The term “HoSinSool” can be literally translated from Korean to mean "Self Defense Techniques”. It can be taken as a distilled synthesis of both Korean TaeKwonDo and HapKiDo, with emphasis on the latter. It is the form of pure self-defense or unarmed combat often included in the programs of advanced TaeKwonDo and/or HapKiDo schools run by Masters of GrandMasters.
HoSinSool is more of a concept, e.g. a martial style. Its emphasis, in its civilian form, is
a) rapid threat analysis;
b) diffusion or neutralization of the threat;
c) escape from the threat.
This should be accomplished smoothly and with quick, efficient movements.
The emphasis in its military context is radically different, however, i.e.:
a) rapid threat analysis;
b) immediate termination of the threat.
Hapki HoSinSool could be generalized as “Street” or “stripped down” HapKiDo, i.e. it employs the same principles of HapKiDo, uses many of its fundamental techniques and has no poomse. However, some differences are apparent:
1. There are no kicks above the waist;
2. There is minimal emphasis to utilize more than 4 strikes;
3. There is no call to subdue to lock an aggressor unless external help is nearby;
4. There is great emphasis on escaping an immediate danger zone with all haste.
Civilian HoSinSool classes are never taught to children, and rarely to teenagers. Due to its make-up, it is especially suited to women or executives, but only those who are mature and of sound character. Those who are graduates (black belts) of TaeKwonDo or HapKiDo seeking more self-defense orientation usually swear by it. Weapons (short stick and knife) are also taught to senior students.
The military version of HoSinSool has been often described by serving officers as ‘brutal’ and ‘savage’, as the emphasis is not on neutralization or escape, but on termination and survival. Special combat knife, machete (parang) and stick techniques are taught, again with the emphasis on maiming or threat termination. There are very few Master qualified and/or experienced to give such instruction.
Visual progress in HoSinSool is similar to both TaeKwonDo and HapKiDo, with several Geup (10 to 15) and Dan (1 to 10) ranks available to students. However, due to the condensed and accelerated nature of the training program, a black belt can be obtained within 2 years of normal training, compared to 4 to 5 years for TaeKwonDo and/or HapKiDo. The downside, of course, is a lack of depth and understanding of the rationale behind as well as variations and extensions of the techniques themselves.