Physically Strong Knowledgeabley Weak

July 23, 2012

I remember a discussion I had a while back with a Grand master who had returned from a Hapkido seminar that he was invited to teach.  After the two day seminar was over one of the more physically fit and higher ranked men in this group of attendees confided to the Grand Master that although he had been in the martial arts for thirty years he had never even seen half of the techniques that were taught, even though many of the techniques shown were fairly basic for lower dan ranks in Korea.

Hapkido teacher in Ocoee, Florida

Grand Master Richard Hackworth, teaches the total mind, body and spirit training that is a tradition in Korea

Unfortunately there are many in the martial arts industry who confuse gymnastics and exercise with martial arts. I am not saying that physical fitness is not important, I am saying it should not be confused with the primary mission of martial arts instruction which is self-defense training. Proper training methods help to develop your total mind, body and spirit. This particular seminar attendee obviously had trained for years while learning from a substandard instructor who camouflaged his lack of knowledge by filling the class time with exercises and repetitive drills. Those who studied with him mistook rank advancement with increasing physical fitness and speed or improvement in the limited number of techniques learned. Being able to perform a certain number of pushups was part of his black belt exam.  I equate this with the man who studies for years to be the fastest draw in town without knowing you also have to put bullets in the gun, aim and fire. He may look good, be in great shape and draw first, but when he finally goes up against a real gunslinger he will learn a very nasty lesson. A teacher who would fail to seek out the advanced knowledge that he lacks while telling his students that rank requirement stuff is just “politics” is morally and ethically weak.

I recently read with great delight about Keiko Fukuda the highest-ranked female judo practitioner in history, holding the rank of 9th dan from the Kodokan and the United States Judo Federation (USJF), and 10th dan from USA Judo, and is the last surviving student of Kanō Jigorō, founder of judo. She was born in at the turn of the last century and the last video clip I saw of her when was seated in a chair with a cane teaching students at the Kodokan.  Should we criticize her skills or rank because she is in her nineties and frail and not “physically fit like Heidi Klum?”

My point is that martial art rank requires not only physical skills but experience and knowledge as well.  While we certainly need exercises in order to limber up and to prevent injuries, and while the more fit individual has the better chance in a physical encounter, it is not the sole factor to consider in rank advancement.  In fact in the final Grand Master ranks promotion is based on education, knowledge, theory and students success rather than on a physical demonstration of fitness.  My understanding is that Chuck Norris has had a hip transplant. Should we criticize his martial arts skills because he uses his son to double for his high spin kicks? Steven Segal is a little larger around the waist than he was twenty years ago.  Does anyone seriously doubt his rank because he is not as fit as he once was?

While there are many tremendously fit football players in college sports, I personally would rather study with Don Shula or Dan Marino even though they may not run as fast or throw as far any more.  If it is teaching I need I want the most knowledgeable instructor. Someone who has “been there done that” so to speak.

I am always impressed with men like Jack Lalaine and Buster Crabbe who could model clothes and swim the English channel in their eighties but truthfully they have always been the exception to the rule. As someone pointed out to me once, you can train a monkey to flip and kick but they can’t earn martial arts rank.  Of course they can’t because there is so much more than jumping and doing cartwheels and the true masters know that.  We all strive to be as fit as we can be but life and genetics take their toll.

Recently I read with horror and dismay about a sport Karate master who was sexually abusing students. Should he be praised for his fitness?  Certainly not.  The martial arts, especially arts like Hapkido, are also about respect, humility and self-discipline.  My point is that while physical fitness is an important aspect to training it should not be confused with the end all do all of the martial arts.  Again I ask you would you rather study say Kung fu with a twenty year old local tournament winner who is in perfect shape or with Jackie Chan.  I know my answer but then again I am over 50 and not quite as easily impressed as I once was.

I’m sure that the master mentioned at the beginning of this article did not understand why I was not so impressed with his large biceps but lacked fundamental knowledge of Hapkido principles. He was proud of his physical strength and the hard work that it took to develop it. But he failed to realize that he had ignored the development of wisdom and virtue. It made him physically fit but morally weak and that is not the way of the Warrior.

