The word Hapkido consists of three words from the Korean language. The first word, Hap means to combine, coordinate, or make one. This combining or harmonizing is part of what makes Hapkido such a versatile and effective martial art. Hap refers to the ability to harmonize with an opponent’s energy, momentum, weight, speed, strength, and angle of attack. Through effective timing, rhythm, body mechanics and movement students learn to overcome a larger, stronger, or even faster opponent.

The second term, Ki identifies the power that pervades the universe, and has been defined as mind, spirit, heart, or breath depending upon the context in which it is used. Ki is a form of vital energy, representing the life force and a source of internal strength. Ki development through the unification of mind, body, and breath is an essential element of Hapkido.

The third word, Do means the way or the path. This term implies a journey or the pursuit of a particular lifestyle, philosophy, or discipline. Such a journey requires dedication to finding harmony and peace among one’s fellow man and with the very forces and rhythms of the universe.

Jang Mu Won Hapkido has three major principles which serve as the foundation of the art and which are manifested in defensive techniques: the Water principle, the Circle principle, and the Harmony principle.