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East West Hapkido

East West Hapkido trains free thinkers and free fighters. Our students thrive in a fun, challenging, sophisticated team environment where cooperation and competition are dynamically woven together to produce maximum individual results.

What is Hapkido?

Hapkido is a complete martial art that incorporates punching, hand, arm and elbow strikes, kicks, shin and knee strikes, defensive and offensive joint locks, throws, projections, offsets, sweeps, take downs, pressure point attacks, ground fighting fundamentals, as well as weapons.

 

 

The East West Approach

  • Our techniques are rooted in authentic Hapkido principles that put function and utility above all else.
  • Our Tsunami Free Fighting system purposefully integrates cross-disciplinary techniques, evolved from years of experience training with both 2nd generation Hapkido Grand Masters and diverse martial arts pioneers.
  • Small class sizes and a culture of peer-to-peer learning fosters individualized development.
  • East West’s responsible and respectful student base and strong club camaraderie makes for a positive learning environment.

MMA Tsunami
Free fighting system

“Where Art Meets Application”

Contrary to most current MMA approaches, the Tsunami Free fighting System is not a combination of diverse stand-up striking systems. By isolating and applying certain inherent Hapkido principles and skill sets, we can develop MMA practitioners who are capable of theoretical and practicial applications beyond the general witnessed norms.

By employing certain fundamental natural body movements used in many professional sports, as well as relaxation and breathing techniques critical to the development of superior speed and power (energy transfer), we can open new avenues of application for MMA.

Punch and kick defense are an important dimension of the integrated application within Tsunami. Striking, twisting, control and dynamic submissions are all taught and explained in application. Students will be shown how they must learn to fight ambidextrously if they are to reach their potential. Effective and smooth footwork, body and head motion are developed in conjunction with practical offensive and defensive timing skills.

By utilizing joint locks in transition or clinch, as well as striking, sweeping, throwing and reaping, we ensure all fighting dimensions are exploited.

Our strong ground game is achieved by continuing to pursue the Hapkido principles of circle, flow, harmony and developing a mentorship with “Judo” Gene Lebell and his senior students (Gokor and Santos). By building on our solid “Yudo” base, we have found a real continuity with the Hayastan grappling system. There are many theoretical dimensions which set this sytem apart from common BJJ approaches. We are diligently expanding the intermediate and advanced skills among the general population to that of senior students.

Club Policy

  • The practice of Hap Ki Do begins and ends with respect. Students should bow to the instructor when arriving and leaving the school. In the event of his absence, students should bow to the senior belt present.
  • Safety is of prime importance. Students should practice only those techniques they are authorized to engage in for their belt level.
  • Abuse of Hap Ki Do techniques outside the club is a serious matter and will not be tolerated.
  • The practice of Hap Ki Do under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited.
  • Promotions through belt levels are related to skills achieved, NOT time spent practicing.
  • Students should wear a clean white uniform to practice.
  • Students are to keep all finger and toe nails trimmed short for safety.
  • Students will endeavour to pay all school and testing fees in a prompt timely manner.
  • Failure to abide by these rules could lead to suspension or expulsion from the school.

The Club

Our Mission:

“To provide the best combined martial arts training facility and learning environment in Toronto.”
Hapkido is a complete martial art that incorporates punching, hand, arm and elbow strikes, kicks, shin and knee strikes, defensive and offensive joint locks, throws, projections, offsets, sweeps, take downs, pressure point attacks, ground fighting fundamentals, as well as weapons.

Club Culture

We are dedicated to creating a positive learning environment and creating a culture where our students can thrive. East West Hapkido is unique in its practice of screening ALL prospective students for fit and suitability. Over the past 20 years East West Hapkido has developed a team of senior students that put us in a unique position to pass on extensive martial arts skills and fitness routines geared to beginner through to highly advanced practitioners. Devoid of undercurrents of militarism, discrimination and religions, the club is an open, friendly place where new friends are made and potentials are pursued and realized.

