When you move inside kicking range and punching range, you enter trapping range. There, attacking arms get deflected and immobilized; and knees, elbows and head butts cut loose. Learn how Jang Mu Won Hapkido handles close-range combat.

When you move inside kicking range and punching range, you enter trapping range. There, attacking arms get deflected and immobilized; and knees, elbows and head butts cut loose. Hapkido teaches a variety of hand techniques for trapping range, says Jeffrey D. Harris of Jang Mu Won Hapkido, the international organization founded by Black Belt Hall of Fame member Chong S. Kim. “When your opponent grabs you, you trap him with his own arms as you move in to twist and throw. We cover that extensively,” he says. Stephen Petermann, also of Jang Mu Won Hapkido, describes the art’s simple trapping philosophy: “It’s OK to just trap his hands so he can’t smack you, but it’s better to get them out of the way so you can smack him. One of my favorite techniques is to trap the guy’s arms, then kick him in the face with an outside crescent kick.” Against Weapons Traditional hapkido knife defense falls into this range because the attacker’s knife-wielding arm often gets trapped before the weapon is taken away or directed back toward him. “The general way is to control the limb with the weapon using a trapping technique, joint manipulation or pressure-point strike,” Jeffrey D. Harris says.


Explore pressure points in this FREE download! Human Pressure Points: 3 Jujitsu Techniques by Small-Circle Jujitsu Founder Wally Jay

“As far as weapons are concerned, when you’re fighting somebody, concentrate on the thing that can do the most damage but be aware of the others,” Stephen Petermann says. “Once you get your hands on the weapon-bearing arm, you’re not going to let go of it. You’re going to damage it.” Many martial artists criticize traditional knife defense as too unrealistic for street use. They claim trained knife fighters never attack in the simple, linear fashion often depicted in class. Yet Stephen Petermann defends hapkido’s knife-defense techniques: “If you put yourself in a situation where you face someone trained in how to use a knife, you are in the wrong situation. Defense is certainly much more difficult. But in a typical situation where the person is out of control, where he is really not a knife user but just picked up what happened to be handy, how good is he going to be with it?” He claims hapkido techniques directed against such impromptu opponents form a good foundation for self-defense.

Get more Korean martial arts in your FREE Guide to taekwondo!
Taekwondo Forms: Uncovering the Self-Defense Moves Within
Traditional Taekwondo Patterns

Elbows and Knees Hapkido’s trapping-range arsenal also includes numerous elbow and knee strikes. “They are some of the most deadly tools because they can be used very close,” Jeffrey D. Harris says. “If your opponent is right on top of you with his arms wrapped around you, you can still use your knees. If he picks you up, you can use your elbows.” Even if he bear-hugs you, Jeffrey D. Harris says, you can use your elbows to wiggle free, then continuously strike with them if he’s behind you or thrust with your knees if he’s in front. In self-defense in trapping range, head butts are much more important than most people think, Stephen Petermann says. “When you head-strike a person’s head, body or joints, try to have his energy coming directly toward you while you deliver the strike with your energy. And when you’re doing twists, a forehead becomes a worthwhile object to get the person hopping. It’s a good fulcrum.” “One example is against the side kick,” Jeffrey D. Harris adds. “As the opponent kicks, you enter, block the kick, trap it and strike with the head to the thigh.” (To be continued. Read Part 1 of this article to learn how hapkido functions in kicking range and Part 2 to learn how the Korean art functions in punching range.)
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
Keep Reading Show less

Training in Hapkido, Watching Billy Jack and becoming a sheepdog

On the East Coast and West Coast, schools had been emerging and multiplying since the mid-1960s, but those of us who lived in "flyover country" had few opportunities to broaden our understanding of arts like karate, kung fu, judo and taekwondo.

At Union University in my hometown of Jackson, Tennessee, I'd been fortunate to train from 1969 to 1970 in the then little-known art of hapkido. In a field-house basement, a Korean student and former captain in the ROK Army known only as Mr. Suh organized and taught the system to a small group of dedicated students. Suh ran a no-nonsense traditional class, and for 10 months, we couldn't get enough of his instruction. Despite the bruises and the blood, we always looked forward to our next session.

Keep Reading Show less

Learn the mechanics and do the drills, then unleash the beast that is your round kick!

Because of its versatility and power, the round kick — known to some martial artists as the turning kick, the saber kick or the roundhouse kick — is one of the most common leg techniques in our world. No matter your particular interpretation, the basics are the same: You swing your leg along an arc until your foot or shin strikes the target.

Keep Reading Show less

How it stacks up agains 3 other go-to responses to an attack

In hand-to-hand combat, you face a constant and undeniable danger. Among other injuries, you can sustain broken bones, torn cartilage and ruptured organs. You also can be knocked unconscious or killed.Over the millennia, various cultures have developed their own techniques and strategies for dealing with such threats. One of the most pervasive is punching. That's the case because in most unarmed encounters, a properly thrown punch is the most efficient and effective tool a martial artist can use.

Keep Reading Show less
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter