It’s true that Hapkido is known worldwide as one of the most effective martial arts for self-defense. Since a hapkido practitioner learns how to use an aggressor’s momentum and power against them, it is highly effective for both men and women. Hapkido has its origins in a samurai martial art called Datu Ryu Aiki- jujitsu.
These techniques have been battle-tested over many centuries …so much so that many special forces and Law enforcement officers throughout the world use Hapkido techniques as part of their defense tactics training.
The Most Important Part of Traditional Hapkido Training
I remember years ago, while attending a seminar hosted by Hapkido Grandmaster Moo Young Kang (San Diego, CA.), he said that the most important part about Hapkido is that it makes your mind and body strong.
Admittedly, at the time I didn’t quite understand what he meant, as I was a young black belt who was more interested in what combat hapkido had to offer. After teaching martial arts in Howell New Jersey for almost 20 years, I’ve had many students experience greater benefits than just learning how to defend themselves.
Besides Combat, Hapkido Training Provides Mental and Physical Benefits
One of the first things a new student will experience is an increase in energy. As students go through the Hapkido warm-ups, exercises, and drills, their body becomes stronger and more alert. Many of my students have experienced weight loss as well as muscle toning within just the first month. The longer one trains the more increase in these results.
One of my favorite benefits of Hapkido is the mental clarity that comes from training, especially when working on our breathing exercises called ‘Don Jon ho hop’. These are exercises similar to Chinese ‘Chi gong,’ focusing on deep abdominal breathing, with long exhales and breath holds.
Students feel an immediate sense of calmness, with mental clarity, within a few reps of doing this exercise. It helps tremendously with the daily stress and anxiety.
One of my first Hapkido masters told me that breathing is the most important part; if “you forget anything I told you, don’t forget that breathing is the most important. “Again, as a young teenage student, I really didn’t understand what he was talking about, I thought it was more part of a warm-up to get the body ready for practice. But now that I’m older, over 50, and I’ve seen firsthand the health and mental benefits of Hapkido‘s breathing, I can say I understand.
I wish you much success in your Martial Arts journey and learning what Hapkido has to offer beyond its incredible power and effective self-defense.