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International Journal of Martial Arts - Vol. 8

[ Article ]
International Journal of Martial Arts - Vol. 8, No. 0, pp. 113-143
Abbreviation: IJMA
ISSN: 2287-8599 (Online)
Print publication date 28 Feb 2023

An Assessment of Instructional Methods, Student Perceptions, and Skill Acquisition in a Collegiate Beginner Hapkido Class
Kevin M. Fisher
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Education and Sport Central Michigan University

Correspondence to : Student Activity Center 177 Email: kevin.fisher@cmich.edu


Regular exercise in the form of martial arts is a viable method of promoting positive physical and psychosocial outcomes for practitioners worldwide. While certain styles are popular in many countries around the world, the Korean art of Hapkido has seen limited scientific examination in academic research. The goals of this study were to evaluate potential benefits of completing a beginner collegiate Hapkido physical education course, critically examine student perceptions of instructional methods and practice structure, and determine the extent to which students were able to acquire basic techniques. In a pretest-posttest design, students (n = 36) were surveyed about intrinsic characteristics and perceptions of instruction and evaluated on acquired skills. Results indicated a significant increase in self-perceptions of knowledge (p < .001) and interest (p = .029) in Hapkido along with interest in martial arts (p = .008) and areas such as self-perceived athletic ability (p = .007), fitness (p = .015), self-defense capability (p < .001), and self-defense confidence (p = .001). Instructional strategies included verbal explanations with an emphasis on physical demonstrations, and a blocked practice style was utilized in conjunction with both reinforcing and corrective feedback. A majority of students reported an attentional focus on the correct steps or body positioning related to each technique, rather than proper movement outcome, suggesting that internal foci were encouraged. Skills testing conducted by four independent raters revealed that students scored an average of 83% on the posttest, suggesting substantial progress over the 16-week period. These findings substantiate claims that physical education activity courses can be effective at increasing knowledge and skills that may contribute to success along with an inclination for future involvement. In addition, pedagogical strengths and weaknesses are elucidated and discussed.

Keywords: Hapkido, Martial Arts, Physical Education, Sport Pedagogy, Motor Learning


The author wishes to thank Mr. Stephen M. Thompson, Mr. Kevin D. Carmody, and Mr. Adam C. Philo for their assistance with this project. Additionally, the author wishes to recognize Mr. Don Burns and the Indiana University Hapkido and Self-Defense Club (IUSDC) along with the United States Hapkido Federation (USHF) for their contributions to the growth of both martial arts and Hapkido in the USA.

Declaration of Interest Statement

The author wishes to confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication and there has been no financial support for this work that could have influenced its outcome. The author has given due consideration to the protection of intellectual property associated with this work and there are no impediments to publication, including the timing of publication, with respect to intellectual property. The regulations of the institution at which the research occurred have been followed. The author further confirms that any aspect of the work covered in this manuscript that involved human participants has been conducted with the ethical approval of all relevant bodies and that such approvals are acknowledged within the manuscript.

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