For Hapkido training you need special equipment in the long run, it consists of a suit and a belt. Depending on the belt color you can see the training progress of the student. In the training, different attack and defense techniques are used, but also exercise units to increase flexibility and endurance.

In 30 seconds the most important:

  • There are ten Kup degrees in colorful color and nine Dan degrees in black.
  • For the next higher belt, an examination must be passed, here techniques, training sequences or practice fights are evaluated.
  • The Hapkido equipment consists of a suit, the belt (and optionally shoes).
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Outfit and equipment for training

Mostly special suits are used in Hapkido, which are sold as Hapkido suits. However, ju-jutsu and normal SV suits are also often used. If you want to buy an outfit for training, you should make sure that the suits are tear-resistant so that they can hold your weight during throws. Beginners and students wear white suits, while black suits are reserved for trainers and masters. In addition, you should buy suitable shoes. Mostly Taekwondo shoes are worn. Furthermore, claws and mitts are often used. They help to train the accuracy and hardness of the blows.

Graduations and belt colors

In almost all graduation systems of Hapkido, there are ten Kup degrees and ten Dan degrees. However, there are differences from style to style.

The Kup Grades

The graduation system of Hankido, for example, includes twelve Kup grades. Beginners who join a club first train with the white belt. The color represents purity and the grade is comparable to that of a helpless child. Just as the parents help the child, the instructors and advanced students stand by the newcomer. Over time, you can take exams to obtain other belt colors. In the second level you will get a yellow belt, then a green belt, then a blue belt and finally a red belt.

The Dan Grades

Only after that you can get the first degree of black belt. It is called Cho Dan, which stands for “beginning of black belt”. When you are ready, you have grasped the basics of Hapkido and can begin training from a new level.

  • 1-3 Dan: As long as you are first, second or third Dan, you are considered an assistant instructor, but you are still the instructor’s students. You must learn how to teach technical and moral aspects of Hapkido.
  • 4 Dan: Only as a fourth dan can you receive a trainer certificate once you have passed an exam. After that you can start your own school.
  • 5 -6 Dan: Those who hold the fifth and sixth Dan are called chief inst ructors. You can now set up training programs and supervise other instructors.
  • 5-6 Dan: Holders of the fifth and sixth dan are called master instructors. They coordinate the training and take care of the chief instructors.
  • 9-10 Dan: With the ninth and tenth Dan you become a Grandmaster. Now the focus is no longer on the technical aspects, but on the religious content of the martial art. The tenth Dan finally wears a white belt again.

Training & Techniques

The curriculum is extensive due to the influence of multiple fighting styles. Hapkido training includes gymnastics, self-defense techniques, breathing techniques, and movement and coordination training. Especially the self-defense techniques are trained intensively with the partner. According to other classifications, the techniques can be divided into kicking and punching techniques, falling and rolling techniques, throwing and leverage techniques as well as force utilization techniques. In addition, depending on the style, the use of aids such as belts or sticks is also taught.


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  1. Circle theory
  2. Water theory
  3. Harmony theory

Accordingly, an attack is never countered by a brute force. Instead, an attempt is made to deflect the attack into a circular path. Subsequently, the attack is terminated either with a throwing or a leverage technique. The defense techniques with throwing and leverage techniques are therefore clearly in the foreground in Hapkido. Attacking is mostly done only with punching and kicking techniques. In addition, weapons defense, breathing techniques and fall school are also on the program. Among the weapons that can be used are short sticks, medium-length sticks, long sticks, walking sticks, knives, fans and swords. But also restraint techniques with rope or belt are taught as part of the training.

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