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What is Hapkido?

Hapkido is a discipline of coordination, a way of strengthening the mind and body, of fusing the individuals physical and mental powers so that he or she will emerge as a more fully integrated human being.

The word in fact means; Method or Way (DO) for the coordination Harmony (HAP) of mental Energy or spirit (KI). One should always try to avoid violence, but if someone grabs you, attempts to strike you, or physically assaults you in any way, it has escalated beyond words, and you are left with the only option which is to defend.

The Korean Art of Self Defense, Hapkido is considered a "soft" style of Martial Art, as opposed to "hard" styles that practice the use of force against force, making the outcome a simple matter of size and strength. The Hapkido practitioner diverts or suppresses an attacker's flow of energy peacefully; this diversion allows him to use the attackers power against himself leading to the attackers defeat. Through the use of pressure on certain skeletal joints and pressure points, very little strength is needed to overcome an opponent.

Hapkido is not only redirects the attack, but turns it back against the attacker and follows through with offensive techniques which may control his violence or render him incapable of further antagonistic actions. The Hapkido practitioner is in complete control of the confrontation defusing the aggression without the need for uncontrolled damage as seen in many "hard" styles.

Hapkido provides complete physical conditioning which improves balance, posture, flexibility, timing, quickness, muscle tone, joint strength and most importantly, confidence through physical and mental discipline.

The immediate aim of Hapkido is of course the welfare of the one practicing it. Not only will skills in self-defense be attained, but more importantly will be the focus on an individual’s character development. A well rounded personality can be realized only if the spirit is right. Courtesy, Respect, Modesty, Loyalty, Generosity, and Dedication are not only the source, but also the rewards of Hapkido.

Principle of Hapkido:

Hap : means "together" and means the harmony of body and spirit.

Ki : defines the life and body energy.

Do : means "way of life, way of learning".

Hapkido: The way to coordinate internal energy

Hapkido is a traditional Korean self-defense martial art. It consists of kicking, striking, twisting and throwing techniques as well as joint lock and pressure point techniques. Weapons such as the staff, cane, and rope are used in the advanced levels of Hapkido.

Furthermore, many people think that the Korean Hapkido and Japanese Aikido is same type of martial arts, but they are not. The main difference is that the Korean Hapkido includes both hand and kicking techniques, while the Japanese Aikido only has hand techniques.

Hapkido Philosophy:
The philosophy of Hapkido is centered around four principles:
Honesty and Moral Character
Loyalty to Parents and Country
Bravery in Battles
Protect your Family and Community
From these principles, Hapkido practicitioners are capable of sacrificing their own I interests to those of family, friends, and country.

Hapkido Theory:
To understand the movements and techniques of Hapkido, three theories must be studied :

Yu- Water :
Water symbolizes many things in Korea. It is adaptable. Water never fights against the objects in it's path. There is no conflict, rather water moves around the objects in it's path. It never loses it's form. We should learn to adapt in the same way as water to survive the obstacles we all face in our life.

In Hapkido, the circle represents natural and continuous movement. It also symbolizes the evolution of a martial artist's training. For as a martial artist gets closer to the black belt objective, he becomes aware that he is returning to the place that he started, thus completing the circle of his training. As he progresses, he starts a new circle with the advantage of the knowledge he has acquired. The new circles will be much smaller like spirals which will lead the martial artist not forward but upward.

While training Hapkido, the simultaneous combination of body, mind and technique must always be present. The Harmony of body, mind and technique is essential to the Hapkido practitioner. As the practitioner learns to attain harmony within himself, it becomes possible for him then to achieve harmony with the adversary. From there, one learns to achieve harmony within a situation. And finally, one learns to achieve harmony between oneself, the adversary and situation.