Sponsored by and


Hapkido and Destiny

June 3, 2012

Hapkido and Destiny

During a momentous battle, a Korean general decided to attack even though his army was greatly outnumbered. He was confident they would win, but his men were filled with doubt. On the way to battle, they stopped at a religious shrine. After praying with the men, the general took out a coin and said, “I shall now toss this coin. If it is heads, we shall win. If tails, we shall lose. Destiny will now reveal itself.”

He threw the coin into the air and all watched intently as it landed. It was heads! The soldiers were so overjoyed and filled with confidence that they vigorously attacked the enemy and were victorious. After the battle, a lieutenant remarked to the general, “No one can change destiny.”

“Quite right,” the general replied as he showed the lieutenant the coin, which had heads on both sides.

If you enjoyed this story be sure to share it with a friend. Just as you may share Hapkido with your friends by inviting them to class.

What is Haemukwan Hapkido?

October 17, 2010

Introduction to Haemukwan Hapkido

by Richard Hackworth


What is Haemukwan Hapkido?

Haemukwan Hapkido is a form of martial arts that has its origins in Korea. It is based on principles shared by Karate, Aikido and Judo. The teachings of Hapkido are meant to use martial arts not as a means of purposely inflicting injury, but rather as a form of self-defense. Because Hapkido is more about self-defense, it is known as a soft form of martial arts. Haemukwan Hapkido focuses on developing the individual as a whole through complete mind, body and spirit training.


Definition of Hapkido

The word Hapkido means (hap) harmony, (ki) energy and (do) the method. Haemukwan means (hae) new, (mu) martial and (kwan) school or family. By using this philosophy, a person trained in Haemukwan Hapkido can use an opponent’s own force of energy against him.


History of Hapkido

Hapkido was introduced during the Ko-Ryo Dynasty (918 A.D. to 1392 A.D.). It became a form of martial arts that was widely used until Japanese rule. It was reintroduced to Korea by Choi Young Sool in 1945. Richard Hackworth was the senior student of several of Choi Young Sool’s original students. He combined their curriculum’s under the Korea Hapkido Federation regulations. Since being officially recognized as a style of Hapkido in 2000, Richard Hackworth has visited countries around the world in order to promote the art through seminars and establishing new schools.


Types of Techniques

Haemukwan Hapkido uses techniques to defend against attacks with the use of pressure points, joint locks, strikes, kicks, chokes, strangles and using the opponents own force against them.


Training Philosophy

As with all styles of Hapkido, Haemukwan Hapkido is based on three principles: water principle, circle principle and harmony principle. With water principle, you use your movement like the fluidity of water, while using circle principle means redirecting your own energy through circular force and harmony principle means blending the two previous principles to balance your mind, body and spirit.


Developing Discipline

The physical and spiritual being of a practitioner of Haemukwan Hapkido is incorporated to develop the capabilities of self-defense. It also helps to harmonize your well being by keeping a state of peaceful balance.


About the author: Richard Hackworth is a Grand Master of Hapkido, Taekwondo and Korea Sword. Hackworth is best know as the host of “World Martial Arts TV” and the “World Martial Arts Radio Show” . You can hear his weekly radio show at . To learn more about Richard Hackworth and the martial art of Hapkido subscribe to his free Hapkido e-newsletter at . Feel free to check out his school website at .

From Grand Master Gary Pointer

May 21, 2010

I am re-posting Grand Master Gary Pointer’s comment below.

“As a senior Grand Master in the Hapkido community I must say that it is about time we took a stand against people like this Hapkido Brothers school in Clermont, Florida. We have a moral responsibility to expose people like Billy Burchett to protect the unknowing general public from the fraud that he commits. I applaud your for this post and am thankful for the magazine article about him as well. Grand Master Gregory Glover and myself will be recording a radio show about Billy Burchett this weekend to air July 4th 2010 on and .

