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Style descriptions: H

Some styles of martial arts that begin with the letter H.

Hakuda (Japan)

"Haku" means white (the color symbolizing purity) and "da" means to strike or hit. In Japan the term is used to refer to Chinese ch'uan fa systems (kempo in Japanese), meaning to "beat by hand." Another term with the same meaning is shuhaku.

In Okinawa, the term hakuda was used more specifically to refer to the art of striking the vital points (atemi) of another person in self-defense without making the self impure. Hakuda in this context means "white strike," or "striking without impurity," which is an ancient Buddhist poetic description of the art. Hakuda is often combined with grabbing techniques (hakushu) found within many Japanese and Okinawan kata, and Korean hyung.

Hapkido (Korea)

Hapkido is the "other" Korean martial art. Hapkido translates to the art (do) of coordinating (hap) power (ki). It is an art that balances hard and soft, linear and circular, and resistance and acceptance. Hapkido's name is written with the same three Chinese characters as aikido. However, its techniques bear little resemblance to those of aikido. Hapkido was founded by Choi Yong­sul, a Korean who, during the Japanese occupation of Korea, had been taken to Japan to work.

In Japan, Choi used the Japanese name Tatsujutsu (some say it was Asao) Yoshida, since, at that time, all immigrants to Japan took Japanese names. According to the most widely propagated history, he worked as a houseboy (some say he was adopted) in the household of Sogaku Takeda, a daito-­ryu aiki-jutsu master, and that he worked there from 1913 (age 9) to 1943 (when Takeda died). However, daito-ryu records do not reflect this and Takeda's descendants and followers deny that Choi ever studied with their master. Some claim that Choi's daito-ryu training was just limited to attending seminars.

Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of aikido, was also a student of Takeda (undisputed). Hapkido and aikido both have significant similarities to daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu, so it appears hapkido's link to it is real, regardless of how and where Choi trained.

Choi returned to Korea after Takeda's death and began studying Korean arts and teaching yu sool or yawara (other names for jujutsu), eventually calling his kwan (school) the Hapki Kwan. Han Jae Ji began studying under Choi and eventually started his own school, where he taught what he called hapkido, after the grandmaster's school. Ji now calls his system sin moo hapkido. In the 1970's and 80', Hapkido was taught as the style of choice to elite South Korean armed forces units.

Along the way, hapkido adopted various techniques from tang soo do, taekkyeon, and other Korean kwans. Some Korean sources emphasize the Korean arts lineage of hapkido over the aiki-jujutsu lineage; some even omit the aiki-jujutsu connection.

Hapkido gained notice in the United States in the 1970's through the Billy Jack movies in which Master Bong Soo Han performed fighting sequences as a stand-in for the star. Remember the scene where Billy Jack said to Possner, “You know what I think I’m going to do, just the hell of it. I’m going to take this right foot and whop you on that side of your face. And you know something, there’s not a damn thing you are gonna be able to do about it.” Then he (Han) does it.

Hapkido sprang from the same roots as taekwondo; however, there are major differences between the two arts. Whereas hard styles, such as taekwondo, use hard, linear, forceful techniques like chops, punches, and kicks, and soft styles, such as tai-chi and judo, use soft, circular, accepting techniques such as spins and throws, hapkido uses the principles of both hard and soft styles. It combines joint locks, pressure points, throws, kicks, and strikes for practical self-defense. It is more soft than hard and more internal than external, but elements of each are included. It emphasizes circular motion, non-resistance movements, and control of the opponent.

Development of ki (internal energy) is also stressed. hapkido is composed three main principles: water principle, circular motion, and non-resistance.
  • Water flows around objects in its path instead of resisting them, uses the force of many separate drops to wear away an obstruction, takes the form of any vessel it is placed into, and it changes state (liquid, gas, and solid) as required. Hapkido incorporates these attributes of water into its fighting style. 
  • In the circular motion, what goes around, comes around. If you respect others, they respect you. Force is never met with force; it is deflected and redirected with a circular technique. If you confront anger with anger, there will be a clash, so oppose anger with calm. 
  • The non-resistance principle is the major area in which hapkido differs from other styles of karate. It is represented by yin and yang, the balance between opposites. In nature, opposites work together in harmony, such as night/day and work/rest. The idea is to deflect an opponent's strength, not clash with it. The non-resistance principle achieves harmony by combining the water principle and circular motion. When pushed, give way (water principle), rotate, and then throw the opponent (circular principle).

Although hapkido contains both out fighting and infighting techniques, the goal in most situations is to get inside for a close-in strike, lock, or throw. When striking, power is derived from hip rotation. As a general rule, beginners concentrate on basic strikes and kicks, along with a few joint locks and throws. Some of the striking and kicking practice is pattern-like, with no partner, but most is done with a partner who is holding heavy pads that the student strikes and kicks with full power. Some schools use patterns, some do not; some do sparring and some do not; although, at the advanced levels, most schools do at least some sparring. Although hapkido may be used in competition, it is not considered a sport.

