Hapkido – A Work in Progress

I am pleased to finally share information about Doju-nim Ji Han Jae and my trip to Korea the week of June 23, 2018. We started off with a seminar and meetings with the Korea National Police Agency, at the Police Martial Arts Conference.

The ability to interact with these professionals, and witness the respect provided to Doju-nim was wonderful. But, I had not understood the full scope of our travels, which would be the genesis of a new age for Hapkido throughout the world.

Our initial meetings were held with Guard Major Collegian and Head Professor/Ph.D. Choi, Bang Ho of Daelim University College; and, Jong-Kyun Choi, Ph.D. of Sun Moon University, Professor of Martial Arts and Guard; who is also President of both Tae-Ki Moo-Ye World Federation and Hap-Ki-A-Za Heun World Federation. Of great importance was the attendance and fellowship of Korea Hapkido Federation Secretary General Bae Sung Book. Although the initial meeting was more about the seminar, there was private time where we were able to discuss the current state and concerns of the advancement of Hapkido globally. One of the matters discussed was the growing split in Hapkido for those who wish to make a sport application rather than remain traditionally a combat-oriented martial art.

Over the next few days, Doju-nim and I travelled to Kyung-ju for meetings and a historical reminder of Korea’s past struggles. We enjoyed our trip to the Bulguksa Temple. The richness of this great country was apparent as we toured the resting place of General Kim, Yu-shin, and the National Museum where we were able to view the famed “Sacred (or Divine) Bell of King Seongdeok the Great.”

This was followed by a good night’s sleep before heading to the mountain headquarters of the Korea Hapkido Federation. Doju-nim was proud to show off this important training center, expounding upon its founding days, and current President, Oh Se Lim.

Upon our return to Seoul, we were invited to a breakfast meeting with Grand Master Oh Se Lim. This would be a continuation of the meetings previously held on our arrival. This time, there were to be further discussions of where Hapkido would go in the next 5, and 10 years. Our breakfast meeting also included Korea Hapkido Federation Director Yoon, Eul Young. While we have kept quiet the depth of discussion, for the moment, there is much to be excited about.

Over the course of the next few days, the rains came in torrents. But also, the meetings with Doju-nim and a majority of Hapkido Leaders from the various world organizations. And, the introduction of the next, highest level, of Hapkido training being implemented by Doju-nim.

I am pleased to announce that Doju-nim Ji Han Jae is being installed as a national living treasure by the government of South Korea for his contributions. Hapkido will soon be formally recognized by the Korean government. This will also permit consolidation of ALL Hapkido associations and organizations under a single banner with certifications overseen by Doju-nim Ji Han Jae and the Korean government.

There was much to think about on my return to the United States. Grand Master Bae, Sung-book and I were chosen to formulate a plan of action in which we would develop criteria for a word leadership conference, and the structure of this unification of all Hapkido practitioners which would be discussed and implemented with these great leaders across the globe.

It was justly a humbling experience, and I/we look forward to its review by all those who will help to join us as a true Hapkido family.