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Philosophy of Hapkido  

If we agree that the true philosophy of a martial art must be based on and logical connection to its techniques, we can naturally admit that the philosophy of Hapkido shares most essential part with Taekwondo philosophy. And additionally, as Hapkido is also a traditional martial art of Korea as well as Taekwondo, we have technical and historical basis for research of their sameness; the ways of Samjae and Kang-Yu.

But we'd better to observe their difference first. Let me review several explanations about it.


"HAPKIDO is a Korean Martial Art. This style is pronounced HOP - KEY - DOE - the Way (DO) to bring one's Power (KI) into Flowing Motion (HAP)."(From JUDE'S HAPKIDO PAGE)

"The techniques of Hapkido are themselves based on three underlying principles:(1)The Water Principle, (2)The Principle of Circular Motion, (3)The Harmony Principle"(From European Hapkido Alliance)

"There are three basic skills to be learned: (1)Non-resistance. Meet forces with minimum force to deflect and not clash with an adversary's power. (2)Circular motion, countering and attacking.
(3)The "Water Principle." Total penetration of an enemy's defenses." (From Lok's Hapkido Study)

Summing up them above, the principles of Hapkido can be explainend like this: its main principle can be said to be that of Hapki(Collection of inner power) and it is to be performed through three ways; water, circular motion and harmony or non-resistance. This scheme is all that was suggested so far.

But philosophy is not scheme; it should be a systematical consideration of all parts of martial art. Additionally the principles are suggested too simply way, so they became dogmas. They need some comments. You can find them in PPT and 3JKY.

The principle of water is explained in Ch.23 of Taekwondo Principle.
The principle of non-resistance is that of Yu, explained in Ch.7-4 of 3JKY.
The principle of harmony is explained in Div.1 of Taekwondo Principle.
The principle of circular motion is explain in Ch.6-10-1 of 3JKY with more specification of another kinds of figures that must be in motions. And it seems obvious that the motions of Hapkido, though they use circular motions, include non-circular motions too. The non-circular motions can be understood as foundation that enables the circular motions to be offense and defence.

And I'd like to point out that harmony is broader concept than non-resistance, so that they cannot be replaced or compared in the same level. Non-resistance is more concrete principle that can be applied to a technique while harmony is rather a sort of ideology. It is quite obscure to apply it to technique. The philosophy of Taekwondo tells us the difference.

In conclusion, Hapkido is another name of TAEKWONDO in its essential part. Thus, the philosophy of Hapkido is almost same as that of Taekwondo. In order to find some uniqueness of Hapkido, we can say that Hapkido is more soft and skillful system of offense and defense than Taekwondo. In that sense, Hapkido can be said to be more elegant than Taekwondo. Instead, it can be said its basis is TAEKWONDO.