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 Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.

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PostSubject: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:39 pm

One of the difficulties I have had in teaching Hapkido to military people is that either they or I have to transfer every three to four years. It is fair to say that I have students all over the world at this point. I myself would have to spend hours upon hours in a car just to get to my own Hapkido teacher.



A students commitment to learn is mirrored by the teachers commitment to teach. I have felt the burden of not being able to continue teaching my students. With that in mind I began tooling around with the idea of an interactive Hapkido website, so that I can effectively continue teaching my people anywhere in the world. I had the idea some three years ago and even made an early site that didn't really work too well.



I decided recently to give it another try. I'll be the first to admit that I am not a great web designer. I decided to use a provider and work from a standard template this time and the results have been WAY better. I've only been building the site for about a week but it is already a great resource!



We see so many beginning RLSH here that desire martial arts training so that they can pursue crime fighting and other endeavors. Many never learn martial arts because it's either too expensive or sometimes not even available in their area.



When I began learning martial arts (20 years ago) it was reasonably affordable (my first classes cost $14 a month). That has changed considerably over the years. Nowadays Hapkido instruction (if you can even find it) runs between $80 and $250 a month. Even learning from a DVD series runs in the $500 range, sometimes more.



Some try to learn from free videos on YouTube and such but this is a very inefficient way to learn and often ignores the fundamentals that a beginning student must learn. If you have learned this way, good on you, but I bet if you could you would rather have formal instruction.



So with all this in my mind and in my heart I give you Hapkido Online:



[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]



Please understand that this is a work in progress, I've only been at it for about a week now. But already it has all the elements that I feel are needed to 'distance learn' a martial art:



Step by step instructive videos with written tutorials

A forum for questions

A video conferencing feature for interaction with teacher and student

A pool of willing instructors

A pool of willing students



So far I've only begun fleshing out the White Belt level but every week more content will be added till it has every single practical Hapkido move. I am happy to offer White Belt through Yellow Belt absolutely free of charge. In conventional terms that is like three to six months of training for free.



Regrettably I cannot offer the whole site free of charge because It costs money to keep it running. Believe me when I tell you though that I will be operating it 'at cost'. I am not looking to make money here, simply to teach Hapkido to those who want to learn. I have decided to charge what I paid 20 years ago, $14 a month. I am also offering a onetime lifetime membership to any RLSH at a greatly discounted price out of gratitude for your service. Simply mention that you are an 'extreme altruist' in your application.



As I add content to the site I will put updates in this thread. If you decide to join you will have my undivided attention and instruction and occasional help from three other guest black belts. If you want to face the mean streets on a shoestring budget this is not a bad way to go.



Very Respectfully,

Instructor
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Vulpo

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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:02 pm

After taking a look, I have to say that the fact you have a "Hero" discount is pretty darn awesome. I've never seen a reasonable website like this, I'd be more than happy to sign up once I get the funds.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:04 pm

Until you do feel free to utilize the free portions of the website which are many!
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Vulpo

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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:07 pm

Instructor wrote:
Until you do feel free to utilize the free portions of the website which are many!
I will, thanks. I've always loved korean martial arts. I used to study tae kwon do when I was younger and I still have a habit of using the same punches from that martial art. So this will be a great upgrade for me, the "sportiness" of tae kwon do wasn't doing it for me, so I quit.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:13 pm

Many Hapkidokas began in Tae Kwon Do, You will find that the transition is fairly seemless.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:35 pm

Oh by the way, white belt joint locks and throws are being filmed in the next two weeks.
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Flora V. Arbor

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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:32 pm

YAY!!! for teaching Martial Arts!!!
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PostSubject: Digital Dojang now available to all.   Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:08 pm

I opened up the Digital Dojang to all who want to use it. It just seemed to me that white belts would need it as much as anybody.

All you need to run it is to sign up with ooVoo (free)
My computer needed the latest Java

Both links are on the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] page.

It can handle up to six video sessions at one time.

It should allow you all to practice with each other in addition to practicing with me.

I found a webcam that might be especially good for this:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The Model PC1000 tracks movement around the room so you can jump, throw, and kick and it will show it all. I've seen it for as little as $40.00 on QVC
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Flora V. Arbor

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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:14 pm

sheeet I want to do this but am putting NOTHING on my to-do list until the TAXES are done
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:56 am

I added the three step sign up process and put in a custom release form. It is essentially a digital version of the release form we've always used over the years. Not very exciting stuff but if you are looking to be a martial arts instructor it's the kind of detail you should not neglect.

Brick and Mortar practice begins tomorrow at 15:30. First day, I don't have any RSVP yet. I will be there in my Dobak ready to practice though. I'll engage the webcam and have it on for anybody who wants to watch practice. If nobody shows up I will just film more moves for the belt rank stuff.

