Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including a sword, rope, nunchaku, cane, short stick, and staff (gun, bō) which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, joint locks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.
As well as self-defence, other beenfits include: fitness, flexibility, co-ordination, muscular endurance & strengthening, self-control, posture, confidence, timing, self-esteem & much much more.
The art copied from Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu or a closely related jujutsu system taught by Choi Yong-Sool (Hangul: 최용술) who returned to Korea after World War II, having lived in Japan for 30 years. This system was later combined with kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts such as taekkyeon and tang soo do. Its history is obscured by the historical animosity between the Korean and Japanese people following the Second World War.
HAPKIDO IS TRANSLATED TO:
합 hap means “coordinated” or “joining”; 기 ki describes internal energy, spirit, strength, or power; and 도 do means “way” or “art”, yielding a literal translation of “joining-energy-way”. It is most often translated as “the way of coordinating energy”, “the way of coordinated power” or “the way of harmony”.
Although aikido and hapkido are believed by many to share a common history, they remain separate and distinct from one another. They differ significantly in philosophy, range of responses and manner of executing techniques. The fact that they share the same original Chinese characters, despite 合 being pronounced “ai” in Japanese and “hap” in Korean, has proved problematic in promoting the art internationally as a discipline with its own set of unique characteristics differing from those of the Japanese art.
Historically Hapkido was an art confined for the Royal Court, to the nobility and upper class society.
Hapkido techniques were originally handed down through the hierarchy of monks, ruling families, royal officials and the elite‘hwarang’ warriors of Korea.
The purpose was for self-protection and also to train the future national leaders by means of stringent training, combining mental discipline, martial arts and traditional scholarship.
Each style of martial arts is created on a philosophy that is linked to techniques. At Ki Martial Arts Academy, philosophy is an extremely important aspect given that to be successful in martial arts, you need to train the mind as well as the body, but it is mental strength that is most important part.
Hap Ki Do Philosophy can be broken down as follows:
1. The Purpose of Hapkido is best explained in its name, i.e. “the way of co-ordinated power”.
The Hapkido belief system is that martial arts training are a means to physical fitness and health, confidence, mental well-being and strength, spiritual growth and an excellence in character. Strict physical and mental training prepares the mind (“The art of fighting without fighting”) and body for the challenges of life whilst leading a calm and passive life and avoid violence.
The Moral Values in Hapkido align themselves closely with those of the greater society, these moral values are also the foundations of our teachings at Ki Martial Arts Academy.
We at Ki Martial Arts Academy abide by the following Tenants:
We aim to develop the mind , body and spirit in complete harmony, allowing our students to be the best people that they can be
Hapkido or Ki Martial Arts Academy does not in any way promote fighting and or to be an aggressor. Students are taught how not to fight and to use what they learn in times of self defense only!
It is in fighting however that our strengths and weaknesses are determined and as such we do have controlled sparring, which not only improves physical skills such as coordination and technique but it also helps the students learn what these strengths and weaknesses are and help to improve and/or develop them.
Hapkido, like all martial arts is based and defined by philosophical principles which determine how the art is to be practiced.
Hapkido has three central concepts:
Circular motion: Hapkido techniques are made up of many circular movements rather than the lineal techniques often seen in many other martial arts systems, the reason behind this comes down to one of the technical aspects of Hapkido, which is to redirect force rather than oppose it.
Water: This theory states that, as water, students of Hapkido learn to adapt to their environment and the challenges presented to them. As flowing water heads down a stream and is encountered by a large stone, it will not be able to penetrate it but will somehow find a way. Pressure, flow of movement, persistence and adaptableness are essential characteristics of Hapkido.
Harmony: The harmonising of mind, body and spirit. An empty, clear mind free from fear and negativity and total awareness is developed along with a healthy physical body. These two aspects together with the spirit or Ki bring thought and action together into the one purposeful act.
The circle also has a deep meaning to it as it symbolises unity and eternity, as well endless movement and the many cycles that characterise the universe’s energy, i.e. Ki.
All Hapkido’s techniques are based on the following 5 principles:
1. Redirection of Force
Hapkido differs from Hard Style martial arts such as Taekwondo in that an attack is not met head on. Hapkido teaches the student to use the opponents power against them and redirect it to manipulate the attackers balance and movement.
2. Flow of Movement
Hapkido emphasises constant flow of strikes, blocks, locks and throws. Movement incorporate circular and spinning actions. By constantly varying movement, the Hapkido student will be more difficult to target and frustrate their opponent.
3. Circular Movement
Hapkido techniques are made up of circular movements. This is evident in all Hapkido techniques from strikes, joint locks, chokes, takedowns and throws.
4. Ki Power
Ki-Power is referred to using internal energy (Ki). In essence Ki is adrenaline used to assist in the application of a technique. When fighting an overpowering opponent, the addition of Ki may be the difference between a technique that will work and one that fails. When adrenaline is released from the adrenal glands (located just above the kidneys), it produces cardiac stimulation, constriction of blood and bronchial relaxation ultimately elevating your performance. In Hapkido this is done through a visualisation of energy from the core (two inches below the navel) upward through the body and projected outward with a Ki-Yap (harmonising shout).
5. Live Hand
These are hand formations which are used to increase the flow of Ki into the arms. It will assist in increasing arm strength and power when required. Live Hands assist in many strikes, blocks, locks and throws and are also used in breathing exercises. A typical live hand formation is an open hand spreading the fingers wide and slightly bending the finger tips inwards.