According to Ray Schroeder, Corpus Christi martial arts instructor, hapkido is more than just another method of self-defense; it is an ancient art that enforces spiritual balance so that practitioners can effectively defend themselves and avoid injuring their opponents. That is why many believe that hapkido is the perfect martial art that should be taught to children at a young age. Not only are they engaging in a physical yet fun activity, they are also learning basic self-defense without resorting to violence.
Ray Schroeder emphasizes the importance of children learning hapkido at a young age. With the right instruction, children who practice this art will grow up with a good sense of moral judgment, self-confidence, physical fitness, discipline, and extremely practical techniques for self-defense in the real world. There are several factors that make hapkido great for child development.
Literally translated, ‘hapkido’ means the way of strength and harmony with the universe. By definition, hapkido is a non-aggressive martial art that advocates non-violent conflict resolution. When children attend hapkido classes, the primary emphasis is not learning how to use their hands and feet as weapons. Instead, they are taught how to handle an escalated situation in a civilized manner. While there is certainly a practical aspect to the 2,000+ techniques of hapkido that can combine the use of the hands and feet along with ground combat (grappling) and joint-lock maneuvers, hapkido’s emphasis has never been about starting a fight. Instead, hapkido emphasizes ending a fight in the quickest and safest way possible.
Children today are influenced by violent programming, where fighting seems to be the answer. Hapkido takes an alternative route and stresses the importance of leaving physical confrontation as the last resort. Essentially, hapkido students are taught to always seek a resolution to a conflict through their words, and that they should only engage physically if the opponent engages them first.
Ray Schroeder, Corpus Christi martial arts instructor, emphasizes how hapkido teaches students to be calm and balanced at all times. Children are energetic and always craving activity, which is good for their development. However, they are often placed in situations where their energy is confined, such as in a classroom. Hapkido instructs children how to focus their energies and thoughts in a positive direction and teaches children both self-discipline and self-control.
The self-defense that is taught in Hapkido is considered “practical” for children. Adults and youths require different levels of martial arts because they deal with different situations. Children are discouraged from being taught to solve their problems by with direct force, as is taught in martial arts such as karate or taekwondo. Rather, children are shown how to redirect the emotional and physical energies of a potential opponent, and how to take full advantage of leverage and position both in an argument and, when there is no other resort, in a physical confrontation to effectively safeguard and defend themselves and others.
There are other types of attacks that children deal with throughout life that do not require violence, such as stress, disappointment, verbal abuse, and bullying. Hapkido helps children develop their self-confidence, self-discipline, and focus. It also provides excellent tools to help children deal with these attacks in a calm, collected way that does not require violence.
As Schroeder emphasizes, hapkido gives children a more optimistic worldview. This martial art teaches practitioners that in order to create something lasting, they must have goals and a clear vision of their dreams. They can only achieve those goals through constant practice and relentless hard work.
Hapkido is also famous for teaching the law of reciprocity, which can be summarized as “whatever goes around, comes around.” If someone starts trouble or seeks confrontation, they have already lost. But if a person can maintain a calm and optimistic attitude in the midst of a confrontation, they have the opportunity to prevail and can make the most out of what life has given them. Hapkido is a great tool for teaching children that it is their obligation to always look on the bright side of life.
As Ray Schroeder, Corpus Christi martial arts expert and advocate, says, “Life is truly what you make of it. Children have a different perspective on the ups and downs of life and are more prone to feeling upset over something trivial. Hapkido will teach them that if they keep letting petty things get to them, they will not get better. But if they are willing to search for the positives in every situation, then they will be happy.”
Hapkido is a martial art that teaches students to count their blessings and enjoy life. Children are faced with so much stress and no real coping methods. They have to deal with homework, peer pressure, demanding standards, and increased dangers that are abundant in society. If someone lives their whole childhood with a serious outlook, then they will be more prone to depression, pessimism, ill health, and poor performance at work or school.
Children who practice Hapkido will learn the best methods to help them relax and feel good. This art provides an outlet for them to release their stress, worry, and anger, even though they are not always engaging in self-defense procedures. Hapkido teaches the values of “letting go,” as well as important life skills that can serve children throughout their lives. These are important aspects of development, and will help build character and confidence in young children.
Ray Schroeder, Corpus Christi martial arts teacher, strongly encourages parents to sign their children up for hapkido classes, so that they can enjoy the many benefits of this age-old practice.
Ray Schroeder is an experienced participant in the world of martial arts. He is a member of the International Mixed Martial Arts Association and is an instructor in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ray Schroeder, Corpus Christi martial arts expert, believes that children can gain major benefits from learning hapkido at an early age.