Cardo Kickboxing
“The Way of Harmony”

Hapkido was first taught by Choi Yong Soo when he returned to Korea from the Second World War, after having lived in Japan for 30 years.  He began teaching in 1948 at a brewery owned by his father.  He called his art “Yu Sul” later changing it to “Yu Kwon Sool” and “Hap Ki Yu Sool” and eventually Hapkido.   His first formal school to teach the art was opened in 1958 with his first student Seo Bok-Seob.  It was later in 1963 that Choi formed the Hapkido association. 

Translating the word “Hapkido” can be done very easily.  Hap means “coordinated” or “joining”; Ki describes internal energy, spirit and strength; and Do means “way” or “art”, thus yielding a literal translation of “joining energy-way”.  You will find it often translated as “the way of coordinated power” or “the way of harmony’.

Hapkido is an eclectic, hybrid martial art that employs kicks, punches, pressure points, joint locks, grappling and the use of traditional weapons as a form of self defense.  These elements allow the student to defend themselves in both long and short distant ranges.   On the scale of “hard” or “soft” martial arts, Hapkido is somewhere in the middle, as its soft techniques can be compared to those of Jujitsu and Aikido.  Its hard techniques are comparable to TaeKwonDo or Tang Soo Do. 

With this being said, the Hapkido practitioner will follow three simple principles. 

* Nonresistance- Never meet the opponent head on. Meet force with minimal force. 

* Circular- to gain momentum, the student moves in a natural free flowing manner. 

* Water- Allows the student to deflect an opponent’s attack to come back and envelope it

When combining all of these principles, Hapkido techniques are characterized by a constant flow of striking, blocking, holding and throwing techniques (with a few pretty kicks every now and then).  Our tactics can alternate between highly aggressive and defensive modes and often generate power with the use of one’s entire body. 

The philosophy of Hapkido is one of constant motion and fluid circular movements designed to blend with an opponent’s force. Hapkido completes the opponent’s movement by accepting its flow of energy. 

Hapkido should flow – it should never stop or give the opponent a chance to regain their balance!

This with an emphasis on the assimilation of mind, body and spirit, one would find it difficult to find a more balanced martial art.