Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Balance of Life—HapKiDo Karate Style

Writing Contributor: Christie McGowan
Student at Choe's HapKiDo of Loganville
Info Page:
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HapKiDo, a Korean style of martial arts growing in the United States, literally means the following translation:
“The way of coordinating your inner strength with your outer strength.”

The translation is a beautiful way to understand the intentions of HapKiDo because it can also be applied to life in general. Without the disciplines of inner strength or the sense of personality, the body would appear as random blobs everywhere. In fact, the philosophical ideas of the full name, Chung Mu HapKiDo, promotes a simpler way of looking at the art.

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Chung (pronounced Choong)
Three meanings come from this Korean symbol: Loyalty, sincerity, and faithfulness. 

Mu (pronounced Moo)
The meaning for this part of the name includes military and martial art.

Hap (pronounced Hop)
To coordinate, to gather, and to combine are the three understandings of Hap.

Ki (pronounced Key)
This Korean symbol represents an important factor to the meaning of HapKiDo because it translates to air, internal power, and internal spirit.

Do (pronounced Doe)
Road, method, and enlightenment resemble Do.

In HapKiDo, sometimes called HapKiDo Karate, it is a belief that practicing these concepts out of order will result in disharmony. A person would not be able to coordinate internal power or method if he or she does is not loyal to a commitment. With anything, if there is a lack of faithfulness, then how does someone continue to serve.

Take running for example. If you have taken a break from the routine or decided to start, it is difficult to run a mile immediately. You have to gradually build up the art of running constantly for long periods of time. It takes dedication. After a few days, maybe two weeks, dedication to running up to a mile or two becomes a test. You may try to find an excuse on day ten. Perhaps the weather is bad, or you have morning sinuses, and pushing through takes every ounce of determination—especially if you are trying to maintain your groove. Then, if pushing through does not sound appealing, then think of why you wanted to run. What was your goal. If you did not have one, it is okay to make one on the spot.

Other examples of applying HapKiDo to life include making choices such as keeping a job, maintaining a diet, reading a long book, and studying for an exam. You could even make a commitment to do nothing. As long as your heart is involved, somehow everything follows through.

The translation of Chung Mu HapKiDo is really a fancy term for perseverance. After the consistency of enduring hard work, victories and accomplishments are made greater.

For further information on Choe’s HapKiDo philosophy, visit

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