Hapkido is a form of self defense that employs joint locks, kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including a sword, rope, cane, short stick, and staff which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and deadly 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 history tells it, a Korean man by the name of Suh Bok Sub watched one man amazingly defend himself against multiple attackers. That man was Choi Yong Sul.
Hapkido History and Choi Yong Sul:
Choi Yong Sul (1899-1986) set in motion the teachings that would eventually become known as hapkido. Choi, a Korean, moved to Japan as a young boy where he claimed the following:
To have learned Daitô-ryû Aiki-jûjutsu, a precursor of aikido, under Takeda Sokaku for approximately 30 years. Suh Bok Sub was Choi's first student. A judo black belt by his 20's, he became interested in Choi's teachings after seeing him defend himself against multiple attackers a brewery company he was chairman of. Soon after, Choi began teaching his martial arts style to Suh and some of his workers at Suh's dojang.
The art became more formal and grew as these two worked together. One of the ways the style grew, in fact, happened via publicity when Suh defeated a much larger brother in law of one of his father's political adversaries in hand to hand combat.
Hapkido is a Korean martial art which dates back over 2000 years. Traditionally, Hapkido practitioners were elite personal body guards charged with protecting their king. Because of this important role, the physical techniques involved in Hapkido training are effective and very efficient.
Modern Hapkido students learn these same techniques, but with an emphasis placed on controlling an attacker and only using an appropriate amount of force to the situation. Our style also focuses on self-defence and promotes humility and respect, with physical confrontations being a last resort.
Today Hapkido is a rapidly growing martial art enjoyed by people of all ages, shapes and sizes. While originating in Korea, Hapkido is now taught in countries all over the world, including America, Mexico, Brazil, Bahrain and Thailand to name a few.