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HapKiDo

Picture of Korean characters for HapKiDo
HapKiDo, literally translated, means:

“the way of coordinating your inner strength with your outer strength”

Hap – Coordination, Harmony
Ki – Inner strength, Inner Power
Do – The Way

Quick Facts

Grandmaster Choe with fan picture

  • HapKiDo was introduced to Korea in 372 A.D.
  • The HapKiDo structure has more than 365 major techniques. The fundamental techniques of HapKiDo are classified as follows:
    1. Empty Hand against Empty Hand
    2. Empty Hand against a Weapon
    3. Weapon against Weapon

General Information

Chung Mu HapKiDo is an original and traditional style of martial art. This means the martial art has not been combined with other styles or adopted techniques from other styles, resulting in a new one. This martial art has been kept intact through the course of history. However, Chung Mu HapKiDo was further developed by the Choe family through the ages.

Suh San Dae Sa Nim Choe Yue Sin PictureA famous ancestor was Choe, Yue Sin, also known as Suh San Dae Sa Nim. He was a Grandmaster who held a general’s rank and fought in many legendary battles for Korea.

We are of the hard (external) and soft (internal) school. The external schools of thought concern themselves with the disciplines of the body. Making the body hard and strong, resistant to impact, using linear force for attack and defense, and training for speed are the philosophies of the external school. On the other hand, the internal schools of thought concern themselves with the disciplines of Ki. Making the body flexible, supple, using circular force for attack and defense, and training for Ki endurance are the philosophies of the internal school.

The direct self-defense techniques in our style contain three distinct categories. They are empty hands against empty hands, empty hands against weapons, and weapon against weapon. Each of these categories includes escaping, joint locking, grappling, pressure point strikes or cavity press, striking, punching, kicking, and throwing techniques.

The indirect self-defense techniques in our style are comprised of three categories. They are Ki development, health and fitness, and philosophy of the body, mind, and spirit. Each of these categories include Qi Gong, meditation, Soo Ki (the root of acupressure), nutrition, aerobic and anaerobic exercise, moral conduct, and paths of virtue.

Chung Mu HapKiDo developed its techniques from Taoist and Buddhist philosophies. The defensive techniques are based on circular motion rather than linear motion. Linear defense sometimes causes injury and may not be effective against a greater power. However, the circular defense learned in HapKiDo requires little power and is very effective against greater forces. One can learn these defensive techniques with persistence, for they require much knowledge and skill. Once learned, the delicate techniques of HapKiDo can overcome brute force.

Some of the advanced techniques of Chung Mu HapKiDo include One Finger Art, Whip Punch, Powerless Movement, Cotton Folding Method, Shadowless Kicks, Golden Hammer Fist, Pressure Point Sealing, Black Tiger Method, Chain Whip, Rope Dart, Cane, Short Staff, Sword Play, Cudgel, Fan, and many others. We sincerely hope that you find Chung Mu HapKiDo every bit as enjoyable and fulfilling as we do.

Meaning of Chung Mu HapKiDo:

Picture of ChungMu HapKiDo with KumKangYakChaChung – Loyalty, sincerity, faithfulness

Mu – Military, martial art

Hap – Coordinate, gather, combine

Ki – Air, internal power, internal spirit

Do – Road, method, enlightenment

Chung Mu HapKiDo, pronounced Choong Moo Hop Key Doe, symbolizes many philosophical ideas. The symbolism should be taken from the whole name, each character, order of characters, and the derivative of each character.

The first meaning taken from the whole name shows the foundation of our art.

The name says to be loyal to your martial art in order to coordinate the internal power to an enlightening road. Also, another meaning shows that one must have virtue toward and within his/her martial art or institution. Then one can coordinate the internal power towards spiritual growth.

Chung means one must have loyalty, sincerity, and faithfulness. These qualities depict the necessary essence of human being. The character Mu stands for the military. In Asia, depending on the context, Mu can stand for martial arts, country, and the struggles one faces in life. Hap illustrates harmony within human beings. This character shows us how we can change to create harmony within ourselves and in our community. Ki shows us the most important source of internal power—air. One can last many days without food, less without water. However, one can last only a couple of minutes without air. Do depicts the transcendental wisdom of enlightenment. This transient concept, ever elusive, guides us toward many roads in which we choose the path to travel.

Another important factor to consider is the order. Chung Mu HapKiDo says that a person must have virtuous behavior toward the institution (family, country, martial arts school and teacher). Then the person must achieve coordination with their body before he can search for Ki and Do. If practiced out of order, one attracts disharmony and misfortune. A martial art without order becomes empty, without true essence.

Grandmaster Choe with cane pictureLast, we must understand how each of the characters were derived. This analysis becomes necessary in order to capture the full meaning of a martial art. Center of heart and mind is depicted within Chung. This means that loyalty and virtue comes from the center of the heart. Mu means to stop movement. The movement character surrounds the stop character. The movement shown here is aggressive movement and there by signifies protection. A man must have one mouth is portrayed by the character Hap. In order to coordinate and combine, one must be honest and true, not only with his word but to his word as well. Ki shows us that the internal power we seek is transitory like water. A person must realize that transitory things can never be grasped and should not be heavily desired for. Do portrays the road that one can see brightly. This shows us that in order to reach the state of wisdom, one should seek good knowledge.