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a Korean martial art using techniques similar to aikido and tae kwon do
1967; Korean 'joining energy way'
(Korean: "art of coordinated power"), a Korean form of unarmed self-defense based on the circular foot sweeps and kicks of traditional Korean tae kyon but incorporating punches and circular throws and a yielding principle similar to that of aikido. The emphasis on circular motion allows for a free-flowing form of combat in which one technique can merge with the next and the direction of force can easily be changed by changing the axis of rotation. Primarily practiced for self-defense or spiritual development or both, hapkido came to be used in free-sparring contests of the karate type. See also martial art.