Hapkido

Hapkido roots are steeped within Buddhism in Korea, and it is a complete system of self-defence making it very popular with men and women alike. It incorporates the same redirection of force as is found in Jujitsu and Aikido including the throws and incredible joint locks and it also incorporates the kicking techniques of Tae Kwon Do. Hapkido also contains some aspects of Judo and Karate.

Handed down by monks to royal officials and ruling families purely as a means of protecting ones personal safety, it lost its popularity when Buddhism was replaced in Korea and was only passed down through some monks, masters and royal families as a self defence system, so practise was less wide-spread than it might have been at that time. It regained its popularity after it was reintroduced, and now military organisations and governments all have Hapkido practitioners.

Characteristics of the style are the specialised wrist locks and throws and these do have a spectacular feel to them. All students wear Hapkido uniforms and these are available in black and white with a distinctive diamond pattern.

Many other techniques have been added to the style over the years and the style itself continued its development, in fact Bruce Lee, the renowned martial artist incorporated some of the aspects of Hapkido into the development of his own style, Jeet Kune Do and this act ensured that Hapkido, along with other styles of martial arts, achieved greater popularity after the release of his films.

For those who are interested in taking up a martial art, it is worth seeking out a reputable club in your area perhaps by recommendation. Further information can be found out about the Hapkido style in books and of course, on the Internet, where it may be possible to source out the nearest club. Although self study of some of the self defence moves can be practised alone, this is no replacement for the guidance of a good instructor who will be able to ensure all of the moves are carried out correctly. Like most martial arts, it can help forge strong social elements as the common bond of the martial art can help link people from all walks of life.

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