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Hapkido or 合氣道 is a mostly-defensive martial art of Korea.
Hapkido has some connection to Aikido of Japan. In fact, they are written with the same characters in both languages. However, it should be noted that the Korean Hanja characters shown here are the traditional Chinese form - but in modern Japan, the middle character was slightly simplified.
Note: You can consider this to be the older Japanese written form of Aikido. Titles on older books and signs about Aikido use this form.
The connection between Japanese Aikido and Korean Hapkido is a bit muddled in history. The issue is probably due to the difficult relationship between the two countries around the time of WWII. Many Koreans became virtual slaves for the Japanese during that period. After WWII, many things in Korea were disassociated from having any Japanese origin. The relationship has greatly mellowed out now.
Looking at the characters, the first means "union" or "harmony".
The second character means "universal energy" or "spirit".
The third means "way" or "method".
One way to translate this into English is "Harmonizing Energy Method". This makes since, as Hapkido has more to do with redirecting energy, rather that fighting with strength against strength.
More Hapkido info
1. Sometimes Hapkido is Romanized as "hap ki do", "hapki-do" "hab gi do" or "hapgido".
2. Korean Hanja characters are actually Chinese characters that usually hold the same meaning in both languages. There was a time when these characters were the standard and only written form of Korean. The development of modern Korean Hangul characters is a somewhat recent event in the greater scope of history. There was a time when Chinese characters were the written form of many languages in places known in modern times as North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and a significant portion of Malaysia. Even today, more people in the world can read Chinese characters than English.
3. While these Korean Hanja characters can be pronounced in Chinese, this word is not well-known in China and is not considered part of the Chinese lexicon.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|ai ki do / aikido||hé qì dào|
he2 qi4 dao4
he qi dao
|ho ch`i tao
ho chi tao
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your hapkido search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| hé qì dào
he2 qi4 dao4
ho ch`i tao
ho chi tao
aikidou / aikido
aikido (Japanese martial art); hapkido (Korean martial art)
(out-dated kanji) (martial arts term) aikido
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Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
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Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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