Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Brief History

Imperial Japan outlawed martial arts in Korea when it made Korea a colony in 1910. Tae-Kyun expert Choi Yung Suhl emigrated to Japan as a young man and studied Daito-Ryu Ju-jitsu, a forerunner also of Aikido and Judo. By his return to Korea in 1945, Master Choi had combined Tae-Kyun and Daito-Ryu Ju-Jitsu into a style he called Hapkido. Eventually, Choi and his student Ji Han Jae brought Hapkido to Seoul, where it gained great popularity. Master Choi died in 1987 and Ji, a 9th degree master, assumed leadership of the school.

Hapkido at UC San Diego is taught by instructors who trained under Dr. Robert Brown (5th dan Yongmudo Hapkido), and Sandy Hashima (4th dan Yongmudo Hapkido) who trained through the UC Martial Arts Program, located in Berkeley, California under the instruction of Dr. Ken Min (9th dan Yongmudo-Hapkido, 8th dan Judo, 9th dan Taekwondo) and Dr. Norman Link (7th dan Yongmudo-Hapkido). Dr. Min is an early graduate of the Yudo College, now called Yongin University, outside Seoul, South Korea. Dr. Min was affiliated with and guided by Grandmaster Myong Jae Nam of the International Hapkido Federation until the mid-1980s, teaching a style of Hapkido based on Ho Shin Sool or self-defense techniques taught at Yongin University since it was founded in 1953 and in the military. Dr. Min introduced Hapkido to the UC Berkeley campus as a Physical Education class in 1973, but also taught classes in Judo and Taekwondo.

Yongmudo was born in 1998 out of recognition that the term "Hapkido" became increasingly meaningless. After first changing its name to Hankido (and later Kukmudo), the name Yongmudo was chosen to differentiate it from a wide variety of martial arts schools. Whereas some Hapkido schools were closer in approach to Aikido at one extreme and traditional Taekwondo at the other, Yongmudo Hapkido is a self-defense martial art which makes use of joint locks, strikes, kicks, grappling, throws, and falls and rolls. Yongmudo Hapkido is first and foremost a self-defense martial art, comprising of techniques useful in the full range of self-defense situations. The World Yongmudo Federation, however, also includes competition sparring, such as included at the World Yongmudo Festival.

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