United World Muay Thai Association

Combat Hapkido

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United World Muay Thai Association was formed in 1993 by Vut kamnark
who saw the need for a better governing body over Muay Thai fighting regulations
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Combat Hapkido

History of Combat Hapkido 

 The quintessence of Combat Hapkido is purely Self Defense. Combat Hapkido is perfect for those people who don't have the time, wish or capacity to commit to the demanding and intense study of Martial Arts but still want to learn some kind of self-defense.

Let us get to know more about the concept of combat Hapkido, its history and the way it is in the modern world. 


Combat Hapkido is another form of Hapkido but is a modern form. Grandmaster John Pellegrini was the one who developed this self-defence art in the year 1990. He started with the training of martial arts when he was just 11 years old. In the last thirty years, he has done a lot of training and research in the field of martial arts.

After numerous years of improvement and study, Grandmaster Pellegrini has remained an active master of Taekwondo. He eventually decided on Hapkido to be his forte and choice. 

According to him, Hapkido is the most comprehensive way of self-defence. It became the foundation of the now Combat Hapkido. Grandmaster Pellegrini modified this art in certain areas and formulated a style and structure of his own.

This art is presently known as Combat Hapkido. In the year 1992, when the requests from fellow martial artists and friends came overflowing, Grandmaster Pellegrini decided on establishing the International Combat Hapkido Federation or ICHF.

The primary aim of the ICHF is to standardize and certify the curriculum for Combat Hapkido. From the beginning, the ICHF has been experiencing amazing growth in the United States and about fifteen other countries. Presently about hundreds of schools have adopted this self-defensive technique and are imparting it to their students. 


Combat Hapkido has no forms or Hyungs but is entirely a form of pragmatic self-defence. It involves none of the traditional fixed stances. It does not have any of those high acrobatic kicks.

The kicking in this form is at the celiac plexus and the areas below it. Combat Hapkido has nothing to do with a fan or a bamboo sword. The self-defence weapons used in Combat Hapkido are umbrella or cane, rope or belt and short sticks. It teaches a person how to disarm a person with lethal weapons such as guns and knives.

Grandmaster Pellegrini after a lot of research came to the conclusion that a lot of martial arts have great theories and techniques. He used all that knowledge and incorporated it into the matrix of Combat Hapkido.

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Combat Hapkido is also known as the Science of Self-Defense. The study and research of conceptual movements and principles have assisted in understanding the art of self-defense in a more systematic and easy way.

Grandmaster Pellegrini with the help of his instructors spent years in research and practically implying these theories. This led to three basic foundation principles namely circle, water and coordination. Let us have a look at those principles: CIRCLE The circle is present in many areas of Combat Hapkido. 

The rank concept of this self-defence is also based on the concept of a circle. A student gains experience and skills and with their persistence reaches the stage of acquiring the black belt. The people who continue pursuing this art realize that having this high rank means nothing and they still have a lot of things to learn. Eventually, they realize that they will always be learning something new and that learning is like a never-ending circle. Circle also stands for your personal space. 

If ever a person tries to intrude into your personal space and is in an aggressive mode then you are permitted to defend yourself against them be it physically or not. In addition, every person is equipped with a circle of self-defence. This is a reference as to how far can their tools, used for defense reach. A lot of techniques of this art use a circular motion for self-defense. 


Water has an adaptable nature and is soft. It has no difficulties from the obstacles that come in its path. Instead, it blends with those difficulties and freely flows on the path that it has in front. It adapts to things but the true and unique nature of water never changes. 

This is a lesson for us. This simply means that hardness can be overcome with the help of softness. We know when a lot of stress is applied to steel it eventually caves in and breaks. Whereas water can be obstructed or separated but comes to its initial form eventually and becomes whole again. In the same manner in Combat Hapkido you should not always have the ideology of tit for tat. 

Force always does not cut force. Instead of this a person should redirect their energy and flow rather than retaliate. The energy should be dissipated. COORDINATION When performing Combat Hapkido it is very vital that your body, mind, technique, aggressor and even the environment should be in coordination. 

After a student starts to understand the mechanics and movements of a technique, he/she must bring his/her mind in coordination with those movements and practice it thoroughly so that you do not have to even think to perform a movement. 

Your body should move on its own. When your body and mind move as a single entity during a technique then only the usage of the environment can be studied and understood - If you can use that technique inside a closet or does that particular movement require more space than that? 

When defending yourself you should be aware of the environment as it can be dangerous to perform certain movements on icy surfaces or if there are pieces of glass around that could hurt you. Not every movement suits every situation you are in. You need coordination to counteract your opponent’s movements to perform self-defense. 


So now we know Combat Hapkido is a diverse form of martial art. It's a practical self-defense system that is based on Hapkido's scientific principles.It is the amalgamation of scientific principles, dynamic concepts, practical applications and common sense. Thus if you want to learn self-defense you should definitely try this form.



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