The Korean art of Hapkido is about learning self defence skills using wrist locks and pressure points. In order for students to learn how to correctly execute a technique, they must apply some pressure so their partner can let them know if they are doing it correctly. The safety of every student is our primary focus, and we teach our students to slap (gently) their thighs or the mat when the self defence move hurts and that signals their partner to stop applying pressure.
In TSDA we practice non-contact sparring and during our self defence part of the class, we work between 50-70% power, thereby decreasing the chance of injuries occurring. As in any other athletic sport, if you train long enough and put in effort, odds are you will be hurt at some point.
There can be accidental and inadvertent contact during training, this being the nature of martial arts, although we minimize this as much as possible.
TSDA does offer “Full Contact” sparring for those either wanting more in their training or even to compete in tournaments (not a necessity). In full contact sparring our students are fully padded up with protective gear including head, mouth, groin and shin guards as well as tournament gloves. Despite this level of training, there are rules to “full contact” sparring such as no punching to the head.