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Old 07-23-2001, 11:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 482
Hapkido/Aikido (kissing cousins?)

I was looking at a few Aikido books on the weekend and came accross a book on Hapkido. I couldn't believe how familiar much of it looked: the joint locks, pins, etc.

Does anyone here have any experience with Hapkido?

Anyway, I did some research and what I found was interesting.


Hapkido is a form of the Korean Martial Art familiar to most people knowledgeable in the Martial Arts field. Not many people, however, actually know of its origins and more importantly, what makes it unique.

Literally translated, the word Hap means coordination or harmony, Ki denotes the essence of power, and Do means the art or the Way.

The philosophy of Hapkido stems from three basic principles: The first is non-resistance: yield to your opponent by meeting force with minimum force to deflect and not clash with your opponent's power. The second is circular motion: the use of circular, fluid, flowing movements are emphasized rather than linear movements. The third is the water principle: total penetration of an opponent's defenses through continual attack. Instead of opposing force by force, a Hapkidoist completes his opponent's movement by "accepting his flow of energy as he aims it," and defeats him by "borrowing his own force."

Hapkido was derived from ancient Aikijutsu, an early form of the now know Japanese martial art, Aikido, combined with a blend of Korean Karate. Aikijutsu was brought over from Japan to Korea in 1946 after World War II by the founder of original Hapkido, Young Sool Choi, who reportedly studied with the same Grand Master of Aikijutsu as did Morihei Ueshiba, Sokaku Takeda. To understand the unique nature of Hapkido, it is perhaps best to become more acquainted with its above mentioned predecessors.

Aikijutsu, applied by combining bending, twisting and pressure points to various parts of the body, was developed in to present day Aikido, whose immobilization techniques and energy throws became its trademarks while retaining the methods and precision of its precursor. The major difference between Aikijutsu and Aikido is found in the style of fluidity, which is very important when examining present-day Hapkido. Korean Karate as a counterpart to Aikijutsu, differs mainly from Aikijutsu in its skillful implementation of dynamic kicks and powerful hand strikes. It was this difference in mind that original Hapkido was created, producing a dynamic balance of both methods.

Hapkido as known today, however, differs from its original form. Contemporary Hapkido is actually the result of the extreme hard work and training of three men who have given it that uniqueness so respected. In Korea, during the mid-1960's, Jae Nam Myong and Myung Sung Kang, both accomplished old style-Hapkido Masters, met with an equally accomplished Aikido Master, Hirata, with the desire to incorporate Aikido into Hapkido and vice versa.

Their task was to add the more fluid, circular movements of Aikido in to Hapkido while retaining the very direct techniques of original Hapkido. After more then 25 years of research and arduous training, this form of Hapkido was perfected into a precise martial science with more advanced methods than most of the original Hapkido, flourishing into a unique blend of the kicks, strikes, joint locks and energy throws which no other form of martial art can boast.


...... The Japanese Army invaded and ruled Korea from 1910 through the end of World War II. During that period, it was not uncommon for Korean families and treasures to be relocated to Japan. During the Japanese occupation a young boy, Yong Sul Choi, was sent to Japan. By age 9, Yong Sul Choi was alone and living with a group of monks in a Buddhist temple. Shortly thereafter, it became apparent to the monks that Yong Sul Choi was not suited for monastic life.

At this time, many great warriors, in accordance with ancient traditions, undertook annual pilgrimages throughout Japan to improve their martial arts skills. During their travels they visited local temples to offer prayers and donations. One such warrior, Master Sokaku Takeda, paid regular visits to the monastery where Yong Sul Choi resided. During one of Master Takeda's visits, the resident monks, seeing an opportunity, beseeched Master Takeda to take the young Choi as a disciple.

Master Takeda practiced the art of swordsmanship and a weaponless martial art known as Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujitsu. This art emphasized the use of joint locks, strikes, and nerve attacks to neutralize an opponent. Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujitsu, itself, originated from the Shilla Dynasty of Korea. Sam Lang Won (Eui Guang in Korean), a Korean bureaucratic official who was also a Buddhist monk, taught this art to Japan's Minamoto Shogunate, the ruling family of Japan during the Kamakura feudal era. The Shogunate, in return, passed the art to members of the Takeda Clan where it remained for over 35 generations. Master Sokaku Takeda was the 37th generation.

The young Choi served as Master Takeda's assistant and student. Consistent with the training methods of those days, Master Takeda's training of young Choi was both tough and rigorous.

Yong Sul Choi remained in Japan for 35 years training under Master Takeda. Near the end of World War II, Yong Sul Choi returned to Korea and opened a small school in Taegu, the third largest city in Korea. He began training a small group of students informally. Yong Sul Choi is credited with the founding of modern day Hapkido.

Remember, all generalizations are false
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