Master Two Feathers has been very busy lately but I may see if he would like to be present virtually on the Digital Dojang. Most of the really good stuff I've learned in life I've learned from him.
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Flora V. Arbor

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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:40 pm

How would I tune in?

Do I click on yoru link and that will take me to yoru camera feed



I don't have a camera.

So, I can't send back but I can see in, yes?
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:54 pm

You will need an account with ooVoo and the latest Java on your computer. Once you've done this you simply click in the Digital Dojang and your in. If you don't have a camera your avatar will be a standard thing. You should be able to see the action just fine.

I want to apologize in advance if the quality is lacking, the only camera I have at the moment is a built in laptop camera so bare with me. As this grows I will upgrade and the quality will improve.

Short answer yes, you will be able to see.

Tomorrows practice 1530-1630 EST, 3:30 to 4:30 for you civilian types.
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Flora V. Arbor

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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:59 pm

I'll try to squeeze in. If I can't tomorrow,

please, keep sending info.



I'll get there when I can
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:40 am

Flora I am just honored you have taken an interest. Hapkido Online is self paced so if you miss the streaming practices it's not really a huge deal. We will be recording the specific technique instruction as well and that will be on the belt pages.

Today is our first brick and mortar practice since launching Hapkido Online. I have a small group meeting at the base gym, brand new white belts. I am going to try to stream it through the Digital Dojang. Practice starts at 1530 EST. I hope the base wi-fi connection is up to it, we will see. You are all welcome to attend. If you are planning to attend I recommend loading ooVoo on your computer and the latest Java update. Links can be found on the Digital Dojo page.

Since this is our first try I have low expectations but hopefully it all works. My equipment is pretty basic but as things develop I will upgrade so the quality should improve.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:55 am

Well we had the first brick and mortar Hapkido Online training today and streamed it on the Digital Dojang. I was very pleased with this first day.

We were also able to fit in filming three different white belt breakaways and those have been added to the white belt pages.

All things considered it was a great start. I had fun and a pretty darn good workout. The students seemed to be enjoying themselves. The Digital Dojang also worked well. My wife was able to watch our practice from miles away.

We started with stances and drummed right through blocks, punches, kicks, and breakaways. What you might call an intro to Hapkido class.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:21 am

Well the first week of training has ended and I think it went fairly well. Both of my "students" face impending transfer in a couple of months.

As they grow to love Hapkido they have realized the importance of Hapkido Online and having a means to continue the training from anywhere in the world. It was interesting for me to see the realization dawn on them, at first they didn't really get what I was doing but now it's very important to them.

They don't know that I have had scores of students just like them learn with me for a spell and then transfer away. They are just beginning to understand the joy of practicing martial arts and just beginning to understand the loss if they were unable to continue.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:29 am

Hapkido practice and filming is coming right along. Last night I added video content to the white belt training and yellow belt training modules.



White belt filming is nearly finished. I may do reshoots later to improve the content but students (local and online) report that existing stuff is highly useful. Yellow Belt has more interesting throws and techniques than white belt. The students are having a big time!



I modified the home page menus to make them more intuitive.



Still streaming Hapkido practice Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 3:30-4:30 EST.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:44 am

First apologies to those who tried to watch practice yesterday via the Digital Dojang. The gyms Wi-Fi was not playing along, hopefully today will go better.



That being said we had the best Hapkido Practice yet. We reviewed Stances, Punches, Kicks, learned so far in rapid succession. We spent time working on the finer points of executing the turn kick. We were able to record the 'Through the Door' technique and that has been uploaded to Hapkido Online along with step by step instructions of how to do it and human anatomy diagrams of the target areas.



The bulk of yesterday's practice was spent on Martial Physics. We demonstrated line of stance, center of gravity, range, movement, stability. We didn't focus so much on particular techniques but instead on the physics of hand to hand combat and the common factors that tie all martial arts together. We had a heck of a lot of fun in the process.



We had a new student from Krav Maga and I am happy to report that nothing I taught yesterday contradicted his existing teaching. I suppose truth is truth. We are getting back out there today 3:30, hopefully we can stream it to the Digital Dojang, hope to see you there.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:00 pm

The Special Black Belt:



If you visit my home you will see a lightly used black belt with gold embroidery. It has the name of my school and looks very fancy. My wife found it in my duffel bag along with my other training implements. She had her father build a nice wood and glass display box for the belt and it resides in the box. I tested and received this belt 19 years ago.



