Combat Hapkido

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by hardball, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    There are no advanced locks in hapkido either, just different ways to use basic ones.

    You might learn a hundred of different techniques, but when you fight in free practice you use only the simplest techniques, maybe five of your favorites. The problem is that if you try to only teach those five and nothing else, it does not work so good, because you need to understand variables of how people move.

    My BJJ coach had something like twenty different guard passes to memorize for blue belt, and some of them were there just to teach concept. You may see a BJJ player use a basic choke, but how he got into position is more complex.

    What Klaas is saying is that live practice is part of the teaching methodology. If your dojang did not do free practice and just taught you to memorize more distinct numbered techniques each belt level, then you have not really experienced what we mean.

    The idea is not to keep learning more and more numbered sets of locks so that you will magically somehow be able to use them if you just know enough. The idea is that you learn different compliant techniques for concept ( and because they look cool) along with dynamic drills and fighting with free movement. You should be doing this inside of a year.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  2. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    like i said, i practiced at two different dojangs, in different towns and different organizations. i know not of this codified "free practice" that you speak of. but it sounds great. can you share some materials like a video? just so i can see what it looks like.

    ironically, the aikido dojos i practiced at did have randori for more advanced practitioners, but it was stylized aikido "randori".


    i remembered that we did quite a bit of random practice, where the "uke" (to borrow a term) would grab any number of ways and "tori" could respond any way he/she felt. we also did it with strikes and kicks against certain attacks (of course, pulling punches so as to not hurt the "uke"). i wouldn't consider any of that "sparring". when i'm talking about sparring, i mean it in the boxing, judo, or bjj sense.

    and as i mentioned previously, one close friend and i took it upon ourselves to actually pressure test the techniques we had learned and go beyond the random technique practice i mentioned above. sure we suffered a couple fat lips, but we were both pretty good at falling, so the practice was fun and useful. it was painful at times though. and like i mentioned also previously, we found that there was a limit to how much we could pressure test.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Yes.. but the lapel and sleeve grabs being done in competition are not the sole attack, they are the very beginning of a determined attempt to turn that in to a submission. When the attack has moved to that level of force, you aren't going to get the 'easy' lock, you will probably need to transition to striking or grappling or something a little higher on the level of force spectrum.

    The grab that was being referenced is a softer grab, where someone has grabbed your lapel or sleeve with the goal of keeping you from leaving or pulling you towards them, most likely while talking to (or at) you. In this case, you may only be using a very low level of force (e.g. pain compliance or breakaway) to stop any escalation. In the competition listed above, the escalation is already a 'given'.

    This is what I mean by looking at the difference between self defense and competition - in competition, the level of force is usually clearly defined, in self defense it may not be. If you want to 'clean up' in BJJ/Judo competitions, train in BJJ or Judo. For self defense, in my opinion, you have to able to apply the least amount of force to stop the attack and escape.
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Hear hear! I agree with this very much.

    Personally, I think this is where Combat Hapkido (the thread topic) really shines. From white belt to 1st dan, there are about 10 kicks, 14 strikes, and about 23 different basic techniques. Most of this material is learned by the time a students reaches the intermediate color belts (purple/blue). Although students learn different categories at different belt levels, it is the same techniques being applied at different angles and variations. By mid-color belt level, students should be able to handle most types of attacks in a freestyle format. By 1st dan, you should be able to react using these techniques against a resisting opponent fairly smoothly and effectively. Dan progression from there is to try to get smoother and smoother and blend in some other ideas as well as tools/weapons. It's not uncommon to have the entire class (from white belt to 5th dan) working on the same material...and just tweaking it for each person based on their experience and abilities.

    We also incorporate trapping drills and flow drills to get students to practice reacting to different angles of attacks and to try to 'flow' into techniques off different attacks. There does need to be an element in class of trying out the techniques against more and more resistance and determination, with room to escalate or de-escalate with your partner. There also has to be element of change going on. I think many CHKD schools work hard to change up the drills and get beyond the static grab-me-by-the-numbers routines.

