronger. Does BK hapkido teach that?

When you switched to a new system "were there any sparring matches against the students there that you could use nearly all of the HKD that you'd been trained in" & did it work?

Thanks man,

BBJ

Chimaira
9/22/2009 9:24pm,
Thanks Chinmaira, So are you saying that unless you go up against a person untrained in mma or bjj that it won't effective?
Also were you just looking to train & compete in mma or bjj?
Do you think that if you had to defend your self on the streets after your first 6 months training, "you could"?

I was saying that unless the person had zero knowledge of alive grappling, be it BJJ, Judo, Sambo, wrestling, whatever, it wouldn't be much good. Having trained BJJ with some Judo I can really see the deficiencies in hindsight. The real problem is that he breaks everything down into discreet sets of techniques, and then breaks those up by level. No concept of transition, or applying those techniques from different positions. For a martial art that is supposed to be about flow, it really breaks up the flow.

For example, around blue belt (which takes like 9 months to get to, after yellow and green), you are finally taught an arm bar. You will be taught the arm bar by having your opponent lay on their back and stick an arm up in the air. You then straddle that arm, lay down, apply pressure, and get the tap. You have now mastered the arm bar. To the untrained eye and to the hapkido student, this is impressive. You now know a submission. To a more trained grappler, it begs a lot of questions. How did you get your opponent in that position to do the technique? What position did you start in, since you didn't miraculously secure an arm? What about arm bars from the guard, the mount, knee on belly, etc? Furthermore, what if they defend? Defending submissions was basically discouraged. Just tap out, reset, and try again. Not exactly the most sound game plan.

He has tried to make every aspect of the curriculum discreet and systematic, with mixed results, the grappling being a bad one.

I wasn't looking to compete in MMA or BJJ, I just wanted to cross train so that I could learn more. I enjoyed grappling, so I researched grappling styles, found BJJ, and went from there.

As for defending myself on the street, did I think I could? Yes. Could I? Probably not.



Was the sparring any good? I see that the school is big with lots of punching bags & kick bags , so "are they utilized much"? How about the punching techniques , any good? Are there any nites that they train boxing or kickboxing style?

The instructor was firmly of the belief that you did not have to spar to become good at fighting. There was occasional sparring, but it was infrequent at best. The bags were for kicking drills, mainly. As for punching techniques, it goes back to the whole systematic division of techniques per level. You would get taught individual techniques like a jab, reverse punch, rear leg knee, etc, usually at about 5 different strikes per level. Those 5 techniques would then be devised into a combination stringing them together. You would practice that 5 strike combination repeatedly, despite the fact that the combination itself had nothing to do with actual fight combinations. The whole reason for the combos was so that the student could get the most repititions of the techniques done in as little time as possible. So, after 50 reps of the combinations you had done 50 jabs, 50 reverse punches, etc, but you trained them in a flow that is completely combat ineffective.

No dedicated kickboxing or boxing nights when I was there, just 10 or so minutes of sparring at the end of an occasional class.



Any realistic style throws/take downs/ chokes or sweeps??


In a sense, but mostly no. Think of it like my grappling story. You will be shown discrete throws much like discreet submissions. For a shoulder throw (ippon seionage), you would practice on your opponent by you both standing square to each other, not in any sort of grappling stance or tie-up. You would then grab their wrist, move into their space and perform the technique. You know the throw in that you know how to load them up and throw them over your hip, but it is a completely unrealistic situation. You do no uchikomi practice to perfect your speedy load up. Some, but not enough, emphasis on pulling them into you as opposed to you going to them. And, I have never been in a randori situation with a square opponent who lets me grab their wrist.



I don't plan on fighting in any mma style tourneys but I want to be able to defend myself against anyone who's a good fighter, or who's taller, bigger, or stronger. Does BK hapkido teach that?


No. If they are a good fighter you are likely f'ed. For size differences, hapkido places a strong importance of the fact that size doesn't matter. 1. The instructor is huge and consistently uses that to his advantage in any sparring situation. 2. It matters. Yes, technique can often be used to remedy a size advantage, see Helio Gracie, but size does play a factor in fighting.



When you switched to a new system "were there any sparring matches against the students there that you could use nearly all of the HKD that you'd been trained in" & did it work?


Nope. I still remember my first day of BJJ. This Asian guy, about the same age but 15 or so pounds lighter, blue belt, tooled me repeatedly. I had actually gotten a lot of bad habits from HKD that I had to unlearn just to advance in BJJ.

From the stand up perspective the only carry over I had were a few kicks that I could integrate into my Muay Thai easily.



Thanks man,

BBJ

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