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Tactical Hapkido
Also known as Tactical Hapkido
Focus Hybrid
Country of origin United States United States of America
Creator Barry Rodemaker
Parenthood primarily Hapkido
Olympic sport no
Official website

Tactical Hapkido is a form of Hapkido founded by Grandmaster Barry Rodemaker (8th degree black belt).[1][2]Grandmaster Rodemaker is also the president of the Tactical Hapkido Alliance (THA), which he founded in 2001. The THA is officially recognized by the International Black Belt Organization[2][3] and this system has expanded to 14 states in 21 martial arts academies.[4]


Systematizing and Description

Tactical Hapkido is different from Traditional Hapkido in that it focuses more on practical self defense. As such, Tactical Hapkido does not have the traditional forms but focuses more on the techniques, low kicking, Ki Striking, and trapping drills.[5] Tactical Hapkido is not a new martial art, but a style within the Hapkido family.[6]

The core Tactical Hapkido curriculum uses the main concepts taught from traditional Hapkido techniques, while removing other traditional techniques that are conceptually redundant. Thus, Tactical Hapkido provides a clear base for the student where the concepts can be expanded upon depending on the situation presented.

Traditional Hapkido techniques which prove impractical in a real world scenario have been removed, including acrobatic break falls, jump/spinning kicks, and other riskier techniques. Tactical Hapkido's core curriculum has been broken down into 9 levels, each level consisting of 10 techniques. Basics in the beginning level, which are break-aways, teaches the student proper stances and use of the water principal as found in Soft martial arts against the attacker. Tactical Hapkido students are taught the methods of using leverage, non resistance and flowing between the techniques during their routine class training.[5] And is a mandatory requirement for promotion to fourth degree black belt (Master Certification).[5] The following levels are where the core curriculum is taught building off the basics learned previously. The more advanced levels teach the student how to apply the core concepts by using various example situations.

To supplement the core curriculum found after the first black belt level, Tactical Hapkido teaches the student how to apply the concepts taught earlier in a variety of situations compatible with the core curriculum. This includes ground fighting, Trapping (Martial Arts), cane and weapons disarming.

Distractions in the Tactical Hapkido system prior to performing the techniques are critical to the effectiveness of that technique. The types of distractions that can be employed include, but are not limited to, low kicks, strikes such as palm heel and uppercuts, as well as using pressure points, at various parts of the body.[5]

Tactical Hapkido Specialized Cane Program

Tactical Hapkido along with some other systems incorporate self-defense techniques using the cane into their training curriculums at the master level. The reason the THA lists the cane as one of their preferred self-defense tools is due to modern real world self-defense applications and can be utilized effectively by those who need to use them in real-life. A normal walking cane within most state and national jurisdictions is generally recognized as one of the only blunt carrying objects allowed to be carried in a public airport .[7] Due to the cane's legal status, ready availability to acquire, general lightweight carry and being a cheap weapon to use, Tactical Hapkido has as extensive "Cane" curriculum that includes: Offensive Strikes, Joint Locks, Sweeps, and Traps, along with Defenses against Kicks, Punches, Bear Hugs, Knife, and Grabs.


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