Hapkido is a Korean martial art that was developed in the early 20th century by Ji Han Jae. It combines elements of other martial arts such as judo, aikido, and taekwondo and emphasises the use of joint locks, throws, and pressure point strikes. Hapkido also includes training in the use of traditional Korean weapons such as the sword and staff. The art was brought to the public attention in the 1960s and 1970s by Bong Soo Han, who taught it to the South Korean military and police. It has since spread to many countries around the world and is taught in many schools and dojangs (training halls).
Hapkido emphasises the use of joint locks, throws, and pressure point strikes to control and subdue an opponent. It also includes training in strikes, kicks, and the use of traditional Korean weapons such as the sword and staff. The art places a strong emphasis on circular motion, fluidity and fluid movement, and adaptability to changing situations in combat. It also includes techniques for defending against armed and unarmed opponents and for fighting in various environments, including on uneven or slippery terrain. The goal of Hapkido is to neutralise an attacker as quickly and efficiently as possible and it aims to develop the practitioner’s ability to blend with and redirect an opponent’s energy rather than meeting it head-on.
Some famous practitioners of Hapkido include:
- Ji Han Jae, the founder of Hapkido
- Bong Soo Han, who popularized Hapkido in the 1960s and 1970s and taught it to the South Korean military and police
- Myung Kwang-sik, who was a top student of Ji Han Jae and is considered one of the foremost Hapkido practitioners of the 20th century
- In-Hyuk Suh, who is considered one of the most accomplished and influential Hapkido practitioners of the modern era
- Tae-jin Ahn, who was a top student of Bong Soo Han and has trained many high-level Hapkido practitioners
These individuals have helped to spread and promote Hapkido around the world, both through teaching and through their own accomplishments in the martial art.
Hapkido has gained popularity in Australia over the past few decades. There are many schools and dojangs (training halls) that teach Hapkido throughout the country, and it is considered as one of the most popular martial arts in Australia. The Australian Hapkido Association (AHA) is the official governing body for Hapkido in Australia, and it is responsible for promoting the martial art and overseeing the training and grading of students. The AHA is affiliated with the World Hapkido Federation (WHF) and its teachings are based on the traditional Korean martial art.
In Australia, many Hapkido practitioners compete in local and international tournaments as well as it is used for self-defense and fitness. Many Hapkido practitioners also cross-train in other martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing to improve their overall fighting skills.