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Korean Kingdom Martial Art Hapkido

What is Hapkido?

Hapkido is the Korean martial art which has the longest martial art history and topmost self-defense system. Literally translated the Korean word, "Hap" means "to synthesize, create, operate, control, or utilize", "Ki" means "energy", "Do" means "arts or a way of life. Thus Hapkido can be defined as the art of how to create, control, and utilize internal and external energy for the self-defense in any kinds of critical situations. For the self-defense, Hapkido martial artists can attack a opponent(s) first, but it is more efficient to use defensive techniques because of the usability of the opponet(s) attacking energy. To use opponent's energy, Hapkido movements must exist in certain rules (principles) which are the Korean words, "Won (circular movements)", "Yu (understaning energy direction)", and "Hwa (using opponet's energy)".

Hapkido Techniques

Unlike Taekwondo and Karate, the techniques of Hapkido can be categorized into body skills (chel+sul) and weapon skills (moo+ki+sul). The body skills can have the following subcategories: stance techniques (seoki+sul), breathing techniques (hohup+sul), step techniques (bobub+sul), falling techniques (nakbub+sul), hand attacking techniques (son+kongkyeok+sul), kicking techniques (balchaki+sul), and application techniques (yungyoung+sul) including pressing techniques (nureuki+sul), twisting techniques (bitulki+sul), breaking techniques (keokki+sul), chocking techniques (joreuki+sul), and throwing techniques (donjiki+sul). The weapon skills can have the following subcategories: short stick techniques (danbong+sul), middle stick techniques (jungbong+sul), long stick techniques(jangbong+sul), fan techniques (buche+sul), two short stick with chain techniques (ssangjeol+bong+sul), cane techniques (jipanglee+sul), string techniques (pobak+sul), knife (dangum+sul), middle sword (junggum+sul), and long sword (janggum+sul). In addition to these technical classifications, the practitioners have to understand about situations which is closely related to the application techniques of Hapkido. Neo Ledend Tigers Hapkido has 14 unique situations. In Neo Legend Tigers Hapkido system, if practitioners are able to manage 14 situations, they can extrapolate the remaining situations because the remaining situations are identical to 14 situations.

Hapkido Short Stick Technique (Danbong+sul)

Unlike other martial arts, Taekwondo, Katate, and Judo, Hapkido practitioners have to study about weapon. One of the Hapkido weapons is short stick , called Danbong in Korean. Because of the size of the weapon, this is very easy to carry and can use this anytime for self-defense. If this weapon is not available, we can replace this with any stick, pen, rolled newspaper, or rolled magazine.

Because of the small size of weapon, some people might have suspicion about this weapon can be practical to defend against attacking techniques of the opponent, but this weapon is powerful enough to deal with even other weapons such as a middle stick, long stick, knife, sword, and gun in a short distance.

Hapkido Fan Technique (Buche+sul)

Hapkido uses foldable fans, not round and flat because they are easy to carry and manipulate the shape of them for attacking the opponent and blocking the opponent's attacking techniques. Some scholars claim that the foldable fans were invented in the period of Koryo Dynasty (A.C. 918 ~1392) in 11 century and propagated into China and Japan. In contrast of this, some scholars postulate that the fans were invented in Japan by 6 ~ 9 century and then propagated into China via Korea. Small foldable fans were introduced into European country by 15~16 century by China. Although two groups of people keep debating about the origin of the foldable fans, it is true that in the craftsmanship of the foldable fans, Korea was more advanced than other countries because of the availability of strong bamboo which usually grow up well in the climate of Korea.

In the past, the foldable fans in Korea were used to make wind for cooling down temperature in summer time, to symbolize the social class, and to attack the opponent and defending the opponent's attacking technique (martial art purpose). To use the fans in Hapkido, all frames of the fans have to be made of metal. Sometimes the first and last one are made of metal for maintaining the strength and the center frames are made of bamboo for reducing weight of the fan which facilitate the movement of Hapkido. We can use the fan(s) in two shapes, open and close in Hapkido. The open foldable fan(s) is used to block the opponent's view and the opponent's throwing weapon like a small knife and dart. If we close the fan(s), we can use this (these) like a small stick(s) which is useful to strike the opponent's a vital point, to break the opponent's a joint, to throw the opponent with a locking movement, and thrust the opponent's a vital point, usually eye, neck, or solar plexus.

The video on the left hand side is one of the Hapkido striking techniques, the temple striking technique with the close fan after blocking the view of the opponent with the open fan.

