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Combat Hapkido

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Combat Hapkido

Combat Hapkido
ICHF Crest
ICHF Crest
Also known as Chon-Tu Kwan Hapkido
Focus Hybrid
Country of origin United States
Creator John Pellegrini[1]
Parenthood primarily Hapkido
Olympic sport No
Official website .com.dsihqwww
Combat Hapkido
Hangul 전투관 합기도
Hanja 戰鬪館 合氣道
Revised Romanization Jeon Tu Gwan Hapgido
McCune–Reischauer Chǒn Tu Kwan Hapkido

Combat Hapkido (known in [3] The founder of Combat Hapkido was very clear in his statement that he did not invent a new martial art. He stated "I have merely structured a new Self-Defense system based upon sound scientific principles and modern concepts. For this reason Combat Hapkido is also referred to as the "Science of Self-Defense." Combat Hapkido is a new interpretation and application of a selected body of Hapkido techniques.[4] The word "Combat" was added to Combat Hapkido to distinguish this system from Traditional Hapkido styles and to identify its focus as Self-Defense.[5]

The style employs joint locks, pressure points, throws, hand strikes, and low-lying kicks, and trains practitioners to either counter or preemptively strike an imminent attack to defend one's self. In common with many Hapkido styles, it also emphasizes small circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of an opponent through force redirection and varied movement and practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork, distractive striking and body positioning to employ leverage.


Combat Hapkido does not incorporate certain traditional Hapkido techniques which it deemed impractical for modern self-defense scenarios. For example, acrobatic break falls, jump/spinning kicks, forms, and meditation have been omitted, along with the removal of weapons such as swords and other weapons which would be impractical and not-typically carried in modern society. Combat Hapkido's strategy differs from traditional Hapkido because it includes adopting features from styles like United States and Internationally. In addition to the core curriculum, the ICHF researches and develops "modules" that are compatible with the core curriculum and encourages students to explore them. Some examples of these such "modules" are "Stick and Knife Combatives", "Ground Survival", "Combat Throws", "Anatomical Target Striking/Pressure Points", "Trapping", "Cane", "Dan Bong", and "Weapons Disarming". New modules are supported by DVDs, seminars, and local instruction conducted by certified instructors of each course. ICHF students are required to know the core curriculum for promotion and are encouraged to study various optional modules as well. Instructors may require their students to learn some of these additional modules to advance levels.


Combat Hapkido uses a ten belt rank system with the difficulty and the number of techniques gradually increasing with each belt. The content of each rank can vary from school to school; however, the core curriculum of Combat Hapkido must be taught to each rank before the promotion can be sent to the ICHF Headquarters for certifying. All rank certification is done directly through the ICHF Headquarters in Illinois and is kept on file to insure that each student meets the proper time in grade requirements. For higher Dan grade black belt tests, students must appear before Grandmaster John Pellegrini for testing either directly at the Illinois Headquarters or at one of the many seminars held around the country. For those seeking international Dan Ranking the International Combat Hapkido Federation offers the option to have black belt ranks recognized through the Kido Hae. Some Schools use this system:

Combat Hapkido
Basic Rank Structure
Hangul 일단 일급 이급 삼급 사급 오급 육급 칠급 팔급 구급 십급
Hanja 初段 初級 秒級 叁級 四級 五級 六級 七級 八級 九級 拾級
Roman 1st Dan 1st Gup 2nd Gup 3rd Gup 4th Gup 5th Gup 6th Gup 7th Gup 8th Gup 9th Gup 10th Gup
Rank Black belt Black & White Red & Black Red belt Brown belt Blue belt Purple belt Green belt Orange belt Yellow belt White belt

