The Art of Hapkido

Hapkido Techniques

The Hapkido style of martial arts consists of hundreds of different techniques. The large variety of these techniques can make Hapkido seem a different martial art from one moment to the next. Its kicking and punching make it appear like traditional karate or Tae Kwon Do. Its many throwing techniques cause it to look like Judo. The wrist and joint locks look very similar to Aikido. Grappling and escapes appear similar to Jujitsu. However, Korean Hapkido includes all these different techniques in the single art because it is a self-defense (combat) martial art.

Understanding the nature of Hapkido requires knowledge of actual combat or self defense situations. First, in real situations there are no rules. Second, there is no way to predict the situation an attacker will create. Third, an effective defense requires that your response to aggression must be by reflex and appropriate for the particular attack. Since there are no rules in combat (e.g., a street fight,) Hapkido has techniques to deal with and respond appropriately to any type of attack. Since you cannot predict how someone will attack, Hapkido offers a variety of techniques. A Hapkido practitioner can use the appropriate technique to fit any possible form of attack (hit, kick, grab, etc.). When a Hapkido practitioner is attacked his training is to react reflexively (thinking is too slow) to the attacker rather than with predefined forms. Obviously, this requires a large number and variety of Hapkido techniques. However, they equip the martial artist to handle the no holds barred type of fighting that occurs in real combat or street situations.

Although no one can learn the full range of Hapkido techniques over night, the beginning student immediately learns useful and potent fighting techniques. Yellow belt techniques such as backfist, knee kick, and the elbow strikes are frequently used favorites in the arsenals of many professional kick boxers and self defense specialists. The grab-defense break techniques and low side kick taught for the orange belt will control and disable an attacker whatever his size and strength. These examples are only a few of the techniques taught for just the yellow and orange belt that are the first two belts one receives in Hapkido. The Hapkido student learns serious techniques from the start and throughout his Hapkido career. He should diligently study, practice and learn very well each of these techniques.