My waist was thinner in those days so I rarely wear the fancy belt because it doesn't fit so well anymore. Middle age is humbling. Is this belt special to me? Well it is in a way, it reminds me of my test and the pride of passing it. In some ways the box that holds the belt is more special to me because it reminds me how much my wife and her parents love me.



My other black belt is the one I mostly wear. It has no fancy embroidery, and it's not as ebony as it used to be. In fact it’s not even black anymore but has a gray patina to it. The edges are frayed and worn in places. Some of the seams are tattered. When I pick it up it is supple with use. This belt is the one that is most special to me. Not because it is fancy but because it more closely represents what I have learned and what I teach, humility.



It was passed to me informally by my teacher one day, he had worn it for years before giving it to me and he had a new belt. This belt was with him while he trained multitudes of people, including me. It looks very plain but I cherish it because it represents all the qualities of a good teacher (I write ‘he’ but it can also be a she):



He must love his art

He must be patient

He must be kind

He must value his students and honor them

He must be selfless

He still learns every day

He exists to serve others not himself



I see a lot of fancy schools out there that focus on performance, winning, and the spotlight. They charge vast sums and have rows of students, many of them black belts. The instructors have gilded belts with rows of stripes. The walls have affiliations and awards, the windows frame rows of trophies. I am not saying these things don't have their place, but I am glad that I didn't learn in a place like that.



I look back at my teacher. He has been teaching for 30 years. He has had scores of students come and go like other schools. Out of all those people to my knowledge he has only promoted three to black belt, me and his two sons. When I talk to him he often calls me one of his sons.



He hasn't made a lot of money in martial arts, in fact he usually teaches for free nowadays. Just for the joy of it. I was poor growing up and even now I never seem to have much money. My first belt my teacher bought for me and he never asked for compensation, he did it because he loves his art and he loves his students, they are family. Nowadays if you visit his school often you will see his son teaching advanced techniques to higher students. If you want to find my teacher follow the joyous giggles of children as he teaches them to tumble on the mats.



You might think that because our school is simple and doesn't have all the trappings of success that it is not successful. This is simply untrue. My teacher gave me an invaluable gift. On one occasion it saved my life and the lives of my two children. All my years of training coalesced at that one fateful moment.



The rest of the time his other gifts serve me, faith, trust, honesty, humility, hard work, and love. I carry on with my own school and my own students, I just hope I can be half the teacher that he is and be worthy of wearing his special black belt.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:19 pm

I just want to let everybody know that we have the difficulties with the Digital Dojang resolved and will be streaming Hapkido Practice live today at 3:30 EST.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Hope to see some of you there.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:00 pm

I added a training log requirement and template for students and instructors to track training. This is at the bottom of the Digital Dojang Page.



I also added better belt page mapping and a better description of how Hapkido Online works.



Filming continues at a steady pace. I think the quality of our filmwork is improving as well.



I have found a way to record digital dojo episodes but unfortunately it costs money. As of yet Hapkido Online hasn't earned any revenue so I am wary of spending more money on it. I am not looking to make money here but breaking even would be nice.



Lots of folks have expressed interest and my statistics are showing that folks are coming and watching the videos but nobody is signing up. Rolling Eyes
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hiddensparrow

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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:47 pm

Instructor wrote:
I added a training log requirement and template for students and instructors to track training. This is at the bottom of the Digital Dojang Page.



I also added better belt page mapping and a better description of how Hapkido Online works.



Filming continues at a steady pace. I think the quality of our filmwork is improving as well.



I have found a way to record digital dojo episodes but unfortunately it costs money. As of yet Hapkido Online hasn't earned any revenue so I am wary of spending more money on it. I am not looking to make money here but breaking even would be nice.



Lots of folks have expressed interest and my statistics are showing that folks are coming and watching the videos but nobody is signing up. Rolling Eyes


Patience, Instructor.

Good things come to those who give themselves other things to do. Smile

I look forward to taking advantage of your resources in the near future myself.

As a perpetual student of a variety of styles, I am more than happy to include new schools of thought into my repertoire.


All the best and I will send good, constructive energy your way in the interim.


Cheers,


~HS.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:44 am

Thanks for the morale boost sparrow. I needed it.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:59 pm

Unfortunately I had to change from 'lifetime membership' to a 3 year membership. Apparently 'lifetime membership' has some legal pitfalls for me and my family. Sorry guys.
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PostSubject: Re: Want to Learn Martial Arts? I am here to help you.   Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:15 am

Instructor wrote:
Unfortunately I had to change from 'lifetime membership' to a 3 year membership. Apparently 'lifetime membership' has some legal pitfalls for me and my family. Sorry guys.

No prob, guy. Smile

I'm sure it won't be that big a deal anyways to anyone who joins. \m/


Cheers,



~HS.
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