Berkeley, California—01 May 2007—Hapkido West, a California-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the martial art of Hapkido, today introduced its new visual identity and organizational mission to key publics for the first time. The launch of Hapkido West's new identity also coincides with the unveiling of its new website (www.hapkidowest.org), which articulates the organization's mission, defines its activities, and provides a wealth of powerful images and well-written content on the art of Hapkido. The site is in English, but will eventually be multilingual, in order to support the organization's international outreach efforts.

Hapkido West's Mission
Established in January 2007 under the leadership of Marc Tedeschi, an internationally respected martial arts master, Hapkido West's core mission is to promote the practice and instruction of Hapkido, both locally and internationally. Hapkido West offers affordable high-quality martial arts training to a broad segment of the general public and seeks to improve educational standards, build goodwill and fellowship, and increase public awareness of the beneficial role of martial arts practice in one’s life. Hapkido West’s core activities include: holding regular classes at a spacious, well-equipped facility at the California State University in Hayward; hosting seminars and special events; providing forums where martial artists can share ideas and innovations; developing comprehensive online resources, digital content, and archives; providing instructional and organizational assistance to other community-oriented martial arts schools and organizations; generating high-quality educational content and standards that can be adopted by other Hapkido schools and martial arts organizations; and giving public demonstrations of the art of Hapkido.

“There are many Hapkido organizations; however, we differ significantly from most in several respects,” said Marc Tedeschi, Hapkido West's president. “First, we are a 'nonprofit' organization dedicated to providing benefit to others. Secondly, we have a clearly articulated vision and a well-defined plan for implementing it. Thirdly, our decision-making process is collaborative, and our style is to be flexible, respectful, and responsive to the needs of our members and the Hapkido community. Fourthly, we believe that transparency and oversight in all our affairs is a good thing. Lastly, we are deeply committed to forging relationships with other organizations, in the belief that greater unity and cooperation between Hapkidoists will ultimately benefit us all.”

“We are not just a school or a governing association. The scope of our activities will be much broader than that and more tightly integrated,” said Philip Atkins, Hapkido West's secretary. “We are fortunate in that our leadership has broad expertise in the areas of design, information technology, and content development. By capitalizing on that expertise, we hope to deliver a broad range of high-quality services and digital content encompassing all aspects of Hapkido.”

“Education and training is fundamental to who we are,” said Daniel Dedet, a Hapkido West board member. “Our instructors possess over 120 years of collective experience in the martial arts. Their skills, interests, and martial arts backgrounds are quite diverse. This will provide our students with a rich and varied educational experience.”

“One of our important long-term objectives will be to build relationships with other martial arts schools and associations,” said Neil Johnson, a Hapkido West board member. “Ultimately, it is all about diplomacy and building trust. If we can act as a catalyst for unity and positive change, that would be very gratifying.”

Hapkido West's New Identity
Hapkido West's new visual identity consists of a unique circular-shaped eagle soaring upward out of the west. As a motif, "the eagle" represents strength, speed, perseverance, superiority, and freedom. The unique drawing-style of the Hapkido West eagle further suggests: the ability to soar high, physically and spiritually, without restrictions; the pursuit of excellence; innovation; gazing far; looking at the big picture; balance; harmony; and reconciliation. The eagle's wings sweep inward, alluding to: circular motion; embracing; and protecting. All of these attributes reflect key aspects of Hapkido West, as well as qualities inherent to the art of Hapkido.

“As a motif, the eagle has been widely used to represent the art of Hapkido since its inception,” said Marc Tedeschi, Hapkido West's president. “By adopting the eagle as the basis of our trademark, we are signaling that we identify ourselves with the traditions and techniques that define mainstream Hapkido. That is, we see ourselves as firmly grounded in, and innovating from, the roots of the art. Our particular rendition of the eagle interprets this common motif in a conceptually and graphically unique manner, in order to reflect the inherent differences between us and other Hapkido organizations, and to reinforce key attributes and values fundamental to us as an organization.”

What is Hapkido?
Practiced in over 100 countries, Hapkido possesses one of the most complex, unique, and varied arsenals of self-defense techniques to be found in any martial art. Its skills encompass all major martial categories: strikes, kicks, blocks, avoiding movements, holds, joint locks, chokes, throws, breakfalls, tumbling, ground fighting, weapons, meditation, and healing. Although combatives are an important aspect of training, Hapkido’s ultimate objective is the harmonization of body, mind, and spirit; the perfection of human character; the cultivation of social responsibility; and the empowerment of self.

Commenting on the beneficial role of Hapkido practice in one’s life, Marc Tedeschi, Hapkido West's president, stated: “Hapkido training is a way of life, one which embraces intense mental and physical training focusing on the growth and harmonization of one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual centers. Such harmony is ultimately expressed as an intuitive response to life, unfettered by excessive deliberations and self-doubt—the proper action is instantly perceived and acted upon. This means one will do the right thing at the right time without hesitation, in all aspects of life.” 


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Philip Atkins
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