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History of Hapkido & Tae Kwon Do in Long Beach, California

What is Hapkido?

Hapkido (also spelled "hap ki do" or "hapki-do") is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including a sword, rope, nunchaku, cane, short stick, and staff ("gun," or "bo") which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, joint locks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to incorporate the use of leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.
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. Hapkido 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.
As a hapkido student advances through the various belt levels (essentially the same as other Korean arts, e.g. taekwondo), he or she learns how to employ and defend against various weapons. The first weapon encountered is most often a knife. Another initial weapon used to teach both control and the basic precepts of utilizing a weapon with Hapkido techniques is the "Jung Bong" (a police-baton sized stick). Many hapkido organisations may also include other weapons training such as a sword ("gum"), long staff ("jahng bohng"), middle length staff, nunchaku ("ssahng jol gohn"), war-fan or other types of bladed weapons such as twin short swords.

What is Taekwondo?

Taekwondo (also written as taekwon-do, tae kwon-do, or tae kwon do) is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts that teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that teaches ways of enhancing one's life and spiritual wellbeing through training and mastery of the body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport with an international reputation, and is one of the official games in the Olympics.
Let's take a closer look at the meaning of the word "Tae Kwon Do." It is composed of three parts as shown in the English spelling, though it is one word in Korean. "Tae" means "foot," "leg," or "to step on"; "Kwon" means "fist," or "fight"; and "Do" means the "way" or "discipline." If we put these three parts together, we can see two important concepts behind "Tae Kwon Do".
First, Taekwondo is the right way of using Tae and Kwon "fists and feet," or all the parts of the body that are represented by fists and feet. Second, it is a way to control or calm down fights and keep the peace. This concept comes from the meaning of Tae Kwon "to put fists under control" (or "to step on fists"). Thus Taekwondo means "the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights and help to build a better and more peaceful world."
Taekwondo can be characterized by unity: the unity of body, mind, and life, and the unity of the pose (or "poomsae") and confrontation, and cracking down. When you practice Taekwondo, you should make your mind peaceful and synchronize your mind with your movements, and extend this harmony to your life and society. This is how in Taekwondo the principle of physical movements, the principle of mind training, and the principle of life become one and the same. On the other hand, the right poomsae lead to the right confrontation, which will eventually produce great destructive power.
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