Many of our senior students have been club members for more than 10 years. Promotions through Hapkido coloured belt ranking are achieved by developing the skills and fitness levels demanded by each level, not just time spent practicing. For Brown, Orange, or Yellow Belt tests, students of that rank or higher have the responsibility of casting a vote to determine the awarding of promotions. Promotion to Black Belt is the sole responsibility of the Head Instructor.

Club History

The Origins of East West Hapkido

The Hapkido school, which is now known as East West Hapkido, has its origins in the late 1980’s, when I began training people involved in the private V.I.P protection, investigation and security industries. This included staff for numerous event and corporate venue applications, as well as eviction and ejection teams employed by various individual, corporate and contract government agencies.

Teaching the pure military-style aspects of Hapkido, as passed on to me from Master Chung Kee Tae, helped me to begin operating a part time school, as I continued to work in the security industry. It was not until 1991 that I became associated with Master Hwang In Shik, and my school was permitted to use the Eagle Hapkido name. As available time to train my own students began to free up, I opened my own small location in 1992, situated beside the Randolph Dance Studio in the entertainment district of downtown Toronto. Because of the location’s close proximity to a large number of nightclubs, the school attracted a large numbers of door security staff.

The school was relocated to larger premises one year later a block away on Simcoe Street, where it remained until 1999. During this period, the student demographics began to change and many young, upwardly mobile professionals began training. In February of 1999 the new location of East West Hapkido opened at 577 King Street West in downtown Toronto. The new facilities were completely renovated and equipped for the passing on of Hapkido technique. The school became a member of the World Hapkido Federation, for which it is still in good standing. While primarily catering to an adult audience, the school has instructed select youth who possess desirable attributes.

The New Era of East West

Between 2005-2009, the academy found a new home in Kensington Market. During this period, the head instructor and many senior students repeatedly visited Los Angeles to attend Grand Master Bong Soo Han’s and Grand Master Chong S. Kim’s studios. It was also during this time that one of East West’s senior students won the Light Heavyweight World Hapkido full contact World Title in Orlando, Florida.

In 2008, East West Hapkido began visiting “Judo” Gene Lebell’s Hayastan Grappling Academy in Los Angeles for the first of numerous week-long training expeditions, training with Gokor Chevechian and many senior Black Belt student including Santos Flanaken, who we brought to Toronto for an exclusive grappling seminar.

In 2009, we relocated to our current location at 183 Geary Avenue – a larger, more dynamic facility that is ideally suited to high performance fitness, skill and fighting development. Since that time, we have worked diligently to develop a formal club relationship and association with Hayastan to integrate the best in grappling technique with our elite stand-up skills.

Hapkido Ranking System

SKILLS REQUIRED TO ADVANCE

NOTE: This outline does not cover the drills, exercises or fighting skills which are integral to developing the techniques required to advance.

 

  • White Belt

    Hand Techniques

    • (Same Side Wrist Grabbing)
    • 6 Basic Wrist Escapes
    • 6 Striking Techniques
    • 6 Twisting - Joint Lock
    • Punching
    • Drop Punch In Front
    • Side By Side Punching
    • Inside Middle Block Punch
    • Walking Motion
    • Forward And Backward Blocking Strike Techniques

    Kicking

    • Heel High (Warm Up)
    • Heel Down
    • Rear Leg Front
    • Rear Leg Side
    • Lead Leg Sliding Side
    • Back Kick

    *No Fighting Or Throwing (although students may practice or learn basic break falls upon request)

  • Yellow Belt

    • All Basic Break Falls
    • Shoulder Throw
    • Cross Hip Throw
    • Straight Hip Throw
    • Trip Throw
    • Modified Firemen
    • Full Firemen
    • Basic Free Fighting Footwork, Range And Angle Fundamentals
    • Basic Ground Work Offence And Defense

    Hand Techniques

    • Back Fist
    • Hammer Fist
    • All Essential Boxing Type Punching With Shoulder Release
    • Jab
    • Cross
    • Hook
    • Uppercut
    • Overhand
    • Combinations Of All Punching
    • Basic Soft Network Blocking

