Renowned as one of Korea’s most effective martial arts, hapkido includes a variety of joint locks, chokes, punch and kick defenses, and weapons techniques. Its hand and foot techniques are self-defense oriented rather than sport oriented. In general, hapkido instructors do not teach forms; they do, however, encourage their students to take part in competition because it helps them prepare for unscripted altercations.
Many of hapkido’s 3,000-plus techniques are similar to the moves of Japanese jujutsu, but the Korean martial art differs in the aspects of combat it emphasizes and the guiding philosophies it promotes (water principle, circle principle and power principle). Now regarded as a distinctly Korean system, it remains popular in the land of its birth and commands a faithful following in the United States and around the world.