Our Story

Martial arts training benefits are timeless and best when intergrated into one’s life. USA Hapkido is designed to make this life altering process smooth, fun and exillerating. Hello and thank you for visiting our website, I am Master Lawrence Pham, the founder of USA Hapkido. I have been training martial arts since 1984, hold a 7th degree black belt in Hapkido, have 10+ years practicing Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiujitsu, I am a certified personal trainer and my first black belt was with the International Tae Kwon Do Federation. Technically, I am not the only master with such experience nor am I the best, there are many great martial artists in the world. What I have unique to offer are the practical insights through real personal experiences that others may not have.

It began when I immigrated from Vietnam to the United States in 1984 and we settled in Los Angeles, California. This was a time when violence level is high and gang activities were rampant. Since I was smaller and different, I was often the target for cruel jokes and bullying. Having a low tolerance for such behaviors, I stood up for myself and many times ended in a situation where I have no choice but to fight. These scenarios repeated many times which gave me realistic views about self defense. Through the years, several truths emerged, confrontations are unpredictable and are dynamic in nature, no two minutes are the same. Multiple attackers are common and weapons are used. The key to survival is having the ability to quickly adapt to the ever changing conditions. Even though times has changed and things are much more peaceful now, the strength, discipline and confidence I gained through martial arts training is priceless and I want to pass it on to future generations.

USA Hapkido Roundhouse kick

Black belt students learning techniques from Master Lawrence


Master Lawrence instructing

Master Lawrence demonstrating techniques