Hapkido is a discipline of coordination, a way of strengthening the mind and body, of fusing the individuals physical and mental powers so that he or she will emerge as a more fully integrated human being.
The word in fact means; Method or Way (DO) for the coordination Harmony (HAP) of mental Energy or spirit (KI). One should always try to avoid violence, but if someone grabs you, attempts to strike you, or physically assaults you in any way, it has escalated beyond words, and you are left with the only option which is to defend.
The Korean Art of Self Defense, Hapkido is considered a “soft” style of Martial Art, as opposed to “hard” styles that practice the use of force against force, making the outcome a simple matter of size and strength.
Hapkido is an effective means of self defense used in a situation when one cannot mediate conflict without violence, and force is required. The style encompasses techniques that utilize the whole body, including joint locks, punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, and attack of pressure points. On the other side of the fighting aspect of Hapkido is healing through Oriental medicine. By knowing both, one's knowledge of Hapkido is complete.
Hapkido is the way of harmonious energy. The essence of Hapkido lies in the following: circle, flow and harmony. Each technique is executed in a fluid and circular motion, in which the energy of the opponent is in harmony with the practitioner. A single technique flows flawlessly into the next. Unlike a knot, one technique should not leave you in a situation where there is no possibility to continue an attack or defence.
The only true way to learn Hapkido is through actually practicing it; it's flavour cannot be tasted from reading books.
The Hapkido practitioner diverts or suppresses an attacker’s flow of energy peacefully, this diversion allows him to use the attackers power against himself leading to the attackers defeat. Through the use of pressure on certain skeletal joints and pressure points, very little strength is needed to overcome an opponent.
Hap Ki Do not only redirects the attack, but turns it back against the attacker and follows through with offensive techniques which may control his violence or render him incapable of further antagonistic actions. The Hapkido practitioner is in complete control of the confrontation defusing the aggression without the need for uncontrolled damage as seen in many “hard” styles.
Hap Ki Do provides complete physical conditioning which improves balance, posture, flexibility, timing, quickness, muscle tone, joint strength and most importantly, confidence through physical and mental discipline.
The immediate aim of Hapkido is of course the welfare of the one practicing it. Not only will skills in self-defense be attained, but more importantly will be the focus on an individuals character development. A well rounded personality can be realized only if the spirit is right. Courtesy, Respect, Modesty, Loyalty, Generosity, and Dedication are not only the source, but also the rewards of Hapkido. Hapkido was founded grand master Choi yung sul and co founded by grand master Ji Han jae Who named the art hapkido
Techniques of self defence and the defence of one's family name, religion, nation or culture is a basic human instinct for the purposes of propagation. The creation of techniques and strategies in a form or pattern then follow in order to preserve the style for subsequent generations.
A method of self defence may also adapt and change with time, correlating with the changes that occur in a society. This exists in every society, country or nation. One cannot isolate Hapkido, or any other martial art, and specify exactly from where it derives. To do so would be simplistic and overlooks the thousands of years of combat history in a society.