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World Hapkido Association

Why Hapkido

World Hapkido Association WHA

Hapkido: Korean mixed martial art, jujitsu, jiujitsu, self-defense techniques, ground techniques, throwing techniques, striking techniques, weapons!

Hapkido is a means of self defense which, in a situation when one cannot mediate conflict without violence, force is required.  The style encompasses techniques that utilize the whole body, including weapon defense, punching, kicking, grappling, throwing, ground fighting, attack of pressure points, and joint locks.

Hapkido is a Korean Martial Art and is truly a complete martial art, incorporating all 5 Zones (five) of fighting and self defense.  The classes will focus mainly on the self defense aspects of this martial art, and each student can be sure they will have a usable base of self-defense techniques in a short period of time.

We are an internationally accredited school with the world renowned WHA, World Hapkido Association.  We use specialized curriculum developed by the Hapkido living legend Hwang In-Shik, and your ranking will be internationally recognized.

Students must be at least 12 (twelve) years of age to take this art.

 What arts are in KMA HapKiDo?

1. Hapkido: Is the most inclusive Traditional Martial Arts that I have found. Joint locks, take downs, escort techniques, weapons defense and use. More free flow but no set patterns, kata's or hyungs.

2. Korean Ground Jiu Jitsu (Yusul): (is in Hapkido, always has been)

3. Kyuktooki: Korean Muay Thai. 

4. Components of Kali: Filipino Boxing and trapping skills with a lot of emphasis on closing the distance, striking or joint locking to submission.

5. Components of Jun Fan Gung Fu: or Jeet Kune Do (JKD) Bruce Lee's martial art primarily involving trapping and closing the distance in many, many ways. Leading to strikes or take downs and joint locks for submission.

6. American Boxing: No martial art is complete without American style boxing.

 Korean arts offer a very traditional way of teaching and learning. Korean arts are very encompassing including in them all 5Zones of Self Defense as well as very traditional drills to accomplish a deep learning of them.  They also offer external and internal training which I find very important to the overall martial arts personal experience.

Q. Why the other arts?
A. Because I believe they work and work very well at closing the distance with the trapping and allowing all of what you are learning to flow into the finishing techniques and because being a true martial artist is so much more than just knowing one art.

Grand Master Hwang In-Shik - 10th Dan Belt

Grand Master Hwang In-Shik                                           Master Hwang and Jackie Chan

Grand Master Jung

Grand Master Jung

Grand Master Jung is currently an 8th Dan Black Belt and president of the World Hapkido Association. His role as president continues a lifelong commitment to teach and promote the martial arts.

As a young boy, Tae Jung started martial arts training to overcome his weakness of body and mind. He was fortunate to have received the finest training under great masters in Seoul, South Korea, where he was born. Among them was Grand Master Inshik Hwang, who is a 2nd generation master taught by the founder of Hapkido, Yong-Sool Choi, and who directed and choreographed the fight scenes in Jackie Chan's earlier Hong Kong films. Master Jung also mastered the art of Guhm-Do (swordsmanship) through the guidance of legendary swordsman Grand Master Kim Sohk-Soon.

After years of hard training, the Korea Hapkido Association honored Master Jung with an Instructor's certificate in 1975. He started his career as a martial arts instructor at the United States 8th Army Headquarters in Young-San, Korea where thousands of U.S. soldiers occupied ranks. These soldiers trained with Master Jung in the Trent Gym until his immigration to the United States in 1982.

Since arriving in the United States, Master Jung has been promoting Hapkido, training students with a strict philosophy of respect, discipline and self-confidence. Hundreds of students spanning the United States from the East Coast to the West Coast have achieved Black Belts under his instruction. His dedication has been appreciated and awarded by politicians, professors, and chiefs of military forces and law enforcement.

In June of 2001, with greatest honor, Master Jung was appointed as the president of the WORLD HAPKIDO ASSOCIATION.

Hapkido History


Hapkido (also spelled hap ki do or hapki-do; Hangul: ???; Hanja: ???) is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including a sword, rope, nunchaku, cane, short stick, and staff (gun, bo) which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.

Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges and pressure point strikes, joint locks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.

The joint locking art copied from Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu (???????) or a closely related jujutsu system taught by Choi Yong-Sool (Hangul: ???) who returned to Korea after World War II, having lived in Japan for 30 years. This system was later combined with kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts such as taekkyeon and Taekwon-Do by Ji Han Jae. Its history is obscured by the historical animosity between the Korean and Japanese people following the Second World War.

Choi Yong-Sool

Choi Yong-Sool's training in martial arts is a subject of contention. It is known that Choi was sent to Japan as a young boy and returned to Korea with techniques characteristic of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu (???????), a forerunner of aikido. The next portion of the story is quite controversial in Daito-ryu circles but is claimed by many contemporary hapkido-ists and is attributed to Choi in an interview (released posthumously) reputed to have taken place during a visit Choi made to the United States in 1980. In the interview, Choi claims to have been adopted by Takeda Sokaku when he was 11 years old and was given the Japanese name, Yoshida Asao. He claims to have been taken to Takeda's home and dojo in Akita on Shin Shu mountain where he lived and trained with the master for 30 years. The interview also asserts that he travelled with him as a teaching assistant, that he was employed to catch war deserters and that he was the only student to have a complete understanding of the system taught by Takeda.

Ji Han-Jae

Ji Han-Jae (Hangul: ???) was undoubtedly the prime mover in the art of Korean hapkido. It is due to his physical skills, technical contributions, promotional efforts and political connections as head hapkido instructor to the presidential body guard under Korean President Park Jeong-Hee (Hangul: ???) that hapkido became popularized, first within Korea and then internationally.

Whereas the martial art education of Choi Yong-Sool is unconfirmed, the martial art history of Ji Han-Jae's core training is somewhat easier to trace. Ji was an early student (Dan #14) of Choi Yong Sool. He details that prior to opening his martial art school in Seoul, the Sung Moo Kwan (Hangul: ???), he also studied from a man known as Taoist Lee and an old woman he knew as 'Grandma'.

As a teacher of hapkido, Ji incorporated traditional Korean kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts such as taek kyeon and Taekwon-Do and punching techniques into the system and gave the resulting synthesis the name hapkido in 1957. Hapkido is the Korean pronunciation of (Japanese) aikido and is sometimes referred to as its Korean cousin although far from being close to being the same today.

Although a founding member of the Dae Han Ki Do Hwe (Korea Kido Association) in 1963 with Choi Yong-Sool as titular Chairman and Kim Jeong-Yoon as Secretary General and Head Instructor for the association Ji found himself not able to exert as much control over the organization as he might have wished. To this end and with the support of the Head of the Security Forces, Park Jong-Kyu, Ji founded the very successful Korea Hapkido Association (Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hwe; Hangul: ?? ??? ??) in 1965.

In 1984, Ji moved first to Germany and then to the United States and founded Sin Moo Hapkido which incorporates philosophical tenets, a specific series of techniques (including kicks) and healing techniques into the art. Four of Ji Han-Jae's notable students in Korea were Hwang In Shik (Hangul: ???), Bong Soo Han (Hangul: ???), Kwon Tae-Man (Hangul: ???), Myung Jae-Nam (Hangul: ???). Ji can be seen in the films "Lady Kung-fu" and "Game of Death" in which he takes part in a long fight scene against Bruce Lee. In the film "Lady Kung Fu", both Ji and Hwang basically play themselves, hapkido master and foremost student teaching the art to a group Chinese students. In this and subsequent films such as Fist of Unicorn we are treated to displays of Ji's impressive jointlocking and throwing ability and Hwang's equally impressive kicking skills.

Prior to the death of Choi Yong-Sool in 1986, Ji came forward with the assertion that it was he who founded the Korean art of hapkido, asserting that Choi Yong-Sool taught only yawara based skills and that it was he who added much of the kicking, and weapon techniques we now associate with modern hapkido. He also asserts that it was he that first used the term 'hapkido' to refer to the art. While both claims are contested by some of the other senior teachers of the art, what is not contested is the undeniably huge contributions made by Ji to the art, its systematization and its promotion world wide.

