Why study Hapkido?
The popularity of Hapkido is due to the fact that everyone, young or old, male or female, can practice this art regardless of physical weight or strength, because not only does “good technique” play a more important role than force, but also direct hitting is not necessarily needed. The best technique for an individual practitioner is what works best for his or her particular body type, and what appeals to his or her sensibilities. The duration and regularity of practice is also up to the individual, with the level of benefit achieved commensurate with the amount of effort applied. Most Hapkido masters will tell you that they were not physically strong by nature, but became skillful and strong through training and practice.
Both the body and spirit of a human being are interacting with each other, and we can understand them as being nearly one entity. We can earn our health and spiritual delight through physical activities. Additionally, we can feel pleasure instinctively when we come to have at hand a certain degree of self-confidence in the ability to protect ourselves physically through the course of learning those skills little by little. When one is able to be confident in his self-determined power and the techniques at his command, he can never be “mean”, but will instead find himself making magnanimous concessions to others, for with these abilities comes a natural responsibility. Such mental posture will, without fail, enable one to keep his nervous “mental storm” under control, thus restoring a complete peace of mind.
The Meaning of Hapkido
HAP in Korean translates as “join” or “coordination”
KI translates to “energy” or “power”
DO means definition of an art, method or “the way of”
Taken collectively, Hap Ki Do, or “The Way of Coordinated Energy” defines a martial art that is completely integrated, that is to say, involves complete integration of body, mind and spirit. The techniques of Hapkido are made powerful through the coordinated efforts of the physical body being directed by the concentrated mind, being inspired and infused with the energy of the spirit. When practiced in this way, Hapkido can be an astonishingly powerful martial art, enabling even those of small physical stature to achieve great physical influence over their opponents. Hapkido is also fully integrated in terms of its techniques, in that it involves application of punches, kicks, blocks, dodges, throwing techniques and ground work, or grappling. It is through this complete knowledge that a Hapkido practitioner may meet any and all attacks with confidence and effectiveness.