History of Hapkido (summary of Dr. Kimm's book)

Discussion in 'Hapkido' started by Thomas, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Dr. Kimm He-young's History of Korea and Hapkido (Hando Press, Baton Rouge, LA: 2008, 736 pages) attempt to present a strong overview of Hapkido History. The information presented is based on information taken from interviews, publications in English and Korean, magazines, and newspapers. Here is a summary based on his book:

    Choi Yong-sool Dojunim was born in 1899. In 1909, he was taken to Japan. In 1912, he was sent to study with Takeda Sokaku. (pp.236-237). From 1912-1922, Choi Yong-sool Dojunim served as Jo Gyo (assistant) to Takeda Sokaku. (p.238) In 1922, Takeda Sokaku opened a small school in Tokyo. Most of the teaching was done by Choi Yong-sool Dojunim. Sometimes Choi Yong-sool was sent to do seminars. (pp.244-246) From 1933-1938, Choi Yong-sool did not see Takeda Sokaku much. In 1941, Choi Yong-sool opened a small dojang in a motel in Japan and was visited by Takeda Sokaku in 1942. (pp.247-249). In 1943 he was drafted and deserted after 6 months. He hid out in Tokyo until the war ended in 1945. (pp.250-251).

    Choi Yong-sool Dojunim returned to Korea in 1946 (p.251). Allegedly he held a teaching certificate from Takeda Sokaku Minamoto Masayoshi. (p.250).

    Choi Yong-sool Dojunim met Suh Bok-seop in 1948 and began private lessons for him. Suh Bok-seop saw a business card that Choi Doju-nim carried; it listed Takeda Sokaku as the head of Daito-ryu Jujitsu (Dae Dong Ryu Chong Jae) and Choi Dojunim acknowledged him as his teacher. (pp.257-259)

    The private lessons continued from 1948-1952 and by 1952, Suh Beok-sup was promoted to 4th dan. Suh Bok-sup takes credit for recommending the use of a dan system and suggested the name of “Hapki Yu Kwon Sul” for their school (changing it from 'Yawara', which sounded 'too Japanese'). (pp.259-261) On p.262, there are photos from 1951 showing students putting up the “Hapki Yu Kwon Sul Dojang” sign in Taegu (Choi Dojunim and Suh Beok-seop are both in the picture).

    In 1954, Choi Dojunim rented a private house and began teaching Yu Kwon Sul. In 1956, opened his own school (Yu Kwon Sul). In 1958, Suh Beok-seop opened his own school, noting that he had distanced himself from his teacher but feeling that since he held a 6th dan, had a 4th dan senior student (Kim Moo-hong), and that Choi Dojunim had his own school, that it would be normal to be independent of each other. (pp265-267)

    Soo Duk Kwan is the name of Choi Yong-sool Dojunim's group. Notable “graduates” of the Soo Duk Kwan include Suh Beok-seop, Choi Bong-yul, Suh In-hyuk, Kim Jeong-yun, Chang Chin-il, Hong Seung-gil, Yoo Byung-don, Rim Jong-bae, Park Jung-hwan, Im Hyun-soo (Lim Hyun-soo), and Kim Yun-sang. (p.556)

    Ji Han-jae was one of the students who trained with Choi Dojunim at that school. He eventually moved to An Dong and taught Yu Kwon Sul there for about 10 months (there are photos on p.268 of Ji Han-jae standing in front of the Andong school sign that reads 'Dae Han Hapki Yu Kwon Sul, Andong Yun Moo Kwan – 1957). In 1958, Ji Han-jae opened a school closer to downtown and held opening ceremonies with Choi Yong-sool Dojunim giving a demonstration. Ji Han-jae taught here until 1960. (p.270) On page 271 there is a nice photo of the participants of a 'Hapki Yu Kwon Sul seminar given by Choi Yong-sool Dojunim to Ji Han-jae's Sung Moo Kwan Dojang in Seoul, 1959.

    Kim Moo-hong had left Suh Beok-seop to train at a temple for a time (1 year) and then he went to Ji Han-jae's school in Seoul to compare kicking techniques. He stayed for 8 months (Winter, 1960-1961). Kim Moo-hong left and established his own school, called Shin Moo Kwan, in 1961. Kim Moo-hong's Shin Moo Kwan and Ji Han-jae's Sung Moo Kwan became the backbone of “Hapkido” in Korea. (pp.273-275). On page 276, there is a photo captioned as “Kim Moo Hong's Hapkido Dojang, located in Jong Ro Sa Ga district, Seoul, 1961) (In Korean, it reads 'Hapkido Dojang').

