John Pellegrini – Combat Hapkido
"Make yourself like a porcupiney", Pellegrini advised us in his musical Italian accent. He was teaching us his street oriented form of Hapkido, which he calls, 'Combat Hapkido'.
Grand master Pellegrini is a colorful personality. I met and trained with him at Karate College in Radford Virginia. His style is flowing and effective. He is a slim, slight man but able to easily control and dominate larger opponents.
His combat adaptation of Hapkido was accepted and recognized by the Korean WKF as a legitimate interpretation of Hapkido. It is considered effective for close quarter fighting and grappling. In this style of Hapkido there are no forms (Kata/Hyungs) and all their kicks are directed to the lower part of the body. Unlike Taekwondo there are no fancy kicks. Unlike Karate there are no official stances.
They teach the use of certain weapons; only the kind you might have available in the street, such as a cane or a belt. Also unlike traditional Hapkido they deal with handgun disarms.
It is an evolving system geared towards the street, no competitions, tournaments or championships.
I enjoyed meeting Mr. Pellegrini, I still wear his Combat Hapkido T shirt.