July 20, 2024

Why Perseverance is an Important Aspect of Hapkido Philosophy by KJN Richard Hackworth, PhD.

Why Perseverance is an Important Aspect of Hapkido Philosophy by KJN Richard Hackworth, PhD.

Hapkido, the Korean martial art known for its emphasis on joint locks, throws, and utilizing an attacker’s momentum, goes beyond mere physical techniques. At its core lies a philosophy that guides not only self-defense but also personal development. One of the most crucial tenets within this philosophy is perseverance – the unwavering commitment to overcome challenges and achieve one’s goals. This article delves into the significance of perseverance in Hapkido, exploring how it shapes both the student and the art itself.

The Path of Mastery: A Journey of Perseverance

Hapkido is not a discipline mastered overnight. It requires dedication, consistent effort, and an unflinching spirit in the face of setbacks. Techniques can be intricate, demanding hours of practice to refine movements and develop muscle memory. Physical conditioning plays a vital role, pushing students beyond their perceived limits to build strength, stamina, and flexibility. Frustration and discouragement are inevitable along the way. A student who embodies perseverance will view these obstacles as opportunities for growth, pushing through plateaus and emerging stronger.

The Embodiment of Hapkido Principles: Flowing Like Water

Hapkido’s philosophy is deeply rooted in the concept of “water.” Just as water adapts to its surroundings, yielding to pressure yet ultimately overcoming obstacles, a Hapkido practitioner strives for a similar approach. Perseverance allows one to maintain this “flowing” state. When faced with a stronger attacker, one doesn’t try to meet force with force. Instead, like water around a rock, they use redirection and leverage to overcome the opponent’s aggression. This requires patience, a quality fostered by perseverance. Students learn not to rush techniques but to wait for the right opportunity, applying the principles they’ve honed with dedication.

Developing Mental Fortitude: Overcoming the Internal Opponent

The true test of perseverance lies not just in physical challenges but also in overcoming one’s internal doubts and anxieties. Stepping onto the mat for the first time, facing a more experienced opponent, or attempting a difficult technique – all these scenarios can evoke fear and self-doubt. Perseverance equips students to face these internal hurdles. Through consistent training, they build confidence in their abilities and develop the mental strength to push past their perceived limitations. This unwavering spirit allows them to approach new challenges with a growth mindset, recognizing mistakes as stepping stones on the path to mastery.

Building a Community of Support: The Collective Spirit of Perseverance

Hapkido training is not a solitary pursuit. Students learn alongside peers, forming bonds of camaraderie and mutual respect. Witnessing others persevere through challenges inspires individual growth. A supportive instructor who embodies perseverance sets the tone for the entire class. They encourage students, celebrate their progress, and provide guidance when they falter. This collective spirit of perseverance fosters an environment where students learn from each other’s triumphs and struggles, pushing each other to reach new heights.

The Art of Continuous Improvement: A Never-Ending Journey

Hapkido is an ever-evolving art form. Techniques are refined, new variations are discovered, and the understanding of the underlying principles deepens. This continuous improvement is driven by the perseverance of practitioners who dedicate themselves to lifelong learning. Senior instructors constantly seek opportunities to refine their skills, participate in seminars, and explore new approaches. This dedication not only benefits their own growth but also ensures the continued development of the art itself. They become the embodiment of Hapkido’s philosophy, passing on not just techniques but also the spirit of perseverance to future generations.

Beyond the Mat: Perseverance in Daily Life

The lessons learned on the Hapkido mat extend far beyond the dojo. Perseverance equips practitioners with the mental fortitude and tenacity needed to tackle challenges in all aspects of life. Whether facing academic hurdles, pursuing professional goals, or navigating personal struggles, the unwavering spirit cultivates resilience and the ability to bounce back from setbacks. The self-discipline honed through Hapkido training translates into improved focus and dedication in other endeavors.

Conclusion: The Foundation of a Hapkido Life

Perseverance is not just an important aspect of Hapkido philosophy; it is the foundation upon which a Hapkido life is built. It shapes students into well-rounded individuals with the mental and physical strength to navigate life’s challenges. It fosters a supportive community where growth is encouraged, and the art form itself continues to evolve. Whether striving to master a complex technique, overcoming self-doubt, or simply showing up for class day after day, the unwavering spirit of perseverance is the driving force that defines the true essence of a Hapkido practitioner.

About the author: Richard Hackworth is the Vice President of the International Independent Hapkido Alliance and Chairman of the Hapkido School Growth Committee and Membership Committee. He is the President of the USA Hapkido Union, the National Branch Member of the IIHA. For information on membership or business coaching email him at worldhapkidonews@gmail.com

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