Yours in Hapkido,
Grand Master Gary M. Pointer
World Martial Arts Radio Show ”

Please click on the Comment link below to read comments about this post.

Hapkido Rank Requirements to 1st Guep

May 21, 2010

I have posted this rank requirements outline from the Korean Hapkido Federation so that people can get a better understanding of what they should be learning at each rank on the way to black belt. These are the minimum requirements that are taught at Hapkido schools in Korea. I hope that you find the outline useful. This outline is used by more than 70 styles of Hapkido in Korea. So even if the individual techniques are different the order of teaching is the same that way people can continue to progress in rank even if they change styles in Korea. If you are looking for a great Hapkido school that teaches the Korean standards visit .

To your success,

Richard Hackworth 



Kyung-Nae: (Etiquette): formal class opening and closing

Dojang Kyu-Chik: Learn Hapkido School Rules & Etiquette

SulYunsaeng Kyu-Chik: Learn Hapkido Student Creed & Student Oath

Soo-Chik: Students of the Korean martial arts adhere to the 4 fundamental guidelines of Mudo Philosophy:

1. To be Loyal to one’s parents and family

2. To be Brave during battle

3. To be living Honestly and cleanly both mentally and physically

4. To be Trustworthy and helpful toward others

Won-Ri 1: Principles of Non-Resistance: When pushed, Pull. When pulled, Push. This is the fundamental application of the principle of non-resistance.

Won-Ri 2: Principle of Off balancing: Breaking balance.

Epson Dan-jun Ho-hup: (Breathing) Ki exercises 4 standing

Chason Dan-jun Ho-hup: 4 seated

JaSe: Stances

1. Cha-yun Che: Natural

2. Cha-yun Che: Natural at 45

3. Ki-ma Jasae: Horse

4. Ki-ma Jasae: Horse at 45

5. Ki-ma Jasae: Horse from the side

6. Dweet-Ku-bi Jasae: Back

7. Bumsoegi Jasae: Cat

8. Ahp-Ku-bi Jasae: Front

9. KongGyok Jasae: Fighting Stance

10. SooBi Jasae: Blocking Stance

SonMokSool: Wrist grab defenses:

Wrist Grabs: Escapes 1-5 (Baygi)

Escapes and Strikes 1-5 (Chigi)

Sleeve Grab: 1-5 Breaks (Goki)

KiBon Jasae: Basic Tumbling and Rolling From kneeling & squating position

AhpGurugi: Forward Roll, DweetGurugi: Backward Roll, OkgaeGurugi: shoulder Roll

Nahk-bop: Falls: from kneeling & squating position

Chunbang Nahk-bop: Front Fall, ChaChukbang Nahk-bop: Left Side Fall, WooChukbang Nahk-bop: Right Side Fall, and HooBang Nahk-bop: Back Fall

TonJiGi: 5 Basic Throws from wrist grab

Shoulder Throw, Hip Throw, Major Reap, Leg Sweep, Shoulder Wheel

1. Shoulder- hook under shoulder

2. Hip- grab belt

3. Reap- their leg back

4. Leg Sweep- their leg forward

5. Shoulder Wheel- hook under other shoulder

DanShik Palchagi: Fundamental single kicks:

Ahp-chagi: Front, Yup-chagi: side, DweYup-chagi: back, DweKumchi Cha-Uligi: leg raise, Andari-chagi: inside, Pakahtdari-chagi: outside

Low Kicks (Knee to Foot) 1-5

Andaricha-noki: Scoop Kick to shin

Dwekumchi hataebu-doluchagi: Sweep Heel Kick (Inside of the Knee)

Chokdohadan-douchagi: Round Kick (to Outside of the Knee)

NopJukdari-chagi: Hook Kick (to the Outside of the Knee)

HadanYup-chagi: Side Kick (Front of the Knee)

Hadanchago-naryu-jiki: Side Kick and Stomp (Front of the Knee Top of the Foot)

PalBang Maki: Hand & Arm Blocks against punching

1. Rising, High

2. Down, Low

3. Inside, palm facing you

4. Outside, palm facing away

5. Parry, 45 degree angle down

6. Parry, 45 degree angle up

7. Cross Palm

8. Downward Palm

JiRuGi: Strikes against punches:

1. Inside

2. Outside

Note: Your body dictates whether it is an inside, or outside technique, not your hands. Both are knife hand strikes to the radial nerve point on top of the forearm.

