Ki is said to give the world substance, through its manifestation in the 5 elements - wood, fire, metal, water and earth. Hapkido's diverse range of techniques were largely developed for self defence and to provide a framework for the perfection of character by integrating mental, physical and spiritual values.
Physical techniques are characterised by a constant flow of striking, blocking, holding and throwing techniques. Constant motion and fluid circular movements are designed to blend with an opponent's force.
Tactics often alternate between highly aggressive and defensive modes, with power being generated through use of one's entire body. Hapkido utilises about 1100 core techniques, which are modified or combined to create thousands of variations.
Hapkido is often identified by its many unusual and spectacular kicks. Hapkido's extremely practical and versatile nature has led to its wide use by law enforcement and military professionals, as well as by the general public.