Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the art of Hapkido:

What is Hapkido?

Hapkido is a Korean martial art integrating joint locks, pressure points, throws and a few kicksfor a complete system of self-defense.

What is the difference between Hapkido and Taekwondo?

Taekwondo uses kicks and punches, maintaining a certain distance between two people.  It is a competitive martial art where people are matched together for meets by belt rank and size.  Hapkido is completely defensive, so there are no competitions.  During class, all students work together to ensure the best learning and most realistic environment possible.

 Does Hapkido hurt?

Once a student learns to fall correctly, hapkido doesn’t hurt at all.  Students are taught to control the amount of pressure for joint locks and pressure points so that fellow students are not injured as well.


How old do you have to be to do Hapkido?

Generally  we like our younger students to be done growing, so at least 16.  We consider younger students on a case-by-case basis, but would like them to work out with a parent.


How long does it take to earn a black belt?

It depends on the student.  We encourage our students to pay more attention to their techniques and their falling then the belt around their waist.  Generally, if a student works out dliligently 2-3x/week, it will take about 3-4 years.


How do I get started?

We encourage people interested in Hapkido to come watch a class.  After that, you can join our club through the front desk at the Riverfront YMCA.


Where do I get a uniform?

You may purchase a dobok anywhere martial arts equipment is sold.  Master Pilch does keep a supply on hand so you can contact him as well.  They are $40, which covers the wholesale price and shipping.


How do I get to the next belt rank?

After you have become proficient at the techniques required for your belt rank, you should talk with a black belt and/or Master Pilch about testing.  We generally attend promotions at Iowa State, with several of our black belts as well as black belts from sister clubs as judges.