Jiu Jitsu vs Hapkido: 3 Huge Differences & Tips To Choose!

Are you looking to start in a new martial art? If you’re looking for a gentle art you might be choosing between Hapkido or jiu jitsu. Both martial arts come in different types and with different benefits and drawbacks. In this jiu jitsu vs hapkido article I explain what these martial arts are, in which types they come, what their benefits are and which one might be the right choice for you.

jiu jitsu vs hapkido

What is Hapkido?

Hapkido means ‘way of coordinated energy’. It’s a traditional Korean martial art, like karate, Wing Chun, Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do, which originated in the 50’s. It’s a sport that’s similar to aikido, but harder and more complete. There are the more traditional styles of Hapkido which focus on self defense (traditional hapkido), but there are also sport styles (combat hapkido) which focus more on competition.

Hapkido is a useful martial art to learn, because it teaches you how to defend yourself against an attacker. It also teaches you how to escape dangerous situations without harming the attacker.

What is Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu jitsu (or ju jitsu, or jujutsu) is a martial art that originated in Japan. There are different styles of jiu jitsu. The main styles are Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ), which is a sport that focuses on ground fighting, and Japanese jiu jitsu, which is a traditional Japanese martial art that focuses on self defense.

Jiu Jitsu has become very popular through the success of Royce Gracie with Gracie jiu jitsu in mixed martial arts (MMA). Nowadays it’s common for a mixed martial artist in the UFC to have a black belt in BJJ.

Difference between hapkido and jujitsu

There are notable differences between hapkido and jiu-jitsu. Some prominent differences between the two martial arts are:

  • The origin: Korea for Hapkido, Japan or Brazil for jiu jitsu.
  • The philosophy: Hapkido means ‘way or coordinated energy’, whereas jiu jitsu means ‘the gentle art’, which is similar but not the same.
  • The techniques: Hapkido techniques are very round and flowing, whereas jiu jitsu focuses on limiting the movement of the attacker. 

Hapkido vs japanse jiu jitsu

Hapkido and Japanese jiu jitsu are both Traditional Martial Arts. Both use a traditional belt system to indicate rank. And both are also complete martial arts that include striking and grappling techniques.

The differences between hapkido and Japanese jiu jitsu mainly lie-in in its origin (Japan vs Korea). Other than that it really depends on which school you go to. There may be bigger differences within Japanese jiu jitsu and within different Hapkido schools than there are between the two arts.

Bjj vs Hapkido

Brazilian jiu jitsu and hapkido are completely different. BJJ still uses a traditional belt system, but BJJ does not include striking techniques at all (unless we’re talking about Gracie jiu-jitsu). And BJJ training emphasizes sparring, whereas Hapkido training emphasizes kata.

BJJ is also primarily a sport, not a traditional martial art. This implies that in BJJ you train to beat other people that do BJJ, not necessarily to beat untrained people in a self defence situation. (Nevertheless, here’s why BJJ is still great for self defense.)

Who wins a Brazilian jiu jitsu vs Hapkido fight?

A Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner always wins from a Hapkido practitioner in a fight. This is because BJJ focuses on sparring, which prepares a BJJ athlete for the stress of a live confrontation. Hapkido training focuses on kata’s and techniques, but not application in real life.

I also found some ‘proof’ that BJJ is better than Hapkido. In the ‘Hapkido vs BJJ’ video below, you see a fight between a Hapkido black belt and a BJJ blue belt (blue belt is the second belt in the BJJ ranking system, but bear in mind that BJJ belts take longer to get than in other martial arts). The Hapkido black belt gets destroyed by the BJJ blue belt. 

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