I interview Master Tammy Parlour in this first episode of the show. Master Parlour is a 5th Dan (and therefore Master) of the Korean martial art of hapkido and has been training under Grandmaster Chang Gedo for nearly 35 years. She set up Chang’s Hapkido Academy UK in the early 1990s and has been running the London school since the late 1990s. Master Parlour teaches a complete and traditional hapkido syllabus with a focus on joint locks, pressure points, kicks and punches, free-fighting and weapons. She also teaches ki meditation and has written a book on the subject. Chang’s Hapkido Academy, like its parent school in the US, has consistently received rave reviews for not only the quality of instruction, but also the supportive learning environment in class.
I have been a student of Master Parlour’s for over 8 years and consider her classes to be among the best experiences you can have as a martial artist. However, beyond this, the focus on the philosophical side of training ensures that studying hapkido creates numerous benefits outside the dojang (training hall). In this session we explore these topics going back to not only when, how and why Master Parlour started studying hapkido, but why she has continued for nearly 35 years.
We had an interesting, stimulating and at times very funny and wide-ranging conversation that covered the following (among other things):
- What hapkido is (check out Master Parlour’s school on YouTube – link also below to get a sense of the skills and movements taught)
- The relevance of martial arts, particularly traditional martial arts, in the modern world
- Mushin – “no mind” as a concept and practice and parallels to this with resilience and uncertainty
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Making difficult choices
- Dealing with adversity
- Being present
- Women’s sport – Master Parlour is also the founder and CEO of the Women’s Sport Trust – a UK charity focused on raising the visibility and impact of women’s sport