This is a complete Korean style mainly focused on defence and counter attacking. You will learn defenses and counters to attacking techniques, also includes punching, striking, blocking, Korean kicks, joint locks, throws, breaks, ground techniques, submissions, pressure points, breakfalls, bag & pad work, target practice, Korean weapons, meditation and oriental Philosophy.
Hapkido is a unique Self Defence Style which is designed for street application to overcome bigger and stronger attackers. Hapkido is a combination of Aiki Jitsu, Judo, Kungfu, Aikido an Korean Kicking Techniques as well as weapons and meditation techniques.
Hapkido is solely a self defence style, Which has developed by Korean presidential body guards, it also includes mental and spiritual development through meditation techniques, oriental philosophy and diet.
SIN means the higher mind, MOO means Fighting art, HAP means come together, Kl means Physical and spiritual energy, DO means The Way.
HISTORY OF SINMOO HAPKIDO
Controversy surrounds the history of Korean Hapkido. There is constant disagreement surrounding the origins of the art and the curriculum upon which it is based. There is no doubt however, as to the origins and lineage of Sinmoo Hapkido. The art begins with Doju Ji Han-Jae and the curriculum he began teaching in 1984 in San Francisco, California. Doju Nim Ji gives credit to his three teachers and freely shares what he learned from each one of them. The combination of what he took from these three individuals is unique
and what he chose to bring together and teach is the art of SinMoo Hapkido.
Ji Han-Jae was born in Andong, Korea to Ji Sung-Tae and Kwon Pun-Nan on August 15, 1936 according to the moon calendar. Because of high infant mortality rates, children were often not registered until months or even years after their actual date of birth. Ji’s parents registered his official recognized birthday as October 27th. The first 100 days were often the most dangerous and in Korea they celebrate the “100-Day Birthday” to mark this
significant milestone. It is also when a child turns one year old, as they have also
two according to the Western Calendar the date is September 30, 1936. April 15th by the moon calendar is also a significant holiday in Korea and other Asian countries and is celebrated as “Full Moon Day,” it is also celebrated by many as the Korean New Year.
Survived for 9 months with their mother. While ji was still an infant his family
moved to Sun Yang, Manchukuo, what is now modern China.
While in school, Ji began his informal martial arts training as various instructors and Taoist Monks would pass through the towns and teach the children. He attended school in Sun Yang, under the Japanese education
system where he learned Chinese and Japanese. Following the end of World
War II and before the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War, Ji’s family returned to Andong.
He began his formal martial arts training in Yawara a few years later with Choi Yong-Sul at the age of 13. He was in Taegu attending High School and was one of the first students. He eventually earned a black belt though was considered a junior student because of his young age. The techniques he learned at this time were primarily joint locks, throws, low kicks, and sword techniques. Choi did not have a school and only taught private lessons. Ji would train with Choi every day before and after school, and on the days he
did not have school (or skipped school), he was there all day. During the off
school months, he was also there all day.
Ji was studying architecture and engineering in school, and for part Of this time he was living in a house he had built himself. Following his graduation he worked for 10 months as an architect for Taegu City Hall. He
trained full time with Choi until 1957 when he moved from his home city of Andong to Seoul.
When Ji was eighteen, he began his training with Master Lee. " ji first arrived in the United States he referred to Master Lee as Taoist Lee because it was the closest word he could find to describe Lee since Samrangdo
Manchukuo was a japanese puppet state formed in early 1932 after the japanese invasion of Manchuria.
was, and still is, relatively unknowni ji’s training under Lee involved many hours in mediation, the use of the jang-Bong (6' staff), and in Korean TackKyun or Tek Gi yun, kicking. Many of the drills thatji was doing at this time
are similar to plyometrics used in sports today.
In addition to the martial aspects of training, Lee also began Ji on his mental and spiritual journey. He trained him in numerous meditation and breathing exercises. Most of these exercises were Ki development exercises with many similarities to Taoist Inner Alchemy practices. ji would train with Master Lee for months at a time, and then Lee would leave and give }i projects to practice while he was away. Most of these projects would either be physical or meditation techniques that ]i would spend hours practicing on his own. He
trained with Lee for almost Five years after which he continued his training
with Lee’s instructor, “Grandma.”
