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Does anyone else think that there is a big problem with Hapkido schools just teaching a set of self-defense techniques that become immutable and non-dynamic. They become more focused on teaching a specific technique for a specific situation to a student instead of teaching principles and concepts to a student that lay behind a technique. And there is a massive list of techniques that a student needs to remember for specific situations instead of showing how a technique can be used in multiple situations. I remember this one black belt said that the sonmuk kukki was useless because it could only be done from a cross wrist grab.

 

Also, what does everyone think about Ho Shin Sul techniques that are seem unrealistic, like from a belt grab or really solely on pressure points/pain?     

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Belt grabs are not necessarily unrealistic. Think in terms of a police officer, with someone trying to grab his weapon. Though it might make more sense to teach actual weapon retention techniques, with a holster and dummy gun.

Pressure points and nerve pain can be quite effective, but should not be the sole point of control. They should be an aid to the technique, not the heart of it. With that said, in Kokodo Jujutsu (which I also practice) we have techniques solely based on nerve pain, but they are extremely advanced techniques that take many years to master. I can attest to their effectiveness, however. I once almost passed out from a simple pressure point hold applied by a master. The pain was unbelievable.

In general I agree with you. It's vital to teach the underlying principle. I'm constantly modifying my own curriculum, changing techniques that seem unrealistic or dropping them altogether. I eliminated the vast majority of wrist grab defenses, cutting the number required for 1st dan down from maybe 100 to about 10, and added many punch defenses and flow drills.

I like to have students practice many joint locks from the "bridge", where you're in fighting stances with crossed arms. In other words, the back of my right forearm against the back of your right. If you can get to a lock from that position fluidly, then you've pretty much grasped the essence of it.

I still have a lot of individual techniques, but for testing purposes they don't have to be recreated perfectly. The student must show an understanding of the principle. If it's an arm bar, for example, I want to see a good arm bar, and I don't care much whether the student hammerfists the guy in the jaw first or knees him in the thigh.

My main complaint about belt grabs are that many of the ho shin sul techniques for them are very specific for belt grabs. Instead of teaching a technique for a belt to is better to show a student how a a technique s/he already knows are be applied in that situation. Otherwise, I feel it is a waste of time by teaching a technique that is very unlikely to occur. 

I agree with you on the pressure points. You should never rely solely on pain but instead on a good and effective technique. 

Seems like we are on the same page. Honestly, I was expecting a little more of a lively debate. 

At the gup ranks, that really is what it is about, learning the basics and simple technique is the basics. A little bit of principle is taught but a bulk of what you are referring to is not taught till after 1st Dan, when you are truly a student, your training begins. Until then, yes techniques are simple. Grab and react. It is about learning basic movements, strengthening the body and in all reality, weeding out those who are not strong enough, dedicated enough and for smart schools, moral/ethical enough. Lets face it, I do not want to teach real Hapkido/beyond basics to someone who turns out to be a bully or criminal.

But as the basics are learnt and rythem and all that is focused on in the lower ranks become more a part of a student them training becomes more fluid. Less focus is on individual technique that should now be memorized and instead on learning and developing the principles, flowing through techniques. I never say to a student, "This grab or technique must be done here." I teach the technique and help their mind and body learn to naturally know when what is appropriate and how to flow through it and into other things.

Finally! I disagree......kinda. First, it isn't about weeding about the weak and unethical individuals. It is about making students better both physically and morally strong. Also, the understanding of how a technique can be applied to multiple self-defense situations should begin way before someone becomes a black belt.

But my complaint was mainly directed against belt grab techniques that can be only performed from a belt grab. For example, the opponent grabs the front of your belt (bottom part) with his left hand then you cup the opponent's elbow with both hands and  push out with your stomach while pushing up on the opponent's elbow. This is "suppose" to be an elbow lock. I have seen this technique done at a school and it was an official technique that the students had to learn for belt tests. Maybe, I'm mistaken but this techniques seems very impractical and the applications of it seem very limited.

The forums have been a ghost town for some time now...

We can only build students up so much. A good instructor will also recognize a students strengths and if it is not what their art teaches then they will help steer the student on the right path. As for the bad element, this is how I feel. But from the beginning to black belt should be more than enough time to learn if a student is of good moral character. I am  not saying just throw the week of boy and character out. You do what you can until you get to a point where you can do nothing else for them.

As for belt grabs, I find most can be done from other positions. A person does not have to actually grab your belt. The hand can be near that area in a grappling/wrestling situation and in some cases even the hand can be redirected to this position. For us anyways, these versions of belt techniques are taught after 1st dan, throughout the dan curriculum.

As far as belt grabs, I don't think enough people understand the various options of application there. You do not have to grab a belt to execute them. Any time a hand is near the waist that technique is applicable, instead of trying to raise that limb higher to execute a technique, use a belt variation.

I often wondered about belt grabs and their usefulness until I was working on my 3rd Dan material and my instructor was explaining advanced wrist locks.  as we were working on one he explained you are simply doing the same technique as your 6th gup belt grab, just now we are working it from a low punch.  Always remember as you learn more you find that your are simply taking your basic techniques and applying them in a new manner.

Exactly, their usefulness is more than just dealing with Judo and BJJ guys. But in todays MMA world that is a good thing to keep in mind. Like I said, "Any time a hand is near the waist that technique is applicable, instead of trying to raise that limb higher to execute a technique, use a belt variation."

I once had a Sambo guy (Really good at getting out of things) question belt grabs. He as well just didn't get them. When we sparred and he tried to take me down, every time his hands got near my waist I used a belt grab technique. These techniques can also be more painful and destructive from that position. Knowing when and how to use them can make a big difference.

This discussion has moved off focused. What does everyone one think about schools that teach a specific technique for a specific situation? Specifically, how schools/people that simply "knowing" the mechanics is enough and do not teach the principles & concepts or how a technique can be used in multiple situations. For example, the sonmuk kukki can be used from a wrist grab, cross grab, shirt grab, elbow grab, rear shoulder grab, punch, downward strike, offensively, etc. And I remember how a black belt in Hapkido told me that the sonmuk kukki could only be done from a cross wrist grab. But we need to face the truth that not all techniques are equally practical. Basic wrist locks, elbow locks and throws are the best techniques, in my opinion, because they are very versatile. Other techniques are not as versatile. What percentage of schools just teaches the techniques and not concepts/principles? How many do/don't grapple? Or spar? 

Also, can only think how this technique can be used practically in a situation besides a belt grab?  The opponent grabs the front of your belt (bottom part) with his left hand then you cup the opponent's elbow with both hands and  push out with your stomach while pushing up on the opponent's elbow. This is "suppose" to be an elbow lock. I have seen this technique done at a school and it was an official technique that the students had to learn for belt tests. 

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