We are lucky that in Ascension Parish we are blessed with so many Martial Arts Schools and Master Instructors. This gives our children alternatives from school sports. Research has proven that Martial Arts is safer than football or any other school sports because of the safety aspect involved. I know this from a personal experience. My brother, who was the "jock" in high school, today has severe damage from middle school and high school sports. I have studied martial arts since I was 20 and even though in the early days we got hurt as well, as time went on, we, the Martial Arts Community, developed safety gear to make competition fun and safe. So be it for the sport.
Today, there are still many martial arts schools who encourage kids and adults to train. They train for health, social involvement, sport, self defense etc. The thing left out is the libility placed upon those of us with "some" training in the eyes of the court, if we ever are pressed to use what we have learned. We can be held accountable and judged for our actions. Don't panic! There is an option. A better way for aduts who are interested in real world self defense and does not set one up for litigation.
Most martial arts schools teach "striking' arts because they compete in tournaments and such for belts, trophies and bling. However, in the real world, if we as kids in school or as adults strike another, even in self defense, we are called on the carpet to explain ourselves. All of a sudden we find we are charged with a simple battery charge or worse, a 2nd degree batery charge which is a felony.
I have an alternative. It is called Tactical Hapkido. Just like Defensive Tactics taught in the police academies, it has "Levels of Force" to control or end a violent situation. Tactical Hapkido can be gentle or it can end a violent situation in seconds. It takes the litigation out of the situation. We are not talking about a match with rounds, we are talking about survival from a violent society that has come to our town. Recently, trash from Baton Rouge has come into Ascension Parish and committed violent crimes. It is everywhere. Read the paper, look at the news or check your cell phone. When I was a kid, you knew where to stay away from. Today, it is all enclusive. Even my own neighborhood, blocks from the Gonzales Police Station, is filled with trash, thugs, gang want-a-be's, and drugs. What was once a calm and quaint little town to retire in, in now a war zone filled with trash.
What is Tactical Hapkido? It is a self defense art totally defensive and with levels of force taught to adults and adolescents ages 14 and above. It is NOT sport. If you want sport, we, as well as every other martial arts school in Ascension Parish teach sport. If you train in this Martial Art, Tactical Hapkido, you are serious about survival and not a trophy.
Hapkido is is a dynamic and eclectic Korean Martial Arts that employs joint locks, take downs, chokes, and techniques from other martial arts, as wellas some kicks and punches, but most of all defensive techniques effective to get one free of a violent situation. At that point one can flee to safety or finish the fight. Hapkido teaches both close and long range fighting. Unlike Karate, taekwondo and other "hard" style arts, Hapkido is not concerned with power. It is about body mechanics and anatomy. The three principles of Hapkido are: water, non-resistance, and circular. So, unlike karate and such, we do not meet force upon force. We allow force to travel where it wants to and we take the path of least resistance, then reverse or redirect it on the opponent. Hummmmm. This changes the dynamics. When we had a certian serial killer lose, one of his victims was trained in a striking art. The problem, he was twice her size and over powered her. An art like Hapkido does not meet force with force, it redirects it so that the force of the aggressor actually becomes his oun worst enemy.
Tactical Hapkido is conceptually driven. That means that everything the student learns, even in the early stages can be applied in the advance encounters. The "concept" means a "unit of Knowledge" and is applied in all situations from white belt to black and even in the Conflict Continuum: Women's Self Defense (4 hour) Seminar.
If this appeals to you, please check us out. I usually do not promote myself in my blog, but the times they are a changin' and someone needs to step up to the plate to address the safety of our community. As an ex-deputy sheriff and as a Licensed Psychotherapist as well as a Master Martial Arts Instructor, I feel that I must educate my adult community to help us all live a safer life and build a community that is safe to raise our kids. A point sparring trophy builds self esteem, it does not stop a violent offender. We can either be sheep or warriors. You decide!
Master Ken Ducote, MA, NCC, LPC
Black Dragon Martial Arts, LLC