What is Hapkikwan



Boris Krivokapic, jumping turning back kick.
King's Palace Ch'angdokkung, Seoul, South Korea, 1994.

Hapkikwan (from Korean: hap – harmony, ki – inner power, energy, kwan - school) is modern, comprehensive martial art, founded in 1994. by Prof. Boris Krivokapic, Ph.D.  who at that time had full 20 years of practicing various martial arts. Professor Krivokapic is one of leading experts in the the field of Public International Law and is grandmaster and grandmaster or master in several martial arts (he started practicing martial arts in 1974).

Boris Krivokapic, 2018
Hapkikwan is a style of Korean Hapkido,. More specific, it's basis are mainly Moo Lim Won Hapkido which prof. Krivokapic practiced in 1994. in Seoul (Korea) as personal student of Grandmaster Choi Sang Heum (Moo Lim Won Hapkido Founder and President) and Hoshinkido Hapkido in which he holds 9th Dan under Grandmaster Serge Baubil, 10th Dan, Hoshinkido Hapkido Founder and President of the International Hoshinkido Hapkido Federation. Both schools (Moo Lim Won & Hoshinkido) are based upon the  Bum Moo Hapkido, developed in 1968. by Grandmaster Kim Yun Sik (10th Dan).
During the years Hapkikwan has been developed and significantly changed. Many compatible elements from other martial arts were built in it, as well as techniques and approaches from the tradition of Slavic peoples. Also, Hapkikwan is enriched by many new concepts, methods, tactics, techniques and drills which based on his big experience, invented Prof. Krivokapic himself.
Hapkikwan is shaped in such a manner to produce complete fihgter, and in a wider sence, complete person.
The basic idea has always been that the art must be maximally effective and versatile, it must provide answers to all situations and at the same time cover all types of techniques, but without favoring any of them - defence against all attacks (punches, grabs and weapon attacks, etc.) punches, kicks, throws, arm and leg  locks, chokes, fight against multiple attackers, use of some 20 weapons, special breathing exercises, acupressure points, basics of chiropractic and so on.


Boris Krivokapić, Tanzania 1995.

Choke (with arms) and
joint lock on elbow (with legs)

Although there are several types of free sparring in Hapkikwan, it is not sport, but martial art. The purpose of training is not to prepare practitioners for sport competition. The idea is not to collect medals, but to master the comprehensive and highly effective self-defense skills.



9.1                         sl7

Girls are very succesfull in Hapkikwan



Who can practice Hapkikwan?


Hapkikwan is suitable for all ages and both genders. The lowest age limit is about 7 years, and the top does not exist.
Since it is not the physical power that is the most important in Hapkikwan, but the technique, speed, composure etc. it is not surprising that female students are very successful. 
4.Boris-odbrana-od-hvata-ok                            4.Boris-odbrana-od-hvata-ok                                     4.Boris-odbrana-od-hvata-ok

Although competitions are not primarly goal, practitioners of Hapkikwan occasionally participate in various sport competitions, under different rules – in self-defense, free sparring, breaking boards and the like. This is done on a voluntary basis (only one who wants to) and is seen as a kind of so called situational training i.e. something that serves for a general practitioner's progress.



The martial art, but also anti-stress program, fitness and friendship


Hapkikwan is a martial art. The basic purpose of studing and practicing it is getting the ability to defend, if necessary, ourselves or another persons from illegal attack.
However, regular exercise in many ways contributes to spiritual development, strengthening character, personal development... Among other matters, the training is a great fitness and anti-stress program. It is also an excellent form of socializing, making new friends.



The training is very serious and concentrated, but also foster a spirit of friendship among athletes, who help each other on a common path of progress. The club is seen as a kind of extended family, where it exercise seriously and diligently, but where it also hangs. 




Tecniques and Principles

Basic elements of Hapkikwan

Hapkikwan a comprehensive scientifically-based martial art in which one learns different but mutually complement elements of combat. The basic elements of Hapkikwan are:

1) defense bare-handed against bare-handed oponent

2) defense bare-handed against armed oponent;

3) defense bare-handed against multiple oponents (armed or unarmed)

4) use of various arms (cold steel and firearms)

5) several types of free sparring;

6) breaking hard objects

7) various non-combat elements: acupressure points, safe fallings, breathing exercises, meditation and so on.



