We have been instructing students in the martial art of Hapkido since 2004 and we are a chartered school of the National Korean Martial Arts Association – one of the longest running and most respectable associations in operation today.
We welcome new students to our friendly and open environment where you will train with many other students across different ranks and skill levels. Each of our instructors have been teaching martial arts for over 20 years and actively participate at international seminars and workshops.
Simple and effective martial art training
We take the fear and mystery out of martial arts. There are no contracts to sign, no politics, we respect everyone who walks through our door, and we believe in educating the inexperienced, not exploiting them.
Anything worthwhile is never given, it must be earned
What We Offer
Tillman Hapkido Academy strives to teach students martial arts in a way that they can enjoy.
In addition to learning traditional martial arts you will achieve:
- Greater fitness and strength
- Better flexibility and coordination
- More confidence and self-esteem
- Greater focus and self-control
Programs are available for children, youth, and adults.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions that are not addressed in our FAQ, please feel free to contact us anytime.
What is the price of Hapikdo classes?
Class prices are set by the City of Calgary and posted on the programs website. Registration includes access to the fitness centre and weight room.
What do I need to get started?
You should wear regular fitness attire to class. Uniforms are available for purchase from the instructor at anytime.
Do you compete in tournaments?
Tillman Hapkido does not participate in tournaments. Although related, there are some important differenes between tournament sparing and self-defense.
How often do you test for the next belt?
Testing is offered every 4 months for Adults and once per year for Children and Youth students. However, only those who are considered ready and able to test are invited to do so.
Who typically teaches the classes?
Only the school instructors (5th degree Black Belt or higher) may teach the class which are typically assited by senior students.
Do you mix adult and children students?
We run separate classes for the Adult and Children programs.
Hapkido is a Korean martial art with a primary emphasis on self-defense rather than sparring or sports related competition. It is a complete, or integrated, fighting system which combines the dynamic kicking and punching traditionally associated with Korean martial arts, together with a vast array of joint locks and throws designed to subdue or control an attacker, more typically associated with Japanese arts such as Aikido or Juijutsu.
Hapkido can be literally translated as the way of harmonized power. This refers to the way in which most Hapkido techniques deal with an attacker’s force: obliquely redirecting it rather than confronting it head on. To meet an attack head on may result in a clash in which the larger, stronger adversary has a decided advantage. However, by directing the force of his/her defense in the same direction as the force of the attack, the Hapkido practitioner can combine or “harmonize” his/her power with that of the attacker, using both against the attack. In this way the defender always has the advantage. To accomplish this redirection of energy, Hapkido makes frequent use of circular motion in its defensive techniques. The effects of circular motion on an attacker can be easily visualized if you can imagine someone getting stuck in a revolving door. Pushing forward, the force they exert comes full circle and is ultimately directed back in the direction it came from. Lesser fraction of a circle can also be used to easily deflect the force of an attack off to one side.
Developed in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s by Yong Sool Choi, Hapkido is a relatively modern art form. However, it is this origin in the years immediately following the Japanese occupation of Korea during World War II, and the subsequent years which saw the outbreak of the Korean War, which is responsible for forging the practical, self-defense oriented focus of the art. The central purpose has always been to enable the average person to escape unharmed when confronted by a violent attacker or attackers. Hapkido proved so effective along these lines that it was soon being taught to the South Korean presidential bodyguards. Later, Hapkido was taught to members of the elite units in the South Korean armed forces and, after coming to the attention of the U.S. military in the 1960s, was taught to the U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) for use in hand-to-hand combat.
Time and again Hapkido proves itself to be one of the world’s most effective fighting arts. A highly versatile art capable of modulating in severity between more or less violet application of the same technique. A technique which would be used in serious altercation to tear the joints of an attacker’s arm can also be used to restrain a less violent incident without causing any injury at all. Frequently in class, techniques will be shown in their less violent applications to all students while higher ranking students will be shown the more advanced and more dangerous application of the same technique. Likewise, technique is taught in an age appropriate manner, with the more potentially dangerous techniques being confined to the adult classes while children’s classes focus on more non-violent technique categories appropriate to the level of schoolyard altercations that they are more likely to find themselves in.
KI also know an “Qi” in Chinese, is a life force or spiritual energy often translated as “energy flow”, “air”, or “breath”. Simply put, ki is the flow of energy that sustains life. Most traditional Asian cultures in China, Japan, and Korea believe that ki is central in many aspects of life including health, wellness, luck, and posterity. According to Asian doctrine, when ki accumulate there is life, when it dissipates there is death. There is one ki that connects and passes through everything in the world and flows freely in a natural and unrestricted environment.
Our body has natural patterns of ki that flow and circulate in conduits called meridians. Symptoms of various illnesses are often believed to be the product of disrupted, blocked, or interrupted energy flow through the body’s meridians, as well as deficiencies or imbalance of ki. When ki becomes blocked, the rest of the body that was being nourished by the continuous flow now suffers. Illness and disease can result if the flow is not restored. Traditional Chinese medicine often seeks to relieve these imbalances by adjusting the circulation of ki in the body using a variety of therapeutic techniques. Some of these techniques include herbal medicines, martial arts training, moxibustion, massage, or acupuncture to clear blockages.
Many factors can influence the flow of ki such as physical health, personal attitude, emotional or mental stimulation, and correct breathing. To the martial artist, ki is central to understanding our connection between the mind and body. Through mental focus, relaxation, and breathing techniques, a person can become more aware of both the internal and external forces that play upon our well being.
There are several methods to help develop and improve internal ki. The Hapkido practitioner may harness the energy stored in a special area in the lower abdomen or tan jon, and utilize this energy in their martial technique, usually by employing special breathing techniques also found in the Buddhistic meditation practices.
Meditation techniques can help quiet the mind and calm breathing. For the practitioner, ki travels more freely when both the mind and body are relaxed. Anytime you are engaged in the activity of concentrating on your breathing, you are in escense meditating. This period of meditation allows the body to perform many of the same functions and processes which occur during sleep, creating more rest for the body.
The practice of building ki via breathing exercises, deep relaxation and meditation can cause profound physiological changes. After sufficient practice and ability to feel the ki develops. Sensations such as tingling, warmth and heaviness of the limbs are common. As the ability to circulate ki develops, one may feel warm waves of energy moving through the body in harmony with the movements. The sense of touch is enhanced, along with dramatically improved balance and coordination. These skills then enable improved martial arts performance.
All classes take place at the Renfrew Aquatic & Recreation Centre. Registration in the Hapkido program gives you access to the gym, weight room, lockers, change room and pool. For more info and direction to our facility please click below.