What is the History of Hapkido?

The true history of Hapkido can never really be established. This history has been re-written by people so many times over the years for political and commercial gain that the truth has been lost to us.

Despite different claims in books and on the internet one should understand that the art of Hapkido was not created or invented by a single individual. It is impossible for one person to invent an art so vast and complex.

Suffice to say that Hapkido’s techniques have evolved as part of the history of the Korean nation over many hundreds of years. The evolution of the techniques can be traced back as far as 3 A.D. when Korea was divided into three kingdoms called Koguryu, Paekche and Silla. Martial technique was developed and practiced during this time, primarily for the protection of the royal family and other nobility. These techniques have gradually been adapted and perfected in response to the culture of the time.

The name “Hapkido” was first used by Choi Yong Sool in 1958, as a title for the collection of techniques that he had organised into a system. He combined elements from the extensive range of old Korean self-defence technique and the philosophies of the Korean people to form the system we know today as Hapkido.

Since then Hapkido has become very popular. In some cases it has divided into related arts, some of these are Tukong Moosul, Hwarangdo, Kuk Sool Won, Hankido and Farang Moosul all of which are based on Hapkido.

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