Ji opened a school in Andong in 1956 and called it An Moo Kwon and taught Yu Kwon 8001. It was during this time thacji put many of his techniques to the test. After long days of training, he would travel to known gang areas and would invariably have someone or more often, a group, attack him. He said that when he was in his early twenties, if he did not fight two or
three times a day, he could not sleep at night.
Ji moved to Seoul in September of 1957 leaving his school to student Yu Yong-Wu. He opened a school and called it Dae Han Hapki Yu Kwon
8001. After moving his School in 1958, and continuing to modify what he was
4 Though it is unclear as to the exact lineage and history, it is very clear that what Dojunimji learned from Lee has some obvious differences from what is taught in most other modern Korean Martial Arts and also from what he learned from Choi.
5 In Korean culture it is considered rude to call someone older by his or her name. Therefore, this woman was known to ji only as Grandma.
teaching in order to combine what he has learned from his three teachers ji
eventually developed a unique style which he called, Hapkido.
With his unique combination of techniques and philosophy, ]i spent much of 1960 and 1961 refining the curriculum he would go on to teach. In 1961, he and Kim Moo-Hong spent nearly 8 months finalizing the kicking curriculum. ji fit this in with his mental and spiritual training he had learned
In May 1961 General Park Chung-Hee became the Korean President after his military coup overthrew the government. Ii moved to Kwan Chul Dong and was teaching at the Korea Military Academy in addition to running his own dojang. He had established a reputation and his Sung Moo Kwon organization had nearly 500 students. Soon after he was hired to teach
presidential security forces at President Park’s Residence, the Blue House.
Ji became politically powerful with his government position and was able to expand his hapkido organization. While working at the Blue House, Ji spearheaded a number of attempts to unify the hapkido organizations that had
sprung up in South Korea.
In 1963, ji Han-Jae, Choi Yong~Sul, and Kwon )ang began drafting a constitution for the Korea Kido Association. During the turmoil of Park’s rise
to power, books and other goods were smuggled into Korea.6 }i found a book
6 In the 1965 Park Chung-[Ice made a largely unpopular decision to normalize diplomatic relations With Japan. "1 his led to widespread unrest coming only 20 years after japan’s brutal 36-year occupation With the normalization of relations, Park lifted import restrictions banning Japanese goods from Korea. This happened two years
on Japanese Aikido and saw that the Chinese characters for Aikido were the same as for Hapkido. Discouraged that a japanese art had the "same name" as Hapkido, he decided to drop the "Hap" from its name, calling his art simply, "Kido." The group decided on “le0” because it did not have the japanese
Many ofJi’s top Sung Moo Kwan students did not want to change the name to Kido, and in 1965,]i Han-Jae left the Korea Kido Association and established the Korea Hapkido Association with the assistance of his students and blessing of President Park. His students continued to call their martial art Hapkido, and continued to teach it the way they learned it. Ji had also become a powerful person in the government due to his instructor position. In 1973, by merging his Korea Hapkido Association, Kim Moo-Hong’s Korean Hapkido Association and Myungjae-Nam’s Korean Hapki Association, they formed the Republic of Korea IIapkido Association. Choi Dae-Hoon was
elected president and Ji was the senior vice president.
In 1969,ji first came to the United States as part of an exchange with President Richard Nixon’s security forces. He taught Hapkido to the US Secret Service, Special Forces, OSI, FBI, and CIA. While he was visiting and staying at Andrews Air Force Base, his good friend, Taekwondo Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee, introduced Ji to Bruce Lee. Lee was impressed with Ji’s
techniques and asked him to teach him and to exchange ideas in Hong Kong.
Ji traveled throughout Asia at this time though he spent most of his time in Hong Kong at Bruce Lee’s urging, to work in the movie industry. He was hired by Golden harvest to help choreograph martial arts movies and also
star in a few of them. He spent some of this time working in Hong Kong, but
after the formation of the hapkido Federation though early in Park’s initial term,Japanese goods were beginning to be smuggled into Korea.
also did much of the training and filming in Korea from 1972 to 1975. At this time ji taught movie stars and martial arts masters such as Kimjin-Pal, Hwang ln~Shik, Angela Mao Ying, Samo Hung, as well as Bruce Lee and many others. A number of these stars actually came to the Korea Hapkido
Association Headquarters Dojang to train with Ji in 1972.