    Twisting

    • 10+ Same Side Wrist Grabs
    • 2 Wrist Garment
    • 2 Elbow Garment
    • 2 Shoulder Garment
    • 2 Behind Neck Garment
    • 2 Palms Up Chest Grab
    • 2 Palms Down Chest Grab
    • 2 Thumb Up Chest Grab
    • 2 Chest Grab From Side
    • 2 Two Hand Choke From Front
    • 2 Hair Grab From Front
    • 2 Neck Garment Grab From Front
    • 2 Belt Over
    • 2 Belt Under
    • 2 Waist Grab From Front

    Kicking

    • Rear Leg Round
    • Rear Leg Heel Down
    • Rear Leg Arch
    • Rear Leg Blade
    • Front Leg Push Front
    • Rear Leg Push Front
    • Rear Leg Pull Heel
    • Inside Pull Heel
    • Outside Pull Heel
    • Lead Leg Hook
    • Lead Leg Front
    • Lead Leg Round
    • Arch
    • Blade
    • Stomping Arch
    • Switch Feet Back Kick
    • Jumping Front
    • Jumping Lead Leg Side
    • Jumping Round
    • Jumping 360 Back
    • Jumping 180 Heel Turning
    • 40+ Same Leg Double Kicks

  • Orange Belt

    • Open Hand Striking
    • Shorter Range Punching
    • Intermediate Avoidance, Absorption And Network Blocking
    • Intermediate Circular Free Fighting Footwork

    • 4 Cross Hand Grab From Front
    • 4 Both Wrists Grab From Front
    • 4 Both Hands One Wrist From Front
    • 2 Both Wrists From Behind
    • 2 Both Wrists From Behind Hands Together
    • 2 Elbow Garment From Behind
    • 2 Shoulder Garment From Behind
    • 2 Simple Chokes From Behind
    • 2 Bear Hug Arms In
    • 2 Bear Hug Arms Out
    • 2 Headlock From Side
    • 2 Headlock From Front
    • All Sit Down Defenses Against Standing Opponent (Using Hands And Or Feet To Strike, Trap And Twist)

    Throwing

    • Figure 4 Throwing
    • Inside Reaping
    • Outside Reaping
    • Go Behind Fireman
    • Sacrifice Flip
    • Over Neck Crank
    • Under Neck Crank
    • Gut Wrench Suplex
    • Intermediate Ground Offense And Defense

    Kicking

    • All Basic Kicking From The Ground Seated
    • 270 Jumping Heel Turning
    • 360 Jumping Heel Turning
    • Low Heel Turning
    • Spinning Rear Leg Heel Down
    • Spinning Outside Crescent
    • Flying Single Foot Side
    • Three Direction Triple Same Foot Kicking For Power
    • 30+ Opposite Leg Jumping Doubles
    • 20+ Kicking Combination Application Lines

    Special Techniques

    • Offset Figure 4 Falling
    • High Diving And Rolling
    • Diving Side Twist Break Fall
    • Cartwheel
    • Run Min. of 3 Steps Across a Wall (Above 4ft.)
    • Nip Up

  • Brown Belt

    • Fundamental Knife Defense (Trapping, Striking And Twisting)
    • Fundamental Punch Defense (Trapping Striking And Twisting)
    • Fundamental Kick Defense (Trapping, Striking And Twisting)
    • All Flying Kicking
    • Split Front
    • Twisted Front Hook
    • Feet Together Round
    • Feet Together Side
    • 6 Triple Kicks
    • Complex Kicking Lines
    • 180 Degree Jumping Heel Turning From Crouch
    • Cycling Footwork
    • Special Techniques
    • Breaking (Multiple 1" Pieces Of Wood For Power, Single Pieces Of Paper To Demonstrate Focus)
    • Four Steps Min On Wall Running
    • Standing Back Flip
    • Running Front Flip
    • Shoulder Spin Up
    • Roll Back To Hand Stand
    • Fundamental Fighting Of Two Opponents
    • Taekkyon Rhythm Drills
    • Addition Twisting From Rear Attack
    • All Basic Twisting To Control Finish
    • Misdirection Twisting
    • Demonstrated Teaching Ability

  • Black Belt

    Revealed At A Later Date

 

Testing Requirements

Each belt must demonstrate all techniques up to the level they are holding and fight people above their ranking. Orange belt candidates will fight a minimum of 12 opponents.

