What is Hapkido?

Hapkido (also spelled Hap ki do or Hapki-do) is a dynamic and somewhat eclectic Korean martial art. In the Korean language, hap means “harmony,” “coordinated,” or “joining;” ki describes internal energy, spirit, strength, or power; and do means “way” or “art.” Thus, Hapkido translates literally as “joining-energy-way,” but it is most often rendered as “the way of coordinating energy” or “the art of coordinated power.”

Hapkido prides itself on effective self-defense and as such, employs joint locks, pressure points, throws, kicks, and other strikes. Hapkido is an authentic Asian martial art of total self-defense; it deals with countering the techniques of other martial arts as well as common “unskilled” attacks.

Although Hapkido contains both long-range fighting and infighting techniques, the purpose of most situations is to get near for a close strike, lock, or throw. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.