May 23, 2024


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Hapkido Pressure Points Self Defense by Richard Hackworth

Hapkido Pressure Points Self Defense by Richard Hackworth

KupSoo Hosinsool: Korea’s Deadly Martial Art

KupSoo Hosinsool is taught in the advanced black belt ranks of Hapkido and is the martial art of pressure points. It is also a martial art unto itself known by many other names such as dim mak, tien shueh, dim shueh in Chinese and death touch, and vital point striking in English.

Though the specific origins of KupSoo Hosinsool are clouded in mystery, it is widely known that KupSoo was discovered by the ancient Chinese through the practice of acupuncture and acupressure. Though originally used to heal, it was discovered that this was also an incredibly effective method for fighting applications and self defense.

There are 361 regular points that are located throughout the body across 14 meridians, or energy channels. There are 391 “extraordinary” points that have been identified but are not as widely used. The meridians upon which the points are found are related to the various organs of the body. These associations were determined through the clinical observation that stimulating the points on a particular meridian had a noticeable effect on the corresponding organ. Meridians are also classified in two other ways. In oriental thinking there are two polar opposites which together make up all things. These are the yin and yang, the positive and negative. There are also the five elements; water, metal, wood, fire and earth.

By modern definition, pressure points may be considered the weak points or “circuit breakers” of the body. By striking, touching, or rubbing the points at a specific angle and direction, KupSoo techniques can “overload” the body’s natural circuit breakers and manipulate the energy flow of the body and cause a neurological reaction. These reactions can range from discomfort and pain, to incapacitation, unconsciousness, or even death.

In many martial arts the true purpose of performing martial arts forms or kata lies in  KupSoo Hosinsool. Every move in the form is a pressure point technique or tuite – chin-na method. This is to allow the student to better understand the purpose of the movements. 

These methods all rely on the basic meridian knowledge and the circle of creation and destruction.

A vital part of the practice of KupSoo Hosinsool techniques is the “revival” methods. These are techniques and methods for restoring the disruptions to the body’s natural flow of energy brought about by the application of KupSoo Hosinsool techniques. All KupSoo Hosinsool training should include these revival methods.

About the author: Richard Hackworth is the General Manager in the USA representing The World Hapkido Union who is working to unite Hapkido worldwide through improved standards and member support. He is the President of USA Hapkido Union, Inc. the official governing body for Hapkido in the United States under the authority of the World Hapkido Union in Korea. Visit the website at