History of Hapkido
As with most martial arts, the history of Hapkido, is shroudedin mystery and controversy. Lack of original records, hearsay,anecdotes, politics, egos, and ravages of time all but ensuresketchy and biased accounts of the origin of this martial art.Over the past 2000 years the Korean people havedeveloped several fighting systems and martial disciplines, whichhave evolved into modern TaeKwonDo, Tang Soo Do, Hapkido,Kook Sook, Hwa Rang Do and others. Hundreds of years oftrade, war, occupation and exchange between Korea and its
neighbors, China and Japan, has resulted in “cross
mutual influence and blending of styles and techniques. It is nowvirtually impossible to state with certainty which techniques aretruly Korean, Chinese or Japanese in origin.Hapkido was founded by Choi Yong Sool (1904-1986).Reportedly he developed the system by combining native Koreanfighting methods with Japanese Daito Ryu Aiki-Ju Jitsu. Choi hadlearned that system from its Headmaster Sokaku Takeda whileliving in Japan from 1915-1945. After his return to Korea, Choistarted teaching Self Defense (Yawara) in TaeGue City. He
initially called his system Yu Kwon Sool. One of Choi‟s se
niorstudents, Ji Han-Jae, claims to have been the first to introduce
the name “Hapkido” in Seoul in 1957. However, this is stronglydisputed by Choi‟s first student and mentor, Prof. Suh Bok Sup,
who claims that he and Choi were already using the word
“Hapkido” when they opened their first dojang (school) in 1951.
Some “traditional” instructors claim that Hapkido contains
over 3600 techniques, including as many as 120 different kicks.
However, Prof. Suh Bok Sup, who was Choi‟s first and employer,
disputes this and asserts that the original Hapkido system as