HAPKIDO is a Korean martial art which deals with all aspects of combat: kicks, strikes, punches, throws, break-falls, locks, breathing and energy exercises as well as weapons training. Being a personal self-defence system, a way of self-discipline and self-control, a dynamic and comprehensive martial art system, Hapkido adapts itself to all: men and women, young and old.
Hapkido training in a few words: a training session includes a complete warm-up, a technical part, a sparring and/or self-defence part and a relaxation part, recovery:
Physical preparation: a complete warm-up prepares the body for the session and allows the development and reinforcement of the necessary physical qualities (flexibility, balance, force, endurance) as well as the necessary mental qualities (concentration and martial art spirit).
Technical training: kicks, strikes, punches, throws, break-falls, locks, strangles, weapons. The extent of techniques practised has no limit.
Well being: regular practice brings benefits to one’s body and spirit: benefits related to a better physical condition, benefits related to better control and relief of stress, benefits related to breathing and internal energy.
Enjoyment and self control: Hapkido is an enjoyable activity. It allows us to use up our excess energy and gives us the opportunity to develop self-discipline and self-control.
Self defence: Hapkido teaches us simple techniques which could be useful in case of aggression. These give us better self-confidence even at an early stage of practice.
The three fundamental principles of Hapkido are:
Yu: water – the ability to adapt to a given situation, knowing how to change at the right time through fluidity and relaxation.
Won: circle – the ability to absorb, redirect and utilise the opponent’s force through circular and flexible movement.
Hwa: harmony – the ability to anticipate and feel the opponent’s actions in line with a non-resistance strategy.
These concepts are based on the use of the opponent’s force through a good application of energy and breath power as well as the proper adaptation of the practitioner to all types of situations. To these three principles one could add the concept of:
Kang ’강’ which means “hard” and which seeks to break the circle or the harmony in order to achieve a more dynamic and abrupt action.