Hapkido is a Korean art of Self-Defense.


Hapkido tutors body and mind. By training it one learns self-control and hence indulging from the conscience of the own strengths and abilities. Hapkido is a rapidly developing modern art of Self-Defense, so it is used for special forces of the police and the military. Hapkido is composed of Hap, Ki and Do.

합 HAP means harmony between body and mind. If there is harmony, an individual can accomplish everything.

기 KI denotes the strengths of mind and body. It is constructed from concentration which transfers in the form of energy to the body.

도 DO describes the way of live or the attitude towards life.



The roots of the modern Korean Martial Arts date back 2000 years. Itinerant monks brought fighting techniques, medical foundations and classical literature to the people. Later the leaders built educational institutions to brace young men for public service.

Grand master Choi Yong-Sool launched Hapkido initially as „(Hapki) Yo Kwon Sul“. In 1957 one of Choi’s students, Ju Han-Jae, changed the name to Hapkido.



Principle of the circle: One characteristic of Hapkido are the circular, round movements. Thereby the force of an attacker should get absorbed, controlled and redirected.

Principle of the flow: Similar to water attacks in Hapkido should get inherited and parried.

Principle of impact: Someone’s own actions should influence an attacker’s behavior. This is how attacks should get recognized and prevented in early stages.



The education includes various techniques for footwork, kicking, joint lock and weapons.

Hapkido features armed and unarmed techniques. The correct use of a weapon (e.g. stick, belt, etc.) is only taught to advanced trainees. Hapkido contains elements of the Japanese Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, Judo and the Korean Taekwondo.

Hapkido is a defensive fighting system because mainly defense techniques are practiced. This is the reason why there are no professional competitions – because it is thought to be used for Self-Defense. There are different styles, e.g. Chun-Ki-Hapkido and Silent-Stream-Hapkido. In Hapkido there exist 10 Kup and 10 Dan grades.

The techniques are:

  • Fisticuffs (Kwon Sul)
  • Hand techniques (Sugi Sul)
  • Kicks (Bal Chagi)
  • Foot techniques (Yuk Sul)
  • Joint locks and throws (Hon Shin Sul)
  • Falling school (Nakbop)
  • Breathing technique (Ho Hup Bop)
  • Weapons technique

More about Hapkido in Vienna.