The Ki grip is a fundamental principle and technique of Hapkido. To fully understand the concept behind this one must understand the meaning of “ki” in Hapkido. There are abundant resources online and off that can offer detail explanation of “ki”. We will not devote too much time in this lesson to discuss “ki” in length. However, in the most simplistic sense, “ki” is the internal energy that one can develop through training and meditation over time. When applied properly, this internal energy can translate into incredible power.
Gripping is one among many skills that can be enhanced by applying this internal energy. Hand and wrist gripping are commonly used in Hapkido to control an opponent. A properly applied firm grip can greatly increase the successful execution of a technique.
We begin this lesson by showing the formation of the grip. Normally we grip with all five fingers. With Ki grip, the index finger is fully extended while the gripping is done with the other fingers, in an eagle claw like fashion. On the theoretical side, the extended finger helps facilitate better flow of “ki” energy; on the anatomical side, the extended finger tensions the surrounding muscles thus making the grip more rigid and more difficult to break.
When a firm grip is properly executed, one can inflict tremendous pain with various twisting techniques (as shown in the video). In the case of hand gripping, the gripping fingers are often used to attack pressure points which can numb and significantly weaken an opponent. We will discuss more on this topic in our follow up lesson next time.
Knife defense techniques are high level Hapkido skills that are usually introduced to students who are close to attaining the first black belt. At this point students should at least be familiar with the use of basic techniques such as Ki Grip, pressure points, and joint manipulation.
Depending on the form of the knife attack, there can be numerous combinations of defense and counterattack techniques. Such techniques, however, would be difficult to execute without the proper footwork to match. In this Blog Lesson, Master Kim and Instructor Cha show us the basic knife defense stance.
In this lesson, we will concentrate on the defense against a simple straight knife thrust.
Instructor Cha begins by showing us the ready stance. Pay attention to the placement of his hands and feet. His feet are positioned in a perpendicular manner. This is supposed to allow easy sideways and front and back movements. This footwork is extremely important. Students need to be comfortable moving about as it is crucial to be able to step away quickly from the line of attack. Like all maneuvers, to be able to react effectively much practice is required.
Next, Master Kim shows us how mastering this footwork payoffs against a knife thrust. In this situation, the knife is coming straight at you in a linear direction. Simply deflecting the attack may not be enough and is dangerous. A safer tactic is to step away and get your body completely away from the line of attack. Remember the placement of the hands? In a real situation, one would usually step away while using one hand to deflect and stabilize the attacking hand. Once this is done, a combination of counterattacks would be possible.