Basic principles


The most important principles that lay in the basis of Hapkikwan are: 1) gradual development, 2) rtionality, 3) comprehensivenes (diversity), 4) efficiency and 5) proportionality.

1.Gradual development. - Mastering Hapkikwan takes place in small steps, but continuously. Always start with a simple and more complex going on, and then more complex and demanding. Trip around the world begins with the very first step. And the first step is the hardest one. It is not the step itself that is so difficult, but it is the decision to make it. After that, everything comes somehow by itself.

Hapkikwan program is designed in such a manner, that at the very beginnning it can be performed by all people, including those individuals who are not in good physical shape. Through the process of workout every practicioner is moving to the steady progress. No effort is lost withour result, especially the one that has a clear objective. Almost imperceptibly, by regular exercise novice becomes a master. It is not a sudden leap, but a process (there is no magic medicine that one can drink and instantly become an accomplished fighter). When this process is well designed and if practitioner is indeed regular in the class, everyone can improve himself beyond recognition. Not everyone can play tennis as Novak Djokovic (world No. 1), but anyone can learn to play it very well. The same is with martial ars – not everyone can become prominent grandmaster, but everyone can learn how to defend himself. However, this learning must take place gradually, through the proceeds from the less demanding and more difficult to complex.


2.Rationality. - Hapkikwan is based on the idea that everything that makes this martial art must have a clear reason what it is all about and why it should be done in exactly such a way. In other words, every technique and every move must pass an objective critical analysis - the instructor must be able to explain to himself and the others all the movements (techniques) and their variations, including their weaknesses and strengths and possibilities to combine with other elements.

It does not mean that every movement necesarly serves the combat in the narrow sense, i.e. immediately wictory over the opponent. It may have some other purpose - to develop a sense of coordination, flexibility, speed, stamina, getting used to working under pressure, etc. However, each movement still must have claear purpose. Nothing is supposed to be practiced only because "it should" be done, because "all others do this" and so on.

When it comes to fighting techniques, those that directly serve the victory over the opponent, rationality is reflected in the choice of techniques or combinations, which are the least risky and most effective both in principle (in practice, in training) and especially against a particular opponent (in the sports or the real fight). Dissipation of energy and time is not only unreasonable, but may lead to undesirable consequences in the form of loss, injury, etc.


Jump and safe fall over human piramide on 3 levels
Jump and safe fall in lenght


3.Comprehensivenes. - Hapkikvan is truly comprehensive. Its students, according to a strictly defined program, learn and practice all kinds of punches (with fists, palms, elbows, fingers, forearms...) and kicks (with foot, knee, lower leg... on the ground in the high jump..), throws (of  Wrestling, Judo and Aikido type), joint locks on arms, legs and neck, techniques on acupressure points, the defense against all that, the fight on the ground, the fight against multiple oponents, defense against a variety of weapons, the use of various weapons, the use of everyday items for self-defence (umbrella, pen, book, belt etc.)... In addition, the components of the arts are specific breathing exercises, specific stretching and heating system, special power exercises, strengthening and conditioning, visualization, meditation, basics of acupressure, chiropractic, etc.

In order to obtain the first black belt (1st Dan) Hapkikvan student has to know all kinds of punches and kicks, but at the same time he has to be as good when it comes to the fight on the floor (grapling), throws, joint locks, choking. Also he has to know how to defend against all sorts of grabs, kicks, throws, attacks with bat and knive... For higher black belts one has to learn so many new things – counter against joint locks, double-counters, fight against two and more oponents, use of great number of different weapons etc.



4.Efficiency. - The actual efficiency can be reached gradually, through rational and comprehensive exercise program (i.e. respecting the first three mentioned principles). The purpose of techniques is only to be effective, regardless of whether they are applied by youngster, old man, woman or even child. Technique which is not really effective can be a good form of recreation, fitness, etc., but it is not for fighting.

Efficiency is by no means the same as attractiveness. There are many attractive technique, which, however, are not sufficiently reliable and effective (efficient). Most simply put, the technique is effective when in the majority of cases, with the least risk and effort it brings victory.

