Training in Hapkido
Age or gender are not barriers to training in any of the Hapkido classes and if you have any pre-existing injuries or health issues we can work around most of these too.
Our oldest student started his Hapkido journey when he turned 69 and earned his 1st Dan black belt in his early 80's. Many of our current students have started learning Hapkido in their 50's and 60's.
We also have a large community of teenage students - many of whom have come up through our Hapkido Tiger programme. They provide a strong, positive environment for other teenagers to thrive in.
Every student who enrols for Hapkido we see as a future black black. So our training programme aims to achieve that outcome for every student by incorporating a progressive grading system that can be tailored to the individual student.
We also consult with and monitor each student regularly so we can help them meet their training goals.
It normally takes between 4 to 5 years to progress through the 8 colour belt grades to 1st Dan black belt. By the time an adult student has attained 1st Dan black belt, he or she should be able to handle most self-defence situations.
While earning a 1st Dan black belt in Hapkido is quite an achievement, it is like a university degree in that there are higher levels of qualifications to earn. In fact our core New Zealand Hapkido syllabus goes to 4th degree black belt (Master level) and beyond that are higher levels of advanced study that students may pursue with the support of both the New Zealand Hapkido Federation and the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association through to Grand Master level (8th and 9th Dans) which takes 40 or more years of study. So the achievement of the 1st Dan black belt is only the first step on what really is a journey for life.
Our Hapkido classes are 90 minutes long.
We appreciate that it is often difficult for people to commit to 90 minute classes in today's envirobment so we have broken the 90 minute class into two 45 minute sessions.
The first 45 minute session covers cardio exercises, stretching exercises and Hapkido striking techniques before finishing with free sparring. It is ideal for:
- People wanting a challenging fitness work out.
- People wanting to develop or maintain their flexibility and mobility.
- People wanting to learn good basic martial arts skills which are the foundation for Hapkido but are also applicable to most other martial arts styles.
The second 45 minute class covers our core Hapkido syllabus consisting of falling techniques, patterns, self-defence drills, self-defence techniques and finishes with self-defence drills under pressure. It is ideal for:
- People with pre-existing injuries who may have difficulty with the elements of the first 45 minute session.
- People wanting to learn the Hapkido syllabus and progress through the Hapkido grading system.
- People who just want to learn self-defence (e.g. older students or students who may have difficulty attending the first session).
Most people do both classes back-to-back but the split class format provides options for people who may find this difficult. For all intents and purposes both classes are run as a single class.
For the purposes of calculating Membership Fees, these classes count as one class regardless if you do one or both sessions on that night(s) you attend.
Hapkido Sparring Class
We run fornighty Hapkido Sparring classes on a Sunday morning for people who want to focus on this aspect of Hapkido.
This allows us to prepare for events such as the biennial Hapkido World Championships in South Korea.
Hapkido sparring allows kicking, punching, close in strikes, throws and take downs, joint locking techniques and ground fighting and each of those is a specilaised skill in its own right. Because of this, these classes are also taken by senior black belts from other martial arts styles and are also attended by students from other styles.
While these are the most physically demanding classes that we run, they are held in an atmosphere of camaradie and mutual respect among those present.
The sparring class is free to all students enrolled at our Academy and our guests from other styles.
We teach a range of weapons within the New Zealand Hapkido syllabus. The weapons we teach are short stick, belt/rope, walking stick, long stick, knife and improvised items (e.g. common everyday items such as clothing, coins, pens, cell phones etc, that can be used as self defence aids in an emergency). These are taught as part of our regular Hapkido classes and form part of the grading syllabus for most grades.
At black belt level they become more important and form a large part of the Black Belt Dan Grading requirements. We have also expanded our "traditional" range of NZ Hapkido weapons to include "traditional" Korean weapons.
The Koreans also used weapons some of which were unique to Korea and others that were used in both Japan and China so we have a large range of weapons to choice from. These weapons included a a wide variety of swords ranging from 2 handed down to short "butterfly swords", a range of spears and staffs of varying lengths, the fan, segmented staffs and a range of more exotic weapons. This gives our black belts more choices in studying weapons that particularly interest them as well as giving middle ranked black belts (4th Dan and higher) an area of additional study for higher level gradings. This helps us to grow the New Zealand Hapkido skills base.
We also run a specialist Weapons Class
on Saturday Mornings covering Medieval European unarmed combat and weapons in association with the Order of the Boar
. While this may seem a bit odd, as a Martial Arts Academy we aim to provide more choice and variety for our students providing that each class is relevant and because the Saturday Weapons Class has a focus on universal martial arts principles, it is relevant to all other martial arts training.