Fequently I hear people ask about "sparring in Hapkido". You can spar in Hapkido. Yes, you can, and many HKDin do so. Now, here's the rub... A big part of Hapkido is the awareness/avoidance factor. If I know a guy wnats to fight me, I avoid it and get out of there. If we're going to spar, now I have to change my mindset because, well, I already know what you plan to do. That is also going to take out a lot of the other things that I do. Much of my training is working scenarios with different levels of force (e.g. grabs, pushes, and such). Much of the joint locks I spend so much time on are to be used in escorting/de-escalating/ stopping people before we get to a "fighting" phase. If we're going to spar, I already know you and I will skip this phase and take me right to a higher level of force. Since we're there, I can fight with my strikes, kicks, throws, and hopefully, if we go to the ground I have some limited offense/defense there to use until I get back to my feet. If you think about it, if we want to spar in Hapkido, it's going to look quite a bit like MMA sparring (striking, throwing, ground). In fact, take a look at the Pro-Hapkido group, that's about what their's looks like. Granted, since we spend a lot of time on the "other" parts (like I mentioned above, plus weapons, breathing, etc.), we probably won't be as "good" since those skills are drilled as "part" of what we do and in many cases we are betting our lives and safety on using the other parts of the curriculum. If I end up in a standup fight on the street with a talented kicker/puncher/wrestler, I've messed up big time! It should have been resolved at a much ealrier stage/level of force. Now there are ways to train this. -We do scenario work. Start off with a script (aggressive person, you avoid/get away then escalate to grabns and etc) and eventually work it free style (aggressor has no script and you are sure how far they want to take it.. go from there) - Take the scenario training one step further. Have the aggressor escalate it to the point of throwing punches/kicks/takedowns and go from there. -Work a few open rounds too - allow throws, grabs, strikes, etc. Feel free to turn down (or up) the speed and limit or open up targets. Regardless, my point is, Hapkido is a very broad system that goes beyond "just" ring skills. If you want to be good at MMA style sparring - go to a MMA school and train. In HKD we spend a lot of time on other skills that have to be practiced in more diverse ways. I encourage my studnets to spar and we set up vaious situations to try to make it more realistic - sometimes compleetly "free" style, sometimes we allow weapons, sometimes grappling, sometimes a mix. A HKD student has a lot of stuff to spend time on and as a result is stronger more in general and weaker in a specific setting - hopefully we try to avoid those settings if we can. Anyone else here who spars in Hapkido class? If not, what do you use to test the techniques? Do you have specific drills or what?