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Definition

Hapkido is a powerful and innovative Korean martial art. Literally translated, the word Hap means coordination or harmony, Ki denotes the essence of power, and Do means the art or the Way.

Hapkido incorporates powerful and precise kicking techniques; fluid and highly effective throwing techniques; and decisive and sharp hand techniques. This concise and practical martial art is the result of a 1300-year pursuit of the Way.

The philosophy of Hapkido stems from three basic principles: The first is non-resistance: yield to your opponent by meeting force with minimum force to deflect and not clash with your opponent's power. The second is circular motion: the use of circular, fluid, flowing movements are emphasized rather than linear movements. The third is the water principle: total penetration of an opponent's defenses through continual attack. Instead of opposing force by force, a Hapkidoist completes his opponent's movement by "accepting his flow of energy as he aims it," and defeats him by "borrowing his own force."

A good Hapkido practitioner does not oppose force or give way completely. A Hapkido practitioner is pliable as a spring; he is the complement and not the opposition to his opponent's strength.

The philosophy of Hapkido is based on the symbol of Um and Yang, a pair of mutually complementary and interdependent forces that act continually, without cessation, in the universe. Um and Yang are two inseparable forces of one unceasing interplay of movement. They are conceived of as essentially one, or as two coexisting forces of one indivisible whole.