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Sacramento Martial Arts

Taekwondo | Hapkido | Weapons


Upon the liberation of Korea from the Japanese colonial rule, at the end of World War II, the Korean people began to return to the belief of self-reliance and the traditional folkloric games. A result of which, returned their popularity. Song Duk-ki, afore-mentioned master of Taekkyondo, presented a demonstration of the martial art before the first Republic of Korea President Syngman Rhee on the occasion of the latter's birthday anniversary, thus clearly distinguishing Taekwondo from the Japanese karate which had been introduced by the Japanese rulers.

Martial art experts began opening their Taekwondo gymnasiums all over the country and after the end of Korean War (1950-1953) Taekwondo was popularized among the Dan-grade black-belts within the country, also dispatching about 2,000 Taekwondo masters to more than 100 countries for foreigners' training.

After all, following the nomination of Taekwondo as a national martial art in 1971, the present Kukkiwon was founded in 1972 to be used as the central gymnasium as well as the site of various Taekwondo competitions. Then a year later on May 28, 1973 the World Taekwondo Federation came into existence currently having 164 countries as its members. In 1973 the biennial World Taekwondo Championships was organized.

Again in 1974, Taekwondo was admitted to the Asian games as an official event. In 1975 Taekwondo was accepted as an official sport by the U. S Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and also admitted to the General Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), followed by the adoption of official sports event by the international council of military sports (CISM) in 1976. In 1979, president of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) was elected President of the World Federation of Non-Olympic Sports. The WTF became an IOC-recognized sports federation in 1980, making Taekwondo an Olympic sport. Then the adoption of Taekwondo as an official event was followed by the World Games in 1981, the Pan-American games in 1986, and finally by the 2000 Olympiad held in Australia.

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Hapkido was introduced to ancient Korea during the same time that Buddhism was becoming an influence in the country, approximately 372 A.D. A more completely recorded history of Hapkido dates back as early as Sam Kuk Si Dae or the Era of Three Kingdoms, 3 A.D. Buddhism and Hapkido together became popular throughout the country among the upper class and royal court. Evidence of this can be found in many Ancient wall and cave paintings and sculptures.

Hapkido techniques were reserved exclusively for the hierarchy of monks, ruling families and royal officials as well as the Hwa Rang Do warriors of ancient Silla, being taught to them as a means of self-protection. It was not known among the common classes, so its origin is often misunderstood and incorrectly thought to be a form of Chinese or Japanese martial art.

After the Three Kingdoms were united during the Koryo Dynasty, the royalty for many generations brought Hapkido masters to the palace for demonstrations, affirming Hapkido as a royal martial art.

During the Lee Dynasty, Chonja ordered his general, Duk Moo Lee, to compile a book for all the known martial arts techniques. This volume, known as Muye Dobo Tongji, has many detailed examples of Hapkido techniques recorded within its pages.

Hapkido has been interwoven throughout Korean history. A prime example was when a monk named Su-san, who was also a grand master that taught Hapkido to a group of monks; the monks, in turn fought against the Japanese Im Jin Wae Ran invasion.

Hapkido flourished for many generations through many dynasties, stretching as far back as the Three Kingdom period up to the Lee Dynasty. Much like Taekwondo, Hapkido lost its popularity around this time, the major reason being attributed to the collapse of Buddhism and its replacement by Confucianism. Confucianism respects scholarly endeavors and disdains anything involving physical force, so all martial arts suffered during this time. Hapkido all but disappeared and was preserved as a secret self-defense only by individual master monks and royal families.

Hapkido has been re-introduced today by the father of Hapkido, Yong Sool Choi, born in 1904. Yong Sool Choi studied in seclusion from the age of nine. When he came out of seclusion, Korea had been liberated from the Japanese after WWII. Choi taught all the Hapkido techniques to a few outstanding students, who in turn took the task of popularizing Hapkido in modern Korea. the Korean conflict in 1950 slowed this process down, but soon after this Hapkido began spreading. Many top masters toured internationally to put on demonstrations to help bring attention to Hapkido. Within a few years, its popularity had grown world-wide.

Today, all cities in Korea have Hapkido schools. The government, and military, have Hapkido instructors and practitioners totaling over one million. Other countries including the U.S.A., Germany, France, Spain, China, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil have a solid foundation of Hapkido schools.

Hapkido's continuing popularity is assured, as the untiring and unselfish commitment of its masters and students is reenacted in the superior and unique nature of Hapkido itself.