By Nick Maker

Do you know that not many people recognize the martial art form of Hapkido?

If you’re thinking of Aikido, it is not the same; they’re close but not the same art of style. Although similar, let me tell you the difference and history of these two martial arts. Aikido was founded by a Japanese man named Morihei Ueshiba. He formed the style after World War II because he thought that there was too much bloodshed in the battlefield. He thought that if people will fight with guns and knives maybe people will fight with their spirits (or circular technique he meant). The meaning of the word actually means “the way of adapting the spirit” or “way of peace,” because again he didn’t like to “kill” people. So he decided to teach this philosophy to other people.

Hapkido is sort of the same, but what it really means is “Hap=harmony, Ki=path of discipline, Do= art.” It was founded by a student in Ueshiba’s class who was Korean named Choi Yong-sool; he also had the idea of “way of the spirit” just like his sensei. The only difference is that he wanted a stronger form of style that his Sensei had taught softly.

Now that we established the back story it’s time for the in depth look of the style. Both arts have a circular style form that takes the opponent’s joints or wrists manipulated in hand-lock position, pressure points, joint twist and many more twisting experiences! Aikido is a soft touch that takes the opponent down to the ground and that’s it, while Hapkido is the same but after they are in the ground they can choose to break the opponent’s arms or legs (depends on what they grab onto). So you could say that Aikido is the nice soft brother while the other is the uglier tough brother.

I took a Hapkido class in 2013 because I was scared to the world that some random guy will beat me to the trash bin! (I had an over active imagination.) So I decided at first Tae Kwon Do but later found out is too rough for me since the word literally means “break bones.” Then later on I thought Jiu-Jitsu but that didn’t work. Then I almost took Aikido because of that video below, but found another video with a similar art but rougher style and it is what I know and love today. I don’t like to break people’s skulls although ironically I took a rougher class which involves learning to break bones, but it is not Tae Kwon Do in which I have to crack some bones but make the decision in which I can choose to snap or immobilize the foe!

I hope this topic was helpful and if you want more information of the two martial arts differences, check these videos below that I think inspired me to take the class that I am taking in Black Tigers Martial Arts class.

Aikido video:

Hapkido video:

About Nick: “I am a studious person who loves reading and loves researching about virtually anything! I play the piano and every year I have to give a performance in a church. I love video games – especially when it’s a puzzle and action game. I would like to become a programmer one day in the field of computer science. I love my family so much, even if we drive each other crazy sometimes, we’re still one big happy family.”

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