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Old 07-23-2001, 11:40 AM   #1
Jim23
Join Date: Jan 2001
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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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Old 07-23-2001, 11:45 AM   #2
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It is often said that Hapkido is half Aikido, half Taekwondo.
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Old 07-23-2001, 01:36 PM   #3
willy_lee
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Not to unduly take people away from this site, but there was a long and interesting thread a few weeks ago regarding this topic on the Aikido Journal forum. It seems to be something which comes up every so often.

=wl
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Old 07-23-2001, 01:48 PM   #4
Jim23
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It's a first for me (but I'm kinda slow).

I'll check out that thread - I guess I can go there without feeling guilty, as there is no competition between aikido web sites.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-23-2001, 02:57 PM   #5
Jim23
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I was expecting to find a good discussion comparing Aikido to Hapkido, the pros and cons, etc. The entire thread was a "heated debate" as to whether Yong Sul Choi really studied with Sokaku Takeda.

Maybe I should delete this thread before Ubaldo sees it.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-23-2001, 03:33 PM   #6
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
I was expecting to find a good discussion comparing Aikido to Hapkido, the pros and cons, etc. The entire thread was a "heated debate" as to whether Yong Sul Choi really studied with Sokaku Takeda.

Maybe I should delete this thread before Ubaldo sees it.

Jim23
I think that sort of thing is due to Stan Pranin. He could probably tell you what type of underwear O'Sensei wore on June 13, 1963. I'm thinking boxers with koi on them.

Damn! I couldn't resist. Sorry Nick.

It's truly amazing how much the man knows and I think it attracts that sort of discussion.

I can see the next poll question. Which do you prefer when you practice Aikido...
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Old 07-23-2001, 05:44 PM   #7
Jim23
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Here's some more info on Hapkido and Daito Ryu Aikijitsu:

http://www.scottshaw.com/history/

You have to go way down the page to The Factors Which Formed Hapkido.

Jim23

Remember, all generalizations are false
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Old 07-23-2001, 08:54 PM   #8
Irony
Dojo: Aikido Center of Atlanta
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There are a couple of students in my dojo who began with Hapkido. One outright stated that he used it as a stepping stone to get him ready for Aikido; he didn't feel like he could jump into an art as difficult as Aikido. Another took Hapkido for a year or so, but I'm not sure of his motivations for switching over. Of his methods on the mat he seems a little stiff and altogether linear, many times blocking force with force rather than blending. Obviously he has not yet acheived mastery in either art so I can't really judge Hapkido by him, I know, nor whould I want others to judge Aikido by his performance; though he learns quickly in class he is still a beginner. So that's all I can say, unlearned as I am.

Chris Pasley
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Old 07-23-2001, 09:04 PM   #9
guest1234
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


I think that sort of thing is due to Stan Pranin. He could probably tell you what type of underwear O'Sensei wore on June 13, 1963. I'm thinking boxers with koi on them.

Damn! I couldn't resist. Sorry Nick.

It's truly amazing how much the man knows and I think it attracts that sort of discussion.

I can see the next poll question. Which do you prefer when you practice Aikido...
Boxers. Boxers with little fishies on them. Oh, wait a minute, I'm a girl...
Hey, maybe instead of T shirts at the next big seminar (or maybe even the Aiki Expo) they can give out Koi boxers...
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Old 07-24-2001, 03:54 PM   #10
willy_lee
Dojo: City Aikido
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
I was expecting to find a good discussion comparing Aikido to Hapkido, the pros and cons, etc. The entire thread was a "heated debate" as to whether Yong Sul Choi really studied with Sokaku Takeda.

Maybe I should delete this thread before Ubaldo sees it.

Jim23
Yes, not much was there regarding technique, mostly about legacy and history. But that's a place to start isn't it? I certainly learned a whole bunch of stuff I didn't know before I read that thread.

I would also like to know more regarding the technical links between Aikido and Hapkido, but I am pessimistic about finding quality stuff on the Web. Personally, I'd start with that book you were looking at and go take classes if I wanted to know more.

I will take a look at that site you referred to, though, can't hurt and might help.

=wl
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Old 07-24-2001, 05:37 PM   #11
Jim23
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Take classes in both Hapkido and Aikido? I'll need two lives.

I might just come back and start kicking my sensei around (those Yoshinkan guys aren't as tough as they think).

Seriously, I really am curious to see them strut their stuff. From what I've been able to find out, there are different styles of Hapkido (sounds familiar?) and views as to what true Hapkido should be; from the (puriest) Aikido-like Hapkido to styles that incorporate practical (low) kicks and Judo throws, through to the more "modern" versions that also have the fancy spinning-, jumping-, flying-, double-kicks, etc.

