Han-Jae Ji was born in 1936 in Angong,
Korea, and began training in Yoo Sool with
Sool Choi in 1949.
When Ji was eighteen, he began to train
with a man who he refers to as Taoist Lee. Taoist Lee, trained him
primarily in methods of meditation, and in the use of the Jang-Bong (6'
staff), the Dan-Bong (short stick), and in Korean Taek-Kyun kicking. As
well as this, a lady monk known to him only as "grandma"
taught him spiritual power for nearly five years.
Han-Jae Ji opened his first Dojang in Andong, calling it An Moo Kwan and
began to teach Yoo Kwon Sool. After nine months in Andong, he decided to
relocate to Seoul in September of 1957.
Ji opened a small Dojang at a neck-tie factory where he had a few
students. These were mainly from Han Yang University. His skills and
teaching became better so he decided to move to a more suitable
location. He rented a room from a local boxing instructor, and had
access to a regular mat where he could conduct his classes for the first
Ji moved his school to Joong Boo Shi Jang in 1958 where he continued
teaching until 1960. It was now that he began to piece together the Yoo
Sool teachings of Grandmaster Choi, the methods of meditation, the
Taek-Kyun kicking techniques, the weapons techniques learned from Taoist
Lee, and the spiritual training he received from "grandma," to
formulate his own style of martial art. He called this martial art
Hapkido can be translated as the
"way of coordinated power." Where "hap" means to
unify or coordinate, "ki" means mental and/or physical energy,
and "do" means a way of life.
The actual hapkido curriculum was not finalized until the early 1960's,
when Moo-Woong Kim, a fellow student of Grandmaster Choi's, moved to
Seoul to visit Han-Jae Ji.
He stayed for about eight months,
practicing with Ji, and giving his input and advice about which kicking
techniques should be used.
In 1962, Ji was given permission to instruct the Military Supreme
Council in Hapkido techniques. Ji then received a government job
teaching Hapkido to the Presidential Security. He then moved his school
to Suh Dae Moon (West Gate section), to give him greater exposure to the
In the early 1960's, Ji came across a book on Japanese Aikido and
noticed that the Japanese characters for Aikido were the same as for
Hapkido. He didnít like the fact that a Japanese art had the
"same name" as Hapkido, so he decided to drop the
"Hap" from it's name, calling his art simply,
On September 2, 1963, the Korean government granted a Charter to the
Korea Kido Association. They were able to supervise the standards of
teaching as well as promotion requirements of Black Belts in thirty-one
different Korean martial arts. The first chairman of the Korea Kido
Association was Yong-Sool Choi
Han-Jae Ji left the Korea Kido Association in 1965 and established the
Korea Hapkido Association. The reasons for this were two fold.
First, the Korea Kido Association
appointed Jung-Yoon Kim as Secretary-general. Kim dominated the policies
of the Association and Ji did not like this situation.
Second, the students that were trained
in Hapkido, did not like the new term, "Kido." They still
called their martial art Hapkido, and continued to teach it as they
learned it. They did not feel that it mattered that a Japanese art had
the same name.
And finally, Han-Jae Ji was appointed
Chief Hapkido Instructor for the President's Security Forces and had
become a powerful person, which allowed him to operate his own
organization without help from.
Three dominant Hapkido organizations began to immerge. These included
- The Korea Hapkido Association
(founded in 1965 by Han-Jae Ji),
- The Korea Hapki Association (founded
in 1969 by Jae-Nam Myung), and
- The Korean Hapkido Association
(founded in 1971 by Moo-Woong Kim).
In 1973, the leaders of these
organizations met and agreed to unify their associations into one.
The new association was named Dae Han
Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hwe (Republic of Korea Hapkido Association).
Grandmaster Han-Jae Ji moved to the United States in 1984 and founded
Sin Moo Hapkido, and Grandmaster Moo-Woong Kim resigned from the
Republic of Korea Hapkido Association, and founded the International
Grandmaster Se-Lim Oh became the
president of the Republic of Korea Hapkido Association, renaming it the
Korea Hapkido Association (the name Ji had used in the 60's).
There are now still three main Hapkido organizations in Korea. These
- The Korea Kido Association (In-Sun
- The Korea Hapkido Association (Se-Lim
Oh, Pres.), and
- The International Hapki Federation
(Moo-Woong Kim, Pres.).