    I am also a firm believer in sparring in HKD class (we sparred quite a bit in my traditional HKD school as well). I particularly like giving a scenario to start... some sort of verbal encounter that escalates to an attempt to grab or push and then can escalate to strikes being thrown. We usually sort out 'rules' and contact levels depending on what we want to do. Sometimes we'll work lighter contact with all options open or heavier contact with some restrictions. Sometimes we ask that students focus on the lower level of force (grab escapes and whatnot) or sometimes on open sparring (all strikes/kicks allowed plus throws/sweeps plus ground grappling).
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  5. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    Yeah, I've only ever seen with my own eyes three places that do it. The kuk sool school I learned in, my Kwan's HQ, and a Sin moo place. You basically just grab each other and try to put techniques on each other without going to the ground. It's really fun if you allow strikes to the body. Think about what you described doing on the side. My kuk sool instructor had us form a "black belt club" (yes, he called it that) where we did it, and the sin moo place does it with black belts only too. The HQ school in my current Kwan uses mostly judo techniques for their free practice, but I count that too. They separate striking and grappling with full contact striking sparring required for black. I would not call it codified, as each instructor just does whatever.

    Personally, I recommend that people looking for self defense don't do hapkido, because hardly anyone teaches this way, with many instructors who think it's not even possible to use hapkido in non-compliant practice.

    I think one of my people took some stuff on a droid, i will find out. Disclaimer, it looks boring - just people clinching, sweeping, and occasional throw, and every once in a while a wrist lock or an arm bar. Like I said...the simplest techniques.

    Thomas - I have never trained in Combat Hapkido, but I have had brief conversation with your grandmaster twice. Ironically, what I know of his philosophy is closer to that of the Korean instructors I know (who believe in trapping, drilling with movement, sensitivity drills, integration of strikes) than with a lot of guys that claim to be traditional, yet teach stuff like catching extended punches and defense against one armed men.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    This is pretty much what I mean when I mention 'freestyle practice'. We also open it up to escalate to sparring or grappling if students wish. I usually start my students doing this around mid-color belt (purple/blue)

    It was this kind of training that drew me to Combat Hapkido. I loved the traditional HKD school I trained in and felt it was good. We sparred a lot, went pretty hardcore on the self defense and did lots of falls (as well as acrobatic fall, spinning kicks, and cool weapons like sword, nunchuks, and staff).

    At some point though, I realized that I didn't want to spend as much time as I did on the flashy stuff and wanted more focus on unscripted self defense, with options to do ground grappling, common weapons (stick and knife), and more room for "what if's" and errors. (Some traditional HKD instructors do not appreciate questions, what if's, and unscripted attacks as much as some other do). For me, CHKD has fit the bill very well (and the top-notch instruction by GM P and Master Gray has really made it so).
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  7. Saved_in_Blood

    Saved_in_Blood Valued Member

    If you know little about it, then why do you comment on it as if you know what locks would be used or whatever? I'm not trying to sound like a jerk, but I can't comment on Judo or BJJ because I know nothing about it.
  8. Saved_in_Blood

    Saved_in_Blood Valued Member

    Which is why I said we use palm strikes, knee strikes, etc as distractions before a lock is applied.
  9. Saved_in_Blood

    Saved_in_Blood Valued Member

    I agree, it's one of the arts that is open to not be just traditional in the sense that this HAS to be one way or HAS to be another way. I enjoy the free styling that CHKD allows.
  10. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    with all due respect guys, i don't think we're using the same terms to mean the same thing. when i say "sparring", i mean "full power/speed, full range of techniques"--think boxing sparring. maybe it's just me, but i haven't seen that in anyone's description of "combat hapkido" or "hapkido" "sparring".
  11. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    Wow, Now I have no idea what you mean. Pretty much every Hapkido tournament I've ever seen or heard of has full contact sparring with throws and sweeps. It won't look like boxing because...well, it's not boxing. Most tournaments will not allow punches to the face, but that goes for Kyokushim as well.

    Try typing "Hapkido Sparring" into YouTube to see numerous examples, some better than others.

    I was talking about ways to isolate stand joint locks for live non-compliant training.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  12. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Could you post some clips please?

    That way at least we know they are of quality because you know what you are looking at.
  13. Convergencezone

    Convergencezone Valued Member

    Can't post clips from an iPad, but I think the stuff from WHA's Pro-Hapkido is alright. The Korean stuff is okay, but they do that goofy thing where they fight with their hands down a lot of the time.

    If by "full range of range of techniques" in sparring, you want to see people circle step and fly through the air with wrist locks, well, it's just not what it looks like.

