Hapkido techniques integrate all of the major technical areas found in the martial arts: strikes, kicks, avoiding movements, blocks, holds, throws, weapons, internal techniques (meditation, breathing, internal energy development), and healing. In practice, martial skills are not thought of as separate technique areas (e.g., holding or throwing), but are combined into a single unified body of techniques designed to respond to particular forms of attack. Generally, all confrontations or fights can be fundamentally characterized by the presence or absence of weapons. Hapkido techniques fall into three basic categories, reflecting this fundamental nature of confrontation:

•  Empty hands against empty hands
•  Empty hands against weapons
•  Weapons against weapons

All techniques encompass offensive and defensive modes, against single and multiple opponents, from the following positions:

•  Reclining (on back, side, or front)
•  Sitting (seated, kneeling)
•  Standing (moving on feet)
•  Airborne (jumping or leaping)

Currently, there is a great deal of variation with respect to specific techniques taught by specific masters and schools. This diversity is a result of Hapkido’s extremely complex and varied repertoire, as well as its globally decentralized structure.

Technique Categories and Self-Defense
For teaching and promotion purposes, self-defense skills are generally organized into the categories listed below. However, in practical application, basic techniques are combined in an instinctive, intuitive, and highly individualized manner. These categories exist only to facilitate learning. Certain aspects of weapons training are no longer being taught, due to emerging legal issues. Self-defense categories include:

Empty Hands Against Empty Hands
•  Defense Against Punch
•  Defense Against Kick
•  Defense Against Holds
•  Defense Against Chokes
•  Defense Against Joint Locks
•  Defense Against Throws
•  Ground Defenses
•  Defense Using One or No Arms
•  Attacking Techniques
•  Defense Against Multiple Opponents
•  Protecting Another Person

Weapons Techniques
•  Knife Techniques
•  Short-Stick Techniques
•  Long-Staff Techniques
•  Cane Techniques
•  Sword Techniques
•  Rope Techniques
•  Common Objects as Weapons
•  Defense Against Handgun

Previous text copyright 2000 by Marc Tedeschi. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission.
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