Headmaster Abraham Hardy’s traditional roots in the martial arts

Posted: August 19, 2010 in Martial arts

Master Hardy’s Traditional Roots In The Martial Arts
My Traditional Roots In The Martial Arts

My fighting systems, the HCW Warrior Arts, are a fusion of many things. They are where tradition and modern aspects meet to form a unigue entity. Just because my arts are modern does not mean I consider them something new. As far as I am concerned, as well as factually, nothing I do is new. The roots of the HCW Warrior Arts stretch back stretch back to Asian arts and their respective countries, Western arts and their respective countries, all the way back to the first civillizations, first warrriors, and first martial arts of Ancient Africa ( see HCW History Blog). Comming before this though, before I formed my own systems, I did build a strong base in one traditional art. I have alot of knowledge of many fighting arts, formal and informal. Some knowledge is deep, some intermediate, some surface only. I knew that without a proper foundation I would not have the physical, mental, or spiritual capabilities or experience to combaie all my useful knowledge into something tangible and real. Besides the Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, and Wing Chun I frist learned and used in adolescent street fights, my martial foundation is in Taekwondo. Although when I first began trainning formally, it was not at the top of my list. I was already martiallly educated of the different fighting systens and their techniques and histories. It was a matter of me piching one that suited my mentality, the way I like to fight, suited my body type, and most of all that I could apply in a fight. If I recall correctly, Jeet Kune Do was the first on my list, Wing Chun was second, Taekwondo was 3rd, and Shotokan Karate was 4th. There was on schools for the first two in my area at the time, so I went with WTF Taekwondo which is known for kicking. Up to that point, I had been in many fights and confrontations ( my reason for trainning other than I like it ) where I sucessfully defended myself with Boxing, Wrestling, Wing Chun, and Judo. I felt Taekwondo’s trademark kicking would fit fine and be fun to learn. I was right but I learned more than just kicking.
First off was the moral tenets. I was raiswd in a old fashioned manner plus been exposed to warriorism. The tenets of Taekwondo fit in perfectly and spawned the beginning of my own personal warrior code (which became my system of philosophy). Physically I learned alot about fighting mechanics like using speed, bodyweight, boduweight, concentration, relaxation, generating power and so forth. I completely threw myself into trainning. I placed emphasis on trying to achieve perfection in all aspects. From the drills of hand techniques and the library of kicks, to poomse (kata in Japanese), self defense, and endless combinations of kicks in combinations. I was exposed to Hapkido and Tai Chi also. When it came to Olympic style sparring, I did not think twice about it. I eexcelled because i had been in so many real fights. I wanted to compete, but my mother ( whom I lived with at that time ) was not involved or supported my pursuits, so I was unable to. This led to my intrest in self defense and teaching which led me to where I am today, a blessing in disguise. When I learned new techniques, I would go home and stay up all night practicing. On days I did not have class, I would train at home in the front yard, the back yard, indoors in my room or on the nearby park. I even would train barefoot outdoor in summer and winter and and even rain, and never got sick. Youthful inspiration under the influence of old Kung Fu movies (a bad idea in reality, kids). My dojang was anywhere. I could widen up and extend my movements outside, yet tighten them up indoors. this would allow me to beable to fight in anywhere from a parking lot to a tight hallway or even in an elevator. I read many stories of traditional Masters of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean martial arts which inspired me and taught me alot. In technique, I learned about drawing my power from the earth using proper stances and channeling my Chi (vital energy). I believed in drawing my power from the earth and supercharging it with my Chi energy to give power to my techniques. To perfect this, I spent alot of time working on poomse ( kata). I saw the as the essence of the art. They were a way to perfect technique. Forms are more than a series of random movements. They were developed to serve many purposes. They were very aerobic and kept me fit. Originally, martial art masters of old realized that their could not use full force on each other when trainning cause of injuries, yet needed to know how to block, strike and move with intent. So poomse allowed the student to do this as well as correct fine movements of technique.Yey also served as a form of shadowboxing versus multiple opponets, a skill needed on the ancient battlefields in group combat. They originated from real fighting experience, not theory. Thorugh practicing forms, it is a search to understand a code and the prnciples it symbolizes. of coures it is limited because it is a set pattern of movements, but the techniques could be adapted to fit any circumstances. Once toy internalize the principles of poomse, you can apply the to other tecniques yuo know, and the techniques become endless. Different forms focused on different concepts or techniques too. Through repeaded practice, the stdent could differentiate between the fast and slow rythms in a poomse.Forms also became more difficult as one progressed in trainning. Also, the student could practice poomse anywhere, anytime without a partner or equipment.You could exert whatever amount of effort you wanted with the more being better. They could preserve their skills and fitness when always.The goal of doing forms hundreds of times was to attain perfection. It was like moving Zen. Holding the horse stance and other deep stances, I learned about vital energy ( Ka in ancient Egyptian, Chi in chinese, Ki in Japanese). I learned how to channel it up and put it’s power behind my techniques. i also learned about breath control. Although I am a modern martial artist, I believe in these things and strive to sterngthen them.
In pasrring I learned alot too. not just about WTF taekwondo sparring, but continous fighting.Thing that applied in self defense. I learned alot baout strategy and how to use my abilities to my advantage. Things like body dynamics of using speed and bodyweight to generate power, as well as what’s called snap speed in Taekwondo. This is the sharp change from muscular relaxation to muscular contraction that makes explosive, speed based power opposed to pushing type power. Like a coiled spring being released. This creates a sharp shock of internak energy ( Ki ) at the point of impact. This allows proficient Taekwondo fighters to to damage the skeletal structure (break bones) with their explosive kicks. I once unintentionally cracked a fellow student’s ribs with a roundhouse.Strategy related things were aspects like the stick and move approach, counter fighting, hitting through your opponet, using speed, controlling breathing for endurance, and much more.
So as far as having a strong foundation as a martial artist, as well as tradtional roots, I have them. I have learned more than can be written because I threw myself singlemindedly into my trainning and was blessed with many natural attributes. The creator blessed me to be a warrior and the strength of my warrior ancestors folws through me. I achieved mt 1st Dan blck celt in Taekwondo in 2 years, 6 months and was a demonstration team member as well as a assistant instructor. I continued my Taekwondo studies until I recieved my 2nd Dan black belt and have even taught Taekwondo independently to at-risk youth. I am a modernist with a traditional foundation, where the old meets the new.Although I move forward, I’ll never forget those who came before me and respect.




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