In Hapkikwan there is a smaller fund of techniques that do have a combat value, but in strict sence are not so good for a real situation. An example are multiple jumping kicks. Although when mastered they can be also used in practice, it is better to leave them for the gym or the movie. There are so many factors which suggest that this techniques is better not to attempt in real situation. It is one matter to jump and kick in the gym, when we are well-warmed and relaxed, and know that even if we miss the target, we shall still have right to a new attempt. And it is completely different to do the same in the cold night, dressed in tight pants, suit, coat... and not only without any warm-up, but also excited about the tension of the situation... However, even these techniques which are, once again, really small part of Hapkikwan, have a purpose. If you have the skills to jump and while in the air 2-3 times kick in different directions and break as many boards, there is no doubt you’ll be able to kick a simple kick (for instance, front kick or roundhouse kick) from the ground, much faster, more explosive and more accurately than those who do not posses your skills.

Once again, except for a small circle of practicing techniques which have other objectives (development of coordination, speed, etc.), all techniques of Hapkikwan are maximally effective in real life. To practice technique that is not such, means to foolishly waste your time.



5.Proportionality. – In smplest terms, the principle of proportionality means that the defense has to be proportional to the attack (i.e. to the jeopardy we are exposed to). These are basic moral principles that are, in fact, sanctioned by criminal law (rules of self-defense and transcending self-defense). You may not knock out someone just because he grabbed your hand, you may not seriously hurt someone who only slapped you... Hapkikwan practitioners are taught that by all means they themselves never start up trouble, that if someone provokes them, they do everything possible to avoid conflict, but if there is no other way, they are supposed to act decisively and maximally effective, taking into account the proportionality of their actions.




There are so many different techniques in Hapkikwan. Yet, due to pre-defined program with regular excercise one can master them.

Techniques of Hapkikwan include:

- different ways of safe falling

- a varietyof kicks (in standing position, when jumping, from the ground etc)

- a variety of punches (with fist, hand palm, fingers, elbow, forearm)

- a wide range of throws (of Wrestling, Judo and Aikido type, but also some distinctive)

- large selection of joint lock and chokes

- use of acupressure points

- defense against various veapons

- use of various weapons: mini stick, short stick, pole, knife (including throwing knives), throwing star and plates, nunchaku, rope, sabre etc.

- various non-combat methods and techniques: special breathing excercises, streching, special excercises for strengthening the body and the spirit, breaking hard objects, massage, meditation, basics of chiropractc, and so on.






International recognition


Hapkikvan is recognized as a new martial art  / new Hapkido scholl  by great number of international martial arts association with headquarters in over 50 countries on all continents.


GM Ronald Christopher Garland, on behalf of the Korean Hapkido Federation, presents GM Boris Krivokapić with
a KHF certificate stating that he is its official representative for Serbia, Belgrade, May 28, 2022.


Lecturers at the European Hapkido Union international seminar on May 1, 2022, in Djurđevac (Croatia), from left to right: Gerhard E. Hermanski (Nemačka), Perry Zmugg (Austria), Sukru Kinatas (Turskey), Mladen Kužnik (Croatia), Massan Ghorbani (Irland), Gerhard Agrinz (Austria), Nadine & Volker Goesling (Germany), Boris Krivokapić (Serbia), Jason Mix (USA).


GM Boris Krivokapic speaking at the General Meeting
of the World Martial Arts Union (WoMAU), Chungju, Korea, 7.12.2009.

Among other matters, as a martial art, originated in Serbia, Hapkikwan is officially recognized by the World Martial Arts Union (WoMAU), which is the only international martial organization recognized by the United Nations, namely the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). WOMAU has consultative status withe the UNESCO and works closely with it, being responsible for fostering and monitoring of martial arts around the globe, as part of the cultural heritage of mankind.

GM Boris Krivokapić (sitting, second from the right) as representative of Hapkikwan (Serbia)
at the 9th General Meeting of the World Martial Arts Union, Chungju, South Korea, 30.9.2010.


The headquarters is in WOMAU are in Chungju (South Korea). Every year WoMAU organizes World Martial Arts Festival and other events, such as the International Seminar on Martial Arts, the Academy of Martial Arts (in collaboration with Chungju university), and others. Within the spacious park of the World Martial Arts in Chungju, under the auspices of WOMAU, there is a large museum of World Martial Arts.

Boris Krivokapic at 9th WoMAU General Meeting
Boris Krivokapic speaking at 9th WoMAU General Meeting, Korea 2010
GM Boris Krivokapic taking in a break with the delegate from Russia  A. Eremin, reprezentative of Russian Sambo, Korea 2010.
GM Boris Krivokapic speaking at the
9th General Meeting of the World Martial Arts Union, Korea 2010.

