Hapkido techniques can be divided in several categories:
- Self defense
- Pressure points
- Arresting techniques
- Breathing techniques/meditation
- Breaking techniques
Not all styles teach techniques in all categories.
Self defense techniques usually form the core of what is taught at most Hapkido schools. At the basic level a student usually first learns how to escape from body grabs. After the escapes a student learns how to follow up the escape with a strike, kick, joint lock or throw. Joint locks and throws are followed up with control techniques. Later on in the curriculum a student learns how to defend against more complicated attacks like bear hugs, punches, kicks and throws.
Hapkido teaches a student to find a better, more advantageous, position then break the opponent’s balance and from there to control or eliminate the opponent(s).
In order to do the last part, a Hapkido student learns:
- Joint locks
The emphasis is usually heavy on the joint locks. To keep his body safe, a Hapkido student must also learn how to fall safely. Thus a lot of attention goes to falls, rolls and sometimes even tumbling.
Continue reading: Weapons and pressure points