Kwan Nyom is the name given to the style or family of Hapkido taught by the International Hapkido Alliance. The name translates from Korean as the School of Concepts and was created by Grandmaster Geoff in June 1999. Kwan Nyom reflects the way we teach Hapkido – the core techniques are the same as most other traditional Hapkido schools, but it is the way in which we teach them that is different.

Traditionally Hapkido is taught as set responses to set grabs i.e. 10 releases from wrist grab, then 10 from cross wrist grab, etc. This means that the student will see a wide variety of techniques repeated throughout the process of learning a defence from each of the major grabs and attacks.

Kwan Nyom Hapkido teaches students concepts and formula on how to apply a defensive technique through the application of the lock to a number of different grabs or attacks. From there the student learns the concept and can then apply that technique regardless of where the attack or grab is.

The idea is similar to learning mathematics at school, once you know how addition works the 2 numbers become irrelevant, this is true with the concepts taught in Kwan Nyom. It becomes important to understand that certain techniques can be applied in certain situations because of their formula and once you truly understand this, the attack and where your opponent attacks you becomes irrelevant.

This then helps in real life self defence as you need to react in a situation that is not controlled or expected. Having an understanding of the concepts of self defence taught in the Kwan Nyom style of Hapkido means that you can apply whichever formula suits the situation, rather than trying to think what the self defence should be against that particular type of attack.

Kwan Nyom Hapkido is simply one way to interpret and practice Hapkido, it is the culmination of Grandmaster Geoff’s desire to create a better way for students to learn Hapkido. The process is simple with the focus pre-Black Belt being on the very practical use of Hapkido for self defence – this is shown through the concepts, strikes, and falling that are taught.

At Black Belt students continue to study a set curriculum but also get the opportunity to study the different variation aspects of Hapkido in depth. Each Black Belt degree (level) has as a requirement miscellaneous variation techniques which are added to the Black Belt’s studies, this continues the Kwan Nyom path whilst preserving some of the more traditional aspects.