Hapkido is a dynamic and eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, pressure points, throws, kicks, and other strikes. Hapkido practitioners train to counter the techniques of other martial arts as well as common unskilled attacks. There are also traditional weapons including short stick, cane, rope, nunchucks, sword and staff which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing dynamic kicking and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, jointlocks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.
The art evolved from Dait?-ry? Aiki-j?jutsu or a closely related jujutsu system taught by Choi Yong Sul who returned to Korea after WWII, having lived in Japan for 30 years. This system was later combined with kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts such as taek kyun and tang soo do. Its history is obscured by the historical animosity between the KoreanJapanese peoples following the Second World War.