Guest blog by Hal Herndon, Chief Instructor, Georgia Mountain Hapkido
I started training in martial arts (HKD) when I was 49 years old and I’ll be 68 in August, still training. I liked HKD because it seemed to be the most versatile and effective martial art available and frankly my goal was to learn effective self defense. The training has almost always been fun, although painful at times in many ways.
At the risk of boring you I will offer a bit of background: FYI my training partner for most of those years was a law enforcement official who had to deal with druggies, gang members and all of the other criminal types every night and every night he was “hands on” with those guys, often being attacked by them himself. He was also a black belt in several other styles of martial arts and he earned every one of them.
I thank him for my becoming so inquisitive and wanting to literally test all of our techniques. He and I always tried to take the techniques apart, analyze them and make them work better. He is 6’-2”, 260# and no body fat so we figured what would work on him would likely work on anyone. We also knew all along that much of what we were training in was way too complex to be effective in the real world, although we respected and honored the tradition. Our instructor was a hard core, “do it this way because I say so and it’s the right way to do it” type of teacher. Unfortunately (for his students) he had never been involved in anything serious outside of semi full contact sparring so he thought everything he knew would work anywhere, any time.
A few years ago my partner went to Iraq as a private contractor and ended up getting sent (alone) to all kinds of places primarily to find, interrogate and dispose of “key players” on the other side. For obvious reasons our military was not allowed to do what he had to do in order to get information. He undoubtedly saved hundreds, if not thousands of lives. His stories are incredible and he does not exaggerate. The fact that he survived with little more (most of the time) than a hidden knife is a miracle in itself. I still enjoy HKD immensely but since we split off from our former instructor I have been focusing on real world self defense. I have invested in a great many dvds, tapes, books and other information sources and have found, as I have always known, that the simplest way is usually the most effective.
I had been interested in Krav for some time but was never able to find out much about it. There is no real source in our area that I can find. Some claim to teach it but the credentials (to me) are questionable. Then I stumbled across your site and instantly found what I have been looking for….a way to enhance what we have learned and to make it significantly more effective in ‘real world’ or ‘street’ confrontations. I plan to continue training in HKD as long as I am able and will incorporate what I can learn as an IKI member into our program for one reason…..it is simple and it works!
Please also understand that I am very careful and concise in explaining to our group where this information comes from.
I am an architect by profession and one of the best statements I know that relates so well to Krav is from Mies Van Der Rhoe, one of the best known architects of the BauHaus era…….”Less is more”. His designs emphasized this and they were amazing. To me this is what IKI is validating in the self defense world.
The little bit I have shared with our group has totally ‘recharged’ them. It’s great to see the reactions.
Enough of the soap box. I just want to thank you for what you are doing.
Hal Herndon, Chief Instructor
Georgia Mountain Hapkido
c/o 567 Deer Run Trail
Murrayville, Georgia 30564