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HAN JAE JI

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Style: Hapkido

Han-Jae Ji was born in 1936 in Angong, Korea, and began training in Yoo Sool with Yong 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 time.

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."

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 public.

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, "Kido."

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 Hapki Federation.

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 include,

  • The Korea Kido Association (In-Sun Seo, Pres.),
  • The Korea Hapkido Association (Se-Lim Oh, Pres.), and
  • The International Hapki Federation (Moo-Woong Kim, Pres.).

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