Hapkido (also spelled hap ki do or hapki-do) is a Korean martial art with a focus on efficient self-defense techniques. It deals with countering both the skilled techniques of other martial arts, as well as common unskilled attacks. Hapkido utilizes physics and anatomy in order to neutralize an opponent, rather than relying on simple size and strength. Through the use of body positioning, pressure points, joint manipulation and locks, leverage, circular motions, and precise strikes, practitioners seek an advantage over brute strength. Through knowledge and precision, the student is able to defend against and gain control of an attacker with minimal effort and force.
In addition to unarmed fighting techniques, Hapkido also teaches the use of various weapons, including the staff, rope, fan, knife, and sword.
In the Korean language, hap means “coordinated” or “joining,” ki describes internal energy or power, and do means “way” or “art.” Thus, hapkido (合気道), translates literally to “joining-energy-way,” “the way of coordinating energy” or “the way of coordinated power.”