Hapkido is based on three important basic principles:

1) The principle of the circle

All movements are round. The Hapkido fighter moves as inside a ball. Influencing forces are rerouted from the outside and neutralized at the surface of the “ball”.

2) The principle of the river

As the river, which adapts extremely flexibly to the landscape and nevertheless in the moment the buildup develops an enormous strength, the Hapkidoka also sensitively reacts to his opponent, in order to let his pent-up “Ki” flow by the technique into the opponent in the crucial moment.

3) The principle of influence

By lightning movements, which hardly can be noticed the aggressor is arranged to reflex countermovements, which then are used in a subsequent technique.

Grand master Choi Yong Sool took 270 basic techniques, and broke them down into three categories:

  1. Empty hand vs. empty hand
  2. Empty hand vs. weapon
  3. Weapon vs. weapon

All kicking techniques Choi ever used and integrated into his new system, were only applied on low level (groin, knee and ankle joint). To realise his idea, Choi appointed the following prinziples / concepts to his system:

  • Mechanical: Circle, Wave, straight line and triangle.
  • Physical: Centrifugal force, utilization of the opponents strength, spontaneous powerburst.
  • Psychological: Passivity, influence and effective humanity.

Additionally Choi established the Philosophies of Hap-Ki-Do. These are: Honesty (Jong – Euye), courtesy (Yea – Euye) and patience (Ien – Nae).

JI HAN JAE’s 9 sin moo hapkido rules


  • 1st Proper Diet
  • 2nd Healthy sexual behavior
  • 3rd Beneficial Meditation


  • 4th Do not be Angry
  • 5th Do not be Sad
  • 6th Do not be Greedy


  • 7th Water Control
  • 8th Air Control
  • 9th Sunshine Control