Standard Fighting Rules:

Your opponent will retire from the mat when one of you has been defeated two out of three times.
No eye gauging, hair or ear pulling, biting, single digit twisting or use of foreign objects is permitted. Gi and belt exempt.
Fighters should not get out of control, (remember these are your friends).
All fighters must wear a jock and mouth guard.
Full arm and leg weight strike techniques to the body and thigh are permitted.
Released yet controlled kicks and hand techniques directed at the head are permitted, (drop your hands at your own peril).
All throwing, chokes, sweeps, projections, misdirection twists and submission techniques are permitted.
Failure to stand up and assume fighting position after being directed to do so in less then 10 seconds from command will result in test failure. The 10 seconds will be counted down.
Each belt must demonstrate all techniques up to the level they are holding and fight people above their ranking. Orange belt candidates will fight a minimum of 12 opponents.

Application Procedure

In order to maintain and enhance the mature, comprehensive environment of our school, the following screening process has been developed and tested over the past ten years. If you are interested in attending our school the following procedure MUST be followed: Email or call the school to set a specific day to visit the club for a trial class -Tuesday or Thursday after 6PM. Bring either gi or sweat pants and a white T-shirt. Be prepared to explain your personal interest in martial art training.Be ready to engage in a challenging physical workout compatible with your current physical condition. Potential students are expected to be self- motivated, enthusiastic and interested in exploring their own human potential. Beyond these characteristics, the student must thrive in a fun, challenging, sophisticated team environment where cooperation and competition are dynamically woven together to produce maximum individual results in the minimum possible time. We look forward to your visit and we support your quest to Realize Your Potential.

Sir’s Bio

Mr. Keith Stewart (Hon.B.Sc. University of Toronto) accumulated more than fifteen years of experience in security consultation, investigation, VIP protection, elite security team selection, training and management (retired 1991), in addition to over 30 years of training in Korean martial arts, most of which occurred as a direct personal student of both Masters Chung Kee Tae (1978-1989), and Hwang In-Shik (1991-1997). Mr. Stewart owned and operated the ONLY official branch school of Eagle Hapkido to date (2004), as a personal Black Belt student and direct Instructor under Master Hwang. No other student has achieved this level. He is one of only eight students, 2nd chronologically (in accepted traditional Korean lineage practice, 2nd most Senior), to be awarded a Personal Black Belt and signed Certificate of proof by Master Hwang in more than 25 years.

Mr. Stewart has visited and trained numerous times at the Dojangs of Grandmasters Chong S. Kim, Bong Soo Han and Kwang Sik Myung among many others. In addition to the decades he has spent seeking out and training with the best 2nd generation Hapkido Masters to be found, Mr. Stewart is forming a relationship with the Hayastan MMA Academy in Los Angeles – simply the #1 Sambo, Judo, and Free Fighting System MMA club in the United States.

The culmination of skill, teaching knowledge, support and guidance Mr. Stewart has received over the course of his training alongside leading practitioners, has enabled him to expand his understanding of Hap Ki Do and the teaching process far beyond any single Hap Ki Do approach.

Mr. Keith Stewart Holds recognized Hapkido Instructor Black Belts from:

  • Master Chung Kee Tae
  • Master Hwang Im Shik
  • Grand Master Bong Soo Han
  • Grand Master Chong S. Kim
  • Grand Master Myung Kwang Sik

Black Belt’s

Many of East West’s senior students have been with the school for 10 or 15 years. A number of our senior students bring as much as 20 years of martial arts history to their training.
Dean
Julia
Kevin
Leon
Mario
Mac
Shawn
Dhruva
Masahiro

What Makes Hapkido
So Different?

