The Principles of Hapkido Training by Richard Hackworth
In the past forty years of training, I have learned that the essence of our martial art is completely captured in its definition. Experts agree that Hapkido can be translated literally as “the way of coordinated power.” Each hanja or Chinese character can be translated as follows:
Hap – unification, coordination, summation
Ki – energy of nature
Do – way, path
As we explore the depth of Hapkido’s principles we create an entire encyclopedia of information for the purpose of this article we will be covering the training principle of Hapkido.
Historically the Grand Masters have concurred that Hapkido’s aims is to harmonize with earth, heaven, and nature. It is a study in enhancement of internal and external power. The character of this power can be found in coordination and harmonization. It follows these principles for defense of oneself and others. It cultivates a sound character, healthy body, and the ability to protect oneself in any encounter. It is much more than a system of self-defense for the traditional practitioner it is a system of self-development.
From daily Hapkido training we develop the bones and muscles externally and harness ki energy internally, developing a body capable of soft and fluid defenses combined with powerful attacks. Its techniques encompass the point to the circle (range of linear and circular techniques), a perfect blend of hardness and softness (principle of um and yang) that allows for ideal transition between defensive and offensive techniques. In addition, knowledge and utilization of pressure points and joints greatly enhances the self-defense techniques, which makes it possible to turn the opponent’s strength against him.
Moreover, although there can no true separation of the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of martial arts, for the sake of explanation to those less familiar, mental training can be classified under simbub, law of the mind, refer to USA Hapkido Union curriculum, physical health training as kibub (law of ki), self-defense training as shinbub (law of body).
The basis of Hapkido is ultimately an understanding of these basic elements of the human condition; that of the mind, body, and ki. The mind can be represented as a circle so that it can be maintained at a level state. Ki can be represented as a square so that healthy ki can be harnessed, drawn in to fully cultivate. The body can be represented as a triangle so that it can be ideally balanced in development. These separate elements must also come together and seek harmony and coordination at a higher level.
Hapkido is mainly realized through physical movements but through training it is apparent that there are other benefits as well. We find that there are the mental and philosophical teachings of positive life actions together with the responsibility to follow the path of strong moral character that is the hallmark of a true martial artist.
About the author: Richard Hackworth is a Grand Master of Hapkido, Taekwondo and Korea Sword. He also hold a Masters License in Tai Chi. Hackworth is best known as the host of the “World Martial Arts TV Show” and “Fight for Your Health TV Show”. To learn more about Hapkido visit https://worldhapkidonews.com.