Hapkido (UK: /ˌhæpkiːˈdoʊ/ HAP-kee-DOH,US: /hɑːpˈkiːdoʊ/ hahp-KEE-doh, also spelled hap ki do or hapki-do; from Korean hapgido [hap̚.ki.do]) is a hybrid Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, grappling, throwing techniques, kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. It also teaches the use of traditional weapons, including knife, sword, rope, nunchaku (ssang juhl bong), cane (ji pang ee), short stick (dan bong), and middle-length staff (joong bong), gun (analogous to the Japanese jō), and bō (Japanese), which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido is one of the most popular forms of martial arts in the world. Even though it has Korean roots, it’s practiced all over the world. Hapkido stands out from other forms of Korean martial arts, such as Tang Soo Do or Taekwondo, in that the focus of hapkido is to deflect an opponent’s attacks.
Punching, kicking, throwing, joint-locking, and grappling are the main techniques of the art. But unlike MMA, hapkido is meant to provide its students defensive tactics under the principles of water, circle, and harmony. Focusing on subduing an opponent and rendering them incapable of attacking, hapkido helps avoid any unnecessary injuries. With that said, it is nonetheless a very powerful form of martial art.