Though only a small film career, Ji appeared in at least four movies at the time: Hapkido, Fist of the unicorn palm, Dragon Tamers, and Bruce Lee’s Game of death. Probably Ji’s most famous role is in Bruce Lee’s game of death . Lee trained under ji for a short time while he was in Hong Kong working for Golden Harvest. Ji worked for many hours with Lee and the other actors, and at one point helped Lee with a back injury that had been bothering him for some time. Unfortunately, Lee passed away on july 20, 1973 during the middle of filming. In the movie,Ji wore a gold belt that was given to him by Lee to represent the highest level of martial arts. ]i was also the only character not killed by Bruce Lee in the movie. Ji would not allow it since he said that Lee would never be able to beat him in real life. He is only injured at the end
of their fight and can be seen rolling around on the ground following the
On October 26'”, Kimjae~Kyu, the head of the Korean CIA, assassinated President Park Chung-Hee at the Blue house. Kim and the other conspirators also killed Park’s chief bodyguard, driver, and two other members of his security detail. By 4:00am on October 27th when it was confirmed park was dead, martial law was imposed on the entire country. Troops were
deployed throughout the country.
Hapkido was released in the USA under the name, Lady Kung Fu. It was thought hapkido was too little known as a martial art and since Kung Fu was gaining in popularity , hapkido was billed as a “type” of Kung Fu from Korea.
The infighting within the government and military, which at this time had almost complete control over the country, lead many officials who were close to Park to resign following the assassination. Amidst all the chaos,]i resigned his position. Many of those individuals who resigned were arrested and some were executed as political turmoil grew. Because of Ji’s position of
power in the government he became a target amidst the ensuing disorder.
With the turbulence following Park’s assassination, Ji found himself in the midst of a political power struggle. Because of his government involvement, with the political change in 1980, Ji and his organization were
brought up on charges of tax fraud and ji was sentenced to a one-year prison
While in prison,ji was able to practice meditation techniques for many hours. He also was for the first time exposed to the Bible. It was the only book allowed at the prison, and had both English and Korean language. Reading it over, and over again, ji found many similarities in stories from his previous training regarding philosophy, Ki, and meditation, Confirming many of his ideas,ji would later use Biblical stories to help teach western students, knowing most are more familiar with Christian teachings rather than Taoist,
Buddhist, or Confucian philosophies.”
Ji served 10 months in prison. After his release he remained in
Korea and worked llanul Gyo Temple in I-lyoja Dong, for a religious leader
3 These teaching examples have lead many to erroneously believe that ji is a devote Christian. ji says, that although he believes in many of the teachings, his “religion” is more personal and combines mostly the traditional Korean belief in Dangun, with elements of Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
ShinJung II. He was a bodyguard and also served as an advisor. During this time, Master Merrill Jung and members of the Northern California Hapkido Association were able to track Ji down and organize a training trip. Jung had met Ji in 1972 when he traveled to Korea to train at the Korea Hapkido Association Headquarters. Jung and his students were able to encourage Ji to begin teaching again and with their help, Ji formed the Korea Sin Moo Hapkido Association. Ji knew he wanted to leave Korea but was unable to get a passport to the United States. With the help of Jung and his students, he was able to get a visa to West Germany, and from there they would bring him to
the United States.
He traveled to Offenbach, West Germany and stayed at the house of Song Ill-Halk, a pioneer of Hapkido in Germany. While there, he taught at the International Martial Arts Gymnasium. Though he had a small Korean community, he did not speak any German and soon realized that teaching Hapkido in Germany would be very different than he had hoped. He became disillusioned, but fortunately this was only a temporary stop while Jung and his
students helped organize a visa to bring Ji to the United States.
After only three months in West Germany, Master Jung, with the help of his students such as Stuart Forrest and Bob Wixten, brought Ji to the United States. Ji began to travel around the US in order to set up and
expand the new Korea Sin Moo Hapkido Association.