Hapkido originally focused on pressure point strikes, joint locks, and throws, but now, thanks to the influence of Master Ji, it also includes highly refined kicks and hand strikes. Various weapons are taught, including the cane, kubotan, staff, and belt.

Hisardut (Israel)

A very hardcore defense-oriented system that does not teach forms. Hojojitsu means "cord tying art." This art offers quick and efficient methods of tying and restraining an opponent who is often struggling to escape.

During the feudal warring period, confrontations between armed opponents did not always end in death, and this art was often used to finish off those who had already been subdued or incapacitated. Grappling techniques ended on hold downs, or other incapacitating positions. At this point, special techniques of tying up an opponent were used.

Various binding patterns and methods were used for different classes (warrior, noble, farmer, merchant, artisan, monk, etc.) based on their habits, weapons, skills, and/or anatomical differences. The tying methods were intricate and assumed aesthetically beautiful patterns.

Hwarang do (Korea)

Hwarang do "the way of flowering manhood" is a comprehensive martial arts system whose training encompasses unarmed combat, weaponry, internal training and healing techniques. It is said to have been founded 2000 years ago by the Buddhist monk, Bopsa Won Kwang. It is based on the fighting style of hwarang warriors (described in the history of taekwondo articles). However, the connection between the martial arts practiced by the hwarang warriors and what is now called hwarang-do is tenuous at best.

Modern hwarang-do is a combination of several other Korean arts that began in the 1960s. In March 1942, Dr. Joo Bang Lee and his brother, Joo Sang Lee, were introduced to the Buddhist monk Suahm Dosa by their father, who was a personal friend of the monk, and they began their formal training at ages 5 and 6. The brothers lived and trained as the sole students with the monk mostly on weekends and during school vacations, but they also trained in other martial arts when they were unable to train under the monk. Influences include boxing, yudo, komdo, and tang-soo-do. In addition, the brothers attained Master level in hapkido from its founder, Choi Yong­sul, in October 1956.

In April 1960, Dr. Joo Bang Lee founded Hwarang Kwan by combining Suham Dosa's techniques with those of the other systems in which he had trained. This marked the first time the hwarang techniques were used publicly in connection with unarmed Korean martial arts. However, there is no way of knowing if the techniques that Suahm Dosa taught the monks actually was the martial art of the hwarang of the Silla dynasty. Lee later renamed his art, hwarang-do. This marked the first time the character for "way" was used in connection with the hwarang and the unarmed martial arts.

Its techniques are similar to those of hapkido and kuk-sool, they include kicks, puncher, throws, joint locks, pressure point strikes, and ki development. The art's similarity to hapkido and kuk-sool is often explained as having resulted from numerous martial arts experts, who would later become masters and found their own styles, having trained together in Korea during the 1940s and 1950s. Hapkido is often taught in combination with taekwondo. Hwarang-do is a combination of um (soft/circular movement) and yang (hard/linear movement).

The mu-sul (martial aspects) of hwarang-do may be further explained in four distinct, though interconnecting, paths of study:
  • Nae-gong. Nae-gong deals with developing, controlling, and directing one's ki, or internal energy force, through breathing and meditation exercises in conjunction with specific physical techniques.
  • Wae-gong. Wae-gong includes more than 4000 offensive and defensive combative applications. Combining elements predominantly hard and linear in nature with those that are soft and circular; these techniques mesh to form a natural fighting system. This path includes full instruction in all hand strikes and blocks (trapping and grabbing as well as deflection applications, using the hands, wrist, forearm, elbows, arms, and shoulders), 365 individual kicks, throws and falls from any position and onto any surfaces, human anatomical structure as it pertains to combat applications (knowing and utilizing the body's weak points to effectively control the opponent, regardless of their size), joint manipulation and breaking, finger pressure-point application, prisoner arrest, control and transport, grappling applications, forms, offensive choking and flesh-tearing techniques, defense against multiple opponents, breaking techniques, counter-attacks, and killing techniques.
  • Moo-gi-gong. Moo-gi-gong involves the offensive and defensive use of the over 108 traditional weapons found within 20 categories of weaponry. By learning these various weapon systems, the practitioner may most effectively use any available object as a weapon as the situation demands.
  • Shin-gong. Shin-gong is the study, development, and control of the human mind to attain one's full potential and mental capabilities. Techniques are taught to achieve an increase in one's total awareness, focus, and concentration levels. Included are instruction in controlling one's mind, development of the "sixth sense," memory recall, the study of human character and personalities, practical psychology, visualization, the art of concealment and stealth as utilized by special agents (sulsa), as well as advanced, secretive applications.
Hwarang-do teaches both a martial art (mu-sul) and healing art (in-sul). If one can injure or worse, then he or she should know how to heal as well; once again maintaining harmony through balance of opposites. First aid and revival techniques are taught in conjunction with the traditional full studies of acupuncture, royal family acupressure, herbal and natural medicines, and bone setting.

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