World Hapkido Association Seminar

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve been around, huh? Well, now that I’m back in college, I get a bit busy.

Last month I made a 2,000 mile road trip to Greensboro, NC, where I attended a two-day Hapkido seminar hosted by Essential Martial Arts. All of the bigwigs of the WHA were there, and I have to say that I was very impressed. Being an alumnus of Hwarang Do, I expected to see a watered-down version of what I already knew, much as I expect hapkido students would expect from a tae kwon do seminar. I was as much in error as they would be. Hapkido, although smaller in curriculum, more than stands on its own in the company of Hwarang do.
In fact, I have to say that the Korean masters were particularly impressive. The president of WHA, Master Jung, Tae, represented exactly what I would expect in someone who holds the title of “Master”; he had obviously completely internalized the principals and techniques of his art to the point that they were as natural to him as breathing. Even more impressive was Grandmaster Hwang, In-Shik.
When I first associated with the WHA, I read that Master Jung had made a special position for him in the organization. I had assumed that it was simply a political move in Korean martial arts; a gesture of respect to one of the senior masters. I didn’t have to watch him for very long, however, to see the truth: Grandmaster Hwang is truly a Grandmaster. I didn’t know that hapkido had men of his caliber, and I honestly wouldn’t know how to compare him to Lee, Joo Bang (which is about as high a compliment as I can imagine giving a martial artist).

Unfortunately, I only completed the first day and a half of training; by Sunday morning, my neck was literally completely fatigued from being thrown so hard so often. I had to roll on my side to get out of bed for the next four days, because I the muscles in the front of my neck were too weak to lift my head. Nonetheless, it was some of the best martial arts training I’ve ever had, and I hope to attend their winter event as well.

Published by Little-Known Blogger

I spent the first years of my life in a trailer park outside of a tiny town in rural Missouri. I grew up to be a long-haired, gun-hating, military-hating, Presbyterian super-liberal. Well, perhaps the “growing up” happened later. While in high school, I was on the cross-country and wrestling teams, and actually won my weight-class in a State powerlifting competition. I went on to attend college on a Bright Flight scholarship, where I promptly became an atheist. I trained for a few years in Shotokan karate and Cheng-system taijiquan before training in my first real martial art, Hwarang-Do, under the late Franklin Fowlkes (later the Founder and Grandmaster of the Five Elements Martial Arts System). I married an older Taiwanese woman my junior year, got divorced in short order, and dropped out of college. After completing my AA in Psychology, I decided I needed a complete change of scenery and joined the U.S. Marine Corps (having early been assured that there was no way that a skinny liberal like me would ever survive Boot Camp). Contrary to what the Hipster Zombies will tell you, this did not “brainwash me into being a Conservative”. Instead, it made me a very unhappy, short-haired liberal, surrounded by guns and the military. However, I spent my whole contract (after schools) on the island of Okinawa, where I was exposed to points of view not dominated by the American liberal media. During this time, I taught ESL classes as a side-job, trained under some of the highest-ranking masters of karate on Okinawa, and discovered the practice of Buddhism. I also spent some time in Korea, where I got to train in hapkido. It was during this period that I came gradually to realize how stupid and evil American liberalism actually is. This was partly due to my Military Police command sending me to Small Arms Instructor school, which gave me more exposure to guns than I could ever have imagined—thus negating my idiotic liberal distaste for them. After the active-duty portion of my Marine Corps contract was over, I worked several jobs, from security contracts to operating a forklift in a warehouse. In 2002, however, when the invasion of Iraq was getting under way, I signed up with the Missouri Army National Guard, and have remained with them since, continuing as a Military Policeman. I am also full-time corrections officer, a member of the Anglican Church, and at one time was an Instructor Candidate in Dekiti-Tirsia Serradas Kali (until my instructor moved away). My hobbies (beyond blogging) include strength training, shooting sports, martial arts, creating digital art, and being a huge science and science-fiction geek.

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