When Ji first arrived, he taught some classes out of a YMCA for
Master Jung. He lived with Jung for the first ten months he was in the Bay
Song was not in Germany at the time, but was in San Francisco studying Acupuncture and oriental Medicine. Many others were involved in the process to help Ji immigrate to the US. Many of the Northern ( california hapkido Association members who traveled to Korea in 1982 were’ instrumental In this process
Area. Some students at that time were Stuart Forrest, Bill Orig, Rufo Mangonon, Gary Weaver, Dick Tom, Charley Newlun, and Larry Dorsey. Ji traveled quite a bit in the initial months of his arrival as many of his early
students wanted to see him. He also did a number of demonstrations and TV appearances, mostly in California.
Ji opened the first Sinmoo Hapkido Dojang on Mission St. in Daly City injune of 1984 after taking over from Taekwondo Master Shin Dong-Be. Some students at this time were Jung, Francisco Abungan, Yung Freda, Sinoe Era, Greg Levin, Nassar Sharabianlou, and Glenn Uesugi. Some of jung’s
students also attended classes at this dojang.
Ji opened his second school in early 1986 at 731 Kains Ave in San Bruno, CA, which was run with the assistance of his, ex~wife Debbie. Ji taught meditation classes in the morning to a few students. Master jung assisted and taught some children’s classes during the day. Ji taught classes every day to a small group of students and Freda was the primary instructor in the evenings. Some would come and go, but a few were there every day. Some would come and go, but a few were there every day. Some students at this time were, Era, Freda, Levin, Abungan, Sharabianlou, Uesugi, Frank Croaro, Mike Agoff, and a number of others. Again, a number of students came and went, but few continued to the higher ranks. On April 4, 1987 ji introduced the Sinmoo Hapkido revival techniques in a special seminar. The class involved vital points, and resuscitation from various injuries that can occur in the dojang. Ji
was adamant that an instructor should not have their own school if they do not know these important techniques.
After about 2 years, this school closed down. Ji taught a few classes at a dance school in Palo Alto and some lessons in Millbrae, but neither of
these locations lasted very long. He had a fair number of students from
Stanford at the time, following a demonstration, but none of them stayed for
In 1987 Dr. He Young Kim, moved from his home in Baton Rouge, LA to California after his father-in-law became ill. Kimm would stay in California until 1990 and was give the responsibility of writing a comprehensive book on Hapkido. Ji gave Kimm a pile of notes with over 1200 techniques and information for Kirnm to sift through and organize. He spent a number of hours with ]i diligently taking notes and taping material for what he would eventually compile into what is known as the “Hapkido Bible,”
but was published as Hapkido .
After Ji’s San Bruno Dojang closed in 1989, his focus shifted from teaching regularly to spreading Sinmoo Hapkido worldwide and focusing his teaching on martial artists who already had attained either master or instructor rank. Though ]i already had a number of students with previous martial arts experience, he began to offer 5 and 10-day instructor seminars that were designed as a crash-course in Sinmoo Hapkido. These classes gave a rapid
overview of the curriculum from which instructors could then add to whatever
art they were already teaching.
Kim had already published two books at this time, Kuk 8001: Traditional Korean Martial Arts and Philoso-hv of Masters. In 1989, With Jr’s encouragement, Kimm formed his own style of martial art, I hanmudo.
12 Kimm would later publish a second book llapkido II, which was targeted to his Jianinudo students and organization. In 2009, Kimm also published a book on Korean Martial Art history.
Over approximately the next 6 years, ji had schools and taught some classes in San Francisco, Pacific Grove, Monterey, and also one in Levittown, PA for a short time. The classes were either in small basement spaces, garages, in one of his very large dojangs that he had at various times, but more commonly, out of one of his student’s schools. One of the largest schools was
in Pacific Grove, where ji held a number of these large seminars.
Most of these instructor events took place in the Bay Area in California, but a few were instructed in different parts of the country and around the world. In 1995 Ji began to travel extensively beginning with his first return to Europe since his stop in 1983. Freda would often assist him on these international trips, and Levin would also travel with him on some of his trips to the East Coast. Ji would teach a number of seminars in Europe
including, Ireland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Finland,
In 1997 Ji, moved to the East Coast and began teaching weekly Seminars in Voorhees, NJ at Ken MacKenzie’s dojang. Ji would also teach instructor classes for John Godwin in Delaware beginning the following year. The New Jersey dojang would become the headquarters school for the world
Sin Moo Hapkido Federation that he and MacKenzie would form the
In April 1999, MacKenzie hosted an International Instructors Seminar. A six-day instructor event, taught by Ji who was assisted by Freda, was attended by instructors from around the world and culminated with a presentation by Dr. He Young Kimm on Hapkido’s history and a banquet
celebrating Ji’s 50 years in the martial arts.
