Hapkido a Korean martial art, which is gaining a huge following as a practical method of self-defense. This is because
Hapkido techniques do not require great size or strength to be delivered effectively.
The philosophy, principles, and techniques are often the keys to unlocking hidden wells of strength and confidence that
lie deep within us all regardless of age, sex, or muscle mass.
Hapkido history is the subject of some controversy. Some sources say that the founder of Hapkido, Choi, Yong Sul was a
houseboy/servant (some even say "the adopted son") of Japanese Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu GrandMaster Takeda, Sokaku. In Japan,
Choi used the Japanese name Yoshida, Tatsujutsu since all immigrants to Japan took Japanese names at that time. Choi's Japanese
name has also been given as Asao, Yoshida by some sources.
According to this view, Choi studied under Takeda in Japan from 1913, when he was aged 9, until Takeda died in 1943. However,
Daito Ryu records do not reflect this, so hard confirmation has not been available. Some claim that Choi's Daito Ryu training
was limited to attending seminars. Yong Sool Choi Ueshiba, Morihei, the founder of Aikido, was also a student of Takeda (this
is not disputed).
Hapkido and Aikido both have significant similarities to Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, so it would seem that Hapkido's link to
it is real, regardless of how and where Choi was trained. Choi returned to Korea after Takeda's death and began studying Korean
arts and teaching Yu Sool or Yawara (other names for jujutsu), eventually calling his kwan ("school") the Hapki Kwan.
Ji, Han Jae is said to be the father of modern hapkido. He began studying under Choi and eventually started his own school,
where he taught what he called Hapkido. Along the way, Hapkido adopted various techniques from Tang Soo Do, Tae Kyon, and
other Korean kwans (schools). Korean sources may tend to emphasize the Korean arts lineage of Hapkido over the Aikijujutsu
lineage, with some even omitting the Aikijujutsu connection. However, as noted above, the connection can be seen in the techniques.
Many people would categorize Hapkido as a "scientific" martial art as every aspect of it is geared towards a single purpose:
incapacitating an opponent in the most efficient and thorough manner possible. The best way to achieve this result is through
the Theory of Dynamics. The simplest definition of this theory can be found in the translation of the word Hapkido: "The art
of coordinating energy."
HAP-coordination, harmony KI-energy DO-art form Dynamic motion means more than just a quick reaction. To react dynamically
means more than just a quick reaction. To react dynamically is to create a balance between two opposing forces and use it
to your advantage. Um and Yang, or the concept of balance is the cornerstone of Hapkido philosophy.
The key to creating this balance can be found in the three principles of Hapkido. 1) Circle 2) Water 3) Sum While each
of these principles is important in their own right, they all stem from the Theory of Circular Motion.
The Theory of Circular motion states that the body must become a dynamic center of motion. Like a spinning top, the body
must be in a state of continuous motion in order to maintain balance, however when the top stops spinning it will lose it's
balance and tip over. Likewise with the body.
Next is The Theory of Water. The Theory of Water states that all body movements must be fluid like water. This means your
techniques must be adaptable. Water in a river will pull a pebble with the current, go around a boulder, or carve a valley
through a wall of rock...
Finally is The Theory of Sum, or the idea of using you oppnents own energy against themselves. This theory is nothing more
than the sum of the previous two. Continuous and fluid motion make for a most destructive force. A hurricane is a good example
of the Theory of Sum. In a hurricane the air spins around absorbing everything and at the same time throwing off everything
as long as it's motion is continuous. What can withstand the force of a hurricane? What can withstand the force of a hurricane?
In Hapkido we take the Theory of Dynamics and combine it with a thorough knowledge of the vital spots of the human body.
There are over 400 vulnerable spots on the human body, 54 of which we use as targets of attack. The locations of these vital
spots usually coincide with that of the nerves, blood vessels, or internal organs. When these vital spots are attacked the
result can be anything from death, to impairment, to severe pain. This knowledge is necessary to a successful attack or defense.
Remember! Hapkido is a way of physical and mental coordination. Every movement requires the coordination of both the mind
and body, and consistent practice is necessary to maintain this coordination.
- Article of Song's Hapkido