Virginia Hapkido practices Mu Gong Kwan, a traditional Korean martial art that includes the necessary elements required to develop ones whole self. It is a martial art and not a sport, the focus is on developing one’s own abilities. Traditional Hapkido is a complete self-defense system that has been evolving for over 1500 years. Virginia Hapkido continues along that path by training and practicing to improve our mind body and spirit. It is not an easy and fast journey! It is a slow and patient effort to improve your skills and better your life. It takes commitment and a serious approach to your training; and the reward is a great gift. Come visit us to see what Mu Gong Kwan stands for and how it is a unique martial art.
The Mu Gong Kwon is a system administered by the IHF and US Hapkido Association. Our training oversight comes directly from Great Grand Master Kwang Suk Choi and Grand Master Marshall Gagne. My immediate instructor is Grand Master Gagne’s Chief Instructor Master Barror. The founder of the IHF was Jae Nam Myong. These are very important facts and I would recommend that anyone interested in learning a martial art take the time to discuss this kind of lineage with their potential instructors. Our association with these leaders is a strong and positive one that helps to preserve the quality of the organization.
Training in Mu Gong Kwan includes elements of Han Ki Do and Han Kum Do. Hankido could be described as a blend of Aikido and Hapkido; and Hankumdo is Korean Sword. Our primary course of study is Hapkido but many aspects of the other two arts are also taught. Once higher rank in Hapkido is achieved you may also study toward black belt in Hankido and Hankumdo.
Mr. Sloneker owner/trainer of Virginia Hapkido has trained as a young person in Judo and also practiced collegiate style wrestling throughout junior and senior high school. He received his black belt in Combat Hapkido from Olympic Tae Kwon Do shortly before traveling to Busan and Seoul South Korea to study traditional Hapkido under Grand Master In Sun Seo of the Kido Hae. After returning he began studying with Grand Master Gagne and Chief Instructor Barror. That instruction continues as part of his daily routine.
Click here to view the Definitions of the 8 Values of the Korean Sword.
All these belts can be achieved over the course of a year moving forward to earn a black belt. If a student stays with training for the full first year, they usually make it to black belt.
Click here to view the Phases Students Go Through.
The History of Hapkido
The practice of unarmed self-defense is as old as mankind. On of the oldest recorded is from Egypt, around 4,000 B.C. Our belt system can be traced back to the philosophy of the Hwarang Do, an officer's warrior corp., "Flower Warrior Way" or "The way of the Flower of manhood." White belt is the sprout, yellow belt is the stem, blue belt is the leaf, red belt is the flower, and black belt is the seed. The modern day equivalent of the Hwarang Do are the students of West Point, The Air Force Academy and the Naval Academy, the most elite warriors of modern times.
During the Silla (pronounced Shilla) Dynasty 670-935 A.D. Korea was split into three kingdoms: Koguryo, Beakchea, and Silla (the smallest). At this time Silla was under continuous attack from Koguryo and Beakchea. Silla formed what was called the Hwarang Do, a group of patriotic youths (Korean Knights) who helped defend the Silla dynasty and later in 668 A.D. helped to unify the three territories.
When all three dynasties united, the area became known as the Koryo (pronounced Goleeyo) dynasty, which is the ancient name Korea. During this time, Hapkido was demonstrated to kings and became a royal martial art. The soldiers of the Hwarang Do engaged in daily combat practice and because of this, their battle techniques were superior. They were known for winning battles in which they were highly out numbered. The Hwarang Do is the oldest group to practice martial arts in Korea. Martial arts have been practiced by Monks (Bu Mu Do) and warriors (Hwarang Do) for thousands of years.
It is interesting to note that the Japanese Samurai was molded from the Korean Hwarang Do. Combining styles is not new to self-defense. Self-defense techniques were naturally combined, because it is natural when fighting to try a variety of moves - strikes, kicks, chokes, holds, etc. Hapkido is a combination of all sledded methods and is constantly evolving. In fact, over time some martial art practices were created by taking certain techniques and specializing them for different purposes such as competitions, spiritual development, exercise, self-defense, etc.
For years Hapkido and other Korean martial arts were passed down in secrecy through warriors, monks, common people - father to son and within royal families. Secrecy was necessary because during the time when the Japanese occupied Korea, they outlawed the practice of martial arts. The Japanese believed that large groups of people experienced in these arts posed a threat to occupying governments. After the Japanese were forced out of Korea, martial arts once again rose to the forefront and very quickly spread throughout the world. All the masters came out of hiding and opened schools throughout Korea.
This historical background gives some of the roots of Hapkido. The purpose is to give a sense of its origin and to increase respect, not to provide a factual history of the exact origin.