The Martial Art for the 21st Century and original Mixed Martial Art
The Complete Art of Self-Defence
The Korean martial art of Hapkido is becoming increasingly popular. Hapkido is primarily defensive in nature, however it can be very offensive when the need arises as most of its techniques are based on an opponent’s attack and once the attack has been nullified, a soft or hard counterattack is launched, depending on the severity of the attack.
Hapkido combines punching, kicking, throwing, takedowns, sweeping, falling, rolling, joint locking, pressure points, restraining, breakaway techniques and weaponry to make it one incredibly complete martial art system.
The name Hapkido translates as ‘The Art of Co-Ordinated Power’ – Hap meaning co-ordination, Ki meaning power and Do meaning art.
Hapkido’s modern history is relatively new, although it does have links with Korea ‘s Buldo Mu Sool (Buddhist Monks’ Martial Arts) and was modernised by Master Yong Sool Choi who officially named it Hapkido in 1963. Before that time only selected Buddhist monks and, before this century, only members of Royalty were allowed to learn the secrets of Hapkido.
The main principles of Hapkido are flowing, circular motion, evasion and redirection of force, particularly using force on an attacker against themselves, a definite advantage for a smaller or weaker defender against a larger, stronger opponent.
The Hapkido ‘Water Principle’ is best described if you can imagine the quiet, direct strength in free-flowing water. As the flowing stream penetrates and surrounds its obstructions and as the dripping water eventually penetrates the stone, so does the Hapkido strength flow in and through its opponents.
Using the belief ‘good technique will beat brute strength’, Hapkido also promotes mental strength, Dan Jon (lower abdomen) breathing techniques, calmness and self-control as important ingredients for a complete martial art.
The grading system consists of White to Black Belt, and training at each colour belt level offers a great variety of low, high, spinning and jump kicks.
Instead of Kata, or patterns, the main emphasis in grading is self-defence techniques known as Hosinsool, such as defence from in front, from behind, the arms and lapels chokes and against punches. Ground and weapon defence, sparring, weaponry techniques are also added at the appropriate level.
President of the Australian Hapkido Federation, Grand Master Sung Soo Lee, has an impressive list of qualifications which include 9th Dan Hapkido, 9th Dan Taekwondo, 2nd Dan Judo, 1st Dan Karate and a Bachelor of Physical Education from Seoul University, South Korea.
Grand Master Sung Soo Lee is the Instructor/Mentor of Master John Gill since 1984 and has all the great qualities and characteristics of a true Master of Martial Arts and is a perfect gentleman – a genuine, sincere person. Technically he is brilliant and precise in all aspects of martial arts. He is extremely philosophical and practices what he preaches by showing the true martial arts spirit – by being modest, polite, respectful, kind and fair. It goes without saying that these are the same qualities that Master John Gill emphasises and teaches to all of his students and associate instructors.
Hapkido philosophy emphasises that people live in peace and harmony with each other, to have non-aggressive attitudes, self-control and respect for yourself and others and to be positive and to strive to achieve one’s best in life.