maHapKiDo - Our Martial Art

Hapkido is a dynamic and eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. Weaponary is also taught and practiced.

Our Founder
Grandmaster Chu S. Ma is a nationally recognized grandmaster in HapKiDo, and has taught in the tri cities area for decades, creating a form of martial art that draws from many discipines to create a unique, well balanced system of self defense that is suited to adults and children.

Private Lessons Available!

Call (847) 239-3789 for more information and to schedule an appointment.

| Benefits for Children | Benefits for Teenagers | Benefits for Adults | The History of Hapkido |

Our traditional Korean Martial Art School was founded by Chu Seup Ma. “Master Ma”, was born in a small village in South Korea on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month in 1954. His family wanted to give him more opportunity than he would have had growing up there, so he was sent to a city to continue his education. He served three years in the South Korean army, instructing the infantry in the martial art of Tae Kwon Do.

In the 1980’s, he came to the United States. Now, as an 8th degree black belt, he instructs both young people and adults in HapKiDo, a martial art form that emphasizes the balance between the physical and mental coordination.

Master Ma helps his students understand that each of us has untapped, maybe unlimited power---but it isn’t a force to be used in violence. He says some of the newer and younger students still think they are learning “how to fight.” Master Ma says he feels successful when he sees those students alter their perspective from one of violence to one of self-assurance and humble submission. His style of teaching is very different from the western traditions of competition and continual emphasis on earning higher and higher belt colors---an outward sign of accomplishment.

The focus on developing good martial artists caused Master Ma to make an important distinction in his teaching method: He is the sole instructor, from beginner to black belt. “In many other martial arts schools, the masters teach only the most accomplished students. But when the objective is developing good martial artists, the foundation is very important,” says Master Ma Our school has been located in the Geneva / St. Charles area for over 10 years, and is unique in that we teach tradition as well as modern techniques.

Hapkido is a discipline of coordination, a way of strengthening the mind and body, of fusing the individuals physical and mental powers so that he or she will emerge as a more fully integrated human being.

The word in fact means; Method or Way (DO) for the coordination Harmony (HAP) of mental Energy or spirit (KI). One should always try to avoid violence, but if someone grabs you, attempts to strike you, or physically assaults you in any way, it has escalated beyond words, and you are left with the only option which is to defend.

The Korean Art of Self Defense, Hapkido is considered a "soft" style of Martial Art, as opposed to "hard" styles that practice the use of force against force, making the outcome a simple matter of size and strength. The Hapkido practitioner diverts or suppresses an attacker's flow of energy peacefully, this diversion allows him to use the attackers power against himself leading to the attackers defeat. Through the use of pressure on certain skeletal joints and pressure points, very little strength is needed to overcome an opponent.

Hap Ki Do not only redirects the attack, but turns it back against the attacker and follows through with offensive techniques which may control his violence or render him incapable of further antagonistic actions. The Hapkido practitioner is in complete control of the confrontation defusing the aggression without the need for uncontrolled damage as seen in many "hard" styles.

Hap Ki Do provides complete physical conditioning which improves balance, posture, flexibility, timing, quickness, muscle tone, joint strength and most importantly, confidence through physical and mental discipline.

The immediate aim of Hapkido is of course the welfare of the one practicing it. Not only will skills in self-defense be attained, but more importantly will be the focus on an individuals character development. A well rounded personality can be realized only if the spirit is right. Courtesy, Respect, Modesty, Loyalty, Generosity, and Dedication are not only the source, but also the rewards of Hapkido.

Children Martial Arts Classes
The self-confidence gained in Martial Arts will enable your child to:
• Overcome shyness
• Resist negative peer pressure
• Stand up to bullies and speak up for themselves
• Raise their hand in school and volunteer their opinion
• Be more comfortable with meeting new people

Martial Arts will provide your child with the tools to overcome challenges in life. Using praise and positive feedback, our instructors encourage students and motivate them to do their best.  Our instructors are experts at working with children. They know how to gain your child's attention and keep them motivated by setting realistic step-by-step goals and encouraging them every step of the way. Every member of our staff will take a personal interest in your child and be committed to helping them achieve their potential.


Teenager Martial Arts Classes

Many of today's Teenagers spend hours in front of the TV, video games, and computer screens. As a result, few teenagers get the activity they need to stay healthy. Martial Arts helps Teens get fit by improving their coordination, flexibility, strength and endurance.  In today’s society Teenagers face a rising pressure in school and their friends.  By learning martial arts it will help them to:

• Become more confident to handling peer pressure
• Become more disciple and focus
• Develop respect for themselves and others
• Build social skills to handle difficult situations


We also take it as a priority to serve as good role models. You can be assured that we will demonstrate the respect and character that we would like our students to embody. Our staff is patient and enthusiastic! We love what we do and are sure that every student feels comfortable at the school


Adults Martial Arts Classes

Adults do not have a lot of time to take martial arts classes.  However our full time adult martial arts classes can fit your busy schedule.  Bring balance and self control back into your life and relieve stress.  Our classes are perfect for anyone who's:

• Joined and quit a health club
• Looking to lose weight but not interested in the gym scene
• Bored of traditional exercise (lifting weights, running on a treadmill)
• Fit but looking for a new challenge

In addition, you will also learn realistic and practical street self defense techniques to enable you to protect yourself and loved ones.  Do not be caught off guard.  The knowledge of self defense is critical in dangerous situations.



Evidence of martial training in Korea far pre-date the earliest form of written evidence found in the Samkuk Saki (3 Kingdom History) written in the 12th Century. In 1935, excavations of the Muyong-Chong tomb found the earliest known evidence of martial arts on ceiling murals. Other tombs, notably the Anak Tomb (Koguryo) and Sambo-Chong Tomb dating from the early to late 4th Centuries, depict other caricatures of sparring, blocking stances and what appear to be older versions of dobok with black waist sashes. (3) Further, other paintings in another well-known Koguryo Tomb, the Samsil Tomb, show evidence of a Taekyun match (formerly known as Subak) (5) and another picture clearly showing a Korean wrestling/grappling match, likely the ancestor of Ssireum. (1)(2)(13) This depiction is corroborated by references to Korean wrestling in the Book of later Han written in the 5th Century.

From the 3 Kingdom's Period through the United Shilla and Koryo Dynasty's, a time spanning roughly 1,400 years, Korean fighting styles continued to develop. Through both internal and external conflicts, these fighting styles evolved and became more organized and structured. The same could likely be said for Korea's closer neighbors (Japan, China) as well, as both war and commerce led to continued exchanges between them for well over a millennia.

Additional information can be gleaned here.

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