This article is adapted from information in the Hapkido Essentials and Self-defense video app
Hapkido means the way of coordinated power. It consists of over 300 techniques with thousands of variations organized into three major groups: empty hand vs. empty hand, empty hand vs. weapon and weapon vs. weapon. Each group of techniques can be further categorized as offensive or defensive. Empty hand techniques include kicking, punching, locking, throwing, and immobilization. Weapons techniques include the knife, cane, rope/belt, club/short stick and sword. One of the most unique aspects of hapkido is its emphasis on techniques done from unusual positions such as the prone or seated position.
There is a great deal of emphasis placed on uniting the body as a harmonious whole and focusing the body's natural energy in the performance of hapkido techniques. Methods for doing this are taught in great detail, making hapkido one of the most scientifically developed martial arts.
There are three guiding principles in hapkido: hwa, won and yu. Hwa means using the opponent's strength against him. Won means moving in a circular pattern. Yu means flowing like water. Combining these three principles is the foundation of hapkido's power.Read More