Join Hapkido for Fun, Fitness, and Self-Defense by Instructor Ma
People who try Hapkido for the first time are surprised at how easy it is to learn because it applies scientific principles of training. You don’t need big muscles or great flexibility to get started. Most beginners can’t touch their toes when they start but show improvements in strength, speed, and flexibility within the first three months of training.
Now that Summer is here and the kids will be out of school soon this is a great time to take up Hapkido as a safe and fun, easy to learn, family activity that is great for all ages. It’s a great time to get active and in shape! Amidst the growing popularity of yoga, Pilates, MMA and kickboxing, fitness enthusiasts are looking to a new form of workout that transforms spiritual energy into kick-butt actions. The exciting martial art of Hapkido uses circular, flowing motions rather than straight-line moves. It’s easy to get into its spirit of training to have fun and feel empowered.
Prior to becoming frequently shown in action movies and a fitness trend, Hapkido was one of the most effective and popular martial arts in Korea. It started in the 1940s and is about defense, not offense. Those of you who are Jackie Chan fans might be surprised to know that he also studied Hapkido as part of his repertoire. The scientific principles of Hapkido involve circular energy, flow, and non-resistance. It is all about using the opponent’s power against them. It’s a gentle and graceful style and movements are based on being in harmony with the circular motions of nature. This makes Hapkido unique among martial arts because it emphasizes flowing techniques rather than force. Because of this, it is easy to learn, and great for anyone looking for a good workout and self-defense skills without needing to earn a black belt. It also uses a variety of arm and leg joint locks, throws, kicks, strikes, and pressure point techniques. Hapkido is also famous for the use of improvised and traditional weapons.
Hapkido is a growing martial arts form that teaches self-defense and builds self-esteem, discipline, and self-respect, making you happier, healthier, and safer.
Hapkido, like many other martial arts originated in Asia. Some more well-known martial arts include Judo, Karate, and Kung Fu, but other popular martial arts include Brazil’s Capoeira and American Boxing. Martial arts have gained popularity with classic action films featuring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li. More recently we are seeing female martial artists, such as Uma Thurman, Ziyi Zhang (Memoirs of a Geisha, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon), Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Garner (as Sydney Fox in Alias), and Zoe Bell (Grindhouse).
Hapkido classes are offered at privately owned professional schools called “Dojangs” along with most fitness clubs and community centers. Part of their appeal is their multipurpose training: self-defense, self-esteem, self-respect, and better self-image. They are a great workout because they are strenuous but do not require much physical strength. Also, martial arts like Hapkido are a way of pumping up your adrenaline and exerting the pent-up energy. So, it is a great way to increase fitness while reducing stress and your waistline. And did you know that working out produces hormones called endorphins that make people healthier and happier? Experts have also concluded that teens should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day. Taking up Hapkido as a family activity is a much more interesting and exciting way to burn calories and get in shape than running for an hour on a treadmill. Not to mention that exercising in general helps people age better and live longer.
About the author: Instructor Ma is a 3rd Degree Black Belt in the Korean self-defense art of Hapkido and a 2nd Dan in Traditional Taekwondo. She is a professional sports and fitness model and full-time Nursing student. She is the Language, Culture and Leadership Development Teacher for the USA Hapkido Union, Inc.
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