A Complete Martial Art

Hapkido is a complete martial art. The art includes punching similar to western boxing, hand, arm and elbow strikes, kicks, shin and knee strikes, defensive and offensive joint locks, throws, projections, offsets, sweeps, take downs, pressure point attacks, ground fighting fundamentals as well as weapons (short stick, cane, belt or rope and sword) at higher rank levels. In addition to these particular skills Hapkido strives to assist the student in developing the “TASTE” of pure technique and a “FEELING” for rhythm within the timing of physical conflict. Almost all martial arts specialize in just one or two of these areas.

Hapkido’s “free-form” nature allows for a degree of diverse application and creativity that virtually eliminates the need to cross train in any other styles. Hapkido is considered by many to be the graduate school of martial arts with many of its students coming to the art after having found the limitations of their particular style. To complement these aspects, Hap Ki Do students learn the power of the mind as it relates to their potential as human beings.

No Forms

Hapkido traditionally passes techniques directly from one person to the other and has never contained forms other than sets of breathing exercises designed to promote meditation, fluid motion, enhance balance and assist in the understanding, development and use of life-force energy (KI). The pure art does not find any value in long sets of sequential rote motions, which often contain impractical and fundamentally faulty movements. Hapkido emphasizes practical effective “ROOT” techniques designed for real life situations. Hapkido in its pure form trains free thinkers and free fighters, not robots or sheep. The goal of Hapkido is to develop a strong, balanced mind and complete physicality which can be applied to the process of making natural, appropriate and effective responses to any hostile actions (not all attacks are physical in nature).

Within the Hapkido mindset, each and every attack is considered to be unique until proven otherwise. No attacker’s behavior should be considered to be predetermined or predictable in nature. Hapkido is NOT a sport. In real life there are no weight divisions, concepts of rules or referees to enforce agreed upon parameters. Hapkido students are taught to do what is necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones, no more, no less. The rules of sport martial art by their very nature create a mindset, which is a liability in a true life-threatening situation. Hapkido students should be taught to avoid conflict if possible, but to react without hesitation if a true attack is initiated.

Minimal Rituals

Hapkido schools should, and generally do avoid religious philosophies, mysticism and vacant empty rituals such as bowing to flags, pictures and the like. Individual oriented, cult-like atmospheres should be avoided at all costs. Character development is encouraged through the pursuit of a positive, supportive outlook on life consistent with the best morality human kind should strive to achieve. Training should be conducted in a professional atmosphere with the emphasis on safety (to reduce unnecessary injuries), respect, courtesy and team cooperation.

Hapkido kicking

The kicking in Hapkido is one of its most unique aspects, differentiating it from all other styles. There are more kicking techniques in Hapkido that any other style. While many other hapkido technique principles are based on natural body motion, it is within the kicking sub-set of ideas that this philosophy is most evident. This kicking principle takes many forms depending on the type of kicking technique being employed. It is probably one of the most closely guarded and difficult skills found within the “free fighting” line of Hapkido. This is the reason that most “so called,” Hapkido schools teach the Karate or Tae Kwon Do way of kicking, including many dojangs with high ranking instructors. True Hapkido practitioners learn how to lift the leg using muscles other than their quadriceps without canting the leg beyond natural bend or snapping the leg back artificially after delivering the kick. In Hapkido, students are taught the concept of “release” (also used in hand strikes). In this case the theory involves throwing of the kicking leg on various trajectories so that no tension exists in the leg itself, freeing all the appendages physical weight and allowing the Ki energy to flow as through a large diameter conduit.

This is contrary to the prevalent commercially taught methods of artificial snap and canting the leg using the leg muscles themselves. This is analogous to standing on a garden hose while trying to water the lawn. World cup soccer players do not snap their legs when they kick the ball; they use the whole body, particularly the complex anatomy of the hip, abdomen and lower back. The focus in Hapkido is on developing maximum power through slow to increasingly faster speed to significantly enhance deceptive motion (critical to the elimination of telegraphing intent). These concepts are critical in order to actually deliver immense energy transfer to a moving human target, which has no interest in being kicked. When a reasonable proficiency of kicking in this fashion is achieved, you are able to kick in all directions and ranges with incredible speed and explosive power.

Soft or Hard?

