Korean Hap Ki Do

Hapkido seeks to be a fully comprehensive fighting style and as such tries to avoid narrow specialization in any particular type of technique or range of fighting. It maintains a wide range of tactics for striking, standing joint locks, throwing techniques (both pure and joint manipulating throws) and pinning techniques.

Some styles also incorporate tactics for ground fighting although these tactics generally tend to be focused upon escaping and regaining footing or controlling, striking, and finishing a downed opponent, rather than lengthy wrestling or submission grappling engagements.

The Korean term for technique is sool . As terminology varies between schools, some refer to defensive maneuvers as soolgi ( loosely translated as "technique-ing"), while hoshinsool ( "self-defense") is preferred by others.

Proper hapkido tactics include using footwork and a series of kicks and hand strikes to bridge the distance with an opponent. Then to immediately control the balance of the opponent (typically by manipulating the head and neck), for a take down or to isolate a wrist or arm and apply a joint twisting throw, depending upon the situation; Hap ki do is a comprehensive system and once the opponent's balance has been taken, there are a myriad of techniques to disable and subdue the opponent.

Hap ki do makes use of pressure points known in Korean as hyeol which are also used in traditional Asian medical practices such as acupuncture point. These pressure points are either struck to produce unconsciousness or manipulated to create pain allowing one to more easily upset the balance of one's opponent prior to a throw or joint manipulation.

Hap ki do emphasizes self defense over sport fighting and as such employs the use of weapons, including environmental weapons of opportunity, in addition to empty hand techniques.

The wide variety of kicks in hapkido make it distinctly Korean. Taekwondo kicks appear to be similar to many of the kicks found in hap ki do, though again circular motion is emphasized. Also, in contrast to most modern taekwondo styles, hap ki do utilizes a wide variety of low (below the waist), hooking or sweeping kicks, with one of the most distinctive being the low spinning (sweeping) heel kick.