Hapkido Long Stick Technique(Jangbong+sul)

We can predict that people in ancient time used a stone or stick to defend themselves and their family against fierce animals, but it is unsure whether or not they used this with specialized movements. In spite of uncertainty, we cannot ignore that long stick (staff) techniques, highly utilized in a war between two tribes, were developed from this. In Korean history, some scholars say that Garakguk, existed from 42 A.C. to 532 A.C., used the most advanced long stick techniques. Because of lack of evidences, we do not know what kinds of the long stick techniques people in Garakguk used. The systematic usage of the long stick techniques, called Jangbongsul in Korean, was after the Japanese invasions of Korea comprised two separate yet linked operations: an initial invasion in 1592, a brief truce in 1596, and a second invasion in 1597. The Korean National Guard, called Hulryondogam and established in 1593, taught Jangbongsul (the long stick techniques) as a martial art with approximately 7 feet length of the long stick (Jangbong). The Jangbongsul was one of the subjects which the candidates of military officers had to take for the exam.

After people have mastered bare hand techniques, learning Jangbongsul is good for them because unlike Kum(single blade sword) and Do (double blade sword), they do not have to consider the position of hands, the movement of Jangbong is clear and big, and the movements of Jangbong are dynamic and graceful. In addition to this, Jangbonsul is good to develop the sense of turning which is further able to apply to other weapons such as swords and spears.

Like Gon which has different thickness of the front and back of the stick, usually made of a Willow branch, and later has replaced with the term, Bong, in usages of the Bong, the practitioners still need to distinguish the front and back although the Bong has the same thickness of the front and back. If someone uses one side of the bong to attack the opponent and defend against the attack of the opponent, the side will be damaged and then holding this part will injure the hand(s) of practitioners.

In Hapkido, the practitioners use the Bong, the same thickness of the front and back. To master the techniques (sul) of the Jangbong, it takes a long time to handle the Jangbong as the short stick (Danbong). The basic concept of the Jangbongsul in Hapkido is to use the long stick as a whipping stick. Considering this concept, the practitioners need to focus on learning striking techniques more than other techniques such as turning techniques because turning techniques is good for acquiring feeling of turning, but not practical.

In Hapkido, the practitioners used the Jangbong to strike a vital point of the opponent, to thrust a vital point of the opponent, to trip the opponent, to throw the opponent after locking the joint of the opponent, and to press the vital points of the opponent. To addition to attack the opponent as described previously, we can use the Jangbong to block the attacking technique of the opponent. Furthermore, to change the position of the Jangbong or hands and make feints, the turning techniques are used.

The video on the left hand side is one of the Hapkido tripping techniques. To execute this, the practitioner need to block the inward strike technique of the opponent, to trip the leg of the opponent, and to strike and thrust a vital point of the opponent for finishing.

Benefits of Hapkido

Martial Art training is known to be popular because of its positive results on a personal and physical level for each individual. Whether your goal is to gain self-confidence, learn self-defense, personal development, increase fitness/flexibility, or to earn a black belt, our school will take you there. From our pre-school programs to our martial arts fitness program, our grand master, head master, masters, and instructors are dedicated to help you and/or your family achieve each and every one of your individual goals.

1. Our workouts are a great way to get in shape
Martial arts is like an exercise program with a bonus! You learn to defend yourself while you get in shape.

2. Our classes relieve stress
Martial arts classes are well-known for their stress-relieving benefits. The emphasis on mind-body training goes far beyond the benefits of standard, health club type of exercise programs.

3. Our classroom practice sessions give you confidence
The confidence building part of our program is what students appreciate the most. Nothing can take the place of the security in knowing that you can defend yourself, when necessary.

4. Our program is a lot fun
The reason our program is so successful is because we make the classes fun and exciting. Throughout the years, we learned that if people are having fun, they learn much faster.

Organization of Hapkido

NL Tigers Logo Neo Legend Tigers Taekwondo, Inc was founded in Piscataway, NJ in 1996 with the name, Neo Legend Martial Arts. At that time, Taekwondo and Hapkido were mixed and taught. To teach pure Taekwondo and Hapkido, NLTTKD, Inc moved down to Herndon, VA in 1999 and started to teach Taekwondo and Hapkido discreately. NLTTKD, Inc is associated with the following organizations below.
KHF Logo The Korea Hapkido Federation is the International Federation [IF] governing Hapkido. This federation was founded in South Korea on June 10th, 1971. The headquaters of this federation is located at 441 Gwangraru-Ro, Gangjin-Gu, Seoul Korea.