What is Hapkido?
The self-defense system that we teach is called Hapkido. It is an internationally recognized system of self-defense training which is known for its extreme versatility and comprehensive discipline of self protection. Hapkido includes an extensive variety of strikes, kicks, joint locks, pressure points, grappling, ground defensives, weapons disarming techniques and the use of selected weapons.
Our system is well suited for men, women, and children of all sizes and ages because physical strength and athletic abilities are not essential. The result is a practical and realistic self-defense system which is fun to learn and offers tangible solutions to realistic life situations. Our approach to self-defense is both practical and highly scientific.
Students learn dynamic concepts that are based on scientific principles of anatomy and bio kinetics, as well as psychology and strategy. The emphasis is on redirecting the assailant’s force and controlling the attacker with minimum effort on the student’s part.
In addition to learning effective self-defense, Hapkido also provides a student with the means the means to improve their physical fitness, awareness, flexibility and self-confidence. As the student progresses through our program, he or she will gain the confidence, awareness, and attitude to avoid confrontation and de-escalate a situation.
The concepts and skills they learn will give them the capability to protect themselves or their love ones if faced with any potentially life-threatening situation, where defending themselves or their loved ones is necessary to prevent physical injury or loss of life.
Choi, Yong Sul – Founder of Korean Hapkido
The history of Korean Hapkido is closely linked with its creator, Korean-born Choi, Yong Sul (1904-1986). Choi’s life was heavily influenced by the historical conflicts between Korea and Japan that ravaged Korea in the early to mid-20th century.
Born in the southern province of Taegu, Choi spent his early boyhood in Japanese-controlled Korea. Choi was abducted and taken to Japan at approximately age eight. While in Japan, he was abandoned and was taken to a Buddhist monastery where he was cared for by a monk. When the time came to choose a path in life, Choi elected to become a martial artist. As the monk was a good friend of Takeda, Sokaku Sensei, of the Daito Ryu Aiki Jujutsu school, Choi was taken to the Takeda clan to be introduced. Takeda, Sokaku liked the young Choi and took him into his household, giving him the Japanese name Asao, Yoshida.
The Takeda family was renowned throughout Japan for its style of martial arts called Daito-ryu Aiki Jujutsu. Although this martial art was a closely guarded family secret, Choi became a student of the style and spent three decades studying under the legendary Takeda, Sokaku Sensei.
There is some dispute over Choi’s status in the Takeda household. His supporters claim that he was enrolled in the Daito ryu Aiki Jujutsu school, while others, emphasizing the social and cultural milieu of pre-war Japan, deny such a possibility. As far as historians can ascertain, neither Choi’s Korean nor Japanese names appear in Takeda’s comprehensive school records. This is not surprising, as the Japanese at the time considered their race to be superior, and a Korean student would not have received the same treatment as a Japanese student.
Choi developed superb techniques under the tutelage of Master Takeda, and mastered the art of Aiki Jujutsu. After Takeda’s death in 1943, Choi returned to Korea. In the subsequent years, which saw the end of the war, Korea regained its independence. During this period, Choi became one of many martial artists who worked to recover and to revitalize Korean martial arts. This movement, so to speak, arose partly from post-war Korean efforts at unilateral armament, as well as the general public desire for some means of protection from future foreign occupation. This sentiment clearly influenced individuals who were interested in relearning Korean martial arts techniques that had been prohibited during the Japanese occupation of Korea.
During the years that followed, a large number of Korean martial arts appeared, including Hapkido, Tang Soo Do, and Taekwondo. It is difficult to separate which elements of these styles came from older Korean martial arts, and which came from other influences such as Japanese Karate, Budo and Aiki Jujutsu.
Combining the techniques of Daito-ryu with the techniques of the old Korean style T’ang Hand, Choi formulated the principle techniques of ?Hapkido”. This style came of age as an art in 1963 with the official use of the term Hapkido. Choi worked with Ji, Han Jae to develop and teach Hapkido to various military, police and elite bodyguard factions in Korea and around the world.
After travelling to the west and teaching Hapkido in North America, Grandmaster Choi passed away in 1986.
Hapkido’s Three Principles
On the “hard-soft” scale of martial arts, hapkido stands somewhere in the middle, employing “soft” techniques similar to aikido and “hard” techniques reminiscent of taekwondo and tangsoodo. Even the “hard” techniques, though, emphasize circular rather than linear movements. Hapkido is an eclectic martial art, and different hapkido schools emphasize different techniques. However, some core techniques are found in each school (kwan), and all techniques should follow the three principles of hapkido:
- Nonresistance (“Hwa”)
- Circular Motion (“Won”)
- The Water Principle (“Ryu”)
Hwa, or non-resistance, is simply the act of remaining relaxed and not directly opposing an opponent’s strength. For example, if an opponent were to push against a hapkido student’s chest, rather than resist and push back, the hapkido student would avoid a direct confrontation by moving in the same direction as the push and utilizing the opponent’s forward momentum to throw him.
