Hapkido or Tang Soo Do?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Tman, Mar 7, 2019.

  1. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    Hello all, if anyone can share an insight into the differences between these two arts, Id appreciate it.

    Ive just finished 4 years of Wing Chun, and have decided to stop. Previously did Tae Kwon Do, I have a blue belt. I stopped TKD as the emphasis was 90% competition, and didn't have any defense for face strikes. Also, I have a long term injury to work with.

    I do however love the Korean approach, as I did TKD when young, and very regularly for a while, its etched into my brain.

    I like the fact that Hapkido has some throws also. Joint locks Ive never been too good at, but am open to learn. Correct me if Im wrong, but Tang Soo Do seems to incorporate face strikes as well as low kicks.

    Im not really interested in the sports, competition aspect. Realize this will vary from club to club, and the only answer is to try.

    Any shared experience much appreciated.
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    My advice would be to try out the schools to see if they meet your expectations. Pose these questions to the instructors and try a class or two to see which fits you best.

    I have limited experience with Tang Soo Do... I've always viewed it as a Taekwondo/Karate type of linear art with good deep stances and good strikes.

    Hapkido is a very different art (with lots of variations in the styles out there) but it has a background related to jujitsu and a bunch of Korean influences. Most HKD schools have a nice system of strikes, circular footwork, locks, and throws.
    Tman and abnjj like this.
  3. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Mod Note: Moved to General Martial Arts from articles area as it isn't an article. I did not want to bias the answers to either art, so that is why I moved it to General martial arts instead of either forum for Hapkido or Tang Soo do.

    Tman, if you want this posted in another area, let me know and I will move it again.
    Tman and Thomas like this.
  4. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    I think you’ve answered your own question: the only answer is to try.

    All things being equal, I like the breadth of Hapkido with throws and strikes alike. However, I can’t speak from experience. Thomas is the expert on this subject.

    Incidentally, what’s the difference between Tang Soo Do and Tang Soo Dau?
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  5. abnjj

    abnjj New Member

    When deciding any new art it will have to be one your really intrigued in otherwise you will probably steer yourself away naturally hapkido is aikido mixed with tkd.
    Maybe id suggest that for you given the roots are close but you have to seriously consider the location of the gym or facility ,also the teachers and the students and how you fit in might also be a huge factor hapkido imho is a very complete art!
    Tman likes this.
  6. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    One thing I'd think about is that Tang soo do has very close links to Shotokan karate and as such you then get a link to a lot of the modern bunkai (kata applications) material coming out at the moment.
    The work of people like Patrick Mcarthy and Iain Abernethy will have meaning to Tang soo do students but not in the same way to Hapkido students.
    Thomas, Mitch, Tman and 1 other person like this.
  7. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    Thanks. I'm a Tai Chi practitioner also, so perhaps the circular movements will be of interest.

    As another poster has suggested, a lot of course depends on the club. Only way is to try.
  8. abnjj

    abnjj New Member

    Thats always the best way take it from a guy that has studied more then a few arts you wont like them all with huge passion but some might spark your interest for awhile but a bad teacher or surrounding might ruin or the flip side a good teacher can make something great that most hapkido styles out there tend to be very physical artist if taught right completing stand up and ground work with the right teacher any art can be very interesting as well as useful all in one!
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  9. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    First Hapkido class last night.

    The only way I can describe it, is as a combination of Tae Kwon Do and Akido. There was the kidking element which I am very familiar with, then circular, subtle movements which Ive never experienced in a class, that has the straight, linear approach also.

    Very interesting and enjoyable.

    The instructor was a gentle, soft spoken man and the senior grades seemed welcoming and interested in my previous experience.

    Going for another class with this club, will also check out a Tang Soo Do class that's nearby.

    Been years since Ive been to a Korean martial arts class. Felt good...
  10. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

    Did you ever check out the Tang Soo Do class? If so, what did you think?
  11. Tman

    Tman Valued Member

    Yes, I checked it out and enjoyed it. Pretty much the same as tai kwon do, except we went over some elbows, knee strikes which was great.

    Im giving the Hapkido class 3 months of my time, it's in walking distance and I like the relaxed but thorough attitude of the teacher.
    The joint locks are something new to me, and seem very effective. There's a sword class also, which Id like to try.

    Time allowing, Ill go back to the Tang Soo Do class also.
    Mitch, Mitlov and Monkey_Magic like this.

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