Combat hapkido is unique in that it straddles the line between the ancient and the modern. As the word “hapkido” implies, combat hapkido 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. So even though it’s an old art, it’s also relatively new—which is precisely why it’s attracting the attention of growing numbers of martial artists. “Combat hapkido is down-and-dirty self-defense; it’s not geared for children or sports,” says John Pellegrini, the Chandler, Arizona-based martial artist who founded the style. “I don’t use the old methods—forms, ancient weapons, leaping and bounding maneuvers, or static stances and positions that have been proved ineffective in close-quarters combat. However, I’ve retained many of hapkido’s deeply rooted aikijujutsu basics and effective self-defense components, and blended them with elements from selected grappling and striking arts.” Outlined below are three of John Pellegrini’s favorite combat-hapkido combinations.
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