Hwang In Shik

(also Whang Ing-Sik, born September 13th, 1940) He is one of the highest ranking hapkido instructors in the world and founder of The World Hapkido Association. A great popularizer of the art in Asia through his work in the Hong Kong based films of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Angela Mao, he is known nevertheless as one the top teachers of the art and was eventually awarded a 10th degree black belt, the highest rank possible in the art, by the World Hapkido Association, Grandmaster Bong Soo Han and other contemporaries .

Hwang In Shik Early years:

Born in Sunch'on, north of Pyongyang in present day North Korea, Hwang In-Shik and his family moved to Seoul while he still a young child and it was there that he was first exposed to the martial arts, first to Tang Soo Do (Shotokan Karate) and then, when he was 13 years old, to the art of Korean hapkido.

Hwang identifies his original teacher as Choi Yong Sul, the founder of the art. Hwang In Shik achieved his hapkido black belt grading at age 16 and was sent shortly thereafter to the Korea Hapkido Association headquarters presided over by Ji Han Jae. A very important time in the history of the development of the art, many of the prime movers in hapkido today were his seniors there including Bong Soo Han, Kim Chong Sung and Myung Kwang-Sik. Hwang was known in particular at this time for his superlative kicking ability. Hwang In Shik quickly became Ji Han Jae's foremost student.

He was eventually promoted to 7th dan in 1976 by the Republic of Korea Hapkido Association (Dae Han Min Gook Hapkido Hyub Hwe) and was appointed as chief instructor for the association headquarters. In this capacity he became an influential and well known Master and teacher of the art.

Hwangs Connections to Hong Kong cinema: Hong Kong film maker Huang Feng brought Hung Chin-pao (Sammo Hung), Jackie Chan, Tang Wei-cheng, Hu Yin-yin, Mao Ying (Angela Mao), Chang Yi and Chin Hsiang-lin to Seoul for location shooting in 1972. Huang Feng was also looking for impressive new techniques to infuse into the Hong Kong action sequences and so had his stars train at the Korea hapkido headquarters for about four months under Hwang and KHA leader Ji Han Jae.

Many of the impressive kicking techniques we see in Hong Kong cinema today are a result of the cross cultural influence of this time. Sammo Hung had a particular affinity for the training and some of his signature techniques such as his jumping double front kick come directly from the hapkido syllabus.

Very impressed by the talents of the hapkido-ists both Hwang In-Shik and Ji Han Jae were invited by Huang Feng to come to Hong Kong to develop a film idea inspired by the director's experiences in Korea. The film, made the same year, was titled Hapkido and is known abroad under the English title Lady Kung-fu. It starred Angela Mao, Sammo Hung and Carter Wong (Huang Chia-Da).

In the film "Lady Kung Fu", both Ji and Hwang basically play themselves, hapkido master and foremost student teaching the art to a group Chinese students. In this and subsequent films such as Fist of Unicorn we are treated to displays of Ji's impressive jointlocking and throwing ability and Hwang's equally impressive kicking skills.

Hwang went on to star in his own right in a number of films, the first stage of his career ending after the death of Bruce Lee who Hwang had been in talks with concerning a part in the Game of Death the week that Lee died. (Hwang had also appeared briefly in an unflattering role in Bruce Lee's Way of the Dragon, oddly as a Japanese karate instructor.) Hwang returned to Korea, and for the next few years starred in a series of Korean martial arts movies, including A Wandering Hero, Black Leopard and Black Spider, Hwang then immigrated to Canada and opened up a dojang in the city of Toronto for all intents and purposes retiring from the cinema.

Later Jackie Chan, a stuntman from Hwang's early films, successfully rose to prominence in the Hong Kong film world and managed to coax Hwang out of retirement to make the most popular Hong Kong film of the day The Young Master, featuring in its original form a 15 minute fight scene between Chan and Hwang, and Dragon Lord, where Hwang also played a villain with fantastic fighting skills over which the hapless Chan must overcome.

All of the above films contain a great deal of Korean hapkido and did much to promote the name of the art in both Hong Kong and back in Korea where the Chinese films were also enjoyed.

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