Hapkido - Instructions for Kicks, Throws, Forms, etc.

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Hapkido - Instructions for Kicks, Throws, Forms, etc.

Hapkido is a Korean martial arts focused on punches, kicks, throws and joint locks. Hapkido classes often have some weapons training (i.e. with staffs, canes and swords). Hapkido also emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements and control of an opponent. Unlike the Korean martial arts of Taekwondo, Hapkido generally does not use forms & patterns as part of its training.

Elements of Hapkido

Hapkido Terminology

Hapkido Description

According to the Korea Hapkido Federation USA, "Hapkido is a system of unarmed fighting and weapons techniques to defeat both armed and unarmed opponents. Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing specialized Hapkido kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, Hapkido joint locks, and or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, breathing techniques, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Hapkido practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.

As a Hapkido student advances through their studies at their chosen Hapkido School (dojang), they will learn how to employ and defend against various weapons. Weapons training usually consists of knife training, short stick, walking cane, rope, long staff and sword. Hapkido students are trained to use and defend against these weapons and to also defend against common weapons such are firearms, broken bottles etc…

Hapkido has long been popular with various special operations military and police organizations throughout the world because it provides both lethal and controlling Hapkido techniques so that an individual can employ only the amount of force needed for the situation. In Korea, the Presidential bodyguards and the Seoul Police SWAT Teams all train in Korea Hapkido Federation style Hapkido."

History of Hapkido

According to the World Hapkido Association, Hapikdo was founded by Yong Sool Choi. They state that Yong Sool Choi was born in Korea but raised in Japan where he learned "Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu, an art which emphasized the use of joint locks, strikes and nerve attacks to neutralize an opponent". After the end of World War 2 and the Japanese occupation of Korea, "Choi decided to return to his homeland of Korea. Choi brought back with him the art Daito-Ryu Aikijujitsu which was the “Yusool” of the Shilla kingdom and long forgotten in his own land. It should also be noted that the “Yusool” of Hapkido that has been developed in Korea after Choi’s return should not be considered as Daito-Ryu anymore. In fact, it is believed that Choi wanted to develop a system that is comparable to modern society as a practical martial art, instead of teaching the original Daito-Ryu which is an ancient battle field system with special consideration of fighting an armored opponent."

Related Martial Arts

There is a spin-off of traditional Hapkido known as Combat Hapkido. This martial arts was started in America by John Pelligrini in 1990. Combat Hapkido adds a greater self-defense and grappling focus to Hapkido training.

Video of Hapkido Techniques


  1. Korea Hapkido Federation USA, Home Page, http://www.koreahapkidofederation.net/, Added - 06/30/13
  2. World Hapkido Association, The History of Hapkido, http://worldhapkido.com/history/, Added - 09/14/13
  3. Hapkidowon World Hapkido Headquarters, About Hapkidowon, http://www.hapkidowon.com/css/about_us/body_overview.php, Added - 03/18/14

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