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Combat Hapkido

Milford Martial Arts Academy (Ohio) is proud to offer Combat Hapkido.  We are one of the few select schools in the United States to be able to offer this program.

    Combat Hapkido:

  • Tuesdays 8:00 – 8:45 PM
  • Fridays 6:30 – 7:15 PM
  • Saturdays 10:00 – 11:00 AM
    Traditional Hapkido:

  • Thursdays 8:00 – 8:45

Combat Hapkido is one of the most practical and effective self defense systems ever devised.  Combat Hapkido was originally conceived by Grand Master John Pelligrini in 1992.  It resembles Hapkido, an art considered similar to or derived from Jujitsu but puts a more practical aspect on modern day self defense. Combat Hapkido is known as Chon-Tu Kwan in Korean. It was the first non-traditional Hapkido style founded by an American to receive official “Kwan” recognition by the World Ki-Do Federation. While there is a belt ranking system in Combat Hapkido, there are no forms or Katas. Due to the majority of techniques that employ joint manipulation and locks classes are offered only to adults and young adults or teenage (13 & up) Martial Artists.

 Traditional Hapkido

Hapkido was derived from Aikijujutsu, which is said to be the continuation of a martial tradition of the Aizu Clan dating back several hundred years.   Aikijujutsu was brought over from Japan to Korea in 1946 after World War II by Choi Young-Sool.  Choi studied with the same Master of Aikijujutsu (Sokaku Takeda) as did Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido.  Choi, Young-Sool taught a man named Ji Han-Jae, who started his own school and added kicks and strikes from the art of TaeKyeon creating a new form of martial art.

Hap-Ki- Do, literally translated means coordination, power, and the way (the art of coordinated power).  Coordination is Hap, the essence of power denotes ki, and do means art or the way.   As a practitioner of Hapkido one learns to apply all three of principals in mastering the art.  The most important is ki; the essence of power. Ki is gained by joining the mind and body into one spiritual and physical unit.

As a practitioner begins to recognize ki and develop unity between the mind and body, the student is taught basic techniques (blocks, punches, kicks and throws).  The practitioner must then learn to coordinate the newfound abilities into free flowing power and energy.  The three basic skills to be learned are:

  • The water principal directs practitioners to penetrate the defense of an opponent by flowing in, over, around and under his attacks.
  • The circular-motion principal directs practitioners to gain and impart momentum by moving in a circular manner.  This helps control the balance and kinetic energy of the attacker.
  • The harmony principal directs practitioners to remain relaxed, flexible and not tense.  They learn to not meet force with force.

Non resistance is one of the major areas where the art of Hapkido differs from its more traditional karate cousins.  For example, as a practitioner of Hapkido, one would avoid a direct confrontation, rather than step inside an opponent’s area of greatest momentum and block with a hard right angle thrust.

Grandmaster John Pellegrini

Grandmaster Pellegrini is a student of Grandmaster Sun Seo who was promoted to black belt by Ji Han Jae.  Grandmaster Pellegrini has more than 40 years of martial arts training, beginning his study of judo and karate in his native Italy in 1966.  He served in the elite 1st Airborne Regiment of the Italian Army – NATO Forces from 1968 to 1969.

Moving to the United States in 1970, he pursued a career in law enforcement, corporate security, investigations and executive protection until 1987, when he became a full-time marital arts instructor operating a chain of schools in Florida.  Grandmaster Pellegrini holds ninth-degree black belts in hapkido and taekwondo.  He is also a certified instructor in aikido and jeet kune do.  He has been inducted into more than 20 martial arts halls of fame and received numerous honors, including Black Belt Magazine Instructor of the Year, and Tae Kwon Do Times Hapkido Instructor of the Year.  Grandmaster Pellegrini has been on the cover of 17 magazines around the world.

Combat Hapkido

In 1989 Grandmaster Pellegrini began teaching hapkido seminars around the country gaining a strong following in the martial arts community.  He called his style “Combat Hapkido” to identify his mission (self defense) and to distinguish his style from other traditional hapkido styles.  Combat Hapkido is an extremely realistic and versatile discipline of self protection that includes an extensive variety of strikes, kicks, joint locks, pressure points, ground survival and disarming techniques.  Combat Hapkido is unique in that it straddles the line between the ancient and the modern.  As the word hapkido implies, it has roots in old-time Korea.  But the addition of “combat” indicates that it’s been modified and updated to better address the needs of reality-based self defense practitioners.  The Combat Hapkido curriculum does  not contain forms, ancient weapons or acrobatic kicks; however, it does contain many of traditional hapkido’s deeply rooted Aikijujutsu basics, blended with elements of selected grappling and striking arts.  The result is a practical, comprehensive self defense system that is enjoyable to learn and truly effective in real world situations.  It is well suited for men and women of all ages and sizes because physical strength and athletic abilities are not essential.

In 1992 Grandmaster Pellegrini structured a unique curriculum and founded the International Combat Hapkido Federation as the official governing body to issue certifications to students and instructors worldwide.  In 1999, Combat Hapkido (Chon-Tu Kwan Hapkido) was officially registered and accredited as a legitimate “Kwan” by the World Kido Association (Recognized by the Korean government).

For more information on our Combat Hapkido program, call or contact the Milford Martial Arts Academy.

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