International Modern Hapkido Federation

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A style of Hapkido that focuses on self defense for today’s society.       Hapkido is a Korean martial art that uses strikes, kicks, chokes, joint locks, sweeps, takedowns, throws, and pins to control an attacker.

Hapkido itself has always been an eclectic martial art in that it has combined techniques from Judo, Jujitsu, and a set of kicks ranging in character from simple to complex variations and combinations.

Various Grandmasters have developed their own styles by adding techniques or modifying them to fit the type of defense or offense required.

Modern Hapkido is the next step in this evolution that seeks to adapt traditional techniques to fit the society we live in today. Modern Hapkido uses a selection of traditional Hapkido techniques combined with weapons and empty hands techniques from other arts to provide a system that is   100% Self Defense.

Modern Hapkido techniques are COMBAT PROVEN! These techniques have been used to survive in close combat situations. Also, it has been taught throughout the theater of conflict to our Soldiers and to the Iraqi forces. IT WORKS!!!

Can your system claim that?


Modern Hapkido is several more things:

A philosophy, a way of thinking about techniques and training...

  • You will find that Modern Hapkido seeks to balance the traditional elements and newer innovative methods of Hapkido for you. You will also learn additional effective concepts from other martial arts all with the goal of increasing your chances in real life confrontations.  You will gain knowledge of the history and techniques of traditional Hapkido.   Knowing your art's past history and trying to improve upon it, will allow you to avoid mistakes in the future.
  • For example, we retain selected breathing exercises and breath control techniques from traditional teaching of Hapkido that are vital to focusing and conserving energy while at the same time eliminating certain high risk and outdated techniques that might get you hurt in most real fights.  We believe that yells and shouts are a part of both focusing force and distracting your adversary, so we do not throw them away just because they do not fit with many contemporary instructors' views of what is easy to sell or explain to new students.
  • We encourage multiple strikes and kicks to soften up your opponent rather than relying only on joint locks and throws as stand alone techniques.  While we appreciate the symmetry of a beautifully executed throw or takedown, sometimes what you need to do is hit him a few times before applying a throw or joint lock for a takedown.
  • We have reviewed and modified weapons techniques both on offense and defense to take account of advances in defensive tactics instruction and to reflect the wisdom and experience of other cultures which have grown up with the stick and knife as part of their heritage.  For example, frequently defenses with a cane are demonstrated that resort to blocking with the non-weapon hand and then inserting a strike or lock with the cane.  This is contrary to the common sense logic of weapons based systems like the Filipino martial arts which would direct you to hit with the weapon first (a tactic that you should find safer to implement). It is our belief that some traditional Hapkido techniques were originally taught to warriors who had shields on their non-weapon hand, and now need to be updated.
  • Without expecting you to become an expert at several other arts as you train in Modern Hapkido, you can be taught to incorporate techniques such as trapping as a part of your arsenal of offensive and defensive techniques and thus improve your Hapkido.

A set of techniques...                                

Small Blue Beveled.gif (153 bytes) Comparisons with traditional Hapkido and "Combat" Hapkido

  • It is a complete martial art that includes kicks, strikes, punches, joint locks, chokes, take downs, throws, ground fighting, and pins.It is part of the Korean Martial Art, Hap Ki Do, that is often described as "The Art of Coordinated Power" because you use your mind, body, and skill to defeat attackers who may be younger, larger, and stronger than you are.

An approach to self defense...

  • You will train just as you would have to fight or escape in the real world, using quick counter attacks for grabs, punches, and kicks aimed at you. All of these techniques are 100% Self Defense. This style of Hapkido works for men and women.


Specific Actions you can take to defend yourself...

(1) How avoid/capture punches and kicks

(9) Clothing Grabs, how to escape/use them

(2) Fighting when on the ground - basics

(10) Escapes from Bearhugs

(3) Hand strikes and when to use them

(11) Common Weapons for self defense           (Sticks, Knives, Canes)

(4) Kicks and when to use them

(12) Knife Attack Responses

(5) Chokes, how you can escape/use them

(13) Falls, and Rolls - How to Land Safely

(6) Wrist/Arm Grabs, how to escape/use

(14) How to set up for Handcuffing *

(7) Hair pulls, how you can get away

(15) Weapons Retention Techniques*

(8) Joint locks, pressure points, and throws

(16) Advanced weapons training (Handgun, Shotgun, Rifle)**


Modern Hapkido is designed for real life situations...

  • It is a smart streetwise martial art that teaches tactics using the major principles of balance, speed, and leverage to overcome an opponent's perhaps superior force.

The Example below shows Vic Cushing escaping from a choke against a wall (being executed by Jim McElroy, one of his students).  He swings both arms are swung around striking the attacker's left arm, the attacker is slammed into the wall, hit in the back of the head, and kneed on the tailbone.


Modern Hapkido is based on three traditional principles...

  • Non-resistance; If pushed, you will give way. If pulled, you go to the attacker. If punched at or kicked at, you will add some surprises of your own.
  • Circular motion; You always endeavor to circle and spin your opponent to get him/her off balance. You block attacks with softer, more circular motions than some of the harder sport style martial arts.
  • Water principle; You strive to be like water; i.e. to flow around your opponent and to shift your weight like waves splashing down on him/her. You will kick and punch as if you were shaking hot water off the end of your limbs to build speed up in your counter attacks and to stay loose and flexible when you move.

Modern Hapkido includes some other ideas, too...

A. You do not need brute strength to win.
B. You do not need the muscle mass of some other martial arts.
C. You do not have to be an Olympic athlete to win.

Modern Hapkido depends on skill, not strength!
On the street, the prize is being safe - not a ribbon or some trophy from a sporting tournament.  Of course it is always better to be strong rather than weak, but we believe that good technique is more critical than brute strength.

Modern Hapkido can teach you to escape and control attackers:
1. You will learn at your own pace.
2. You will be shown a variety of techniques.
3. You will choose what works best for you.
4. You will practice these techniques often.

You will learn how respond to actual threats with specific easy to learn techniques. You will learn to do whatever it takes to physically control the subject (when you cannot use reason). The assailant on the street or campus who attacks another individual doesn’t understand logic, and may not respond to verbal commands or reason, especially if impaired by alcohol or drugs.

In those cases, you need to come out of the confrontation alive and whole while controlling the subject so you can escape by using whatever level of force you are entitled by law to use and you know how to apply. You will benefit from knowledge of Hapkido with its set of defensive tactics and will know when they are justified in personal self defense situations.