Although one of the newest popular martial arts forms, Hapkido has a rich history and a comprehensive arsenal of self-defense techniques. The art has been used in prominent agencies and government training since its inception, and stands as a symbol of independence and strength. To this day, Hapkido continues to influence and revolutionize self-defense and martial arts.
Hapkido: A Recent History
Hapkido is a fairly modern form of Korean martial arts, particularly youthful when compared to other forms that have been around for thousands of years. The art originated with the Korean nationalist movement in the middle of the 20th Century and was created by Choi Yong-sool and Seo Bok-Seob, who together founded the first Hapkido dojang (school) in 1951.
Hapkido: A Rapid Rise To Prominence
Much of Hapkido’s initial popularity stemmed from the work of Korean presidential bodyguard Ji Han-Jae, who added Korean kicking and weapon techniques to the art, as well as providing the name of “Hapkido,” which is the Korean pronunciation of the Japanese “aikido.” The Korean Hapkido Association was formed in 1965, which contributes to its continuing popularity today.
Founded by Grandmaster H.W. Kim, The Korean Hapkido Federation (KHF) is a Hapkido federation founded by Grandmaster H.W. Kim. The KHF is also a large well respected organziation that helps maintain the high standards expected in becoming a certified Hapkido instructor and to promote knowledge and the benefits of the martial of Hapkido.
Hapkido: Which Kind Of Training Is Right For You?
As an extremely hybridized martial arts style, different sub-disciplines of Hapkido vary in their philosophical approaches. In general, it lies in the middle of the hard/soft scale of martial arts, incorporating elements of both techniques. There are three major tenets shared by each Hapkido faction: hwa, won, and yu.
Hwa, which means non-resistance, guides students to avoid directly resisting an opponent’s strength, rather moving in the direction of their opponent’s force and using it to their advantage.
Won, the circle principle, concerns moving in circular patterns rather than linear, increasing momentum and again using the attacker’s own force against them.
Yu concerns itself with water, as the art attempts to mimic water’s adaptability and softness by focusing on deflection and strategy rather than brute strength.
Hapkido: Focusing on Self-Defense
Instead of specializing in one form of fighting, hapkido encompasses a wide variety of styles and techniques. A primarily defensive style, the art focuses on a myriad of footwork, striking, and locking techniques, as well as utilizing weaponry and pressure points.
Hapkido employs a wide variety of kicking techniques, drawn from Taekwondo, but differing in the emphasis on wide, circular motion and low kicks.
Hand strikes focus energy to the hand to create initial weakening energy strikes.
Following strikes, training typically progresses to joint locks. The style is famous for its wristlocking techniques, although several elbowlocks are also taught.
A jointlock can progress into throws, thought to be derived from Judo, although altered to fit the self-defense orientation of the style.
More advanced techniques involve weapons, usually starting with a knife and progressing through sticks, ropes, staffs, swords, and various weapons of opportunity.
Hapkido: What to Expect During Training
Hapkido training follows a very intensive curriculum. Technique exercises and sparring are used to increase the student’s use of balance and footwork, allowing them to progress using a belt system. Instruction may vary from school to school, but usually focuses on combat and adaptability. In addition to physical instruction, students of Hapkido are also taught to use meditation, incorporating the philosophy of the art into their everyday lives.
Becoming a student of Hapkido is a great way to arm yourself with efficient and effective self-defense tools, as well as learning to calm and strengthen both body and mind. Hapkido, though young, has indeed proven itself a valuable form of self-defense. No doubt the style will continue to shape the future of martial arts. You can search for Hapkido schools near you by clicking here.
Hapkido: The Hybrid Martial Art
Hapikido is a hybrid and greatly diverse form of martial arts that originates from Korea. Hapkido is primarily taught as a means of self-defense and employs techniques, such as throwing, grappling, ground-holds and joint locks, as well as punching, kicking and striking techniques. Hapkido was developed by a man named Choi Yong-Sool, who lived in Japan for 30 years before returning to Korea subsequent to the conclusion of the Second World War.
The name “Hapkido” means:
“Hap” – joining or coordinating,
“Ki” – spirit, internal energy,
“Do” –way of life or art.
“The way of coordinating energy,” or “the way of harmony.”
Combat Hapkido Equipment and Training
Students of Hapkido classes will have the opportunity to master many different traditional weaponry and Hapkido equipment, which includes sword fighting, knife fighting, cane fighting and short (dan bong) and middle-length staff fighting (joong bong). There is also the rope and nanchaku (jool bong), all of which can either be purchased – for the more enthusiastic Hapkido student – or are made available by the martial arts school or academy.
Hapkido can be employed at both short-range, during which pressure point strikes, joint locks and throws are employed, and at longer-range when hand strikes and jumping kicks become more effective. At the heart of Hapkido classes is learning how to control one’s opponent using smooth, dynamic circular motions, thereby redirecting momentum and conserving energy. Footwork is also greatly important.
The Benefits of Learning Hapkido
Hapkido is a martial art form that has it all: both offensive and defensive training and the use of many exciting weaponry. It’s fast-paced and yet, also meditative. As such, the benefits of this Korean martial art are incredible whole-body fitness and self-defense.
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