Aikido with (trained) punches, kicks and judo throws. You have to admit it's an Intresting concept.

Jim23

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Old 07-24-2001, 10:49 PM   #12
jk
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Hi Jim,

I used to practice hapkido (my particular variant changed its name to Hankido a while ago), and while I'm definitely not a master (last time I looked, there weren't any large numbers attached to my dan ranking), let me throw my two cents in.

Hankido as I was taught incorporates a pretty wide range of techniques; these included punching (hooks, elbows, etc. included), kicking (We did the jump spin Hollywood thingies as well as knees and low kicks), what some would call judo throws (shoulder, hip, reaping, footsweeps, sacrifice, etc.), pain/compliance throws/locks (things identifiable as kotegaeshi, nikkyo, juji nage, etc.), as well as groundwork/grappling (quite judo-like with stuff like the juji-gatame, scarf hold, bits of shimewaza, etc). Now this seems like a hell of a lot, and it is. Unfortunately, what really matters is how good you are at applying techniques you can truly call your own, which is quite different from knowing a whole bunch of techinques at a barely functional level. The main thing I took away from hapkido/Hankido was flexibility of response; that is, I don't feel totally out of my element when doing stand-up atemi fests, wrasslin', etc. Course, I still suck at the aforementioned, but I don't TOTALLY suck. Now, I'm just trying to suck less at aikido.

BTW, I'm not wearing any underwear.

Regards,
John
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Old 07-25-2001, 04:32 AM   #13
andrew
Dojo: NUI, Galway Aikido Club.
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Re: Hapkido/Aikido (kissing cousins?)

Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
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.
The first time I looked into what hapkido was after a thread here about aikido in movies- somebody got confused with some hapkido guy in a Bruce Lee film- I read that Choi was a servant in Takedas house, that his name wasn't recorded as a student anywhere (takeda kept meticulous attendance lists), and that apparently a number of hapkido people bizarrely deny that Choi learned anything from Takeda.
He MUST have been a student of Takeda, though.

andrew
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Old 07-25-2001, 10:26 AM   #14
leefr
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Hi, Jim

While I haven't practiced Hapkido myself, since I live in Korea, a lot of my dojo mates have experience in Hapkido, some up to the junior instructor level, and our chief instructor in fact was a Hapkido champion when he was younger(one of his many accomplishments, but that's another story). Since Koreans naturally don't feel much goodwill towards the Japanese, Aikido in its original form was only first introduced about ten years ago into Korea by our instructor, and there is some political tension between practitioners of both arts.

Anyhow, as jk mentioned, and as you probably gathered from your readings, Hapkido is an eclectic art, and the sentiment among aikidoka who have experience in it seems to be that this contributes to a generally lower level of technique across the spectrum. This is simply a practical matter - if you practice kicking, aikijutsu techniques, weaponry, judo throws, striking, etc, etc, and the time you can commit is fixed, how good are you going to get at all of it? The politicking and splitting of factions and the output of young, low-quality instructors who haven't had enough time to become fully accomplished don't help either.

My dojo mates are generally very happy with the in-depth understanding they gain into the techniques which are outwardly almost identical but are approached very differently. For example, techniques in Hapkido are often accompanied by strikes and kicks to the joints and weak points in the body, making them look very powerful, but doing this from an early level prevents students from gaining an understanding into how to apply a pure technique against resistance - it's too easy and tempting to just kick someone in the groin or stomach to get them to bend over for ikkyo, but when you reach a certain level, you come up against a brick wall in your development.

In spite of what I've said, I don't mean to imply that Hapkido is a deficient art, simply that the practicality of training and instruction in Hapkido is plagued by its own problems, much as some people find Aikido training to have problems. There are true 'masters' of the art, but the instruction level across the board seems to leave something to be desired at this point in time.
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Old 07-25-2001, 05:52 PM   #15
willy_lee
Dojo: City Aikido
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim23
Take classes in both Hapkido and Aikido? I'll need two lives.
Yep. I already need two lives, what's another one?

Quote:

Aikido with (trained) punches, kicks and judo throws. You have to admit it's an Intresting concept.

Jim23
Yeah, I definitely see and share the interest. It's a matter of not having enough time. (And as some others have mentioned, apparently you can run into time problems just in one art.

=wl
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Old 07-25-2001, 11:21 PM   #16
jk
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Willy, since you're in the Bay Area, I can point out my old dojang to you and you can take a look for yourself. E-mail me if you're interested.

Frederick, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Regards,
John
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