    Westerners divide martial arts into "stand up" and "ground", right. Well, Korean martial arts have historically been divided between "fighting art" and "self defense art". The "fighting art" is the stand-up sparring, or any art that is essentially "duelling" like, karate, taekwondo, muay thai. The self defense side are things like Hapkido's joint locks - for things like people pushing you against a wall, garbbing you jacket snd punching-stuff like that. You can drill the joint locks non-compliantly pretty hard, but not really in "sparring". Sparring is a totally different, yet complimentary skill in traditional Hapkido. If you train the locks, and you also train in stand up up fighting, then you develop attributes like timing and distance that carry over into your joint-locking training. One of my best students is an ITF Taekwondo black belt, with some BJJ and Muay Thai background and one MMA fight under her belt. She picked up the standing locks pretty well because of this background.

    Also, keep in mind that there will always be uncontrollable and unsafe techniques you can't use, as with any rule set.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
  14. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Well. To me, that's a pretty limited view of sparring. For me, how we do 'sparring' depends on what we want to get out of it. It's really a matter of fiddling with rules, targets, and levels of force based on what the goal of the training is. (As an aside, I would say that I don't think all 'boxing sparring' is full power/speed either.... boxers often have different sparring setups with more or less force to help protect sparring partners... it's not always full power, not even in MMA training)

    As far as 'sparring' in CHKD, and leaving aside the lower levels of force (awareness, avoidance, grabs and escapes without further force, standing defenses, etc), our school does practice sparring. Not all CHKD schools do, but many do.

    -If we want to practice footwork, parrying, and such, we often will go light contact with all targets open (striking)

    -If we want to ramp it up a bit, we might go medium contact and take some targets off the table (e.g. groin and closed hands to the head)

    -If we want 'full contact', we might throw on TKD pads and use TKD rules (full contact kicks above the waist, full contact hands to the torso). Sometimes we add lighter contact low kicks to the mix (and have added grappling if desired... but this is a bit tough in TKD pads)

    -If we want to practice transitions and dealing with all ranges, we might do light contact with hands and feet and open it up to throws and sweeps. We can also add ground grappling to that. Sometimes we even slip a training knife in or add a stick.

    -Sometimes we take one of those options and start it with a scenario and let is escalate from a verbal threat to a grab to a strike and sometimes even add in another bad guy and weapons.

    If you only look at 'sparring' as in what you see in a full blown MMA match, well, that's not what we do. We use different levels of contact and targets to fit the goal of the class. Most of our students are mature adults who like to train hard but still need to get up in the morning and go to work. So training 'smarter' (changing up force and targets and rules) lets us train safer too.

    Does any of that sound like 'sparring' or are we on different wave lengths?

    EDIT - by the way, I mentioned sparring as recently as post #164. :)
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  15. Saved_in_Blood

    Saved_in_Blood Valued Member

    That's a fair point, but even professional boxers don't go all out in sparring because it's better to save it for the ring. Sparring is still sparring and isn't a real life situation. I understand that things may have to be done a certain amount of times before your brain creates these nerve pathways or whatever it does, but the as mentioned many times before, at a full rush of adrenaline, things don't typically go as planned. I believe this was part of the idea of combat hapkido. Moves and strikes that were simple to soften the target. At that point one should get away, if a lock is able/needs to be applied... hopefully you have done it enough to remember. CHKD shrunk done the amount of movements because it takes to long to remember all of them. In theory, boxers are the most dangerous of street fighter because they basically have 4 punches (per side) that they work on... that's it. If you want to count bodyshots, etc that's fine, but those are still hooks. The less you have, the more time you can spend on those moves... thus they become reflex long before many other moves in MA's. Does that mean a boxer would win every time? Absolutely not... does it mean that they have maybe less of a chance of skill degradation under adrenaline/pressure? Seems like a higher possibility.
  16. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    How we do sparring.

    1. You both get to attack and defend. Kicks, punches, throws etc. etc are all permitted.
    Protective gear used: grappling gloves and shin pads.
    Rules: no kicks to the groin, no biting

    2. Defensive sparring. One guys acts as the attacker. The other person defends.
    Protective gear used: grappling gloves, shin pads, hogu and head gear for the attacker. No gear for the defender.
    Rules. no kicks to the groin, no biting.

    Fights stop when one guy gives up. Or when the instructor tells them to stop.