Won, the circular principle, is a way to gain momentum for executing the techniques in a natural and free-flowing manner. If an opponent attacks in linear motion, as in a punch or knife thrust, the hapkido student would redirect the opponent’s force by leading the attack in a circular pattern, thereby adding the attacker’s power to his own. Once he has redirected the power, the hapkido student can execute any of a variety of techniques to incapacitate his attacker. The hapkido practitioner learns to view an attacker as an “energy entity” rather than as a physical entity. The bigger the person is, the more energy a person has, the better it is for the hapkido student.
Ryu, the water principle, can be thought of as the soft, adaptable strength of water. Hapkido is “soft” in that it does not rely on physical force alone, much like water is soft to touch. It is adaptable in that a hapkido master will attempt to deflect an opponent’s strike, in a way that is similar to free-flowing water being divided around a stone only to return and envelop it.
“As the flowing stream penetrates and surrounds its obstructions and as dripping water eventually penetrates the stone, so does the hapkido strength flow in and through its opponents.”
These consist of gentle or forceful throws and joint control techniques derived largely from aikijujutsu. They are taught similarly to aikido techniques, but in general the circles are smaller. Most techniques work by a combination of unbalancing the attacker and applying pressure to specific places on the body, known as hyul. Hapkido makes use of over 700 pressure points.
Jung Ki Kwan Academy of Traditional Martial Arts
The jung ki kwan, an academy of traditional martial arts was opened to spread the spirits of traditional martial arts on October 24,1974 by Hyun-Su Lim. Born as the second child in Gue Chang, Kyungnam province on September 7, 1945 , Grandmaster Lim had a special interest in martial art at an early age.
He graduated from Gue Chang high school and entered the Yeung nam University. While studying at college, his lifelong desire to study traditional martial arts continued. In 1965, he visited founder, Choi Young-Sul and had his first meeting with hapkido. He felt a mysterious charm that made him walk the way of a martial artist. At first he was taught by Master Kim Yeung Jae, Founder Choi’s pupil. He was then taught by Founder, Choi , Young-Sul and became his pupil until 1981. During this time with the founder, he endured strict and intense training.
Knowing Hapkido’s true values and meanings during the special training period with the founder, he opened the Jung Ki Kwan on October 24, 1974. In 1976, Founder, Choi ,Young-Sul closed his place, joined the Jung Ki Kwan, and devoted his energy to it for the rest of his life.
The Jung Ki Kwan has expanded its doors to foreigners. In 1977, we taught Hapkido to the soldiers of the United States 8th Army. Since then we have promoted Hapkido and its spirit to foreigners and produced many pupils.
In August, 1979 the late Michael J, Wollmershauser came from the U.S. to learn Hapkido. He had lessons with Founder Choi and Grandmaster Lim at the Jung Ki Kwan. He went back to the U.S. introducing Hapkido to America and also to Europe. Being President of the American Hapkido Association, Mr. Wollermshauser was given the headmaster of the American Hapkido Association title in 1994. Every year, the Jung Ki Kwan has been holding Summer Camp programs at its headquarters in Korea to promote its superiority and tradition to the world
In 1997, a group of American Hapkido students visited the Jung Ki Kwan. Master Michael D’Aloia and Master Sheryl Glidden, both part of this group traveled to the Jung Ki Kwan in South Korea for the first time. In 1998/1999, this U.S. group was the first to apply and be accepted as direct students of Grandmaster Lim, Hyun Soo. Master D’Aloia and Master Glidden of the Korea Jung Ki Hapkido & Kuhapdo Association of America (www.jungkihapkidoamerica.com) have been practicing the Jung Ki Hapkido techniques passed on from Founder Choi to Grandmaster Lim ever since. The KJKHKAA travels to the Jung Ki Kwan headquarters yearly, and is committed to preserving the Hapkido techniques as taught to Grandmaster Lim by Founder Choi.
Who Can Learn Our System of Self-Defense?
Anyone can learn Hapkido!
If you desire to learn a comprehensive Martial Art, then Hapkido is for you. All one needs to do is look at the headlines to see the importance of learning self-defense in order to protect themselves from the violence facing each and every one of us. Inner Power Martial Arts is ideal for those individuals (women, busy professionals, law enforcement, military, teachers, and students) who want more than what is offered at the typical sport and competition based Karate schools. IDEAL FOR:
- BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS
- LAW ENFORCEMENT & SECURITY PERSONNEL
- EMT PERSONNEL
- PUBLIC SERVICE PROFESSIONALS
- SENIOR CITIZENS