Hapkido can be translated literally as "the way of coordinated power." Each Hanja or Chinese character can be translated as follows:
· Hap (합) - unification, coordination, harmony
· Ki (기) - energy of nature, power
· Do (도) - way, path
An in depth explanation of Hapkido might fill volumes but what is presented here is simply the purpose and training principle of Hapkido.
Hapkido aims to harmonize with earth, heaven, and nature. It is a study in enhancement of internal and external power. The character of this power can be found in coordination and harmonization. It follows these principles for defense of oneself and others. It cultivates a sound character, healthy body, and the ability to protect oneself in any encounter.
Training develops the bones and muscles on the outside and gathers Ki on the inside, developing a body capable of soft and fluid defences coupled with devastating attacks. Its techniques encompass the point (dot or spot) to the circle (range of linear and circular techniques), synthesis of hardness and softness (principle of um/yin and yang) that allows for the easy transition between defensive and offensive techniques. In addition, knowledge and utilization of pressure points and joint locks greatly enhances the self defence techniques, which makes it possible to turn the opponent's strength against him.
Moreover, although there can be no true separation of the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of martial arts, for the sake of explanation to those less familiar, mental training can be classified under simbub (law of the mind), physical health training as kibub (law of Ki), self defense training as shinbub (law of body).
The World Kido Federation states that the basis of Hapkido is ultimately an understanding of these basic elements of the human condition; that of the mind, body, and Ki. The mind can be represented as a circle so that it can be maintained at a level state. Ki can be represented as a square so that healthy Ki can be harnessed, drawn in to fully cultivate. The body can be represented as a triangle so that it can be ideally balanced in development. These separate elements must also come together and seek harmony and coordination at a higher level.
Hapkido is mainly realized through physical movements, but through training it is apparent that there are other benefits at hand. There are the mental and philosophical teachings of positive life actions together with the responsibility to follow the path of the righteous person, a true martial artist and Hapkidoist.
Fundamental Principles of Hapkido
The following are the building blocks of Hapkido:
Ryu - Flow