Hapkido in the UK
by Master Beom Kim
In its homeland, Hapkido is a Korean martial art that is just as
popular as Taekwondo. Whilst Taekwondo had become known
worldwide as an Olympic sport, Hapkido has maintained its
importance in Korea as the ultimate form of intricate self-defence.
It is an all-round martial art that combines the best components of
other martial arts. Knowledge of pressure points, joint locks and
throws equip the student to defend against the full array of possible
holds, grabs, punches and kicks. Extremely effective techniques
against weapons such as a knife, pole, stick and gun form an
important part of the highly skilled practitioner's training. Falling down
and rolling skills are vital for self-protection in real-life situations.
Offensive training includes special striking and kicking techniques,
as well as the pursuit of highly developed weapons skills.
Training in Hapkido is a very effective way of promoting health and, in particular, long pole training improves blood circulation, hand-to-eye co-ordination and breathing techniques. Indeed, as the practitioner becomes more skilled, special breathing techniques are developed, in order to enhance inner understanding and appreciation of one's own body. Both physical and mental development is important to a Hapkido student and so too are courtesy, patience, modesty and control.
It is such a highly developed form that it can be executed skilfully, without regard to the size, strength, age or sex of the practitioner or opponent. The secret is in its precision and in its ability to unlock the hidden wells of self-strength and confidence that lie deep within us all.
The true value of this less known martial art should not be
underestimated. A Korea Hapkido Federation certificate of training is
required to gain a post in Korea's special police, special army or as
a private security guard to the President himself. Indeed, before 1980,
it was only people in special positions such as this that were
privileged enough to be trained in the art. More recently, the
Federation has made Hapkido much more accessible to Korean
citizen's and has also established the European Duk Moo Kwan
In the United Kingdom, the Korea Hapkido Federation's
representative is 7th Dan Master Kim, Beom. He is European Duk
Moo Academy Technical Director and is the chief instructor and
President of the Korea Hapkido Federation's endorsed United
Kingdom Duk Moo Academy. With over 20 years worth of
instructing experience, he has given seminars and demonstrations
in France, Switzerland and Sweden and has already instructed the Korean military, the French Duk Moo Academy and the Gendarme French police. He has also assisted his father, 9th Dan Grandmaster Kim, Duk In, in training the Korean Police Academy. Grandmaster Kim, Duk In himself is the founder of the Duk Moo Academy and was already an instructor of the Korean special army and government by the age of 23.
Now based in England, Master Kim, Beom has trained Durham Police Constabulary and hundreds more everyday people of varied backgrounds. His classes welcome everyone, regardless of age, size, fitness or gender and are traditionally and authentically taught. Master Kim, Beom is also a 6th Dan in Taekwondo and is devoted to enhancing and promoting his great knowledge and skill in traditional Korean martial arts to people within the United Kingdom and beyond.
To this end, he has organised the 1st Korea Hapkido Federation European Championship. The United Kingdom is privileged play host and the festival will be held in Durham, Tyne and Wear, on the 14th and 15th of June. It will be open to both Korea Hapkido Federation members and the watching public. Those who attend will be guaranteed to witness a very prestigious event in which an array of martial arts skills will be on display by highly competent martial artists.
Students of the art will be assessed for their all-round skill in terms
of correctness, speed, confidence, and etiquette. Individual
categories include self-defence and attacking techniques, punch
defence, kick defence, knife defence, kicking skill and weapons
skills, including long pole. In addition, the group competition will
involve demonstrations by European Duk Moo Kwan clubs including
the Duk Moo Academy of France and the Duk Moo Hapkido
university clubs of Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside.
Most predominantly, it will be the first time that the Korea Hapkido
Federation will send representatives to inspect the development of
traditional Hapkido in the United Kingdom. Indeed, it is the visiting
eminent Korean Masters that will judge the tournament. As well as
providing Hapkido practitioners the opportunity to enhance their
mental and physical development, above all, it is hoped that the
event will spread further knowledge throughout the United Kingdom
and Europe about the undiscovered gem of a martial art that is Hapkido.
The 1st Korea Hapkido Federation European Championship will be held inside Maiden Castle, Durham, Tyne and Wear. It will start at 10 a.m. on both the 14th and 15th of June 2003. All members of the public and practitioners of other martial arts are greatly welcome to attend as spectators of the prestigious event. For more information about Hapkido or the event, please email: email@example.com or visit: www.dur.ac.uk/hapkido.club
Jade Alexandria Smith
United Kingdom Duk Moo Academy Secretary