Because of the rapid worldwide expansion of Sinmoo Hapkido over its first fifteen years,ji decided to change the name of the original Korea Sin
Moo hapkido Association to the World Sin Moo hapkido Association. This
new association was supposed to usher in a new era for the art with a change in uniforms, belts, rank certificates. ]i also began production and marketing of an “official” video series with Tang Soo Do Master Ed Samane. The material was supposed to be released the following year, but took nearly 8 years before any footage was released. Though a large portion of the material in Sinmoo Hapkido was covered, Ji was impatient with the progress, left out of the editing phase, and most techniques were only shot once. Also, due to an injury,]i was unable to demonstrate the vast kicking and various other
techniques for the video production.13
In 2001 Ji opened a small dojang in a Korean church on Willow Ave in Elkin’s Park, PA. The majority of the students were children and teens that were members of the church. Businessman David Suh, who had a background inJudo assisted with some of the classes. This became the headquarters
dojang for the art for about a year.
In August of 2002 Ji traveled to Korea for a conference with top Hapkido practitioners with the purpose of creating a unified Worldwide Hapkido Organization. Such notable instructors as Soo Bok-Suh, Seo In-Sun, and many others attended this event. A large seminar, instructor training, and demonstration were scheduled where ]i was to be assisted by Scott Yates, Sean Bradley, and John Lee. Torrential rains and heavy flooding throughout Korea
caused the event to be cancelled.
Later that year, in October, Ji returned to Korea with some of his Senior students. The objective of the trip was to form the world Hapkido Association with the aid of Dr. Lo Young Chul and Mr. David Suh with the
backing of the South Korean government and to showcase Sinmoo Hapkido
'5 in 2008 the first group of Videos were released, though there were many more halls of footage originally shot.
to Korea. Unfortunately, much of the financial backing had been lost after the
events in August, and the organization never took off as planned.
From 2002 to 2006 ji limited his travel to Europe amidst conflict with senior European student,]uerg Ziegler. With only one seminar in Spain in March 2003, ]i shifted his focus to the Western Hemisphere and taught only in North and South America. Teaching regularly in Delaware, he travelled the US and taught seminars in Florida, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas, Georgia, and Washington. He also taught Sinmoo Hapkido seminars in Mexico, Canada, and into South America to Columbia,
Argentina, and Ecuador.
In 2006 Ji celebrated his 70th Birthday. His first big celebration was marked by his return to Europe. After first holding a short seminar in France with Master Nicolas Tacchi, he then travelled to Valencia, Spain on June 11th. The European Sinmoo Hapkido Association under Rafael Balbastrae and Juerg Ziegler hosted the event. Students from all over Europe came to
celebrate this occasion and it was marked by a one-day seminar and banquet.
The celebration then moved to the United States on the East Coast with the newly formed North American Sinmoo Hapkido Federation. Hosted by MacKenzie and his right-hand man, Scott Yates, the First Hapkido Summit was held from October 23rd to October 28th and featured a 5-day seminar taught by ji and featured guest instructors such as, Founder of Hanmudo and Martial Arts Historian, Dr. He Young Kimm. The week intensive training culminated with a birthday celebration banquet with representatives from 11
different countries and over 20 masters in attendance.
The final birthday celebration brought Ji back to the Sinmoo Hapkido roots where it all began, San Francisco. Hosted by his most senior
Sinmoo student Merrilljung and assisted by Stuart Forrest and Rich Goldstein
of the World Martial Arts Union, a banquet with over 200 guests was held at the Four Seas Restaurant in San Francisco’s famous Chinatown. It was a
meeting of new and old Sinmoo Hapkido students and instructors.