Grab and joint lock or break against punches 1-2

Grab and throw against punches 1-2 Head hook throw, Arm lock throw

JinTeSool: Advancing and retreating footwork



WiBok-sool: (Clothing Grab defense)

Sleeve Grab at the Wrist Top 1-5

Sleeve Grab at the Wrist Bottom 1-5

Sleeve Grab at the elbow Top 1-5

Sleeve Grab at the elbow Bottom 1-5

Sleeve Grab Under the Shoulder 1-5

Sleeve Grab at the Shoulder 1-5

Lapel Grab One Hand and Two Hand Grab 1-5

Lapel Grab Fist Up, Thumb Up, Thumb Down

Escape from the Mounted Position 1-5

Middle Kicks (Waist to Knee)

Inverted Round Kick

Round Kick (to the Thigh)

Up Kick (to the Groin)

Pushing Kick (to the Groin)

Heel Kick (to the Groin)

Single Kicks: Ax, hammer, outside cresent, inside cresent, push

Basic Tumbling and Rolling from standing position, return to stance

Forward Roll, Backward Roll, shoulder Roll

Falls (Naup-Po): from standing position

Front Fall, Left Side Fall, Right Side Fall, and Back Fall


DanJunKiBup: Ki breathing lying on back



Chest Grab with 1 hand 1-5

Chest Grab with 2 hands 1-5

Side Body Grab1-5

Arm Twist 1-5

Defense against choke from front 1-5

Defense against choke from rear 1-5

SuBakSool: Closed Hand Striking


Hammer Fist

Hapkido Back Fist

MuRyup-Chagi: Knee Kicks: front, side, round

Hold Downs 1-7

1 Handed Cartwheel

Kicking footwork for stepping, sliding, turning, hoping, step over, step behind



Belt Grab with Palm Down 1-5

Belt Grab with Palm Up 1-5

Push from Front, Rear, and Side

Chest Push with 1 hand same side attack

Chest Push with 1 hand cross body attack

Chest Push with 2 hands front, side, rear attack

Bear hug: from the Front with Arms Pinned 1-5

Bear hug from the Front with Arms Free 1-5

Open Hand Striking: Palm Heel, Ridge Hand

Defense Against Kicks (Bang Jok Sul):

Front Kick

Side Kick

Kick- Up

Defense against throws 1-5

Yi-bun-bop Kyun-hyung WonRi: Bisecting Principle: The imaginary line running left to right across the tip of the sternum. Striking above this point causes the body of your opponent to lean away from you. Striking below this point causes the opponent to lean toward you.

Sonsul WonRi: Neural Stun Principle: Used as a preparatory technique to create a distraction.



Sa-bun-bop Kyun-hyun WonRi: Quadrant Principle: Divides the body into quarters from above view. Manipulating the quadrants will redirect your opponent to the exact position needed for your follow up technique.

Redirecting your opponent using the quadrant principle:

5 primary hair handles for control. 4 quadrants, top of head.

5 secondary handles for control: Left ear, right ear, chin, nose, brow line.

