My teacher, Grand Master Bermas Kim taught me this many years ago:
The Korean martial art, Hapkido, started 2500 years ago. Hapkido was developed inside the Kingdom to protect the King.
Korean culture is 5000 years old. Korea has many different martial arts, but only two are well known, Hapkido and Taekwondo.
There are 3600 techniques in Hapkido. Our schools teach about 1500 of these techniques.
Hapkido is used worldwide by government agencies, military Special Forces and law enforcement agencies.
Hapkido teaches that you must have only one thing in your mind when in a situation where defending yourself is imminent; protect yourself.
Hapkido techniques are for individuals for survival.
Hapkido uses internal power plus external power combined to create more powerful techniques.
Hap means collect.
Ki means power.
Su means technique.
Do means way.
Ancient Hapkido was sometimes known as Hapkisu, but is now known by this translation; the way (do) of coordinated (hap) power (ki).
Hapkido is not about sparring or being in a competition with an opponent. Hapkido is knowing a secret technique to allow you to quickly overcome your opponent. If my opponent is bigger, I am too small for competition. If my opponent is younger, I am too old for competition. So I want to make it simple for myself.
This is what makes Hapkido unique. We don’t need patterns or fancy stances etc. Our Hapkido doesn’t practice patterns. We simply practice, one at a time, over and over, our techniques to improve our skill level. Always improving our ability to protect ourselves, to survive.
We don’t want big egos, we don’t want to show off, we don’t use our art to make trouble. We just practice every day to be able to protect ourselves, our family and our friends.
Many people misunderstand this and teach fighting, we don’t want that. We just practice Hapkido for ourselves.
Hapkido teaches attacking techniques such as striking, kicking, throwing etc. This is because sometimes direct attack is the best form of defence.
Hapkido is not just blocking, hitting and locking, sometimes direct attack, i.e. striking or kicking, is needed. Attack first.
We don’t want to go to the ground either, so we have to attack first. To protect ourselves.
Hapkido is a form of study, not just physical training.
Hapkido has a locking system too. This means if you are smaller, or not as strong as your attacker, you can break their arm easily, once the correct angles have been studied and practiced.
We study pressure points to break our attacker’s power. If our attackers grip is too strong we use pressure point techniques to allow us to gain control as it weakens the attackers hold.
We also study how to use our opponent’s power against them. We don’t meet force with force, instead we evade and deflect and allow their energy to flow. We then direct that energy where we can use it to our advantage, for locking, striking, throwing etc.
Hapkido is not difficult to learn, in fact it is very easy. The key to this is constant practice. Don’t try to remember everything you learn. Instead practice over and over again until the technique becomes a body habit.
That is why basics are so important. A baby can’t run before it can crawl. So you have to learn the basics first. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get to the advanced techniques.