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The History of Hapkido

Aug 18, 2007
The history of martial art Hapkido runs deep into the roots of Korea, however, the exact origins of Hapkido are not well known. Due to anxiety and apprehension between the Koreans and the Japanese, many people argue about the true beginning of Hapkido. While Hapkido started in Korea, many people insist that the creation of the martial art is solely the responsibility of Japanese influence. This can partly be attributed to the fact that a similar martial art, called Aikido was formulated in Japan and Aikido carries the same characters in its name as Hapkido.

It can, however, be safely said that an early version of Hapkido was formulated around the early 1940's by a man named Choi Yong Sul. Choi Yong Sul, however, was not the only martial artist to have his hand in the creation of Hapkido many of Choi Yong Sul's students lended their own beliefs and teachings to the art and Hapkido evolved over the period of several years to become the martial art it is known as today.

This is a more untraditional approach to the creation of a martial art, but many consider that due to the wide variety of ideas and influences that came into play during the conception of Hapkido make it a superior form of martial arts.

Choi Yong Sul's very first student was a man by the name of Suh Bok Sub. Suh Bok Sub started his martial arts training with being schooled in the art of Judo, before he had even reached the age of twenty-five. It was during the year 1951 that Suh Bok Sub and Choi Yong Sul opened a dojang together during this time, the art was mainly known as hapki yu kwon sool, however, Suh Bok Sub convinced Choi Yong Sul to shorten the name and an early form of Hapkido was born.

Kim Moo Hong was a man that studied underneath both Choi Yong Sul and Suh Bok Sub, although he is well known for his influence on the modern kicking styles that helps define contemporary Hapkido as it exists today. The emphasis of more constructive self-defense mechanisms contained within the art of Hapkido come from a man by the name of Wong Kwang-Wha. Wong Kwang-Wha happened to be the bodyguard of the father of Suh Bok Sub and during this time, Wong Kwang-Wha had the opportunity to study Hapkido from Choi Yong Sul himself. The entire body throws that are often seen during the practice of Hapkido are a direct result of Wong Kwang-Wha's influence on the art.

Jin Han Jae is perhaps the most well known influence on Hapkido, however, and he was one of the few direct students of Choi Yong Sul. Hapkido's popularity is often credited to Jin Han Jae because although he was not the founder of Hapkido, he is responsible for the International spread of the art with the use of his many political associations.

Jin Han Jae is also remains very popular not only for his promotion of Hapkido, but most notably for his vicious fight scene with the famous Bruce Lee in the martial arts film "Game of Death." Hapkido has come a long way since its inception, and many people have had their hands in the creation and evolution of the art. One thing is for certain, however Hapkido remains to this day one of the most popular martial arts across the globe.
About the Author
James Dunn owns and opperates Martial Arts Tutor
Visit Hapkido Lessons for more information about Hapkido or Capoeira Lessons to learn about Capoeira.
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