Ground Survival

Combat Hapkido's "Ground Survival" program previously referred to as the "Ground Grappling" program was developed to create a ground self-defense program where the purpose is to survive encounters on the ground by escaping and evading along with takedown prevention methods. The program's focus on ground self-defense utilizes transitions from ground positions to standing positions avoiding long extended confrontations on the ground, which the curriculum addresses but does not encourage. The Ground Survival program blends with Combat Hapkido's core curriculum and adopted aspects of Combat Hapkido's Anatomical Targeting Strategies (Pressure Point) program utilizing small and large joint locking and pressure point techniques. To develop this program, Combat Hapkido Master Instructors experienced in the grappling arts researched different styles such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Vale tudo and Combat Sambo, with additional technical assistance from grappling experts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu such as Carlson Gracie Jr.[8]

Anatomical Striking/Pressure Points/Pain Compliance

The “Tactical Pressure Points”(TPP) program was developed to enhance the effectiveness of Combat Hapkido self-defense system's core curriculum of manipulations of an attacker's body by targeting vulnerable areas, weak points, pressure points, or vital points of the body to produce significant pain or other effects. This form of target striking is called pain compliance and generally, but not always, leads to an immediate response by the attacker. This response can then be taken to transition into another technique from the Combat Hapkido curriculum. This material has also been specifically designed and modified for the Law-enforcement community, called “Anatomical Compliance Tactics” (ACT) and is taught as part of the ICHF's "International Police Defensive Tactics Institute"(IPDTI) course.


The Combat Hapkido Trapping program is designed to be the blocking method of the Combat Hapkido System since Combat Hapkido does not use the "Traditional" hard blocks of the Traditional martial arts. The Trapping Program is designed to become reactionary and reflexive and not to impede or stop incoming attacks. The techniques and drills in this program are based to develop specific technical attribute from Jeet Kune Do that blend drills and techniques with Combat Hapkido. This Trapping program is a way to gain advantage over an opponent by manipulating them to accomplish a finishing technique, such as strikes, joint-locks, and throws [8] or to simply buy time to escape.



The cane is generally referred to as the weapon of choice for most Hapkido Systems because of its flexible and easily adaptive techniques. Combat Hapkido along with other systems incorporate self-defense techniques using the cane into their training curricula for this exact reason. However, the reason the ICHF chooses the cane as one of their preferred self-defense weapons is due to its modern real world self-defense applications. A typical walking cane, defined as one not concealing a sweeps, and traps, along with defenses against kicks, punches, bear hugs, and grabs. The cane's flexible techniques allow for easy application from almost any situation, defend against, and submit almost any attacker. The reason for this is the cane's ease of transition from a simple walking stick to a weapon since it is generally about three feet in length.

Dan Bong

short stick similar to those used in Combat Hapkido

The Dan Bong (Short Stick) is a Self-Defense tool measuring 8 to 12 inches in length and approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. It carries none of the visual shock value that a baseball bat would, and it is not wielded with any kind of "flashy" movements. The Dan Bong's use is in the application and reinforcement of joint lock, pressure point, choking, and striking techniques. Combat Hapkido master instructors specializing in the Dan Bong have developed their version of the use of the Dan Bong for what they feel is need for modern self-defense needs. The Dan Bong's small size allows for easy carrying and concealment from a potential attacker and an effective means of stealth armament. The Dan Bong can be used in short range attacks and is as is stated above primarily for inflicting more severe pain to an already painful joint lock or pressure point.

Weapons disarming

In today's societal climate with the prevalence of handguns and other weapons on the rise, one of the most important components of Combat Hapkido is its 'Weapon Disarming' techniques. These involve close quarters combat where footwork and bridging the gap are used to achieve superior positioning and leverage to gain control of the weapon or the weapon's carrying arm, and then to disarm the attacker. Because of the effectiveness of these techniques, the ICHF has been invited by many foreign and domestic police organization along with invitations from the United States Military[12] to train both U.S. and Coalition troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.[12]


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  7. ^ Incorporating Elements from Other Arts – Topic: Traditional Hapkido at
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External links

  • Official website
  • Official Cane Masters website
  • Un-Official "Combat Hapkido - - Blog"
  • / The Korea Kukki HapKiDo Federation
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