Beck Martial Arts

Plano Self-Defense and Self-Improvement

(214) 334-5951

Beck Martial Arts Hapkido

Hapkido is a comprehensive Korean self-defense system involving joint locks, pressure points, throws, kicks, strikes, and a few weapons. Han Jae Ji synthesized techniques brought to Korea by Yong Sool Choi with traditional Taoist temple arts to form a nonaggressive martial art that stresses self-development. In Hapkido you learn how to protect yourself in the full range of self-defense situations -- from an unwelcome touch to an immediate threat to your life. This range of control allows you to protect yourself fully without needing to hurt the opponent more than is necessary for the situation, which is why every police officer in Korea must have a black belt in Hapkido. Size, strength, and gender are unimportant in Hapkido -- a woman or child can control a large man with proper technique. Study of Hapkido can benefit you in many ways:

  • self-defense
  • general health
  • balance
  • flexibility
  • coordination
  • courtesy
  • self-control
  • discipline
  • concentration
  • self-confidence
  • stress management
  • weapons techniques

In the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, Hapkido is hard to find. There are many schools that claim to teach it as one of many arts, supposedly taking the best techniques from each art. But what that really means is the techniques the founder of that art liked the best, which usually is a mismatch of philosophies and techniques. Some are claiming to combine Taekwondo and Hapkido, which usually means teaching a few Hapkido joint locks (typically very few and poorly done) as their self-defense or in black belt classes. But Hapkido is *SO* much more than a few joint locks. Hapkido is a superb martial art that takes a long time to learn; it is *very* difficult to master only via seminars or occasional classes. Hapkido takes much effort but returns great rewards. Master Beck has studied both Hapkido and Taekwondo under separate teachers for many years and feels that although the two arts merge well they are best taught as separate arts. Master Beck's approach to Hapkido is self-defense oriented and conceptual. If your primary goal in training is physical conditioning, competition, or discipline, consider Taekwondo. Hapkido will aid in both those goals and others; in fact one BMA Hapkido student has lost over 100 pounds; but again - the primary focus is self-defense. Master Beck teaches in a conceptual manner, which makes things easier to learn and the techniques practical more quickly than in many Hapkido schools. You do not have to memorize hundreds or thousands of techniques -- although there are thousands of techniques taught in the colored belt BMA syllabus, they are boiled down into 5 concepts per belt level. A full explanation of the conceptual approach is below. Master Beck's approach is also non-regimented; the class is a relaxed, fun atmosphere focusing on adults; it is not the military or a school classroom. Master Beck invites anyone with experience or interest in Hapkido or any HKD related art such as Kuk Sul Won or Hwarangdo in the DFW Metroplex to join the DFW Hapkido Seminar Mailing List. BMA has hosted numerous seminars with some of the world's best Hapkido instructors, including the founder of Hapkido and Sin Moo Hapkido himself, Dojunim Han Jae Ji. Group classes are 3 times a week, see the BMA News page for the current schedule  

Beck Martial Arts Hapkido Syllabus

Any syllabus is something of a work in progress, and will undergo modification over time as better ways of teaching are found. When I first started teaching, on the whole I followed the same approach my teachers had used. That was an attack based curriculum. IE, learn to handle a particular kind or kinds of attack at a particular belt level, for instance wrist grabs at white belt. The problem with that approach is that in today's world, few people are able to stick around long enough and train diligently enough to see the underlying repetition of principles. I mean by this that the same technique works with very slight adjustments from a wrist grab, from a shoulder grab, from a punch, from ANYWHERE. Eventually you could get to that understanding, but for most people the attack-based approach is an overwhelming collection of disparate techniques without really understanding the concepts underlying the techniques. Also, it seemed silly to have the possibility of someone having trained for YEARS getting pulverized by some attack they hadn't gotten to yet in the curriculum. (Waaa, I got kicked in the face because I'm only a blue belt and we don't deal with kicks until red belt!) About 2000, I met Grandmaster Geoff Booth and saw his concept based curriculum, and that was the catalyst for me to change my approach. We don't use all the same concepts; I don't teach his exact syllabus; and I structure things somewhat differently; but many of the concepts overlap. I owe a big debt of gratitude to GM Booth. My curriculum is based on you facing ALL KINDS of attacks at EVERY belt level. That includes grabs, punches, kicks, on the ground, from behind, etc. How you deal with a particular attack at white belt level may obviously be different than at black belt, but you have the tools for successful self-defense very quickly. Then beyond that, are you interested in the martial art of Hapkido? There is an overwhelming number of possible techniques in Hapkido. In order to avoid the jack of all trades - master of none tendency, simplification is essential. If the basics are excellent, it's easy to add on variations of techniques. You can think of an analogy of a doctor: a HKD black belt 1st Dan as a general MD degree, with specialization happening after that. This curriculum focuses on teaching the underlying concepts through the colored ranks that then can each be developed in greater detail later. The idea is to have black belts who are able to handle any kind of attack and have understanding of and excellent skills in the core aspects of Hapkido: joint locks, throws, striking, kicking, and pressure points. Things like alternating double kicks, one-handed cartwheels, air falls, and weaponry are nice to have skill with, but are not essential to selfdefense or to mastery of Hapkido. They are optional areas of study and are at black belt levels in my curriculum. This approach has exactly 5 concepts at each level. It is easy to understand and teach. It makes the first few belt levels easy to master and helps the newcomer to Hapkido stay with it long enough to get hooked like I was long ago.

