What is Hapkido?

 Hapkido, roughly translated is the art of coordinating one’s power. Hapkido is the primary system of Korean martial art that exists solely and strictly for the purpose of self-defense.  

Hapkido effectiveness

So effective is Hapkido, that during the Vietnam conflict, United States special-forces groups were taught the skills of Hapkido as a means of hand to hand combat. 

Hapkido Technical Application

Within a scenario of self-defense a hapkidoist usually avoids meeting an attack head on. The Hapkidoist stands his ground and wait for the assault unless the situation warrants for an offensive response. When attacked a hapkidoist’s usual response is to step to the side and deflect the blow before taking the offensive by countering with numerous attacks, taking full advantage of the opponent's momentum and motions. 

Is Hapkido only a defensive system?

While defense is the main course of action taught in hapkido in order to manage conflict, when necessary hapkidoist are taught preemptive techniques that encompass the same physical conflict resolution strategies. The hapkidoist’s objective is to overwhelm the opponent with swift, strong and tremendous force. The hapkidoist achieves this objective through a series of counter-offensive techniques involving strikes, kicks, pressure point strikes, joint locks, sweeps and/or throws. 


Confucius moral training give great impetus to education and learning, and the study of rules of right conduct with a view to their practical application. According to Confucius teachings’, man’s primary end is to know and make the most of himself as a member of Society. Confucius taught his disciples and followers principles of good life and social harmony. Confucius laid great stress on the cultivation of character, purity of heart and conduct. He exhorted his followers to develop a good character first, which is a priceless jewel and the best of all virtues. Hapkido’s moral tenants derive directly from Confucius teachings.


The 3 Tenants of Hapkido are: 

  • (a) Righteousness: also referred to as rectitude. The Hapkidoist is a man/woman of principles. A moral fair and just individual.  
  • (b) Courtesy: The Hapkidoist is a considerate, cooperative, and generous person. 
  • (c) Patience: The Hapkidoist seeks to achieve a state of endurance under difficult circumstances. Striving to always persevere in the face of delay or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset. Seeking to exhibit forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. 

The Basic Principles of Hapkido

Hapkido can be broken down into three philosophical words:

  •  "Hap - together or harmony," 
  • "Ki - power,"
  •  "Do - the way."

 HapKiDo can be translated as the way of coordinated power, or the way of strength and Harmony. Still the literal the translation dose not encompass the true meaning of Hapkido which is the art of combining the power of our mind, body and spirit. 

Hapkido’s goal is to attain mutuality in life, not killing. To subdue the enemy with the minimum amount of efforts and the minimum level of damage possible. This is attained through the use of the 3 principles of Hapkido: 

  • Hwa means harmony
  • Won means to move in a circular motion
  • Yu means to flow like water 

The hapkidoist must feel the strength and weaknesses of the opponent to blend in with his aggression and subdue him. Base on this 3 principles, you can strike vital points, lock the joints or throw the opponent. Only we you have master the 3 principles of Hapkido Sun the peak of mental discipline, can be achieved.