The name hankido is a mix of the name Hanguk (the Korean name for their country) and hapkido. The resulting word hankido is often written with the han in archaic Korean, where the letter "a" (ㅏ) is written as arae-a, which looks like a dot. Hankido aims to be a martial art for and from the Korean people, accessible to everyone.
The word hankido actually consists of three different words:
So you could say that hankido means: The way for Korean people to develop their internal energy/strength. Of course hankido is not just for Koreans; foreigners all over the world practice this martial art and benefit from it.
Hankido is a relatively new hapkido style, developed by the late Myung Jae Nam. Myung Jae Nam studied traditional hapkido which formed the basis of this new art. Myung Jae Nam started the development of what we now know as hankido in the 1980s. This new hapkido style can be recognized by its elegant, circular movements which the hankido practitioner uses to get in control of his or her opponent. Of course this is partly because hankido has its roots partly in hapkido, but also because Myung Jae Nam, who was a talented dancer, mixed the techniques with traditional Korean dance. This part of hankido is called: Moo Yae Do Bub (무예도법).
Hankido was first officially introduced during the 1st International H.K.D Games in Seoul, South-Korea. The development of hankido did not stop there, and in the years after its introduction hankido lost some of its rough edges. In 1993 the IHF trademarked the name hankido in both hangul and hanja writing (not Western writing!) in South-Korea for the first time.
Myung Jae Nam toured Europe and the United States to promote his new art until his death in 1999. During the 3rd edition of these games, Myung Jae Nam introduced another art, called hankumdo.
The difference between hapkido and hankido is that hankido is much more an internal art where hapkido is a semi-internal art. Hankido emphasizes the use of three principles, which are Won (圓), Yu (流), and Hwa (和), and using the power of softness.
To give the hankido practitioner more insight into these principles, there are three exercises they can practice, the Sam Dae Wolly (삼대원리). The name of the exercise representing the circle-principle is called Jeon Hwan Bub (전환법). The name for the exercise of the flow-principle is called Young Nyu Bub (역류법) and the last exercise, representing the heart-principle, is called Shim Hwa Bub (심화법). This last one is also referred to as the rowing exercise.
Another unique aspect of hankido is that it consists of twelve basic self-defense techniques (ho shin ki, 호신기) which are connected to 24 breathing techniques: twelve for the defender called 'Techniques of the Sky' (Chun Ki Bub, 천기법, 天氣法) and twelve techniques for the attacker called 'Techniques of the Earth' (Ji Ki Bub, 지기법, 地氣法). Heaven and Earth are each others opposites and thus resemble the Chinese Um (Yin) and Yang.
Of course there is more to hankido than just these twelve circle techniques, but these form the stable basis for every hankido practitioner. It is better to train one technique a thousand times than practice a thousand techniques only once.
There are 8 disciplines (directions) in which the I.H.F teaches the hankido curriculum.
The twelve basic self defense techniques on which the hankido curriculum is build, are called:
After Myung Jae Nam's death the development of hankido has been overseen by the Jaenam Musul Won Foundation.
There are several international and Korean initiatives to spread the art of hankido. Most well known for his effort to do this is Master Ko Baek Yong from the Sang Moo Kwan International Training Center.