    Kim Moo-hong's group was called “Shin Moo Kwan”. Notable graduates include Won Kwang-hwa, Kim Jung-soo, Ra In-dong, Chough Seung-ho, Kim Woo-tak, Ko Myong-pal, Lee Han-chul, Kang Ik-jo, Hur Il-wong, Song Il-hoon, Kim Moo-jin, Kim Jin-hwan, Lee Joo-bang, Shin Dong-ki, Kim Jae-won, Cho Won-chul, Kimm He-young, Bai Hyo-geun, Park Lee-hyun, Lee Beom-jhoo, and Lee Kwan-young (p.662).

    Ji Han-jae's group was called “Sung Moo Kwan”. Notable 'graduates' include Yoo Yong-woo, Oh Seh-lim, Kwon Tae-man, Hwang Deok-kyu, Myung Kwang-shik, Kim Yong-jin, Han Bong-soo, Choi Seh-oh, Myung Jae-nam, Jung Won-sun, Kim Jin-pal, Park Sang-beom, Kim Duk-in, Kim Jong-soo, Kim Nam-je, Kang Moo-young, Ki Yong-seok, and Jang Ge-do. (p.600)

    Myung Jae-nam was a student of Ji Han-jae. In 1969, he formed his own Hapkido association called the Han Kuk Hapki Hyub Hoe. (p.284) Myung Jae-nam studied Yudo and King Soo Do before enrolling in Hapkido in 1960. His twin borther Myung Jae-ok studied Kong Soo Do and then Hapkido (under Ji Han-jae). Myung Jae-ok eventually created his own style called Hoe Jun Moo Sool. (pp.632-636)

    In 1962 Ji Han-jae wanted to change the name from 'Hapkido' to 'Kido' and formed the Dae Han Kido Hoe. The name change wasn't embraced and in 1965, he changed it to Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hoe. (pp.280-281) The original Kido Hoe was established in Seoul in 1963 by Ji Han-jae, Kwon Jang, and Choi Yong-sool Dojunim. Ji Han-jae felt that he was not able to control it (control had shifted to Taegu and Kim Jeong-yun) so he formed the Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hoe in 1965. (pp.307-309)

    Lim Hyun-soo joined Choi Dojunim's school in 1965 and left for a bit to help Kim Young Jae open a school, returning to Choi Dojunim in 1972 to train directly under him. Choi Dojunim spent most of his time at Lim Hyun-soo's school until 1984 (stroke). Choi Dojunim promoted him to 9th dan. (pp.333-334)

    From 1967-1969, Kim Moo-hong spread Hapkido throughout the USA. When he returned, he wanted to unify Hapkido (he was chief instructor under the Kido Hoe). He felt that black belt was a very important rank and wanted to create a more standardized level between his students, Ji Han-jae's students, and Myung Jae-nam's students. He asked Choi Yong-sool Dojunim (Chairman of the Kido Hoe) and Kim Du-yung (President of the Kido Hoe) to do a black belt promotion for all Hapkido black belts. (pp.308-309)

    A notice was published by Kim Du-yung (and later, one by Choi Dojunim) that asked all black belts to test. Choi Dojunim presided over the test, along with Suh Beok-seop, Jang Sung-ho, Moon Jong-won, Suh Kyung-bub, and Hong Seung-gil. Ji Han-jae's Sung Moo Kwan and Kim Moo-hong's Shin Moo Kwan agreed to test together but Ji Han-jae did not come. During the testing, some students were seen as weak in their skills and their rank was reduced. Kim Moo-hong was promoted to 7th dan, which was the highest rank at the time. 100 schools, representing 20 kwan, were present. Later Shin Sang-chul was also promoted to 7th dan. Ji Han-jae and his students were unhappy and some of his students went to Choi Dojunim to get a certificate from him. (pp.309-312)

    By the 1970s, there were three major Hapkido Associations:
    1. Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hoe (Ji Han-jae)
    2. Han Kuk Hapki Sul Hyub Hoe (Myung Jae-nam)
    3. Han Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hoe (Kim Moo-hong)
    Eventually, they united as the Dae Han Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hoe and worked together from 1973-1983. (p.279)

