July 23, 2024



Mutual Respect in The Hapkido Community by KJN Paul C. Holley

Mutual Respect in The Hapkido Community by KJN Paul C. Holley
A Lett to All Hapkido Practitioners Regardless of Your Method Of Hapkido

Over the past couple decades, I have noticed an explosion of negativity in the Hapkido community. Every time I turn around, I hear someone complaining about another Hapkido Instructor’s rank, title, or the way he or she is teaching Hapkido. They downgrade the individual who in turn will most likely have something to say in retaliation. This leads to a war of disrespect between the individuals, and they then drag other Hapkido instructors and practitioners into it, further escalating the situation and trying to destroy one another’s reputation. I am in a few different organizations, and I have seen quite a lot of infighting within a few of these organizations. It’s crazy and downright disrespectful to all the Hapkido practitioners who try to be positive and respectful to other Hapkido practitioners.

What do we gain from tearing down another Hapkido practitioner or teacher? My answer is, absolutely nothing! Destroying your fellow Hapkido practitioners’ reputation is not what I call respect in the Hapkido community. This ultimately harms the hapkido community. New students looking to learn Hapkido may see and hear someone bad mouthing a Hapkido instructor that they were considering training with and may start to believe what they hear and decide not to train in the art of hapkido after all.

Students are supposed to look up to their teachers for their skills and leadership and have respect for their teacher and other practitioners. Hapkido as well as other martial arts teaches a student to respect one another from day one and when they see all this fighting among Hapkido Teachers it teaches them to not be respectful to someone they don’t like or don’t agree with. This is not a good path to send our students on!

We as hapkido teachers must speak to one another from a position of mutual respect as this will have huge effect on students for their Hapkido journey and will cross over into their daily lives also. It is important that we show respect to one another in the Hapkido community regardless of what each other are teaching in their Hapkido way. We need to show positive respectful behavior on or off the mat.
We should look at our own self-worth and always look for the good in other practitioners whether we agree with them or even like them. That way we can show respect and give some positive talk about them with kindness and decency whether they are friend or foe. If you don’t like or agree with the techniques and concepts that they teach then, help them with some positive technique feedback, show them some different techniques that may be useful for them but above all be respectful. This should ultimately help us grow as a Hapkido teacher and individual. We need to support one another in the Hapkido community! Regardless of our hapkido way, it is important that we focus on the positive things about one another and speak to and about one another with mutual respect so we can help the Hapkido community grow around the globe as a martial art that shows great respect among its practitioners regardless of the way we teach our own style, system, method, way of Hapkido.

If you have a difference of opinion on something with another Hapkido teacher or practitioner, then agree to disagree and still respect one another. I believe in helping build up my fellow practitioners instead of tearing them down. I have had my fair share of individuals trying to tear me down over the decades, but I continued the path of my Hapkido journey and have trained with some great individuals whom I have learned a lot from and have become great friends. There are many different individuals teaching many ways of Hapkido (Me Included) and we should relish the idea that there are so many ways of Hapkido out there we have a world library of Hapkido knowledge to share with one another for years to come and generations upon generations.

I Challenge You to Become an Ambassador of Positivity in the Hapkido Community Regardless of Your Hapkido Style.

I Respect All My Brothers and Sisters in The Hapkido Community! HAPKI!
About the author: Paul C. Holley is a multi-arts Grandmaster and the Director of the State of New York for the USA Hapkido Union and owner of Family Martial Arts Club in Panama, New York. Phone: (716) 487-7296

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