Hapkido Ki Breathing

October 29, 2009


Hapkido- KI Breathing Exercise


By: Prof Dr Rizwan Mustafa Zubairi

Chairman-President cum Founder

Zubairi’s Martial Arts and Sports Federation-International

Pakistan Hapkido Federation

 Breathing is a sign of a living or indicating that a human being is alive and within. The breathing in martial arts acts as a core part of training. It has a very major importance to beginners as well as for trained Dan holders. The Hapkido is one of the major Korean martial arts which have deep roots in breathing techniques. In Hapkido dojangs the instructors in Pakistan and around the world define KI-Breathing to the Hapkido beginners that it is the energy rooted in the breath. So we can say that deep breathing exercise is an essential part of Hapkido training. It makes you stronger in body and spirit, and helping to protect not only from attackers but from evil mindedness and act as a channel of energy, focusing the attention. In this way, HAPKIDO serves universal harmony.

There are many ways of performing breathing as explained by Korean Hapkido Grandmasters to there students and regardless of the Hapkido tradition each and every Hapkido art has a number of Breathing techniques. The most widely practiced breathing is identified as “DAN JUN Breathing” This exercises and couple diaphragmatic breathing is an effort to build a strong union between muscle skill and muscle recruitment.

The Dan Jun is believed by Hapkido practitioners to be the center of energy (KI) in the human body. Dan means red or fire and Jun means field, so Dan Jun can be interpreted as meaning the active source of power in the body. As the center of energy, it is the key to human vitality and strength.

As explained by our Hapkido Grandmasters, the Dan Jun is located about three inches below the navel. Through Dan Jun defining exercises, each individual can determine the location of their personal center.

Abdominal breathing is the diaphragmatic kind, where the air is being drawn into the lower lungs by strong use of the abdominal stomach muscles rather than shallowly into the upper lungs as is more normal.

Come in Jhoon Bee (ready) position and start performing Hapkido Dan Jun Ki Breathing.

  1. Pushing front
  2. Pushing Inwards (Horizontally – Left and Right)
  3. Pushing outwards (Horizontally – Left and Right)
  4. Pushing Upwards
  5. Pushing Downwards

Pushing Front.

  1. Stand in a middle level horse stance. Equal balance is to be on both feet which should feel as if they are gripping the floor. Straighten and align the hips and lower back by pulling the tailbone around and forward while pushing the bottom of the abdomen around and backwards. This also creates tension in the Dan Jun area just below the navel. Align the upper back, head and shoulders. Shoulders are held back in line with the hips while the head is pushed up and the chin pulled backwards. This also aligns the top part of the spine. The arms are held relaxed in the starting position for each exercise.
  2. Once the basic body positions above are correct then only Dan Jun breathing can commence. Imagine that you are breathing through a hole in your lower abdomen. Inhale through the nose and not the mouth. This allows the diaphragm to drop to its lowest position thereby filling all of the lungs with a deep breath. As you inhale slowly, move your hands in a circular motion so you have open hands (palms facing outwards) at chest level. Imagine you have a big rock directly in front of you and you are getting ready to push it away.
  3. Once the inhalation is completed and the abdomen is at its lowest point, most of the breath is exhaled softly leaving behind air only in the lower abdomen. This exhalation should also sink you into a lower stance. At this point the exercise should have been completed to a slow count of one.
  4. It is important to curl your fingers back in a “claw” like position (as opposed to an open palm). This is good practice for the application of Dan Jun breathing techniques to a palm strike or strike-to-grab technique.
  5. In the next part of the exercise the remaining breath held to a slow count of two and three. You should feel some tension, heat, whatever in the Dan Jun area below your navel which you then visualize being pushed up your torso, down each arm and out into your hands from your Dan Jun.
  6. On the count four you expel the last of the breath forcibly, imagining that it is being pushed out along with the energy stored in your hands which may vibrate slightly. The tension in the hands is released explosively; the hands are snapped out fast and retracted just as fast. Exhale through the mouth as you push forwards concentrating on focusing the KI energy in the direction of movement.
  7. You then repeat the process. As you progress through the grades, doing the exercise to a count of 6 and then 8 further develops your Dan Jun breathing.
  8. At all times the entire body should be relaxed apart from the Dan Jun area and hands prior to the final exhalation. Often students misunderstand this and try to do the exercise by tensing up. Often they will grimace and go red in the face. This is incorrect and potentially dangerous if the student suffers from high blood pressure

Hapkido Dan Jun Ki breathing should be done as part of each Basic or Pattern. Once the student understands the breathing sequence it can then be applied to the patterns. All of the movements should be done while the breath is being circulated or exhaled and breathing in should only occur when the student is changing directions. This also applies to our basics, self defense and free sparring activities.

The writer Prof Dr. Rizwan Mustafa Zubairi is the Practitioner of Korean Martial Arts of Taekwondo and Hapkido. He is a writer/Lecturer on Korean martial Arts. He has done M.Sc (Applied Chemistry) M.B.A (Marketing) and is a qualified International Master Instructor. Achieved The 7 th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo and The 5 th Dan Black Belt in Hapkido. PhD in Martial Arts. Qualified Sports Administrator by Olympic Council of Asia (IOC) He is a proud member of the Korea Hapkido Federation HaeMuKwan www.haemukwan.com  and is the official representative for the country of Pakistan.


