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 consider Martial Fitness. If your primary goal is self-improvement or you want to compete, 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. See the Syllabus page for a fuller explanation of the conceptual approach. 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 - Sin Moo Hapkido

Fighting Art of Coordinated Physical, Mental, and Spiritual Power BMA Hapkido has been strongly influenced by Sin Moo Hapkido. SMHKD was formed by Dojunim Han Jae JI circa 1980 to put more stress on mental and spiritual training than the primarily technique oriented Hapkido he had taught since 1956. There are 9 rules to follow in making Sin Moo HKD a way of life. These are straight out of Taoist teachings.


1. Healthy food. Do not eat foods that inhibit your body's development of adrenaline (physical Ki power). Pork is bad for the heart, poultry is bad for the lungs, alcohol is bad for the brain, scaleless fish is bad for the liver, too much salt is bad for the kidneys, and too much spicy food is bad for the stomach. These organs are all involved in the production of adrenaline.

2. Healthy sex. Don't freak out, this is straight out of Taoist teachings...Sex is part of a normal relationship between husband and wife, but a man should not ejaculate too often. Using age as a guideline, in your 20s - once a week, 30s - once every two weeks, 40s - once a month, 50s - once every two months.

3. Healthy meditation. Perform slow controlled breathing through the nose, with your mouth closed but teeth not clenched and your tongue touching the roof of your mouth. Have the spine and neck straight, as if you're looking straight forward. (Your eyes may be closed or open, if open let them unfocus.) Meditation along with sleep is how to recharge your physical batteries. There are many ways to meditate; all involve relaxation and deep breathing. The only religious connotation to it is what you impose yourself; if praying is speaking to God, meditation can be listening.


4. Avoid anger.

5. Avoid sadness (grief).

6. Avoid greed.


7. Moderate the amount of liquids you drink and do not let hot or cold liquids come in contact with your molars. These teeth trigger the release of adrenaline.

8. Moderate your air intake so that the air is neither cold nor hot as it enters the lungs. Exercise and use the lungs fully, breathing through the nose. Use the diaphragm, not the chest or shoulders.

9. Moderate the amount of sunshine you receive. Sunshine at your back is energizing, but on your face saps your strength. Meditate with the sun behind you.

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:

Dojunim Han Jae Ji, 10th Dan, World Sin Moo Hapkido Association GrandMaster In Sun Seo, 10th Dan, World KiDo Federation GrandMaster J. R. West, 9th Dan, United States Korean Martial Arts Federation GrandMaster James McMurray, 9th Dan, World KiDo Federation GrandMaster Geoff Booth, 9th Dan, International Hapkido Alliance Master Sueng Kyu Yang, 8th Dan, Korean Hapkido Federation ChiefMaster John Murphy, 8th Dan, Tukong Moosul Kwan Hapkido Master Steve Seo, 7th Dan, World KiDo Federation Master Chad Zwieg, 7th Dan, World Sin Moo Hapkido Association Master Dickson Kunz, 7th Dan, World Kuk Sool Association Master David Beck, 6th Dan, World Sin Moo Hapkido Association

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