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.






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