T Nation

Hapkido or Aikido


Hello all. I currently live in a college town surrounded by corn on all sides and for many miles. I used to train in Kung Fu as a kid. As a teenager, and into my early 20's (up until very recently) I've trained in Muay Thai and BJJ.

My situation now is that there is nowhere around to train in either of those. What we do have in this wonderful little town is Hapkido and Aikido. While I love the arts I've been training in, it's not possible for me to travel to do so, and I'd like to keep training in some martial art(s).

I believe that most any martial art is better than none, and I think both Hapkido & Aikido seem to be very useful. I'm not going to get into the Octagon, and I'm not one to get into fights on the street, but practicality is important for me.

That being said, I'd like the opinions of those that have trained in either of these arts to give me their feedback on which they found most fun, effective, etc. Of course I'm going to sit in on both classes (Ideally I'd train in both but I wouldn't have time for that with work/school), but your opinions couldn't hurt.

P.S. if anyone needs a pic of me holding a shoe in order to make an informed suggestion, please let me know.


I can't help with that, but if the opportunity arises train Ti Kwan Leap.


it's better to listen to it then to read it.


Potato or potahto?

You can delete this


Yuck it up dude, but I wouldn't have asked if there wasn't a difference (albeit subtle).


The different styles of aikido have vast differences. Aikido can be practical or impractical depending on your teacher and how you approach it. I haven't studied hapkido.


If I can oversimplify: they are very similar disciplines, one (Aikido) is from Japan, and the other (Hapkido) is from Korea.

As far as I know, both have their place in practical self defense. Variations of each are taught in Law Enforcement.


I'd prefer hapkido.

Though if your're going to go tradionalist on us you might as well find a Bagua (pa kua) place... Baguazhang is badass...


If you want your training to be practical, make sure you practice the techniques with a resisting opponent. Go check out both schools and see which one you like best.


Please don't destroy your bjj/mt-background with the taint of aikido or hapkido.. :frowning:


It was explained to me that Hapkido is Aikido with kicking. I don't know how reliable that source was though.


Having trained in both:

Aikido: Based upon tossing your opponent around using their momentum against them. Rather gentle and restrained. Very few striking techniques.

Hapkido: Again, uses opponent's momentum. However, generally much more brutal than Aikido and incorporates many more joint breaks. Also has numerous strikes.

With your BJJ/Muay Thai bacckground, Hapkido would probably be easier for you and more geared to what you are accostomed to.


Helpful advice, thanks everyone. I had a feeling that Hapkido might be more my thing. TKL looks very interesting, by the way.

Although, I like the idea of something a bit more gentle; in case I ever got a gig as a bouncer I could move someone out the door without hurting them too much.


It will depend on what you want. Both feature similar technique sets.

Personally, I'd take a harder style aikido over hapkido because hapikdo generally has way too much TKD in it, and there's a serious risk of McDojo-ism. But I'd take hapkido over some of the softer aikido. It really depends. Do you know the aikido organization, style and who the instructor is under? That would help.


I second this opinion. Hapkido uses a lot of joint breaking and manipulation moves. It should seem like an upright version of BJJ. Plus if you can learn to apply levearge to a person when they are standing it should help you out greatly when you actualy get them to the ground. I think it would help your BJJ out a lot.

Also, depending on how "hard" this class is I would look into some Joint Free or something similar for the joints. You can normally tell a hapkido praticioner by their limp. Happy crackin!


Also, don't be lured in by the cool hakama pants of akido! Those things are deadly. Fall down the stairs, fall up the stairs, fall walking on the mats, trip training, get stepped on in throws. Had a sai get caught in them... felt great when that fell on my toe. Hate those damn pants