From 2006 until 2010, Ji continued to travel and teach around the world. He was still teaches regular classes in Delaware for John Godwin, and occasional classes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for Ken MacKenzie, Ian Cyrus, and a handful of other instructors in the area. In December 2006 he traveled for the first time to Africa, teaching a seminar in Nouakchott, Mauritania, with the assistance of Tae kwon Do Grandmaster Shin and Bradley. In November 2009 he traveled to the Middle East for the first time with GM Ghorbani where he was greeted by 100s of his fans who waited many hours in cold winter weather to give him the warmest welcome with his large picture banners, tones of flowers and chanting his name. Ji taught a series of classes in Iran where he was welcomed as an international celebrity and televised on national TV on his arrival in Tehran airport and during seminars in Iran. In addition, he traveled the United States and taught seminars in Georgia, New York, Vashington, and California. Internationally, he taught in Mexico, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, Latvia,
Ireland, France, and Brazil.
On August 8, 2009,Ji was honored at a 25‘h Anniversary Celebration of Sinmoo Hapkido that took place in Foster City, California. Organized by the Sinmoo Hapkido Legacy Group, this event was attended by senior masters from all over the world and culminated with a teaching session on philosophy and meditation. Not only the 250‘ Anniversary of Sinmoo Hapkido, but 2009 also marked Ji’s 60 years of formal involvement in the martial arts! In December 2009,Ji was honored as Black Belt Magazine’s “Man of the Year,” for all of his contributions to the martial arts. Ji plans to semi-retire from
teaching in 2010, though he has said this many times before.
On January 8, 2010,Ji was honored by the Action Martial Arts Maganne at the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City as a Hall Of Fame
member. With almost 1500 attendees, some ofJi’s students, Ziegler,
MacKenzie, Godwin Yates and Zmugg, taught seminars to showcase Sinmoo Hapkido.
On january 13th, Ji returned to Korea to teach for the first time since leaving in 1983. Organized by Kim Nam-Jae and the Korea Hapkido Federation, Ji taught a two-day seminar at Sun Moon University in Cheonan. After a meeting with senior students such as Hwang Deok-Kyu, and Kim
Nam-J ae, Ji, with the assistance of Bradley, taught to over 70 black belts and masters at the World Police Martial Arts Conference. ]i then traveled to Jeju Island where he taught a second seminar, hosted by Kim Nam-Gyo, to the instructors on Jeju Island. ji returned to Seoul and met with senior students to once again discuss the future of hapkido.
THE ART OF SINMOO HAPKIDO
Sinmoo Hapkido is an art that encompasses physical, mental and spiritual training. The art is not only a practical and effective form of selfdefense, but also a way of life for many of its practitioners. This is evident
when first looking at the words that make up the name of the art.
SIN MOO Hapkido
Taking the last three words first, Hapkido is commonly translated as “the way
of coordinated power.” Though an accurate translation in other contexts, the intended meaning is more precise.
Hap means to bring together, to combine, or to harmonize. [0' refers to the energy that connects the mind and body. Ki has a number of translations, such as vapor, breath, and energy, but can be understood in this
context as the connection between the mind and the body that is in constant
communication through all of us.
Do also has a wide range of meanings and again, is largely dependent on :ontext. Whereas it often refers to a path or way, it is more appropriate here
to think of it as an ongoing process or state of being.
Therefore, Hapkido means, “the process of bringing together of the mind and the body” or “the state of the mind and body being in harmony” This already points to the depth of the art, but the first two words further
illustrate the exact intended Sinrnoo is most often translated as “higher mind martial art.”
Moo or Mu is rather straightforward and means “martial art” or martial method. The concept of Jill on the other hand is rather complicated. Simply, it could mean higher mind, but can also mean “god” or “god-like. Sin is pronounced Shen, in Chinese and is most often the same
character (shown on the right) that is used in Chinese Medicine
to represent the Heart Spirit. In addition, the Hanja character
also often means ghost or spirit in a paranormal sense.
Dojunim originally used the more common character for sin when writing Sinmoo Hapkido in Hanja as evidenced in early black belt rank certificates. With such a varied interpretation and possible translations of this character, in 2000, Dojunim decided to switch to an ancient and rarely used character. He did so for two reasons. The first is to clarify the meaning and distance the art from mystical and religious correlations. The second reason was to give greater historical context. The character now used is one that
dates back to almost 2000 years and can be found in the Korean Text,
Samilsingo. As one of the foundational texts for the philosophy of Sinmoo Hapkido, Dojunim felt it better captured the meaning that he was looking for
in describing his art. The intended meaning of sin is easiest to understand as “a
higher more enlightened state of existence.”
