The purpose of Hapkido is to train your spirit as well as your body. As a reflection of these higher goals, all Hapkido practitioners pay due respect to each other (before, during and after class), to instructors and to the flags of the United States and Korea. There are two bows in Hapkido — standing and kneeling.

Standing Bow

1.    Stand with your feet together, arms relaxed, hands at your sides, with your eyes looking forward.
2.    Tuck your chin in, and with a natural motion, bend your upper body forward about 30 degrees. Touch your fingertips to your kneecaps. Return to your original position.

Moving from a Standing Posture to a Seated Posture

1.    Start in an upright position.
2.    Pull back your left leg and kneel down on your knee (your left foot will rest on the ball of the foot).
3.    Kneel down on your right knee and place both feet together.
4.    Straighten out your toes and squat down with your right toe crossing your left big toe. The space between your knees should be about 12-14 inches. Place both hand on your thighs, the fingers together and turned slightly inward. When standing up, follow the same steps in reverse order.

Kneeling Bow

1.    Begin from the kneeling position, with your hands on your lap.
2.    Place both hands in front of your knees on the floor and bend and lower your elbows. The index fingers of each hand should touch slightly. The upper body should bend down so that the brow of your head is about 12 inches above both hands. Then return to the kneeling position.


Your instructors and fellow students make an effort to be in class on time; therefore, no reason will be acceptable to have them wait on you. Promptness is an important quality that you should instill in yourself. If class is scheduled for 7:15, you should be in the do-jang ready to workout by 7:00. Students are expected to stretch beforehand.


Hapkido is a contact art which involves touching your fellow classmates. You should come to practice with a fresh mind and a clean body. In the interest of physical hygiene and mutual respect for your fellow students, you should wear a clean and odor-free do-bok. Your fingernails and toenails should be clean and neatly trimmed to prevent injury to you and your partners.


The do-jang is only for serious martial artists — not for a social gathering. While our do-jang is coeducational, it is no place for any type of affectionate display. Since the do-jang is to be considered a place for respect, foul language and disrespectful conduct will not be tolerated. Whether in the do-jang for class or personal practice or during promotional examinations, never criticize a fellow student for not moving well, blame a partner for not making you “look good enough”, or sacrifice your Hapkido technique. Such behavior is not consistent with the basic Hapkido philosophy.


Try to refrain from idle conversation while practicing Hapkido. You should come to the do-jang to practice martial arts — not your mouth. In coming early to class, or if you are injured and watching the workout, please do not distract fellow students or the instructor.  Silence during testing is critical. You should always be able to hear his voice.  When the instructor is talking, he should have your undivided attention. If you have a question during the workout session, do not ask a fellow student; raise your hand to ask the instructor. Discipline of the mind is a must as you learn to take control of your body


One of the most important reasons for do-jang etiquette is to provide safe workout conditions for all students. Safety precautions are never regretted. You will soon learn that everything happening within the walls of the do-jang is strongly based upon the principles of mutual welfare and benefit.


When coming early before the workout, you should stretch and not practice Hapkido techniques. Practice will disrupt the class currently being conducted.  Once you have finished stretching, you should sit quietly. There are two acceptable ways for sitting:
Oriental style and western (Indian) style. The latter is to sit with your legs crossed and hands comfortably in your lap. Oriental style is to kneel with the feet and knees together, while sitting on your heels. During class meditation, students must kneel unless prohibited due to an injury. For this exception, western style sitting is acceptable Why can’t you just lie down or sit any way you are comfortable? Sitting correctly shows respect for your instructor, fellow classmates and yourself. In addition, someone might accidentally trip over your extended legs, fall and hurt either themselves or you. If you are sitting in the proper position, you will be able to move more quickly and prevent accidents. When watching class, always sit on the edge of the mat and stay aware of what is going on around you. Watching others is an important learning tool for the martial arts.


An all-white do-bok is required for a formal workout. Brown belts and above substitute black pants for the white in a traditional uniform. Being a vigorous physical art, Hapkido will cause you to perspire profusely and feel hot. Always wear your do-bok properly and treat it with respect. It should be clean and wrinkle-free.  Do not roll up the sleeves or wear in a disarranged fashion so as to cool off. Since laundering your do-bok frequently will cause it to deteriorate, it is recommended that you have several do-boks to switch between and to rinse the sweat off the do-bok each time between workouts. Everyone is responsible for knowing how to properly fold and care for their do-bok.


No jewelry (rings, watches, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, etc.) is allowed during workouts. Neither men nor women are exempt. Women are expected to remove barrettes which could injure an eye. Your instructor should not have to take the time to repeatedly tell students to remove those items capable of injuring your partners or yourself.

Leaving the Mat During Practice:

Once you bow onto the mat for a workout session, you should not leave the workout nor the room without the permission of the instructor. If you know that you will need to leave class early, you should inform your instructor before the class commences; and when it comes time to leave, raise your hand and ask permission once again. Make sure to use proper etiquette when bowing out of class, including shaking hands with your partners and bowing off the mat.