Improving accuracy

Sometimes during target practice a student will repeatedly miss the striking pad. It can be incredibly frustrating when a beautifully executed kick becomes useless through a lack of accuracy. But how does someone improve their accuracy? When a skill is

The fear of making mistakes inhibits our potential

Sometimes a student has difficulty executing a skill they’ve been performing well for months. How come? Surely that’s a problem? There could be many reasons a technique stops working: lack of practice or bad posture, poor alignment or loss of

Q. What’s the point of practising hyung (forms)?

Forms are a sequence of techniques, a pattern, practised repeatedly; they usually occur towards the start of a class.  At Chang’s Hapkido Academy, each new level requires the student to memorize a new form which is then practised under the watchful eye of the

Posture, power and performance (part one)

One word my students consistently hear me use is ‘posture’. In this two part series I want to look at how posture affects how we feel and also how we perform. Firstly let’s consider our physical performance… In Hapkido the

Skills, skills and more skills (part two)

Last month I spoke about how knowing a variety of martial arts skills can be beneficial to your practice (part one).  Today I’d like to play devil’s advocate and argue the contrary. So why are more skills a bad thing?

Skills, skills, and more skills (part one)

By the time you’ve reached black belt in Hapkido, you’ve accumulated hundreds of Hapkido techniques: from the basic punch to the more complex self-defence skills and the multitude of variations.  In this three part article I’d like to talk about

Hapkido training as we age.

How old do you feel? I often find that the way people answer this question has a direct correlation to how active they are. The greater the activity level, the greater the difference between reality and fact. If we look

Don’t neglect the kihap!

Recently a few of my newer students have been asking why we are ‘grunting’ or ‘shouting’ during techniques. What they are referring to is the ‘ki-hap’: literally, Ki means inner power, and Hap means coordination. So the shout is an

Tension vs. power in Hapkido training.

I find that many new students need to first spend time understanding the difference between tension, strength and power. In the English language, if we want to improve at something, we often say that we must knuckle down, train hard orgrit our

Practising what we’re bad at.

I had a student about 4 years ago who complained to me that people were advancing ahead of him and that I wasn't teaching him any new skills. To some degree this was actually true; he had reached a bit