The use of sin in Sinmoo Hapkido represents a shift in emphasis from the physical aspects of training to the spiritual, mental, and philosophical side of the art in addition to the training. This change has put weight on the important non-physical training that Dojunim felt was often neglected in traditional Hapkido training. By putting such weight on the non-physical training, Sinmoo Hapkido allows for better communication between the mind
and body by balancing the three aspects of oneself, mind, ki, and body, and
ensuring that all parts are being addressed.
When taken in its entirety, Sinmoo Hapkido means, “reaching a higher state of existence in martial arts through the process of bringing
together of the mind and the body.”
SINMOO HAPKIDO PHILOSOPHY
Sinmoo Hapkido draws the majority of its philosophy from three sources. Confucianism, Buddhism, and Korean Zen (Seon) are the primary sources of the philosophy of Sinmoo l-lapkido though elements of Taoism, Christianity, native Korean religions and philosophies, modern science, and oriental medicine all play an important part. These three core pillars serve as
the basis for understanding the development of mind, body, and ki in this
It is important to note, that although these foundations serve as religions for millions around the world, the teachings used to form the basis of Sinmoo Hapkido are secular and not religious. There are no worship components, and one’s religious views are their own as that is a personal choice not to be influenced by the dojang. Though some of the terminology used at times is similar to certain religions, it is used only to serve as familiar examples in teaching martial arts concepts and not to promote or diSpute
certain religious ideologies.
Sinmoo Hapkido has a deep philosophical base that students can take from it what they wish. Some of the philosophy of Sinrnoo Hapkido is straightforward whereas other pieces are rather obscure and difficult to understand. Often these obscure pieces require the student to practice techniques for an extended period of time before experiences bring to light the
The three parts of a person are most often broken up into mind, body, and spirit in Western thought. As mentioned earlier, although this is not
the best designation, we will use these for ease and comparison to make sense
of these concepts. There are six pieces for each of these under the respective
Confucian teaching came to Korea from China during the Three Kingdoms Period (57 to 668 CE) and was primarily adopted in the Baekje Kingdom, though the Silla and Gogoreyo Kingdoms later adopted it as well. In Sinmoo Hapkido Confucian teachings are associated with the body and physical training of a practitioner. This involves discipline in training, hierarchical organization of rank, relationships of students and teachers,
general diet and lifestyle, and most importantly, the concept of moderation.
The most important aspects that must be controlled in Sinmoo Hapkido from a physical standpoint are the senses. The eyes, ears, nose, mouth, genitals, and skin, all give us sensory input. It is up to the individual to
interpret this input and moderate these senses so that they do not control us.
Buddhism was introduced to Korea in the 4th Century CE, and developed into a unique form that combines pieces of the traditional shamanic teachings with Buddhist thought. Much of the Buddhist teachings that serve as the foundation in Sinmoo Hapkido are attributed to IVon-Hyo, a famous Korean Monk and later scholar who taught that Buddhist teaching all had to do With the mind. In Sinmoo Hapkido, mind training comes in the form of
controlling ones emotions. Keeping to the Confucian teaching, nothing in
excess, controlling emotions means letting the emotions of joy, anger, fear,
sadness, greed, and laziness come up when appropriate, but be sure to not let
them overwhelm and control ones life.
KOREAN ZEN (SEON)
Korean Zen or Seon is actually a form of Buddhism that stems from the Chan tradition in China. This form of Buddhism modified some of the teachings of Mahayana Buddhism, but also added local teachings and Taoist concepts. This is the ki development aspect of Sinmoo Hapkido, but primarily focuses on breath training. The emphasis here is experience, and the easiest method for that is meditation and breathing. Dojunim says, “Proper breathing is proper meditation.” The Seon tradition focus on sitting in meditation, and in Sinmoo Hapkido, the focus is the same. In order to pay attention to the breath, six odours must be limited to ensure that we experience the breath to its fullest. Fragrant, Rotten, Cold, Hot, Dry and Damp air, all must be limited through long, slow, mindful breathing By doing there is a free flow of
communication between mind and body and are truly able to experience breathing.