    In 1973, the Dae Han Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hoe called for a re-registration of black belts (for quality control). They noted that Kim Moo-hong and Myung Jae-nam's groups had dissolved their organizations and that previous memberships were canceled. When they selected 6th dans, there were few from Ji Han-jae's and Kim Moo-hong's groups but many from Myung Jae-nam's group. They tried to find a solution to this discrepancy (especially since Myung Jae-nam started his group after they did). They agreed to make 7th dan the highest available rank. These were then sub-divided into 7a, 7b, and 7c to create prestige for certain ones. In Korea, you had to have a 4th dan to open a school. This system remained until the Sae Ma Eul Hapkido Association formed in the mid 1980s. (pp.338-339)

    In 1975, the Dae Han Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hoe held a black belt test and promoted Shin Dong-hyub, Park Jin-hwa, and Kim Yun-shik to 7th dan (and others to 1st-4th dan ranks). (pp.336-337)

    By 1981, there were two major groups competing: the Dae Han Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hoe (headed by Ji Han-jae) and Dae Han Kido Hoe (headed by Bae Jum-man). They did not function effectively so there were 25 other groups that had split off. All groups were issuing rank certificates. (p.372)

    In 1981, Myung Jae-nam left the Dae Han Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hoe and created his own organization called the International Hapkido Federation. He began using a 9 dan black belt ranking system. The Sae Ma Eul Hapkido Association adopted this as their ranking system as well and promoted their first two 9th dan black belts – Ji Han-jae and Kim Moo-hong. The Sae Ma Eul Hapkido Association wanted a unified curriculum so they selected Ra In-dong (from Kim Moo-hong's Shin Moo Kwan) and Song Young-ki (from Ji Han-jae's Sung Moo Kwan) to consolidate the curriculum. The created a unified 1st – 4th dan curriculum and were authorized to do seminars and training to spread this for 10 years. (pp.339-341)

    Ji Han-jae got involved in politics (the Min Jung Dang) and got swept up in questions over the training of a group to protect the President – their were questions over where the money came from. He ended up being arrested and thrown in prison for 10 months. His appeal cost him a lot of money. Ji Han-jae ended up emigrating to the USA. (pp. 377-378).

    Since Myung Jae-nam had formed his own group (the IHF) and Ji Han-jae had left Korea, Kim Moo-hong was left to run the Dae Han Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hoe. The government forced them to remove “Min Kuk” from the name to avoid any inference that it was a government run organization. So, Kim Moo-hong turned to the director of the Sae Ma Eul Un Dong (New Village Ideology Movement) and tried to form a Hapkido association through them. He asked Suh In-hyuk (Kido Hoe) and Myung Jae-nam (IHF) to join him, but they refused. In the end, all of the board of directors of the In 1983, Suh In-hyuk was elected Chairman and Seo In-sun was elected President of the Korea Kido Association. They moved the HQ from Taegu to Seoul. They kept the Korea Kido Association independent from the Sae Ma Eul movement. They watched carefully to prevent fraudulent certificates (pp. 403-404). Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hoe (except for Kim Jung-soo) elected to create the new Sae Ma Eul Hapkido Association. Kim Jung-soo registered his own Dae Han Min Kuk Association. (pp. 378-380)

    The Sae Ma Eul Hapkido grew and its backbone was provided by Kim Yong-jin, Hwang Deok-kyu, Lee Tae-joon (from Ji Han-jae's Sung Moo Kwan) and by Ra In-dong, Kim Jung-soo, and Kim Moo-hong (of the Shin Moo Kwan). The Sae Ma Eul Hapkido was able to get Hapkido recognized as an acceptable martial art for police force trainees. (pp.385-387)

    Suh In-hyuk had learned Yu Kwon Sul from Choi Yong-sool Dojunim and had learned “praying mantis” Chinese martial arts under Chinese Master Wang Tae Eui. (p.569). In 1963, Suh In-hyuk, Lee Han-chul, and Kim Moo-jin went to Busan and establish the Kuk Sool Won school. In 1965, Suh In-hyuk hosted Suh Beok-seop for a seminar and by 1969 Suh In-hyuk became interested in the Korea Kido Association (and became 1st V.P. In 1969). Suh In-hyuk travelled around the US and promoted Kuk Sool Won. (pp.571-572)

    In 1983, Suh In-hyuk was elected Chairman and Seo In-sun was elected President of the Korea Kido Association. They moved the HQ from Taegu to Seoul. They kept the Korea Kido Association independent from the Sae Ma Eul movement. They watched carefully to prevent fraudulent certificates (pp. 403-404). Eventually Suh In-hyuk became unhappy with the way Seo In-sun presented Kuk Sool as a form of Hapkido, so he eventually established the World Kuk Sool Won as a separate entity (with Suh In-joo presiding over it in Korea). (p.572)