WoMAU gather most prominente martial arts from around the world, whyle each of them is represented by federation from the country in which such martial art originated. For instance martial arts recognized by the WoMAU and its members are: Taekkyon and other Korean martial arts (South Korea), Iaido (Japan), Kung fu and Taichichuan (China), Sambo (Russia), Savate (France), Mua Thai (Thailand), Bokatur (Cambodia) Pencak Silat (Indonesia), Kalari (India), Pankration (Greek), Capoeira (Brazil), Vietvodao (Vietnam), Mongolian wrestling (Mongolia) and so on.

10th General Meeting of the
World Martial Arts Union, Korea 2011.
The International Martial Arts Symposium, Korea 2011.
World Martial Arts Museum, Chungju, Korea 2011.
GM Boris Krivokapić in the World Martial Arts Museum, under Serbian national flag and the name of Hapkikwan as world recognized martial art and the member of the World Martial Arts Union, Korea 2011.






Hapkikwan logo is the two-headed white eagle with spread wings, which in both claws holds sabers, while on the chest has a shield with the sign of Perun, the old Slavic God. The logo has traditional Slavic colours: red, blue and white.




In all traditions eagle is imperial bird, master of the heavens, the symbol of unfettered freedom, courage, pride and a strong character. It is no suprise that many states have ut in their coat of arms. The two-headed eagle is part of the tradition of many Slavic peoples and states. In Hapkikwan two heads among other matters symbolize two key moments of the Art – material (physical) and spiritual (mental).

The heads of the eagle are turned into different directions (to East and West), thus symbolizing openness to positive impacts from all sides, but also a caution.

Sabres, that eagle holds, are oriented in different directions and indicate a willingness to defend himself, when necessary, but also to help others when such help is needed. Sabres are in a protective position, not with force, they are to protect, not to threat or attack others.

On the chest of the eagle is a shield with the circular sign of old Slavic God Perun, the God of thunder and lightning, and also a God of warriors.

In general, the eagle is no threat to anyone, but at the same time is ready to fight if necessary. And to win this fight. Calmly and proudly he observes on both his sides, and below him. Above him there is not need to look, in that direction there is only free space and sky.


Belts in Hapkikwan

Similar to the vast majority of other martial arts, in Hapkikwan there are also "colored" and black belts. In fact, there are ranks, provided that (taking into account the tradition of Korean martial arts here) student ranks (belts) are called "Kup" and black "Dan."



1.Coloured (student) belts. – There are in total 10 colored (under black) belts in Hapkikwan. Depending on the progress, practitioner gradually moves  through the hierarchy.

Colored belts are (from lower to higher):

10th Kup - yellow belt
9th Kup – higher yellow belt
8th Kup – green belt
7th Kup – higher green belt
6th Kup – blue belt
5th Kup –higher blue belt

4th Kup –red belt
3rd Kup – higher red belt
2nd Kup –brown belt

1st Kup  - higher brown belt



White belt (10th Kup) if for a complete novice, who obtaines this rank on the very first day of entry into the club. The next is yellow belt (9th Kup) and it usually it takes 3-4 of regular training to achieve it.

Each belt with strap is higher (new) belt compared to those without it. The tape only serves to reduce the number of colored bands. So, yellow belt (9th Kup) and higher yellow belt (yellow belt with green stripe, 8th Kup) are two completely different belts, demanding different knowledge. The same goes for other belts.

Pace of progress through the belts depends on the speed of mastering. It is individual and determined by many factors, such as the regularity of the training, previous experience, the talent for fighting, age, etc. However, in most cases the belts are aquired according to this scheme



Rang Belt Minimum of practicing since last exam
10th kup


when enrolling
9th kup yellow with green stripe 3 months
8th kup green 3 months
7th kup green with blue stripe 3 months
6th kup blue 4 months
5th kup blue with red stripe 4 months
4th kup red 4 months
3rd kup red with brown stripe 5 months
2nd kup brown 5 months
1st kup brown with black stripe 6 months
1st dan black with one yellow stripe 8 months




In this way, before the exam for the 1st Dan (the first black belt) one must have total at least 48 months of regular training, i.e. about 4,5 calendaryears of active training. In practice, in most cases it takes about 5-6 years.

