Meet the team – Ali

Our students at Hapkido Hosinsul have all joined us for different reasons so we thought we’d share a few stories from them, giving you an insight into what makes them a martial artist.

Ali - details

Why did you start training with Hapkido Hosinsul?

I’d like to say it’s because I have always had an interest in martial arts and Hapkido but I’d be lying.  It’s a long story, but I was in a situation a few years ago, before I started Hapkido, where for the first time ever, I felt threatened.  I was in the UK at the time and was walking my dogs very early in the morning.  I walked them every morning, in the dark, on my own for years and thought nothing of it.  Until this one morning where I was walking across the fields and I saw a man, crouching down beside the hedge.  He saw me and I saw him.  And then he saw my dogs and got up and ran off.  I have two German Shepherds and had never once questioned my safety or vulnerability.  Until that morning.

We moved to Australia a few weeks later – unrelated it must be said!  But it played on my mind and hated the feeling that some weirdo had knocked my confidence.  But in a way I’m glad he did.  It was, for me, a shot across the bows.  It made me realise that I had no idea how to defend myself.  So I looked into martial arts and came across Hapkido Hosinsul and haven’t looked back since!

How long have you trained for?

I started in 2011 and have trained pretty much non-stop!  I saw these guys training in black uniforms, popped my head in to see what they were doing, and then went along to the next class.  We train twice a week and Hapkido has very much become a part of my routine and a way of life for me.

What is the best thing about Hapkido Hosinsul?

The best thing about Hapkido?  Or the best thing about Hapkido Hosinsul?  They are two different questions!  The best thing about Hapkido is that it is a practical, dynamic form of self-defence.  There isn’t one way to do things.  Warwick and Russ take into account our builds and our strength and adapt and evolve techniques so that they work for each of us.  Also, there is no ego in Hapkido.  It’s self-defence and ultimately if I’m ever confronted, I’m not going to take my fighting stance and threaten my attacker with some cool and impressive martial arts moves from our Pattern 9.  I’ll likely kick him in the nuts and run.  It’s not technically a technique we’d be graded on and you certainly don’t need to be a black belt to master that move.  But it’s effective and quick and would let me get away.  And that’s what Hapkido is all about to me.

And the best thing about Hapkido Hosinsul?  They’re a fantastic team of people and between us we have a great deal of trust and respect for each other.  We train together for 4 hours a week and I’m not sure you can spend that amount of time with a group of people year in, year out, without forming a strong bond.

And what is the worst thing?

That’s a tricky one because I genuinely love it.  I’d have to say “Thursday mornings”.  Russ takes our Wednesday classes and whether it’s his “5-minute-warmup” or Suicide Push-ups, Thursday mornings are probably the worst thing about Hapkido.

To someone who is thinking about trying it, what would you say to them?

I’d say come along and have a chat.  Like any martial art, you need to make sure the classes and the instructors are going to fit with your expectations.  And you won’t know until you meet us and see what we do.  We won’t be offended if you come and try it and then decide it’s not right for you.  We’d rather you did that than not even try it at all.  That’s why the first two classes are free.