Hair Grab 1-5

Headlock Defenses: Front, side, rear

Single hand Collar Grab Behind the Neck from front 1-5

Single hand Collar Grab Behind the Neck from rear 1-5

Rear Shoulder Grab 1 hand Top 1-5

Rear Shoulder Grab 1 hand Bottom (arm pit) 1-5

Front shoulder Grab 1 hand Top 1-5

Front Shoulder Grab 1 hand Bottom (arm pit) 1-5

High Kicks (Head to Waist)

Round Kick

Side Kick

Front Kick

Hook Kick

Back Kick

Front Handspring

Grab and joint lock or break against punches 1-2

Grab and throw against punches 1-2

Body Movements: Footwork: side-to-side, pivoting, back spin, back step



Rear Sleeve Grab 1-5

Rear Wrist Grab 1-5

Bear Hug: from the Rear with Arms Pinned 1-5

Bear Hug: from the Rear with Arms Free 1-5

Rear Shoulder Grab 2 hand Top 1-5

Rear Shoulder Grab 2 hand Bottom (arm pit) 1-5

Front shoulder Grab 2 hand Top 1-5

Front Shoulder Grab 2 hand Bottom (arm pit) 1-5

Open Hand Striking: Knife Hand, Spear hand, Claw, Arc of the Hand

Defense Against a Hand Grab 1-5

Jump Dive Roll

JoWulBup: Basic Tumbling and Rolling with jump

Forward Roll, Backward Roll, shoulder Roll

Falls (Naup-Po): with jump

Front Fall, Left Side Fall, Right Side Fall, and Back Fall



Full Nelson Defense 1-5

Reverse Full Nelson Defense 1-5

Elbow Strikes 1-5

Low Spin Kicks

Low Round Kick

Low Spin Heel Kick

Leg Sweeps 1-5

Basic Chokes 1-5

Defense against head lock from front 1-5

Defense against head lock from side 1-5

Defense Against Kicks (Bang Jok Sul):

Roundhouse Kick

Hook Kick

Bokshik Pal-Chagi: Combination Kicking

Aerial Cartwheel



Open Hand Striking: Spear Finger, One Knuckle Punch, Middle Knuckle Punch

11 Primary Eye Strikes (historically used to penetrate helmet eye shield): Punch, Elbow, Finger Fan, Spear finger, Spear hand, Scissor hand, Deer hoof, Thumb spike, Thumb knuckle, Tiger Claw, Cranes beak, Snake mouth.

5 Directions of Eye manipulation with open hand strikes: In, Left, Right, Up, Down.

Open Hand Blocking: High open hand block, High X Block, Wrapping hand inside block, Wrapping hand outside block, Low X block, Low wrapping block, Inside Arm Wrapping block, Outside Arm wrapping block.

Short Stick Training: 10 Angles of attack, 7 fundamental strikes, 7 fundamental blocks, blocking & striking 2 man drill short stick vs. short stick, 2 man drill sword vs. short stick

Defense Against a Short Stick

Basic Jump Kicks

Side Lick

Front Kick

Round Kick

Advanced Combination Kicks

JunHaBup: Advanced Falling, Tumbling and Rolling with jump turning

Forward Roll, Backward Roll, shoulder Roll

Falls (Naup-Po): with jump turning

Front Fall, Left Side Fall, Right Side Fall, and Back Fall



Cross Wrist Grab Front and Rear 1-5

Both Wrist Grab Front and Rear hands together escapes 1-5

Both Wrist Grab Front and Rear hands apart escapes 1-5

Both Wrist Grab Front and Rear hands together techniques 1-5

Both Wrist Grab Front and Rear hands apart techniques 1-5

Defense From Kneeling Position

Front Attacks 1-5

Side Attacks 1-5

Rear Attacks 1-5

Jump Spin Kicks

Side Kick

Round Kick

Back Kick

Outside Kick

Heel Kick

Hook Kick

HyolDoBup: Pressure Point Techniques

Basic Pressure Point Striking to the front of the Body

(Sun Sul)

PoBakSool: Belt (Di as a weapon) Training

Defense Against a Club

Disarming Techniques

Defense Against a Knife from thrust, diagonal slash down, diagonal slash up, slash from left and right

Visit to subscribe to a free hapkido training e-newsletter. Here is an example of what not to do in a Hapkido class

