What is Hapkido?

Hapkido is one of the most popular forms of martial arts in the world. Even though it has Korean roots, it’s practiced all over the world. Hapkido stands out from other forms of Korean martial arts, such as Tang Soo Do or Taekwondo, in that the focus of hapkido is to deflect an opponent’s attacks.

Punching, kicking, throwing, joint-locking, and grappling are the main techniques of the art. But unlike MMA, Hapkido provides its students defensive tactics under the principles of water, circle, and harmony. Focusing on subduing an opponent and rendering them incapable of attacking, Hapkido helps avoid any unnecessary injuries. With that said, it is nonetheless a very powerful form of martial art.

Some History

Hapkido is known as ‘The Complete Arts of Self-defense’ and is the ‘Original Mixed Martial Art’ . The word “Hapkido” translates to “art of coordinated power.” “Hap” means harmony or coordination, “ki” means power, and “do” means path of discipline. The art stems from Korea and, in particular, the post-Japanese colonial period circa the early 1900s. Founded by Grandmaster Choi Yong-Sool, Hapkido takes influence from Japanese martial arts—Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu—as Choi grew up in Japan. Choi would later hold his first hapkido class in 1948 with Seo Bok-Seob, the Grandmaster’s first student. Together, they would spread the martial art of Hapkido.

A Unique Art

It’s important to note that hapkido differs from Aikido. While some believe the two arts share a common history, they nonetheless remain quite distinct from one another, especially in their respective philosophies and techniques.

Hapkido emphasizes the redirection of force, circular motions, and controlling one’s opponent. Through proper footwork and body positioning, students will learn how to use leverage to one’s own advantage, as opposed to fighting strength against strength.

Benefits of Hapkido

Just like other forms of martial arts, hapkido carries a number of physical and psychological benefits for those who practice the art. These include improved physical health, better mental health, self-discipline through training, self-confidence, and a focus on ethics and integrity. In a practical sense, hapkido prepares the student in the preparation of self-defense. Because of this, students of hapkido are taught to use violence as a last resort, deterring them from engaging in unnecessary force.

Hapkido is a great martial art to practice and World Self-Defense Champion John Gill is a 7th Degree Blackbelt Master Instructor in Hapkido under Grandmaster Sung Soo Lee. Master Gill also teaches the philosophies of this complete Martial Art here at Aussie Sports Resort at Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites and Medford in Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon.

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