Hapkido: The Korean Art of Self Defense

October 15, 2009

The Art Of Hapkido
provided by World Martial Arts Magazine at www.worldmartialartsmagazine.com

The martial art known as Hapkido is an art of complete self defense.  Those who study it are more than capable of defending themselves in any type of situation, being more than able to apply their confidence and discipline from the art to enhance their lives, protecting themselves and those that they love as well.

Hapkido teaches students to use minimal force with any stronger opponent.  Contrary to other martial arts, it doesn’t involve strength to execute the techniques.  To control the opponent and take him down, Hapkido focuses on pressure points and the impact they have on opponents.  It also involves a very powerful arsenal of thrusts, spin kicks, and sweeps.  If they are executed properly, the moves from this martial art can be very effective against opponents and attackers.

Along with kicks, punches, and pressure point attacks; Hapkido also uses wrist and joint manipulation locks, along with several throwing techniques.  All together, there are nearly 300 categories of special movements in Hapkido that involve nearly 3,500 techniques.

Hapkido is a very popular martial art, which is mainly due to the fact that just about anyone, regardless of age or weight can practice the techniques.  The martial art also involves systematic training and stamina exercise, which can improve your health.  You don’t need to be in the best shape either, as Hapkido can actually help your body as well as your health.

Studying Hapkido will also help with developing your muscles, along with your posture, controlling your weight, developing confidence, self control, even fulfilling your spirit. 

Although it is mainly based in self defense techniques, it also teaches you how to become a better person and get yourself back in health and in touch with your spirit.

Throughout the style, the linear techniques work together to form a solid base in which all of the circular techniques can be perfected.  Everything in Hapkido is tried and tested, in order to come up with a balanced blend of techniques and skills that are apt for any situation.  With Hapkido being a martial art of self defense, there is a lot of practice involved blocking attacks in many different situations.  This way, the stylist can be more prepared for any situation he finds himself in.

Today, Hapkido is practiced by men and women of all ages, even little children.  It is a very beneficial martial art, one that can be utilized from nearly any position or direction, such as lying, sitting, and standing.  It is an art of self defense, and can even be deadly if the stylist is proficient with the techniques.  What makes it even more deadly though – is the fact that a lot of people aren’t familiar with it. For more information on Hapkido visit the world’s most respected hapkido organization at www.haemukwan.com

About the Author: Kevin Huston Rhodes is a TV and Radio personality in Orlando, Florida who holds black belts in Hapkido, KyukTookKi, and Mixed Martial Arts. He is the co-host of the “Action Martial Arts Magazine Show” on the Action Radio Network at www.actionradio.net and performer on the “Turning Up The Heat!” TV Show on Brighthouse Networks. He can be reach via his website at www.legacybelts.com . Add him to your World Martial Arts Network friends at www.worldmartialartsnetwork.ning.com .

Kyung-Yea: The Bow of Acknowledgement

October 14, 2009

Kyung-Yea: The Bow of Acknowledgement

 The Standing Bow

 Bowing to each other is the most visible manifestation of martial arts etiquette. It is also the most misunderstood practices observed by “Western” students. The only exposure people in our culture have to the act of bowing, is with some type of worship. Many see bowing as an admission of subservience or inferiority. So the Western mind typically reacts to the idea of bowing with negative feelings.


In the East a bow is not a sign of subservience at all. It is used as a greeting, or it is used similar to the Western handshake or salute.


There are two types of bows that are practiced in Korean Martial Arts. The first is the standing bow. It is performed from an ‘attention’ posture by bending forward at the waist approximately 45 degrees and looking down as a sign of respect and trust. This bow is not held for any length of time. One should simply bow forward and then recover to ‘attention’ posture. Occasionally, situations arise where a Western handshake accompanies the standing bow. The handshake can be done either in conjunction with the bow or afterwards. Regardless of the timing of the handshake, proper etiquette is to always exchange a ‘two-handed’ handshake. This is performed by grasping the hand of the person you are embracing with both of your hands, or by placing the left hand (open and palm down) underneath and behind your right elbow.


The Kneeling Bow


The second type is the kneeling bow. It is the most formal type of bow, and is done at the beginning and end of each class, testing, promotion ceremony, demonstration, or seminar. All students should stop what they are doing and join in any time a formal bow is being performed. If you are injured, or not in uniform, a standing bow is appropriate.


The formal kneeling bow is performed beginning from an ‘attention’ posture. At the command “jung-swa” the left knee is placed where the left foot was while standing – this is followed by placing the right knee similarly where the right foot was – except that the right knee should be placed slightly wider so that a gap of one to two fist widths is created between the knees. The body may then be rested upon the heels. This is followed by moving the loose lengths of the belt to a position outside of the thighs. The hands are then placed, relaxed, on the inside of the thigh, close to the groin area.

At the command “kyung-yea,” the bow is completed by first placing the left hand, followed by the right hand on the floor in front of you, so the hands (touching) form a triangle.


When you bow, lower your forehead to the triangle created by the hands. This bow is typically held for 1-2 seconds. Recover to the original kneeling posture with the torso first rising to a position where the arms are nearly straight but still touching the floor – next, return the hands, left hand first, to their respective positions on the thigh near the belt knot. Standing from this position is accomplished by first rising up onto the knee’s and then placing the left foot where the left knee was touching the floor, followed by standing and drawing the right foot into position where the right knee was.

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