Yong-Sul Choi 1904-1986
The founder of Hapkido. He was born in the Chung Buk province in Korea. During the Japanese occupation of Korea, Choi became acquainted with a business man, name of Morimoto. Morimoto had no sons and on his return to Japan he abducted Choi and took him back to his own town of Moji. This relationship was short lived and Choi escaped from his captor and made his way to the city of Osaka.
From here Choi wandered the streets aimlessly before being picked up by the police. After some investigations by the authorities they believed Choi to be an orphan and handed him over to a Buddhist temple where he was looked after by a monk name of Kintaro Wadanbi. Wadanbi asked Choi what interested him where Choi pointed to the martial art murals which were displayed around the temple.
From here Wadanbi introduced Choi to a good friend of his, this man being Takeda Sokaku. Takeda was the head of Daito Ryu Aki-Jujutsu and on meeting Choi, was sympathetic to Choi's struggles and from here Takeda adopted Choi as one of his own sons.
Over the next 30 years in the Japanese town of Kyoto, Choi trained diligently with master Takeda in Daito Ryu Aki-jujutsu. During this time Choi trained with Morihei Uishiba who was a student of Takeda for 5 years, Morihei was also to become the founder of Aikido.
Through his studies in Kyoto, Choi along with Takeda were responsible for teaching members of the Royal family in Japan along with government officials. During World War 2 Choi and Takeda worked for the Japanese government by capturing military deserters that were often found hiding in the mountains near their training ground.
Towards the end of the war Japan in a last bid attempt to win the war the Japanese government conscripted an elite military draft which was to be the prominent Martial Artists of the time to fight in various guerrilla areas throughout the war zone. Fortunately through Takeda's influence, he managed to stop the conscription of Choi by hospitalizing him for minor surgery. Takeda felt that if Choi was killed then all of his teachings in Aki-jujutsu would be lost upon his death.
At the end of World War 2 like so many leaders in Japan, Takeda took his own life by refusing to eat over a period of time; the shame was too great for Japan to be defeated in war. Before dying Takeda acknowledged Choi's longing desire to return to Korea and told Choi that this was best as he feared for Choi's safety and possible assassination through his Korean heritage if he stayed after Takeda's death.
Choi returned to Korea and set up his own style of Martial arts which he called 'HapkiYookwanSool', this name later changed to 'Hapki Yoo Sool' which translated directly into Aiki ju-justu. 'Hapki Yoo Sool' eventually found its way to what is known now as Hapkido.
Myung Jae Nam 1938-1999
Grand Master [Kuksanim] Myung Jae Nam founded the International Hapkido Federation in South Korea in 1984. Before his passing in 1999 he held a 9th degree Black-Belt in Hapkido and was chairman of the International Hapkido Federation. During the 1960's Myung Jae Nam and another accomplished Hapkido Master Myung Sung Kang met an equally accomplished Aikido Master name of Hirada. Their task was to incorporate Aikido into Hapkido, basically giving Hapkido more fluid, circular movements but keeping Hapkido's original techniques and style. Two decades later Hankido evolved which became contemporary Hapkido which is now part of the syllabus used by the International Hapkido Federation.
Began studying Hapkido in 1975 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 1981 he received his first Black-Belt in Hapkido. Since then he has achieved 8 dan in Hapkido, 3rd dan in Taekwondo and 2nd dan in Aiki-jujitsu. He has received countless medals and awards from Korea in gratitude for his services in this Martial art.
Sergio now resides in Nagoya Japan with his family. He is responsible for the following:
- Founder of SEMOKWAN-TUKKONG-IHF
- Representante Oficial da IHF no Brasil
- Representante Oficial da TUKKONG no Brasil/Japan and Vietnam
- Representante Oficial da IHF no Japan
- Instrutor de Hapkido, Hankido, Hankumdo and Tukkong of Japan