Compared to some of the giants of the martial arts world like Karate or Kung Fu, Hapkido is not one of the best known martial arts. But like other often overlooked martial arts that’s not for any particular reason other than cultural awareness. If you’re interested in broadening your martial arts horizons so to speak, here are three important tips to ensure that your Hapkido experience is a good one:
Pace yourself. Even if you’re well versed in other forms of martial arts, remember that not all martial arts are the same. If you’re an accomplished swimmer that doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily be a talented ice hockey player and even though the overlap is more similar with martial arts a black belt in Karate won’t automatically be great at Hapkido. When you’re learning remember to go step by step and not jump into the proverbial deep end too quickly.
Keep an open mind. As is the case with any type of learning, some of the first steps might seem odd, irrelevant, or downright bizarre. That’s all part of the process of learning however. When you keep an open mind and don’t approach from a judgemental point of view you’re likely to have a much more rewarding experience, so don’t be afraid to try new things in Hapkido and definitely don’t be afraid of failing.
Try it with a professional. With all the resources that the internet has to offer it’s often tempting for autodidacts to try out something like a new sport all on their own. But with anything involving the body there’s a potential for injury and therefore its best to try out the sport with someone who really knows what they’re doing. There’s nothing wrong with seeking expert advice and if you have someone there to teach you chances are that your experience will be all the richer.
One of the best aspects of learning a new martial art is not actually the physical sport itself, but learning about its genesis and the country in which it was developed. As Hapkido comes from Korea, it’s also a good idea to learn a little bit about Korea and its history and culture if you want to have a thoroughly rewarding time.