What is Hapkido (Hapkiyoosool)?
First, let's break it down so it's easier to understand
"Hap" means Harmony.
"Ki" means Body and mind coordination, "energy" as in physics.
You will notice that we do not mix our religious beliefs with the martial (military) art.
No one joins the military to become a priest or to find their "spiritual path".
It is a way of resolution through combat.
"Do" means "Way". A path to follow, a way of life, not a religion.
"Yoo" means "soft" or "cirlcular"
"Sool" means "technique".
Hapkido is the art in its entirety.
The Physics, Geometry, Physiology, Psychology, and Philosophy (a way of thinking, not religion).
Hapkiyoosool are the techniques. Specifically, the physical combat.
"Many people would categorize Hapkido as a scientific martial art.
Its every aspect is geared towards the single purpose of incapacitating
an attacker in the most efficient and thorough manner possible.
The techniques use physics, geometry, phychology, and physiology.
The results of the techniques are evasion, immobilzation [pins], and projection [throws]".
- Master Jeff Allen
We teach the two main aspects of this art in our schools:
1.) The original purpose was military combat, both armed and unarmed.
The rules are very simple.
In the course of martial combat, there are permant disablities inflicted and/or people are killed.
2.) The civilian form is to defend yourself without causing any "permanent physical damage" to the attacker.
Does that mean you do not cause sprains, dislocations, or broken bones? Not neccessarily. Even though the street may be a bit different from the battlefield, the attacker(s) makes your choices for you by their choice of attack. They may attack with a weapon or deadly intent. In these cases, they leave you with no options. It means you do your best not to inflict "permanant physical disabilities" or death on the attacker(s) if it can be avoided or prevented. You can't let your ego get involved in physical conflict. Because of the laws that govern us, you have to maintain more control in the civilian arena which takes a great deal of mastery and high level of maturity.
Children's classes are taught a bit different.
The Children's classes teach children to deter an abduction or kidnapping.
These rules are also very simple.
In the course of being grabbed, there are possible permanant disablities inflicted on the attacker.
The childrens's class is a very traditional class with as much attention spent on discipine and reward as on technique.
How do children train differently?
Mental Note: Training in more than one type of art (hard vs. soft) can confuse the mind-reflex and retard learning thus causing your body-reflex to become confused in a stressful situation. This can result in your injury or death.
One person, one mind, one body, one master, one art, one way.
This is the true "way".
We do have instructors throughout the world. Please contact us if you believe you know of someone is teaching Hapkido under our federation name and cannot provide proper documentation. We will be able to verify them for you as long as they are registered with us in Korea.
Asian countries try to keep regulated and maintaned records on all qualified instructors, many other cultures DO NOT do this to our knowledge. We all frown strongly on fraud in the matial arts. Please help us keep martial arts pure and from becoming diluted.
Please do not confuse this International Hapkido Federation with any other organization with the same name. Our organization is recognized by the Korean government. We are NOT affiliated with ANY other US organization of the same name.