Hankido

The name hankido is a mix of the name Hanguk (the Korean name for their country) and hapkido. The resulting word hankido is often written with the han in archaic Korean, where the letter “a” (ㅏ) is written as a . (dot). Hankido aims to be a martial art for and from the Korean people, accessible to everyone.

In Korea, there are numerous type of martial arts, but almost none of them was fulfilling public needs through developing new easy-to-learn techniques. So they tried to unify the arts and develop some kind of unification in martial arts. However none of the plans were realized.

Hankido has developed by Grandmaster Myung, Jae Nam who has been concentrating on improving martial arts for over 45 years of his life. He modified some other Korean arts’ old techniques in order to learn and apply them easily.

This newborn Han Ki Do has been growing within the world famous International Hapkido Federation and spreading fast throughout the globe. Grandmaster Myung always gets up early in the morning and breathes in the profound secrets of nature. One day he came up with an inspiration and started practicing in front of a mirror.

During practice he was surprised how easily the new techniques were developed. First he practiced  with verbal counting and developed them to music. Repeating these techniques with corrections. Han Ki Do is now fully completed and ready to be taught. Now you can learn the left and right hand techniques easily by practicing with music. Han Ki Do will keep you in shape and balanced by utilizing all body’s muscles.

The word hankido actually consists of three different words:

  • Han (í•œ / 韓): Korea, Korean culture and mentality.
  • Ki (기 / æ°£): Ki
  • Do (도 / 道): The way

So you could say that hankido means: The way for Korean people to develop their internal energy/strength. Of course hankido is not just for Koreans; foreigners all over the world practice this martial art and benefit from it.

History: Hankido is a relatively new hapkido style, developed by the late Myung Jae Nam. Myung Jae Nam studied traditional hapkido with Ji Han Jae which formed the basis of this new art.

Traditional hapkido consisted of over 3000 techniques, but Myung’s students asked for more, something that could be a never ending subject for their martial arts study.

With this, Myung Jae Nam, after meeting a Japanese aikido practitioner called Hirata Sensei, came up with his own style based on both aikido and hapkido.

It is also said that because Korean and Japanese do not get along, Myung Jae Nam decided to create a new art based on hapkido and aikido while modifying the art into something that would suit the Korean fighting styles better.

Myung Jae Nam did have connections with the Japanese Aikikai and wrote a book in which he explains both aikido and hapkido techniques.

The book also features a picture of Morihei Ueshiba (the founder of aikido). In this book you can see many of the modern hankido techniques in a somewhat rough form. During the 1970s he was the official representative in Korea for the Aikikai.

Myung Jae Nam started the development of what we now know as hankido in the 1980s. This new hapkido style can be recognized by its elegant, circular movements which the hankido practitioner uses to get in control of his or her opponent. (See Aiki). Of course this is partly due to the fact that hankido has its roots partly in hapkido and aikido, but also due to the fact that Myung Jae Nam, who was a talented dancer, mixed the techniques with traditional Korean dance. This part of hankido is called: Moo Yae Do Bub (무예도법).

Hankido was first officially introduced during the 1st International H.K.D Games in Seoul, South-Korea. The development of hankido did not stop there, and in the years after its introduction hankido lost some of its rough edges. In 1993 the IHF trademarked the name hankido.

Myung Jae Nam toured Europe and the United States to promote his new art until his death in 1999. During the 3rd edition of these games, Myung Jae Nam introduced another art, called hankumdo.

Hankido and hapkido: The difference between hapkido and hankido is that hankido is much more an internal art where hapkido is a semi-internal art. Hankido emphasizes the use of three principles, which are Won (圓), Yu (流), and Hwa (和), and using the power of softness.

To give the hankido practitioner more insight into these principles, there are three exercises they can practice, the Sam Dae Wolly (삼대원리). The name of the exercise representing the circle-principle is called Jeon Hwan Bub (전환법). The name for the exercise of the flow-principle is called Young Nyu Bub (역류법) and the last exercise, representing the heart-principle, is called Shim Hwa Bub (심화법). This last one is also referred to as the rowing exercise.

The general difference between aikido and hankido is that hankido finishes techniques off, whereas aikido (usually) lets the attacker go. Hankido practitioners also learn a lot of kicks, as one could expect from a Korean martial art.

Techniques: Another unique aspect of hankido is that it consists of twelve basic self-defense techniques (ho shin ki, 호신기) which are connected to 24 breathing techniques: twelve for the defender called ‘Techniques of the Sky’ (Chun Ki Bub, 천기법, 天氣法) and twelve techniques for the attacker called ‘Techniques of the Earth’ (Ji Ki Bub, 지기법, 地氣法). Heaven and Earth are each others opposites and thus resemble the Chinese Um (Yin) and Yang.

Of course there is more to hankido than just these twelve circle techniques, but these form the stable basis for every hankido practitioner. It is better to train one technique a thousand times than practice a thousand techniques only once.

Curriculum: There are 8 disciplines (directions) in which the I.H.F teaches the hankido curriculum.

  • 1. Ho Shin Do Bup (Self defense)
  • 2. Moo Ye Do Bup (Spinning/dancing techniques)
  • 3. Su Jok Do Bup (Striking techniques)
  • 4. Kyuk Ki Do Bup (Sparring techniques)
  • 5. Ki Hap Do Bup (Ki-development techniques)
  • 6. Byung Sool Do Bup (Weaponry)
  • 7. Su Chim Do Bup (Use of pressure points)
  • 8. Hwan Sang Do Bup (Visualisation and breathing exercises)

The twelve basic self defense techniques on which the hankido curriculum is build, are called:

  • 1. Kwan Jul Ki Bub – 관절기법
  • 2. Chi Ki Bub – 치기법
  • 3. Sib Ja Ki Bub – 십자기법 / 十자기법
  • 4. Nae Wae Ki Bub – 내외기법 / 內外기법
  • 5. Kyeo Rang Ki Bub – 겨랑기법
  • 6. Mok Kama Bub – 목감아법
  • 7. Mok Keokki Bub – 목꺾기법
  • 8. Oh Kae Too Bub – 어깨투법
  • 9. Joong Pal Too Bub – 중팔투법
  • 10. Hwae Jeon Too Bub – 회전투법
  • 11. Pal Mok Ki Bub – 팔목기법
  • 12. Pal Bae Ki Bub – 팔배기법

Development: After Myung Jae Nam’s death the development of hankido has been overseen by the Jaenam Musul Won Foundation. There are several international and Korean initiatives to spread the art of hankido. Most well known for his effort to do this is Master Ko Baek Yong from the Sang Moo Kwan International Training Center.