    Kim Yung-sang and Lee Yong-soo trained with Choi Dojunim from about 1973-1985 by visiting for various periods of time. In 1981 they were both offered the title of "Doju". They refused. In 1983 they were offered 9th dans and refused. In 1984 they were promoted to 9th dan. In 1985, they were offered 10th dan - they refused. (pp.394-397)

    Choi Yong-sool Dojunim passed away in 1986. Before he died, he passed the Doju-ship to his son Choi Bong-yool (who died a year after his father). (p. 391) Choi Bong-yul held a 7th dan, and Choi Yong-sool Dojunim asked Kim Yun Sang and Lee Yong-soo to assist Choi Bong-sool as Doju. Choi Bong-sool died in 1987. In order to be able to continue to promote students, Kim Yun-sang and Lee Yong-soo formed the Dae Han Hapki Yu Sul Hyub Hoe to issue rank. (p.399)

    Before he died, Choi Yong-sool Dojunim passed the second Doju-ship to Chang Chin-il in 1985. (p.391) Chang Chin-il holds a 9th dan in Taekwondo and had done private Hapkido lessons with Choi Dojunim.*(p.391) Choi Dojunim offered the title of "Doju" to Kim Jung Soo, Kim Jong Yoon, Yu Byung Don, and Hong Seung Gil, each of whom refused. (p.391)

    In 1987, the Sae Ma Eul movement was investigated for corruption and many Hapkido instructors left. They formed the (new) Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hoe, which was headed by Oh Se-lim. (p.387)

    By the 1990s, there were several large Hapkido organizations, including the Korea Kido Association, the International Hapkido Federation, and the Dae Han Hapkido Hyub Hoe. Each group had their own standard of quality and training requirements. Some used 7th dan as the highest rank and some used 10th dan as the highest rank. (p.421)

    Myung Jae-nam passed away in 1999 and his son (Myung Kwang-sung) took over operations. In 2000, the Je Nam Moo Sool Won was formed (including Hapkido, Hankido, and Hangumdo). Technical instruction was directed by Ko Baek-yong, who served as director for demonstrations and seminars for the central dojang. (p.447)

    Seo In-sun served as President of the Korea Kido Hoe until 2002, when he was replaced by Lee Young-keun. In that year, Seo In-sun created the Hanminjok Hapkido Association (and still maintains the World Kido Federation in the USA, which is not connected to the Korea Kido Hoe). (p.444)

    Kim Yun-sang was offered the 3rd "Doju"ship from Choi Dojunim's daughter-in-law in 2002 and accepted. (p.399) There are pictures of the 2nd and 3rd Doju-ship certificates on p.400.

    Significant American Hapkido Masters that are mentioned include James Benko, James Garrison, John Pellegrini, Michael Wollmershauser, Ken McKenzie, John Godwin, and .R. West (pp479-483). Significant 'Continental' Masters mentioned include Ki Jae-won, Choi Won-chul,Lee Kwan-young, Lee Beom-jhoo, Kim Sou-bong, Ko Myung-pal, Seo Myung-soo, Kim Mok-yang, Kim Beom, Han Jung-doo, Andre Carbonell, Fred Adams, Sam Plumb, Massan Ghorbani, Jurg Zeigler, Chough Seung-ho, Kimm Yong-sub, Kim Sung-do, Kim Sung-soo, Kim Sung-duk, Kevin Brown, Barrie Restall, Phil Eizenberg, Daniel Marie, Lee Sung-soo, Geoff Booth, Fari Salivski, Park Ji-in, Kim Woo-tak, and Serge Baubil(pp.483-489)

    The major Hapkido Associations that are detailed include the Korea Kido Association, Korea Hapkido Federation, International Hapkido Federation, and the Hong Moo Hoe. (pp. 493-553)

    Side Note – Who coined the name “Hapkido”?

