May 23, 2024


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5 Reasons Why Licensed Security Guards Make Great Part-Time Hapkido Instructors

5 Reasons Why Licensed Security Guards Make Great Part-Time Hapkido Instructors

Working as a security guard can be a demanding yet rewarding career. It requires a keen eye for detail, the ability to de-escalate situations, and, of course, physical fitness. These very skills that make you a successful security guard can also translate beautifully into a part-time career as a Hapkido instructor.

Hapkido is a Korean martial art that utilizes joint locks, throws, and strikes to subdue opponents. It emphasizes technique over strength, making it an ideal self-defense system for people of all sizes and abilities. Here are five compelling reasons why licensed security guards are well-positioned to become part-time Hapkido instructors:

1. Real-World Experience: Security guards are on the front lines of potential conflict. They encounter a wide range of situations, from dealing with unruly patrons to intervening in altercations. This real-world experience gives them a unique perspective on the importance of self-defense and de-escalation tactics.

In the classroom, security guards can share their experiences with students, drawing parallels between security work and the application of Hapkido techniques. They can explain how they’ve used verbal de-escalation techniques to calm down agitated individuals, skills that are directly applicable to Hapkido’s emphasis on gaining control without resorting to excessive force.

2. Existing Skillset: The skills honed during security guard training are directly transferable to Hapkido instruction. Security guards are trained in observation, situational awareness, and conflict resolution. These skills are essential for any instructor, but especially valuable for teaching self-defense.

Security guards also understand the importance of clear communication and maintaining order within a group. These skills are crucial for effectively managing a Hapkido class and ensuring student safety.

3. Fitness and Discipline: Security work requires a high level of physical fitness. Guards often work long hours on their feet, requiring stamina and endurance. Many security guard positions also involve physical restraint techniques, demanding strength and control.

This existing fitness base provides a strong foundation for Hapkido practice. Security guards who become instructors can serve as role models for their students, demonstrating proper form and technique. Their own experience with physical training allows them to effectively guide students through drills and exercises, ensuring their safety and progress.

4. Flexible Schedule: Security guard schedules can be quite flexible, with part-time and evening positions readily available. This flexibility allows guards to pursue a part-time career as a Hapkido instructor without sacrificing their primary security work.

The ability to offer evening or weekend classes caters to students with busy schedules, potentially attracting a wider range of people interested in learning self-defense. Security guards can leverage their existing network of colleagues and contacts to promote their Hapkido classes within the security industry, creating a niche student base.

5. Personal and Professional Growth: Teaching Hapkido can be a personally enriching experience. Security guards who become instructors have the opportunity to share their knowledge and empower others with valuable self-defense skills. Witnessing students gain confidence and develop their physical capabilities can be incredibly rewarding.

Furthermore, becoming a Hapkido instructor allows security guards to expand their professional network and potentially open doors to new opportunities within the martial arts community. They may connect with other instructors, participate in workshops and seminars, and further develop their own Hapkido skills.

Making the Transition:

Licensed security guards interested in becoming Hapkido instructors should first consider their existing experience and skill level. Formal Hapkido training and certification from a reputable organization are essential. Many dojangs (Hapkido schools) offer instructor training programs that cover teaching methodology, curriculum development, and classroom management.

Security guards can leverage their unique background to tailor their teaching style. They can create practical self-defense scenarios relevant to security work, emphasizing de-escalation tactics and effective use of Hapkido techniques for real-world situations.


Licensed security guards possess a valuable combination of skills and experience that makes them well-suited to become successful part-time Hapkido instructors. Their real-world knowledge of conflict resolution, existing fitness level, and flexible schedules all contribute to their potential as educators. By pursuing instructor training and tailoring their teaching to their unique background, security guards can share their passion for Hapkido while creating a rewarding and enriching part-time career.

About the author: KJN James R. Hogwood, PhD. is a lifelong martial artist and the President of the International Independent Hapkido Alliance. He is the Founder of KumHoKwan (Golden Tiger) Hapkido which is recognized by several of the leading Korean organizations. KJN Hogwood is also the Primary Instructor for the IIHA Instructors Certification Course. For information on hosting KJN Hogwood for a seminar at your school or to schedule private training email him direct at

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