Sin Moo Hapkido Jahgahk Kwan is now thought World wide by Joongkwang Sunsah Massan Ghorbani 10th degree black belt, one of Doju Ji Han Jae top students who is also a former World and European Kickboxing champion and has worked as a security for almost 14 years in Ireland.
Irish Sin Moo Hapkido 3rd dan instructor Richard Mulcahy (right) with Gradmaster Kenneth P. Makenzie.
Hapkido founder Ji Han Jae awards Ghorbani
RICHARD MULCAHY REPORTS
BRAY, CO. Wicklow-based Grandmaster Massan Ghorbani and myelf, 3rd dan black belt instructor Richard Mulcahy, were in New Jersey, USA recently where we attended the 2011 World Sin Moo Hapkido Federation’s (WSMHF) summit and birthday banquet of 75-year-old DoJu Nim Ji Han Jae, the founder of Sin Moo Hapkiod. The event was was well attended with close on 100 WSMHF representatives from around the world. After landing at the airport we were collected and driven to our hotel. After freshening up we were greeted in reception by none other than DoJu Nim Ji Han Jae himself, SaMo Nim (his wife), and Grandmaster Kenneth P. MacKenzie, 10th dan president of the WSMHF. After a quick catch up over coffee we were taken out and treated to dinner in a local traditional Korean restaurant.
The following morning we met up again with DoJu Nim, SaMo Nim, Grandmaster MacKenzie and Master Carl Henninger in Grandmaster and Dr. Egil Fosslien’s hotel for breakfast where we all discussed the upcoming seminar. Grandmaster MacKenzie and Master Henninger then took myself and Grandmaster Ghorbani on a tour of their beautiful Voorhees towship in New Jersey.
Foot work techniques
The training started in the afternoon with Senior Master Dr. Mark Fabi teaching Sin Moo's 30 advanced attacking techniques. This was followed by Grandmaster Fosslien teaching stepping and foot work techniques. Next, Grandmaster Ian Cyrus, a former FBI special agent and one of Doju Nim top students, went through defensive Hapkido principles and concepts. Lastly, Grandmaster Scott Yates instructed the large class in Hapkido kicking techniques and showed how to adapt and adjust them in numerous senarios. Next day it was a 9 a.m. start by Grandmaster MacKenzie in his headquarters dojang where participants went through some very painful Hapkido flow-drills, joint locks, submissions and special sensitivity training techniques as well as multiple joint locks. This was followed by Grandmaster Ghorbani who took the seminar participants through a gruelling session of Kickboxing techniques and combinations followed by the applicable Hapkido techniques to defend against. Here Grandamster Ghorbani stressed the importance of eye contact, good close guard and distance awareness/control in a real situation. He also taught some tough body conditioning drills for full-contact sparring.
After lunch Grandmaster Yates went through Hapkido spinning kicks and the seminar was concluded by DoJuNim Ji Han Jae who gave a rare insight into Sin Moo Hapkido's history and philosophies. He followed this with 'ki power' development and meditation techniques after which he taught 'kyuck pa' or the art of power breaking techniques.
The birthday banquet was held at a Korean restaurant and when DoJu Nim and SaMo Nim arrived they were greeted loudly by the crowd. During the banquet all the grandmasters were presented with commemorative plaques after which birthday wishes from martial artists around the world, who couldn't attend, were read aloud to the gathering. One of the highlights, and a proud moment for me, was when DoJu Nim in his speech announced that there was now five 10th dans in the world. These include a Korean grandmaster (now deceased), Grandmaster Merrill Jung (Korea), Grandmaster Juerg Ziegler (Switzerland), Grandmaster MacKenzie. He then announced to the crowd that the new fifth and final 10th dan in Sin Moo Hapkido was Grandmaster Massan Ghorbani (Ireland and Iran).
Not only is Grandmaster Ghorbani the last 10th dan to be appointed by the style's founder he is also only the third non-Korean in the world to be promoted to the rank. So, to my instructor and long time good friend I'd like to say congratulations Susak Chon Kwan Chang Massan Ghorbani. I'm proud and honoured to have you as an instructor and a friend.