What Is Hapkido Self-Defense?
A smart self-defense strategy begins with avoidance, awareness, and prevention. If you avoid dangerous people and places, you'll never be attacked. If you're aware of your surroundings, you'll see an attack coming. And if you know how to prevent attacks through distance, position, and de-escalation, it will be extremely difficult for you to become a victim. These are the most important aspects of a self-defense strategy.
Legal self-defense can only be established if you are free from fault or provocation, have no means of escape or retreat, and either you or another person are in immediate danger of physical harm. If you could have escaped but fought anyway, it is not self-defense. If you engaged in name-calling before a physical altercation, it is not self-defense. You will be legally liable, may go to jail, and maybe successfully sued. Additionally, self-defense law only allows you to use reasonable force to end a threat or attack. Anything you do that is beyond what is reasonably necessary to end an attack is not legal self-defense. These are murky waters, and attorneys will try to distort reality even if you did legally defend yourself. This is why we teach a system of self-defense that uses the least amount of force necessary to escape or end an attack.
Q: What Does Realistic Training Mean?
Words like "most realistic," "best," "guaranteed success," etc. are all advertising gimmicks. Choosing a self-defense class is a serious decision and is preferably based on some research. No program or instructor can replicate a "real" assault since there are so many different scenarios, and because a real attack would require a no-holds-barred fight which would be irresponsible and extremely dangerous to enact. Responsible self-defense training requires control. It is important that each student in a class is able to control her own participation in the class and never feels forced to participate
Hapkido is a comprehensive Korean self-defense system that teaches using the least amount of force necessary to escape an attack. Hapkido techniques, such as joint locks, pressure points, throws, etc., are designed to help you escape an attack without using excessive force on the person who attacked you. Hapkido techniques cause severe pain to an attacker but DO NOT INJURE the attacker. When you let go of an attacker, his pain goes away immediately with no lasting injuries.
The 3 universal theories of Hapkido are:
The Water Principle, which teaches the student to penetrate the defenses of the attacker by "flowing" in, around, and under.
The Circular Motion Principle, which teaches the student how to gain and impart momentum by moving in a circular manner. By redirecting the attack in a circular direction the student controls the balance and kinetic energy of the attacker.
The Nonresistance (or Harmony) Principle, which teaches the student to remain relaxed (not tense) and not to meet force with force
These three theories are explained and demonstrated at length during training. The student must truly understand these theories, as they are the foundations on which not only the structure and essence of Hapkido rests, but also all its other concepts and technical attributes.