What Is HapKiDo?

A recent comment from Jon in Detroit,MI made me realize I've never given a good definition of what is exactly this HapKiDo thing. While Jon definitely knows what what it is, many of you may not (& by that, I mean you're too stinkin' lazy to look it up yourselves). ;-)

Sure, it is the name I use, it is the art I love but none of that helps you, the reader. So, in an effort to enlighten my audience, here's the info on HKD:

HapKiDo is an art of self-defense that originated in Korea. The actual founder is a subject of debate, so I'm not going to delve into politics here. There are three syllables in the word HapKiDo & they mean:

Hap - Coordination

Ki - Energy/Power

Do - The Art/Way

HapKiDo, in English, literally means "The Art of Coordinated Energy".

The principles of this art include:

1) Circular Motion - This may lead to an art being called a "soft" style (hard styles being TaeKwonDo, Karate, etc.). This emphasizes non-linear motions - to which the body has a remarkably difficult time adapting - for self-defense techniques.

2) Water - The nature of water is to flow around, or over, obstacles. In HapKiDo, this is intended to move yourself around the attacker instead of meeting force head-on. "Blocks" are really strikes used for other purposes & can lead to injury. The water principle teaches to avoid that impact, when possible, & move around the attacker or wear them down.

3) Harmony (Non-resistance) - Oh, I know what you're thinking...but not so fast. This isn't the peace-at-any-price non-resistance, it's the essence of HapKiDo - energy coordination. In other words: Your attacker pushes, you pull & vice versa. If a punch comes, you blend with the energy & make it your own - pulling them off balance. Essentially, you're using the attacker's force against them.

All of the above are somewhat difficult to explain & even more difficult to learn. It's not that the concepts are "too much" for anyone - the issue is your body has to unlearn a lot of what you've been taught & what instinct commands.

Try to have someone push you & see how you react. I'll guarantee you pushed back or resisted the action. There's nothing wrong with this - many of our instincts work perfectly for us to survive. HKD endeavors - through using the above principles - to "teach" instinct a more capable way of dealing with an attacker.

If you have any questions on the above, I'll be happy to answer what I can.


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