Hapkido as a martial art is somewhat unique in its integration of seven disciplines (striking, blocking, throwing, joint-locks, holding, weapons and internal techniques). Hapkido’s range of techniques are primarily used for self-defense and aimed to bring together mental, physical and spiritual values. Techniques are combined into a constant flow of striking, blocking, throwing and holding. Constant movements are used to blend an opponents force, varying between attacking and defensive modes, with power generated by the entire body. Hapkido’s philosophy, as with many martial arts, is to emphasize the integration of mind, body and spirit, the perfection of character, social responsibility and the appropriate use of force. Internal techniques include healing, acupuncture, massage and medicine, and are usually part of Master level training (Forth Dan), but internal techniques can form an important part of training, increasing health and efficiency.
In Korean Hap means harmony or to combine. Ki means a technique that can be interpreted as inner-strength or energy. Do means the method, or the way. Therefore, Hapkido symbolizes becoming at one with the universe, and harmonizing mind, body and spirit with nature. More literally, Hapkido can be loosely translated as the method of coordinated power.