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What is Hapkido?

Hapkido is a system of unarmed fighting and weapons techniques to defeat both armed and unarmed opponents. Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing specialized Hapkido kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, Hapkido joint locks, and or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, breathing techniques, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Hapkido practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.

As a Hapkido student advances through their studies at their chosen Hapkido School (dojang), they will learn how to employ and defend against various weapons. Weapons training usually consists of knife training, short stick, walking cane, rope, long staff and sword.   Hapkido students are trained to use and defend against these weapons and to also defend against common weapons such as firearms, broken bottles etc…

Hapkido has long been popular with various special operations, military and police organizations throughout the world.  It provides both lethal and controlling Hapkido techniques so that an individual can employ only the amount of force needed.  In Korea, Presidential bodyguards and Seoul Police SWAT Teams all train in Korea Hapkido Federation style Hapkido.  

Hapkido is a fully comprehensive fighting style that provides its students with a wide range of fighting skills to meet any threat from an attacker.  It is not a sport.  Hapkido is also a method to assist an individual to reach levels of self-improvement from both a physical and mental standpoint.  Students usually start studying Hapkido for its effective and practical self-defense techniques, or as a way of improving their physical fitness. 

After a short time they discover that Hapkido is a way of life, that when embraced can assist an individual to reduce stress, improve their overall health, improve their self esteem as well as gaining an improved sense of community responsibility.  A student may start their training as a stranger with their Master and fellow students but will soon learn that their affiliation will become more of a family-style relationship that will last for generations.

Hapkido is for everyone willing to invest the time and effort into studying this wonderful martial art.  People from all walks of life and from all age groups will benefit from making Hapkido a part of their lives.  In fact, when comparing Hapkido to other martial art styles, Hapkido can be effectively applied by people of any age group, because it is not dependent on high kicking techniques or overpowering an adversary.  The techniques are based on physics and simple body mechanics, making it extremely effective.

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