Hapkido Body Techniques
Hapkido body techniques are harmonious in nature. The techniques can be performed slowly, but when practiced at full speed they can be most devastating. An interesting note is that most of these techniques can be used on any form of attack. Hapkido is a dynamic art; although, in the early stages of training you may practice by setting up the kan (proper distance) and moving from static sogi (stances), but the idea is to take active command of any attack.
Hapkido body techniques consist of throwing techniques and locking and pinning techniques. Among the throwing techniques of hapkido, the four most basic are:
1. Four direction throw (forward & around)
2. Entering throw
3. Rotary throw (inside & outside)
4. Wrist out turn
Among the locking and pinning techniques of hapkido, the four most basic are:
1. Arm pin (forward & around)
2. Wrist in turn (forward & around)
3. Wrist twist (forward & around)
4. Wrist pin (forward & around)
All hapkido body techniques can be used while standing, although they may be applied while seated. In addition, the techniques are effective in empty hand against weapons application and in weapon against weapon situations.
The Meaning of Body Techniques
In hapkido body techniques, hapki is first applied to harmonize the three functions of the body, mind and ki. After that, we use hapki to blend our movements with that of our partner's when we perform the techniques. The techniques are not hapki; hapki operates through the techniques.
Hapkido techniques are not strictly physical in nature. Hapkido begins and ends with the "breath" or "being in tune with one's surroundings". The breath also signifies the key point of a technique. To breathe is to live and to live is to breathe. The "breath" is not a mere mechanical function with the lungs; It is the fundamental rhythm of life that energizes and fills the universe. To develop good "breath", we need profound insight into the nature of existence and correct application of certain principles. In hapkido this is known as breath meditation.
In hapkido, breath meditation is the initial step in the training of mental discipline. In the training of mental discipline it is important to cultivate sun (serenity in a clear and peaceful state of mind). Sun can be obtained from chung (tranquillity of mind). In hapkido, through physical movement, one can obtain a tranquil state of mind; thus one can obtain sun through physical training. In other words, a student of hapkido can maintain a calm and concentrated mental state during the vigorous physical movements of training.
The hapkido body technique can be divided into three parts: attack/blend (entering or turning), transition (the technique) and completion (throwing or locking and pinning). Blending is harmony, and harmony is a state in which people are working in alignment. By blending, we dissipate the force of the attack and harness our power and that of the attacker. The seat of energy during a technique comes from the center; In practice one should move from the center at all times. The center is known as the danjun (ocean field of ki), and the power from the danjun is known as ki, which is developed through breath meditation.
In hapkido training we learn techniques through intent observation and by concentrated practice. When watching a technique, a student should not simply watch the mechanics of the technique.
Instead, a student should pay the most meticulous attention to the placement and movement of the center, balance, timing and all the other complex factors involved in each technique.