Hapkido (합기도 [合氣道]) is a dynamic and highly eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, grappling and throwing techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including knife, sword,rope, jool bong (nunchaku), cane, short stick (dan bong), and staff (bong, gun, bō) which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido contains both long- and close-range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, joint locks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, redirection of force, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to incorporate the use of leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.
The art adapted from Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (大東流合気柔術) was taught by Choi Yong-Sool (Hangul: 최용술) who returned to Korea after World War II, having lived in Japan for 30 years. This system was later combined with kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts such as taekkyeon, as well as throwing techniques andground fighting from Japanese Judo. Its history is obscured by the historical animosity between the Korean andJapanese people following the Second World War.
World Hapkido Association (WHA)
Hwang In Shik (also Whang Ing-Sik, born September 13th, 1940) is one of the foremost Korean hapkido teachers today. A great popularizer of the art in Asia through his work in the Hong Kong based films of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Angela Mao, he is known nevertheless as one the top teachers of the art and was eventually awarded a 10th degree black belt, the highest rank possible in the art, by the World Hapkido Association.
Prominent hapkido teacher, Jung Tae, with the support of senior hapkido people such as Bong Soo Han decided to form his own organization called the World Hapkido Association. Wishing to show respect to one of his senior teachers from Korea he appointed Hwang In-Shik as the Chief Instructor to his organization with the official title of Chong Jae and awarded him with the 10th degree black belt in the organization symbolizing in the eyes of the World Hapkido Association the highest level of technical achievement in the art.
Hwang, although independent of any group himself, continues to support the efforts of the World Hapkido Association with seminars and participation in the group’s many events which are centred chiefly in the United States, Norway and Brazil. In addition to this he is on the senior council of masters for the Ulchikwan, one of the founding schools of the Korea Hapkido Federation.