Introduction to Hapkido

Hapkido is a Korean 'martial art' whose name is sometimes translated as "The way of co-ordinated power." It consists of extensive joint locking techniques, throws, takedowns, ground-fighting, dynamic kicking techniques, strikes and punches similar to Tae-Kwon-Do, and both hard & soft style blocking techniques.

It is made up of two different Korean martial arts -- Yoo Sool (which comes from a Japanese art known as Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jutsu), and the famous Korean kicking art of Taek-Kyun.

It is based on three principles: 

Yoo (flowing, as in water), 
Won (circles),
Hwa (non-resistance or harmony).

The goal is not to meet an opponents force with direct force, but to redirect it using a circular motion, and then counter-attacking with a powerful circular combination of techniques. It is an art, which can be put into action from any distance making it compatible with many other styles and personalities.

Hapkido is a "complete" martial art with practitioners gaining many health benefits, both mentally and physically from the training they receive.

Techniques are taught using their Korean names to promote cultural awareness and the usual Korean customs and courtesies apply when in class. Because of the nature of the techniques, a lot of emphasis is placed on a proper warm-up to condition the body to prevent accidental injuries. Meditation and breathing techniques are taught straight away at the white-belt level, as are methods of increasing your internal energy, or "Ki".

Hapkido Hak-Saeng are also instructed in the use of several different weapons at the black belt level.

Hapkido training helps to instill self-confidence, self-discipline, a calm self-assurance, and the psychological and spiritual values, which are traditionally associated with the 'martial' character