The Concepts:

10th Gup white belt: Footwork, Strike reactions 1:evasion, Grab reactions 1:circular motion escapes, Falls/Rolls 1:standing falls, Strikes 1:fist

9th Gup orange belt: Strike reactions 2:shield blocks, Grab reactions 2:pull escapes, Falls/Rolls 2:rolling falls, Kicks 1:knee extensions, Joint Locks 1:arm bars (over)

8th Gup yellow belt: Strike reactions 3:parries/redirecting blocks, Grab reactions 3:counters to the hand/wrist, Falls/Rolls 3:jump rolls, Strikes 2:edge hand strikes, Joint Locks 2:upper arm locks

7th Gup yellow belt with a stripe: Grab reactions 4:counters to the body, Strikes 3:elbow strikes, Kicks 2:forward thrusts, Joint locks 3:V-locks, Strike reactions 4:simultaneous counters

6th Gup green belt: Attacking concepts 1:footwork aided attacks, Strikes 4: palm strikes, Kicks 3: side/back thrusts, Joint locks 4: outward wrist twist, Throws 1:sweeps/reaps

5th Gup green belt with a stripe: Attacking concepts 2: spinning attacks, Joint locks 5: S-locks, Joint locks 6: inward wrist twist, Kicks 4:knee flexors, Throws 2: knee folds

4th Gup blue belt: Attacking concepts 3: continuous combo attacks, Joint locks 7: leg bars, Joint locks 8: arm bar (under), Kicks 5: hip flexors, Throws 3: hip throws

3rd Gup blue belt with a stripe: Attacking concepts 4:ground attacks, Joint locks 9: hand controls (finger/thumb), Kicks 6: hip extensors, Pressure points 1:body, Throws 4: shoulder throws 2nd Gup red belt: Attacking concepts 5: jumping attacks, Joint locks 10: head controls, Kicks 7:double kicks, Throws 5:push/pull throws, Pressure points 2:head/neck

1st Gup red belt with a stripe: Attacking concepts 6:arresting attacks, Joint locks 11:wrist folds, Strikes 5: fingertip/knuckle strikes, Throws 5: sacrifice throws, Pressure points 3: chokes

Hapkido Seminars

Hapkido and HKD-related arts such as Hwarangdo, Kuk Sul Won, Tu Kong Mu Sul, etc are fairly scarce and scattered in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. Most teach out of some other style basis such as Taekwondo and are involved in different organizations with little communication between them. That's fine as far as it goes, people are welcome to do their own thing and train the way they want to; but when such Hapkido luminaries as Dojunim Han Jae JI, Grandmaster In Sun SEO, and/or Dr. He-Young Kimm come to this area, they should get a large audience! We've got to do a good job of getting the word out to *everyone* interested! Therefore, I created a DFW Hapkido Seminar Mailing List, a list of schools & individuals in the Dallas Fort Worth area that would be interested in receiving information about any HKD or HKD-related seminars. This is not a HKD umbrella organization. It is simply an easy way that those of us interested in spreading Hapkido knowledge can contact each other. This mailing list is publically available on request so that anyone (regardless of HKD organization) putting on a seminar can more easily reach his prospective audience, thus making individual seminars more successful. Besides seminars, this also makes it possible to have joint training sessions where techniques and knowledge may be shared in a non judgemental, non-political atmosphere and the art can grow. Reputations will build as they deserve to, regardless of who belongs to what organization. Anyone can join this list. You don't need to have a black belt or any martial arts experience at all, or belong to any particular organization. It does not obligate you to anything. It simply means that you will be notified of any seminars or shared training that I, David N. Beck, know about. Whether I'm hosting, teaching, received a flyer, or got an email. Due to spam concerns, I will not put the list on my website itself; but I'll be happy to send it to any instructor putting on a seminar via either e-mail request or snail mail request. Over 120 people at last count, the list keeps growing. To join, please provide name, e-mail and snail mail addresses, phone #, and school affiliation if any on this form. Or call me at 214-334-5951. The list has helped support many seminars in the general DFW area, including Plato, Plato, Euless, Whitehouse, Bonham, and Plato. I've hosted some, Master Murphy has hosted some, Master Zwieg has hosted; the important factor is that great HKD instructors come and teach, not who hosts. Pictures from a number of these seminars are in my Galleries. In addition, we've spread the word and some students have attended seminars in the Austin and Houston areas. We are gradually increasing DFW's presence in the Hapkido community. Area Seminar Instructors have included: Read More about Sin Moo Hapkido