Circle Principle

With the circle, as with water, we see a form that is inherent in nature and that manifests itself in myriad ways within the world around us. The idea of circular motion is also central to the execution of technique in Hapkido. In many styles of martial arts the direction of movement, and thereby energy, is linear. While this type of movement is not to be underestimated, other styles of martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan, Ba Gua Zhang, and numerous other “soft’ or “internal” styles, utilize primarily circular movements as a means of defense. In Hapkido, sweeps, throws, and joint-locks generally involve either a full or semi-circular motion in their execution.

The circular motion may be slow or rapid, graceful or powerful. This motion, when properly executed, can generate momentum forceful enough to subdue any opponent. Combining an attacker’s power with one’s own in a circular motion results in highly effective defensive maneuvers.

The three basic steps in completing a technique while applying the Circle principle are redirection, absorption, and joining.

Read Next Principle