    Of course everything within reasonable limits. I don't want to call an ambulance every class ;)
  17. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Can you refute what I have said in my previous posts?

    Please read what I wrote.

    Considering the art's background and the fact that the body only bends in so many ways then my background in classical jujutsu lets me have a rough idea about some things, hence my comment on the validity of your ideas about slapping on a lock.

    Jujutsu, Judo, Hapkido, Aikido all share commonalities. Yes there are some context dependant differences and cultural quirks but it's not like you are comparing a boat and a fighter jet.

    You'll note that Convergencezone posted something along very similar lines to what I did and Philosoraptor had similar thoughts, now all three of us are from different arts yet came to a very similar conclusion.

    So let's take this idea about lapel and sleeve grabs in Hapkido. What are their roots?
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    In Combat Hapkido (the actual topic of the thread), the answer is easy.... their roots come from traditional Hapkido! :)

    In Traditional HKD, they come from a few sources. The most direct source is from the root of HKD - Aikijujutsu. As far as I recall, they were part opf the unarmed skillset of warriors for those situations when someone grabed your arm/wrist/sleeve or whatever to prevent you from drawing a weapon or for non-lethal control of people who have (attempted to or successfully) grabbed you. I also have a theory that some few of the sleeve and lapel grabs may alkso have come from Yudo (Judo) and from the influence of Choi Yong-sool Dojunim's first student Suh Beok-sub's interest in learning counter and techniques to use in Yudo early on.

    Regardless, there is a time and place for standing locks. It generally is at that lower level of force where it is not definite that the situation will escalate more. In a BJJ or Judo competition, anyone grabbing you like that is FOR SURE going to escalate towards a submission or other attack (that's the nature of competition), and in that case it probably isn't going to work and you will need to ramp up to the next level of force and reaction. In self defense, depending on the situation, it may not and/or you may not wish to escalate to a higher level of force necessarily and a standing lock or a breakaway may be just the ticket to de-escalate a situation (a lot of my Corrections Officers and LEOs appreciate these techniques).
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  19. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Yeah the work makes a lot more sense when you introduce the idea of being armed into it, doesn't it. Once weapon retention and such are looked at then they become much more viable as a central technique.

    Wear a couple of swords at your hip and it's a whole new ball game.

    All depends on how that grab is on, IMO you must be moving/acting as it comes on. There aren't many situations where I'll allow someone to grab on to me like that, if it's on firm then you absolutely need to soften them up a little be it with appropriate body movement or strikes. As soon as you start doing something you are escalating, as I see it, so they will respond. They aren't going to stand there and let you slap a kote gaeshi/omote gyaku on them, I have no clue what that is in Korean. :D

    Yu ilsul perhaps? Or kwanjyel sasul?

    Wrist grabs I see a little differently as socially and physically they tend to fall a little lower on the force scale but if I'm being grabbed by the scruff of the neck I'm not waiting to see if he's going to hit me, after all there aren't many legitimate reasons for someone grabbing hold of you like that.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Yes, and the skills transfer when you are looking at a sidearm, pepper spray, etc that LEOs, Soldiers, Corrections Officers, or even concealed carry license holders may have.

    Of course. I think there are quite a few application of grabs at a lower level of force that happen and where a simple breakaway or lock ends it with very little drama, legal problems, and grief.

    There are far too many 'what if's' to look at for a definitive statement.

    Someone grabbing my arm (or attempting to) will normally get a much lower level of force response than someone grabbing me from behind. For example, at a work Christmas Party, some well-intentioned and pleasantly inebriated locals came in and one reached to grab my wrist to make me dance with him (I was seated). A very quick and smooth breakaway and verbal reminder to 'keep his hands off me' (audible only to him) ended the situation with no drama, repercussions, pain, injury, etc. A pre-emptive strike really wasn't appropriate (nor was deadly force under the Sunshine Laws!). I hadn't planned on getting grabbed (he was talking to someone next to me and then turned and grabbed me) and didn't avoid it.

    Year ago in another situation, I was grabbed around the neck from behind when I entered a small storage room and I very quickly did a shoulder throw, putting the guy through a piece of furniture in there. It turned out to be a friend who thought it would be 'funny'. There was no injury but he was knocked breathless for a while. I felt it was a reasonable use of force in that case.

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