    Theory #1 - In 1948 Suh Beok-seop began studying “Yawara” under Choi Yoing-sool Dojunim. Suh Beok-seop thought it sounded too close to “Yudo” and so convinced Choi Dojunim to change it to “Yu Kwon Sul”. In 1954, Suh Beok-seop and Choi Dojunim gave a demonstration and later spoke to a man who compared it to an “Aikido” demonstration he had seen in Japan. They noted that the Chinese characters were the same, despite the different pronunciation. Suh Beok-seop started calling his art “Hapkido”. It didn't become popular and he kept using Hapki Yu Kwon Sul to promote the art. (pp.455-456)

    Theory #2 – Kang Moon Jin was a student of Choi Dojunim's . In 1950, after a short period of training, he opened his own school and made a sign with the name “Hapkido” Choi Dojunim was upset because he did not have permission to do so. He took the sign down and Choi Dojunim kept it in his home. Many students saw it and thought he had made the sign. This theory 'may not carry a lot of influence' because Choi Yong-sool Dojunim continued to use various names until 1968, including Yawara, Yu Kwon Sul, Yu Eun Sul, Hapki Sul, and Kido. (p.456)

    Theory #3 – Ji Han-jae also claims to have been the first to use the name “Hapkido”. Supposedly he wanted a name that ended in -do, like the other arts that were popular. Ji Han-jae spoke with Ki Moo-hong about it in 1958 and they agreed it would be a good idea. When Kim Moo-hong opened his own school, he used the name “Hapkido” and spread the name. Ji Han-jae was also familiar with the word “Aikido” in Japan (with the same spelling) and saw them as different arts with the same spelling. So, he decided to go with “Kido” in 1962. In 1963, Ji Han-jae felt he should separate from from Choi Yong-sool Dojunim and so went back to using 'Hapkido'. When he went to the US in 1984 Ji Han-jae wanted to 'distance himself from regular Hapkido' and so began using the name “Sin Moo Hapkido”. (pp.456-457)
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  2. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    thanks for the synopsis thomas!
  3. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Regarding the IHF, the book says (I summarize),:
    Myung Jae-nam passed away in 1999 and his son (Myung Kwang-sung) took over operations. In 2000, the Je Nam Moo Sool Won was formed (including Hapkido, Hankido, and Hangumdo). Technical instruction was directed by Ko Baek-yong, who served as director for demonstrations and seminars for the central dojang. (p.447)

    On page 636, it adds that after Myung Jae-nam passed away in 1999, Ko Baekyong "took the position of Director of Demonstrations and Director of Research Institute of the Federation."

    To clarify, I have it on good authority that 'Ko Baek-yong heads his own kwan within the IHF. He does hold some ceremonial position, but isn't active as a board member or anything. Technical head of the IHF is master Ko Ju-sik.'
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  4. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    Ko Baek-yong was the technical director until Myung Jae-nam's death, after which he stepped back and focused on his own training center (www.sangmukwan.com)

    He was the leader of the demonstration team at the first and second IHF Games (1990 and 1994). Ko Ju-sik took over as the leader of the IHF demonstration team in 1997 (3rd games) .
    He is also the current technical director of the IHF (Korean title: do-seon-nim 도선님). He runs his own school (Daehan musulkwan) and has a considerable international following.
  5. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Wow thats quite the timeline.
  6. armanox

    armanox Kick this Ginger...

    Just a slight remark (a typo on your end, not an error) under the American Masters - it should read J.R. West, not .R. West. I have had the opportunity to participate in seminars run by Master West.
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    Good catch - thanks. I can't go back and edit now (time has passed). You are right (and I know I meant to do so, hence the period before and after the R) - it's my typing mistake.
  8. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    How would people that are knowledgeable about Hapkido feel about this book? Did he do a good job of laying out the history of this KMA?
    Did anyone see any flaws or major errors?
  9. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    It wasn't perfect, but it gave a good overall view of hapkido development.
    You can skip the all part about the Korean history. That is totally bogus and gives a view of Korean history not supported by modern Korean historians. Instead read a good recent book about Korean history.
    Dr. Kimm is one of the people who desperately want to show that everything that came from Japan to Korea, was somehow brought to Japan by the Koreans centuries earlier.
    Of course I won't deny that in previous centuries much of the foreign influences that came to Japan in the earlier centuries were brought by the Koreans, it goes way to far to say that martial arts were brought to Japan by Koreans and that the Korean later got it back.
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I agree with Klaas in many ways. I skimmed through the "Korean History" material for the most part - I didn't find it particularly impressive (there are better sources out there for that).

    The Hapkido history is a good start. He tried to organize it by time period and by various groups. It's difficult because of all the overlap. Nevertheless, it comes across in a fairly comprehensible way. I like that he gathered his information from media sources (Korean and English language ones) and from various interviews, all of which are cited in the back. I think Dr. Kimm exercised a lot of discreetness and he glosses over some things that could be controversial (although does details several of that type).

    I think this book represents a very good direction for (English language) Hapkido books. A person interested in deeper study could use this as a very good starting point to dig deeper. It's not perfect, but as far as an English language resource goes, it's about the best I've seen.

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