FREE Korean Hapkido Federation E-Newsletter

March 5, 2010

Dear Hapkido Familiy Members,
There is now a FREE Korean Hapkido Federation e-newsletter
availble for you and your students that will have a monthly article about Hapkido training or Hapkido History.
From time-to-time there will be special announcements about upcoming Hapkido events and trips to Korea. You can subscribe for free at or in the USA visit . For the best Hapkido training in your area visit our Haemukwan Hapkido schools at . You can hear our new radio show at or watch our Hapkido students on television at .

hapkido schools hapkido books hapkido classes

December 4, 2009

Attention Korean Martial Arts School Owners: 

Does Your School Need…

 More Income & Improved Retention?

50-100 New Teen & Adult Students?

A Link To Your Martial Arts Roots?


Then Join The Korea Hapkido Federation HaeMuKwan!!!

Now Is Your Chance! Adding a Hapkido program can increase adult enrollments, improve retention, and boost profits. Hapkido has proven itself as the premier self defense art and an essential part of an effective self-defense program for elite Police and Military units and now it is available to YOU! Your school can have a successful Hapkido program!

Why Offer Hapkido At Your School? Hapkido is a great martial art for attracting adult students between the ages of 16-55 years old. This market wants to learn Hapkido. Now you can fill that need, make more money, expand your knowledge and earn your Black Belt in Hapkido.

But I’ve Never Done Hapkido? Our systematic program is designed so that you can learn enough Hapkido to begin teaching it at your school in as little as 1 week. If the US Secret Service can learn enough Hapkido in a few days to protect our President then YOU can certainly learn enough in a week to teach a beginner class. Haemukwan Hapkido is the most scientifically advanced and easy to learn program in the world. 

How Do I Learn and Get Certified? You will be a part of our Hapkido distance learning program with video training and practice the techniques everyday with a partner. Also, we are available for private lessons and seminars to help speed up your learning process. In order to earn rank, you need to meet the minimum requirements and pass each belt test set forth by the Korea Hapkido Federation HaeMuKwan.


Who Are You? I am Richard Hackworth, Grand Master of Hapkido with the Korean Hapkido Federation, founder of HaeMuKwan Hapkido. I am the editor of “World Martial Arts Magazine” and host of the “World Martial Arts Magazine Show” on the Action Radio Network. I have been successfully using this program since 1991 to train students and instructors.

Why Should I Choose Your Program? Because I know what busy school owners like you need! Simply look at the class calendar, see what section you need to teach, look in the Instructor Handbook at the specific techniques you need to teach and practice the techniques on the video. It is that easy. Our curriculum is the most scientifically advanced self defense system in the world and that is why we are so successful. Plus we have the most complete marketing program ever used in the martial arts industry. Your school will dominate your area as a member of the Korea Hapkido Federation Haemukwan.

What Does Your Program Include?

Beginner/Intermediate Hapkido Curriculum DVD or Video

Korea Hapkido Federation Haemukwan Instructor Certificate (must qualify)

Belt Testing Requirements

Instructor Handbook

Class plans for 1 year and Attendance Cards (Master copies)

Korea Hapkido Federation Haemukwan School Affiliate Membership

Korea Hapkido Federation Haemukwan School Certificate

Korea Hapkido Federation Haemukwan Flag and Patch

Free Directory Listing for Your School In Our Official Website

Annual Private Guided Training Trip to Korea

For more information on our HaeMuKwan Hapkido Instructor Training Program:
Call Today! 352-536-1122
or visit us online at

Best Regards,

Richard Hackworth

P.S. Korea Hapkido Federation Haemukwan members qualify to be invited on our private guided tour to Korea where you will get to learn from the top Grand Masters, Elite Police and Military Instructors and much more!

P.S. Join by January 1st 2010 to help celebrate our 10 year anniversary as an official member of the Korean Hapkido Federation and get a Free Subscription & Directory Listing on The World Martial Arts Magazine Website and a Free Membership & Directory Listing on The National Promoters League Website.