Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs throwing, joint-locks, chokes and immobilization techniques, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. Hapkido is most often translated as “the way of coordinating energy,” “the way of coordinated power,” or “the way of harmony.”
Hapkido is a relatively modern martial art which developed in Korea after the Japanese occupation, and is the most misunderstood of the martial arts. While Choi Yong-Sul is credited with being the “Founder” of Hapkido, several martial arts masters brought together training from Aikijujitsu, Aikido, Judo and ChungDoKwan TaeKwonDo to form the all inclusive art. These practitioners were responsible for both adding diversity and depth to the techniques of Hapkido, as well as introducing the art to Seoul.
Although Hapkido incorporates striking, the focus of the art is to control violent behavior by subduing the aggressor through arm bars and locks. Because of this approach, Hapkido is the preferred defense tactics of military and police professionals as well as any job requiring the possibility of dealing with physical threats and confrontation. While not difficult to learn, Hapkido contains a complex set of offensive and defensive movements.