Hapkido adapts to the opponent and students are instructed in both soft and hard aspects of technique. Circular and linear defenses and attacks as well as avoidance, absorption and misdirection are all employed within Hapkido. In short, the style cannot be restricted to one category or the other. Softness is the key to delivering the highest impact strikes, most devastating twists and dynamic throws.

Pressure Point Attacks

To totally maximize the effect of the diversified striking, grabbing, twisting and other aspects of Hapkido, knowledge of pressure points is not only desirable but it is critical. Although many points are fairly easy to locate, their practical application under real life situations is one of the most advanced and difficult skills to develop.

Ground Fighting

According to widely circulated and notoriously unreliable FBI statistics, more than 75% of fights end up on the ground. This stat has been used by many “grappling only” styles to justify their limited repertoire of skills. However, anyone who has worked in a hostile environment (a large venue where alcohol is served for example) will tell you that going to the ground by choice would NOT be recommended. Initiators always seem to have friends, and there will not be a referee to interrupt these individuals from taking advantage of circumstances. Although not taught in all, and over emphasized in other Hapkido schools, there is a definite need for a basic set of skills should you find yourself on the ground.

Most of these skills are not designed for tournament applications, but rather survival. Many of these techniques are pure military application in origin and are justifiably banned from sport applications for obvious reasons. There are however, many sub groups of techniques such as arrest, control, hold-down and incapacitation skills, which are an integrated aspect of advanced Hap Ki Do student and law enforcement oriented training.

Science

In concert with all of the above, Hap Ki Do can dramatically increase a student’s knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology, Physics, Psychology, Nutrition, injury prevention, treatment and Physiotherapy.

Alive

Hap Ki Do is above all a dynamic living breathing martial art, which is not constricted by blind ritual or a lack of spontaneous creativity. While relying heavily on thousands of well proven techniques passed down from numerous exceptional Masters stretching back for generations, Hap Ki Do still seeks out any new or innovative ideas which can enhance its already practical, effective reputation both within and outside the realm of martial arts.

A Complete Martial Art

Hapkido is a complete martial art. The art includes punching similar to western boxing, hand, arm and elbow strikes, kicks, shin and knee strikes, defensive and offensive joint locks, throws, projections, offsets, sweeps, take downs, pressure point attacks, ground fighting fundamentals as well as weapons (short stick, cane, belt or rope and sword) at higher rank levels. In addition to these particular skills Hapkido strives to assist the student in developing the “TASTE” of pure technique and a “FEELING” for rhythm within the timing of physical conflict. Almost all martial arts specialize in just one or two of these areas.

Hapkido’s “free-form” nature allows for a degree of diverse application and creativity that virtually eliminates the need to cross train in any other styles. Hapkido is considered by many to be the graduate school of martial arts with many of its students coming to the art after having found the limitations of their particular style. To complement these aspects, Hap Ki Do students learn the power of the mind as it relates to their potential as human beings.

Testimonials

I've begun to feel what it means to be free. Free from anxiety, fear pretense and expectations. I have also achieved a level of fitness that I never possessed before. Oh, and by the way, I could only achieved these results after unlearning 14 years of karate.
Bruno Baloi - Computer Engineer, Lead Software Architect - Orange Belt
I have realized many results from gains in fitness, health and lifestyle awareness. Perhaps the most important benefit has been very significant stress reduction. The most surprising aspect has been my new attitude of being much less judgmental of people in general and more respectful of other people.
Paul Nicholson - Stock Broker - Yellow Belt
I'd say the greatest skill I've developed through my training has been an increase in mental toughness and a newfound spiritual flexibility. Rather than seeing obstacles in life as absolute, I find myself increasingly able to change things within my power and accept and adapt to those things, which I can not.
Dale Blacker - Registered Massage Therapist - Brown Belt
You really get in touch with your body and mind. You find out what your body can accomplish and make it work in ways you never thought possible. Being an individual type activity you are responsible for your own destiny, but there is incredible support and encouragement at East West. I have developed much more confidence and assertiveness, which has benefited all aspects of my personal and business areas of my life.
Julia Pipino - Black Belt