Contrary to what many people may believe, a martial art is not about "beating someone up". On the contrary, it focuses on the development of discipline and respect for others, both of which are necessary to lead a fulfilling and rewarding life. These are also necessary for the members of a society to live together peacefully. It is only when one is threatened that one resorts to physical "combat" in order to defend oneself. In order to emphasize the importance of respect , we bow frequently during the class and repeat rules of respect at the end of each class.
Rules of Bowing:
Students of Hap Ki Do bow whenever:
1. They are about to step onto the mat or leave the mat. (The student faces the front of the class when bowing.) The purpose of this bow is to show respect for the discipline and to begin focusing one's mind on the discipline and techniques necessary to become proficient in the art. It is also a sign of humility and a willingness to learn. Arrogance and overconfidence are one of a student's biggest enemies because it prevents the student from understanding that there is always more to learn. This is true in Hap Ki Do and in all walks of life.
2. They are addressed by someone with the rank of Black Belt. The purpose is to show respect for one's instructors. Only if one respects one's teachers can one learn. The respect is mutual, as shown by the fact that the instructor will also bow to students in order to show respect to those that have chosen to work hard in order to learn the art. All black Belts are addressed as either "Sir" or "Ma'am".
3. Students are about to practice techniques on one another or to spar against each other. This shows respect for one's fellow students and also helps everyone to keep in mind the fact that no genuine aggression is intended, even though the techniques may involve the administering of pain against one's partner. Without a partner, one cannot learn Hap Ki Do. So, respect for one's partner is essential.
4. The instructor call's ones name during roll call or asks a question of you.
5. A student asks a question and receives an answer from a black belt.
The rules that we say in unison at the end of each class are divided into three sets:
2.The tenets of Martial Arts
1. Ethical Rules:
A. Loyalty to nation.
B. Obedience to parents.
C. Confidence in friends.
D. Do not retreat from enemy attack.
E. Refrain from the senseless killing of living things.The ethical rules were prescribed by a Buddhist monk, Wong Wang, who developed them for warriors called Hwarang (Flowering Youth). This warrior class developed in 576 A.D. The code of ethics was known as the Code of Hwarang, which states:
1.) Serve the king with loyalty
2.) Be obedient to your parent.
3.) Be honorable to a friend.
4.) Never retreat in battle.
5.) Kill justly
2. Tenets of Martial Arts (Acronym is "CIPSI"): A. Courtesy
E. Indomitable Spirit
3. Student Rules:
A. I shall observe the tenets of martial arts.
B. I shall respect the teacher and senior belts.
C. I shall never misuse the martial arts.
D. I will be a champion of freedom and justice.
E. I will build a more peaceful world.
In addition to these rules, there are a few other class rules that we observe: 1. Never sit down or lie down during class in order to relax or rest, or lean against a wall, unless instructed to do so. This is because you should use every moment of class time to practice. Sitting down and lying down imply laziness, and that is definitely not part of the art. Obviously, if you are feeling badly, then please do sit down. 2. After you have reviewed your new soolgis, continue to go over them again and again. If you have done this several times, go back and review your previous soolgis - which you are required to remember. In short, never "goof off". "Goofing off" (talking about something other than the techniques, doing cartwheels, fake sparring, etc...) is a sign that one is not serious about mastering the art. Just as importantly, it is disruptive to other students and it may result in injury. It also sets a bad example for one's classmates. All students are role models for one another and especially for those students that are lower in rank. So, it is imperative to set a good example. Students that goof off will be asked to leave the class and no refunds will be given. 3. Dress Code: If you have a uniform, then please wear it. If you happen to forget it at home on occasion, come to class anyway. But, students are expected to wear their uniforms and to wear them appropriately. The proper "dress code" includes the following: A. Girls must wear a T-shirts under the uniform top.
B. Males must wear a protective cup. Girls may wear whatever protective gear they desire.
C. All jewelry (earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc...) must be removed before class. This is for safety reasons. One need only imagine an earring getting caught on a uniform during a take down technique to understand the reason for this rule!
D. Safety equipment (gloves and shin guards) must be worn by all students when sparring. Mouth guards are optional.
E. Although the AIMHI organization respects all legitimate forms of martial arts and also respects the fact that students may have studied at other academies and achieved rank at those academies, students in MASH and AIMHI must, nevertheless, wear only the appropriate rank belt that they have achieved as a member of MASH and AIMHI. This is because belt rank is based on the requirements of specific disciplines of martial arts, and the specific requirements of individual academies. So, all students start as White Belts when beginning study at MASH / AIMHI. 4. Hap Ki Do necessarily involves close contact with one's partner; so, when working with a partner of the opposite sex, trust is imperative under these conditions. Therefore, it is essential that students refrain from any form of behavior - either overt, implied, or spoken, that is of a sexual nature. Obviously, students may choose to date outside of class; but class is not the time to flirt, make advances, or ask someone out for a date! I include this rule because, on occasion, male students have done something to make their female partners uncomfortable during class. I will not tolerate this and will ask anyone doing so to leave. Again, no refunds are given if this occurs. 5. Attendance is required in order to adequately prepare for testing. Accordingly, students cannot miss more than 4 classes during any two-month period preceding a test if they want to be eligible to test. Exceptions may be made if there are legitimate reasons for having missed - and if the student appears to have adequately learned the techniques. So, if you cannot make it to class because of illness, please let me know. Most college students that manage their time appropriately can find time to come to Hap Ki Do class - even when they need to prepare for a test in one of their college classes. So, generally speaking, this is not a legitimate excuse for missing class. As a side note. It is asked that all students be hygienically clean before coming to class. This is not only respectful to your peers, but it is necessary seeing as how many of our techniques require close range interaction.