Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moving the Dojang...

In November of 2006 we moved into our old dojang on 6th street, and somewhere in 2007 bought pads to put under our mats.
After everything was finished, the dojang looked pretty good, with the mirrors on one wall so everyone could observe their technique, plenty of mat space (for a small dojang, that is) and good pads underneath so people could take decent falls without injury.

We stayed here for two more years---and then, like the previous blog entry said, we bought a building. So this had to all be taken apart, moved, and set up in a dojang space of a different size and shape.

So, what did I do over the holidays? Well, first I packed up everything in the old dojang...

The movers came in and loaded everything into their truck, including rolling up the mats and taking them too.

When they finished, the dojang looked rather strange---it hasn't been empty like this in quite awhile. Completely a different place without weapons on tables, crash pads and kicking targets scattered around, and mats on the floor.

So then, it was all moved to the new building, and piled in a room, whereupon the fun started...

First item of business--placing the pads, cutting them to length, and filling in the gaps. (For the record, the progression shown in the next three pictures took approximately 7 hours to do...)

Next up, locking sections together with duct tape, so they wouldn't separate.

After that, I put the mats down over the pads, fitting the mats around the pole and making sure everything was even with no gaps.

Lastly, I placed some extra mats on the floor to the side, put extra equipment in off-mat areas so they are accessible--and here is our new dojang:

I note that my office is still almost completely packed in boxes, though I've got my computer running. At least the mats are finished, though. So---see everyone in class!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Changes for the New Year, 2010...

Some big things are happening! Sabumnim and Dr. Howard have bought a building for their collective businesses, so the Hapkido dojang will be moving over the holiday break. We will start with an Open Practice day on January 2nd, and then regular Hapkido classes will commence on January 5th at the normal time---but in the new building, at 546 Avenue A in Plattsmouth. Step into the building, and walk down the hallway toward the back---you'll see the dojang space when you do.

We have also finally gotten around to re-vamping the Hapkido website, which has been in dire need of updating for quite some time. Some sections have disappeared, and the Women's Self-Defense and Firearms Training sections have been expanded. Students, please take a look around and find all my typos so I can get them fixed before anyone else notices...

In student news, we have a new black belt! Matt received his full black belt in class last month, making him the second student to ever receive a full 1st dan ranking from Sabumnim. Here are some video highlights from his test:

Four other students are in line to test for their next ranks toward the end of January, from green/blue to red/one stripe.

See you in class!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Ardi made the news!

This past weekend, Ardi was shooting at the Illinois Sectional competition (USPSA) in Milan, IL, and managed to get herself interviewed on camera by a local news station.

Go to their website: then click on the "Shootout Just For Fun" link to see the story.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Defensive Tactics 101 - Firearms Short Course

On August 8th, 2009, the NHA held an "Introduction to Defensive Tactics - Firearms" class for students who were already safe, experienced shooters. It was very short, only about 3.5 hours, but gave the students the beginning basics regarding defensive tactics in general, plus specific uses of the handgun as a defensive tool. This wasn't the official full "DT 101 - Firearms" course that will be offered by the NHA, but it did contain some of the basics from it.

The course started with the standard introduction of the safety rules and range procedures, and went directly into the DT draw-and-fire sequence, including practice gauging the trigger reset requirements for quick followup shots.

Students then began working on quick transitions between targets, and later graduated to movement-while-shooting.

Throughout the initial "skill builder" drills, the students were continually told that speed was not the goal in this case---proper technique was the goal. Learning proper technique enables them to later (on their own) work the drills for greater speed.

After the basics of movement were practiced, moving off-line and to cover were discussed. Lastly, the students were given several defensive problems to solve, after which a discussion was held on effective use of cover, movement, and tactics.

Something that should be reiterated here:

This is a study of Defensive Tactics---not shooting tactics. We study Defensive Tactics to keep ourselves safe, and we learn the use of tools (such as firearms) for that purpose. Unsurprisingly, many common themes are found with various tools using this method. This wasn't a shooting class for self-defense, this was a self-defense class focused on using firearms as tools.

First: Awareness
If the student is aware of possible situations about to occur, then the likelihood of not being in it climbs sharply. In addition, awareness allows the student to be prepared for danger, and deploy tools as necessary for self-defense. One of our drills included finding out how far an criminal can move and attack in the time it takes the student to draw and fire two shots. If the student is aware and prepared (has the tool available and in-hand), the chance of surviving lethal-force situations climbs sharply.

Second: Movement
Once a self-defense situation has begun, the goal is to get to safety unharmed. As such, use of a firearm is merely use of a tool to enable the student to get to safety.

As such, immediately once the lethal-force situation has begun, the student needs to start moving to safety. If safety is not immediately available, the student needs to move to cover (localized safety). If cover is not available, the student needs to move away from the threat and create distance.

No matter what, in a self-defense situation (if the choice is possible) the student should be moving while drawing/shooting/defending.

Plenty of other concepts were discussed, and proper use of cover was mentioned (and the difference between cover and concealment), but the students weren't able to practice this much in the time allotted.

Overall, though, the students at the end (during the DT situation tests) gave a good accounting of themselves, shooting from retention, at distance, taking cover, moving, and keeping themselves safe.

At a future, time, we will hold another course that will include the second half of the DT 101 - Firearms course soon to be available from the NHA.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Open Gym today...

For Open Practice today, several people decided they wanted to get out the crashpad, and work on some rolls for height and distance.

Here's some of what happened:

A good time was had by all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Team NHA: Firearms Highlights

Sabumnim and Ardi participated in the USPSA Great Plains/Iowa Sectional Match on July 12th, 2009. An action pistol match, the Sectional had 9 very complicated stages. Ardi did very well, placing 1st D-Class, and High Female for Production Division. Sabumnim won High Overall and Great Plains Champion for Production division.

Here are some highlights from the match:

Monday, June 8, 2009

Brandon's Last Day in class...

Brandon went off to the military, so we made sure we sent him off right...

As is the custom, everyone got to perform one technique on him---then he got to perform a technique on everyone in return.

Good luck, Brandon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Courtesy of Hecate's Crossroad:

Something that people should read. Self-defense oriented.

Link with full entry:

Important outtake in the middle:
A rangemaster at gun school who was also a sheriff's deputy once told me about a nurse who had serious ex-boyfriend problems. After responding to one of her 911 calls, he told her she should get a handgun. He offered to advise her on weapon selection and arrange for training.

She said she'd think about it, and asked her hospital colleagues what they thought. Thoroughly indoctrinated in pacifist attitudes, they were horrified and told her she should get a whistle instead. That was what she decided to do, and the deputy said he could not talk her out of it.

When her body was later found in the hospital parking lot, the whistle was still between her teeth. She had blown it until it filled up with blood as she died.

You are responsible for keeping yourself safe. No one else can or will do it for you. When the moment comes, it is entirely likely that you will be completely alone.

Most of "self-defense" occurs in your head---because that is the part that causes you to be aware, to stay out of potential situations, and when in one, to act and react appropriately.

Don't let yourself be over-ruled by what "people might think" or what society says is "acceptable behavior." Do what you need to be safe.

Read the whole of Hecate's post.