Breakfall Standards

Up Breathing Standards Warm-up Standard Blocking Standards Striking Standards Kicking Standards Breakfall Standards Grappling Standard

Regardless of the Hapkido tradition each and every Hapkido art has a series of Breakfall techniques. Loosely Identified as "Naek Bup) or "Falling Methods" these exercises make it possible for the practitioners to execute there techniques and receive those techniques with minimal impact to the body and spirit. Once again I have compared the World Hapkido Federation, Dr' Kimm's Hapkido, the HWA RANG DO and the KUK SOOL WON Breathing material . 

The 1st group of Breakfall Techniques are shared by 4 out of the four groups and these are coded Blue.
The 2nd group are Breakfall  Techniques shared by 3 out of four  and these are coded Green.
The 3rd group are Breakfall Techniques shared by 2 out of 4-- Violet.
The 4th group are for Breakfall  Techniques that are unique to only one out of the four. They are Auburn and represent the least likely to be retained in the basic material identifying a standard Hapkido curriculum.  

Effectively the whole idea of being able to perform a breakfall is not just to be able to master the matter of falling, but to be able to provide a safe partner for one's fellow upon whom to practice. As I teach my students, the idea of "throwing" a partner is not actually what is happening in the fundamental techniques of Hapkido. The techniques are too often found to come out of the belief system that it is better to maim or incapacitate an opponent than to kill them out-right. In this way the techniques of the Hapkido arts are intended to break and fracture rather than to kill. The problem is that most people are reluctant to be a part of an activity in which they will sustain physical damage. Therefore, it becomes necessary that a person understand how to remain a quarter-second and a quarter-inch ahead of one's partner so that the partner can execute the technique with the authority necessary to have its effect.

My sense is that many of the complaints that are lodged against the Hapkido arts stem from the fact that people work in concert with their partner turning the technique into a kind of "martial gymnastic". My position is that a partner ought to be able to execute a technique with the authority necessary to inflict damage but that the receiver of the action should be skilled enough to remain ahead of the technique.

In examining the chart for Breakfalls, I note that the KUK SOOL WON people are perhaps the most exotic and acrobatic of the Hapkido arts considered, followed closely by the HAW RANG DO folks.

Yon Mu Kwan / WHF 

He-Young Kimm  (Hapkido) 

Hwa Rang Do 

Kuk Sool Won 


1. Static Forward Roll 

Front Roll 

Forward Roll 

Rolling Fall 

2. Front Fall 

Front Fall 

Front Fall 

Front Fall

3. Back Fall 

Back Fall 

Back Fall

Back Fall 

4. Side Fall 

Side Fall 

Side Fall 

Side Fall 

5. Dynamic Forward Roll 

Cat Roll 


6. Air Roll 

High Rolling Fall 

Reverse Side Fall 

Front Side Fall 

Front Flip

Front Flip 

Back Flip 

Back Flip 


Two-Hand Cart-wheel 

One-Hand Cart-wheel

Elbow Cart-Wheel 

Obstacle Falling 

Flying Flip