Hapkido is an art of Korean origin. Its name literally means “The way of coordinated power”.
It was founded by Choi Yong Sul after Takeda Sokaku passed away when he returned to his homeland from Japan. Choi Yong Sul’s principal instructor was Takeda Sokaku, a Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu and sword master of the time renowned for his skills and ability along with his perceptive and intuitive powers. Takeda travelled Japan teaching high profile people including the Police, Military, Army, and Government officials and conducting seminars.
After Choi Yong Sul returned to Deugu in South Korea his ability and techniques soon became very well known in Korea, and many practitioners became interested in learning from him. Many of which have developed their own variations and style of training in their own dojangs. His original techniques are only practised by a few elite practicioners not for business reasons but solely for preserviing the true art form and for the love of the art.
Hapkido is a complete martial art that consists of dynamic striking and kicking techniques, both hard and soft style deflection techniques, throws, takedowns, ground fighting and extensive joint locking techniques.
Hapkido is a complete, effective combination of all martial arts. The art uses a powerful arsenal of spinning kicks, thrusts and sweeps combined with hard and soft fist attacks and defences, nerve and pressure point attacks, wrist and joint locks as well as many twisting and throwing techniques. This enables Hapkidoists to defend themselves in any situation. Hapkido has its own distinguished characteristics.
The Hapkido structure has more than 270 major techniques, with the possiblity of more than 10,000 variables. The addition of 3,864 attack and defense techniques, to the multitude of counter attakcs and combinations, make for endless flexibility. Once the fundamentals have been mastered, its quite easy to learn and perform the many variations.
Each category is divided in defensive and offensive and each of these have joint locking and striking techniques. Within the joint locking techniques- twisting, throwing, paralysing and strangling techniques are included. Withing the striking techniques- kicking, punching, hitting, cutting and stabbing techiniques exist.
Hapkido is especially powerful because when attacked you attack the weakest part of the opponents body with stronger means, namely attacking the arteries, veins, nerves and organs thereby altering the opponent to your advantage.
The essence of martial arts is competition. The spirit and skill of competition is the foundation of our successful daily lives in society in which we are often confronted with threatening situations. Since any martial art is a means of self defence against an aggressor and further, a defence against injustice, the competition of martial art should be accompanied with spiritual refinement and a sense of patience.
One should understand that martial art techniques are developed as part of history and not by one person.