Each belt has its own program that contains precisely defined requirements i.e. defenses and techniques. To pass belt exam, candidate has to perform successfully at least 80% of the program. To the extent that it is justified, account of gender and age of candidates is taken into consideration.Thus, for example. boards that break men are 2,5 cm thick, and those that break women only 2 cm. From those who are older then 35 years notnecessarily is required the highest standard in all aspects, especially in kicking and free sparring. This, however, is compensated by a larger demand in respect to the techniques arsenal. Those who are younger than 16 years do not break boards.

Student ranks in Hapkikwan can be awarded according to this scheme:



The lowest rank of examiner The highest belt he is authorized to give:” 
1st Dan 6th Kup (higher green belt)
2nd Dan 4th Kup (higher blue belt)
3rd Dan 2nd Kup (higher red belt)
4th Dan 1st Kup (brown belt)






Integral parto of Hapkikwan is breaking boards


2.Black belts. - Black belts are (from lower to higher, with the official title):

1st Dan – Younger Instructor;
2nd Dan – Instructor;
3rd Dan – Senior Instructor;
4th Dan – Younger Master;
5th Dan – Master;
6th Dan – Senior Master;
7th Dan – International Master;
8th Dan – Grandmaster;
9th Dan – Grandmaster;
10th Dan – Head Grandmaster, Founder

For black belts there are some limitations in terms of minimum age required and in terms of minimum lapse of time since the last assessmen:



Black belt rank

Minimal lapse of time
(length of practice)
Minimal age
1st Dan 5 years (in total) 16 years
2nd Dan 2 years (since last exam) 18 years
3rd Dan 2 years (since last exam) 20 years
4th Dan 4 years (since last exam) 24 years
5th Dan 4 years (since last exam) 28 years
6th Dan 6 years (since last exam) 34 years
7th Dan 6 years (since last exam) 40 years
8th Dan 8 years (since last exam) 48 years
9th Dan 8 years (since last exam) 56 years


Black belt ranks in Hapkikwan can be awarded according to this scheme:

The lowest rank of examiner Highest rank (belt) he can award
5th Dan, Master 1st Dan
6th Dan, Senior Master 2nd Dan
7th Dan, International Master 4th Dan
8th Dan, Grandmaster 5th Dan
9th Dan, Grandmaster 7th Dan
10th Dan, Founder 9th Dan


Throwing knives is also part of curricullum

The road to black belt

One of the most frequent questions of novice is how long it takes to train to get a black belt?

It takes about 5-6 years of regular training, provided that there are at least about 4,5 hours of training per week. In most cases that is as much as it takes to get from the absolute beginner to the 1st Dan (first black belt degree). In practice, this period of training can vary depending on many factors -age, discipline, talent, a certain knowledge (for example if someone practiced before some other martial art, complementary to Hapkikwan, he will adwance much faster), commitment and intensity of training etc.

With all the positive changes in the methodology of training and using modern equipment, the program of Hapkikvana is very extensive andsimply can not be mastered in less time, to the extent that gives the right to wear a black belt. Exceptions are, of course, those who have already earned a black belt in another art, and as such have a specific technical, tactical and other knowledge and mental and phisycal level, which facilitate and accelerate their progress.

However, belts are like certificates of completion of the class (in school) meaning a part of the hierarchy (as a rank in army). They are only relative label of substance. If someone attacks you on the street you really have to be able to defend yourself, and the belt itself will not help you at all.

Only calmness, knowledge (skills) and experience.

It should be noted that the 1st Dan is only the first black belt! By gaining the 1st Dan practicioner still has not become a Master!! He just starts to study on the higher level (like when someone after finishing primary school goes to high school). Every subsequent black belt (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Dan and so on) has its own program which is new and different. However, the holder of the Hapkikwan 1st Dan black belt by no means  is expected to be good and experienced fighter.


The training program in Hapkikwan

Hapkikvan is a comprehensive martial art. When acquring the first level black belt (1st Dan) practitioner is supposed to know all the basicelements of combat – not only to safely fall on the ground and punch and kick, but also so many ways to throw an opponent, so many joint locks, how todefend against attacks with batons and knives, etc.

Taking into account the very extensive program, Hapkikwan students learn gradually from simpler to more complex elements, with each level todo things.

For instance for the very first coloured (yellow) belt, one has to learn all basic stances, several dozens defences from the basic grips, basicblocks and basic punches and kicks, and so on. The higher is the belt, the richer and more complex becomes the program. The longer practicicant has been practicing, the more he becomes accustomed to the system. During the process of traininig he slowly, even unconsciously, accepts principles of Hapkikwan and the combat in general.




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