Tactical Hapkido (Chon Sul Kwan) is officially recognized and accredited as a legitimate "Kwan" of Hapkido by the World Korean Martial Arts Union.
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Tactical Hapkido is a conceptually driven, systematic approach to the way of coordinating energy in a tactical training environment.
There is a lot of information in this statement. When heard for the first time it can sometimes cause a blank look from a new student, so let’s explain, in depth, this perspective.
“Conceptually” or “concept” is sometimes defined as a "unit of knowledge" built from other units which act as a concept's characteristic. The Tactical Hapkido system is like a pyramid where the base of the system is in the breakaways.
As a white belt, there are only a few techniques
to learn. Sure you can mimic these movements and be promoted to the next level
quickly, but do you really understand what these techniques are teaching?
The best way to find this out is to
move from the static phase, where there is no pushing/pulling, to a more dynamic phase where we to try to get you off balance, or get you to resist.
After you have a sound understanding of the breakaways, you can utilize the muscle memory and expand into the joint locking concepts. During the next level of training you need to make sure that you understand the main concepts being taught: wrists and ankles move side to side, up and down, or any combination of these movements, move the joint to the extreme and it becomes a joint lock or break, elbows, fingers, and knees all bend in one direction - move them in the opposite direction and it becomes a lock. Combine these concepts and you can get a variety of techniques using the concepts found in yellow belt. Of course this is the simplified explanation - there are many ways to “tweak” the technique by improving your understanding of the concepts learned previously.
Once you have a firm grasp of the basic concepts, you move on to the rest of the system - the “how to” phase. Here you are provided with only a few examples on “how to” use the concepts previously learned, but in a variety of new situations where you have to make slight modifications. It is more than just performing the technique listed; it is demonstrating to the instructor how you can modify the concepts found in yellow belt to your advantage.
Systematic - This term can be applied to the structure of the training regiment as mentioned in the definition of conceptually driven. Both terms describing this aspect are interchangeable. In the Tactical Hapkido system, you can view systematic in the way the techniques are named. We don’t call the techniques by number, for example - breakaway number one, or orange belt technique number three, but in a way that describes the technique’s general movements. This helps you retain the information and apply the concepts through out the system in a variety of situations. No longer do you have to remember the name of twenty techniques that are based on one concept. You learn the name of one concept and then apply it to twenty situations. With the uniformity in the system, you can now move to another part of the country, find the nearest Tactical Hapkido charter, and pick up training where you left off. Of course, each school may have their own little “tweaks” in the system, as noted before, but there will be a solid base of understanding so you can easily communicate with your new instructor.
Approach can be defined as the manner in which a problem is solved, or the way to get to the solution. Combined with systematic, it is the methodology on how to solve the situation when defending yourself. It can be applied through the psychology of the attacker, i.e., understanding how he thinks, or what his reaction will be when performing a distraction, anticipating his motions using an understanding of bio-kinetics, or redirecting the attacker’s own movement against him - hence the old saying, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”
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