Age Organizations of Korean Martial Arts
After 1945 Independance from Japan:
1948 - PRESENT : DAEHAN GUMDO HWE
- Korean Gumdo Association: After the independance from Japan,
the Korean practitioners of Japanse Kendo changed the name of the
art to "Gumdo" and made the first Gumdo organization in
1948 - PRESENT : DAEHAN YUDO HWE
- Korean Yudo Association: The Korean practitioners of Japanese
Judo, Mun-Suk Lee and Jin-Hi Han, changed the name of the art to Yudo
and made the first Yudo organiation in Korea.
1953 -1965 : DAEHAN TANGSOODO SUBAKDO
- Korean Tangsoodo Association: Okinawate practitioner Ki Hwang
changed to the name of Tangsoodo and named his first organization
"Subakdo Hwe. " In 1965 this organization joined the Korean
1962 -1964 : DAEHAN KONGSOODO HYUPHWE
- Korean Kongsoodo Association: Kongsoodo; Chang Mu Kwan, Song
Mu kwan, Chung Do Kwan, Ji Do Kwan, and Han Mu Kwan estanlished the
first Kongsoodo organization.
1962 - 1966 : HANKUK MUSOOL HWE
(KUK SOOL HWE)
- Korean Martial Skills Association: Hwarangdo®
and Hapkido Founders Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee with YuSool and
Shipalgae practitioner In-Hyuk Suh and four other Yusool and Hapkido
masters made the first Korean martial skills organization. More detailed
information about this organization is available here.
1963 - 1986 : DAEHAN KIDO HWE
- Korean Kido Association: The meeting of the first Yusool
masters was held in in 1963 at Jeong-Yun Kim's Hanpool School in Seoul.
At this meeting it was agreed upon to change the name of "Hapkido"
to "Kido." The masters that attended this meeting were:
Yong-Sul Choi, Bok-Sup Suh, Joo-Bang Lee, Joo-Sang Lee, Han-Jae Ji,
Kwang-Hwa Won, Woo-Tack Kim, and Jeong-Yun Kim. After changing the
name of the Hapkido art, Bok-Sup Suh and Du-Young Kim registered the
organization "Daehan Kido Hwe" with the Korean government.
This was the second martial art organization in Korea, however since
it was located in a rurual area of Korea, namely Daegu, there were
no members of schools. Most Korean martial arts headquarters are located
in the capital city of Seoul in order to draw on more public support
and opportunities, so this became an "empty" organization.
In 1986, In-Huk Suh took over this empty organization and gave control
to his brother In-Sun Seo.
note: The reason for the name changes of this art can be found
in the meaning of the Chinese characters and the historical context
of the period. The occupation of Japan was fresh in Korean's minds,
and they did not want to use the Japanese term Yawara (pronounced
in Korean Yusool) for their art, so the name Hapkido was created.
After learning about the existence of the Japanese art Aikido, which
was founded by Morei Ueshiba, the "name of Hapkido" was
changed to "Kido" by these first masters because Hapkido
and Aikido have identical Chinese characters and meaning.
1964 -1964 (6 MONTHS ONLY): DAEHAN
- Korean Taesudo Association: Kongsoodo, Tangsoodo, and Taekwondo
masters made their second association, however 6 months later they
changed the name to the Korean Taekwondo Association and the Daehan
Taesudo Hyuphwe was disbanded.
1965-1972 : DAEHAN TAEKWONDO HYUPHWE
- Korean Taekwondo Association: Oh Do Kwan Taekwondo founder
Hong-Hi Choi and six other kwan (trans: house of schools) founders
changed the name of their organization for the third time to the Koean
Taekwondo Association and the Korean government made Taekwondo the
1967-1968 : DAEHAN MUDO HWE
- Korean Martial Arts Association: In 1967, Korean president
Jeong-Hee Park ordered a number of prominent martial art masters to
establish one governing organization that would encompass and unify
all Korean martial arts and their organizations. The goal of this
project was similar to what had happened a few years earlier when
Kongsoodo, Tangsoodo, and Taekwondo were unified to create the national
sport of Taekwondo. The Korean government attempted to create two
governing organizations; one would handle the national sport (Daehan
Taekwondo Hyup Hwe) and the other would handle the national martial
art (Daehan Mudo Hwe).
The creation and organization of this new association was a combined
effort of: Hwarangdo founder Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee, Kihapdo
founder Dae-Hoon Choi, and Sungmukwan Hapkido founder Han-Jae Ji.
The martial arts that were to be unified under the Daehan Mudo Hwe
were: Hwarangdo®, Kuksool Hwe, Yusool,
Hapkido, Seongmu Kwan, Yusool Kwan, Kuksool Kwan, Musool Kwan, Kwangmu
Kwan, Pyungmu Kwan, Kihapdo, Kukkido, Kido, Yukwonsool, and Bulmudo.
One of the main promotions for this new organization came on May 27,
1968 at the Jangchung Sports Arena in Seoul for a national martial
arts exibition, which was directed by Hwarangdo founders Joo-Bang
Lee and Joo-Sang Lee. However, only one month after this demonstration
the Daehan Mudo Hwe was disbanded. All other arts that were a part
of this unification atempt were also disbanded except for the division
of the two main original martial arts and organizations. One was the
martial art of Hwa Rang Do and the Korean Hwa Rang Do Association,
which was founded by Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee. The second was
Hapkido and the Korean Hapkido Association, which was founded by Dae-Hoon
Choi and Han-Jae Ji.
It was also at this time that Yong-Sul Choi (Korean founder of Daito
Ryu Yawara - AiKiJuJitsu) changed the name of his school to Hapkido
and took the the Dojoonim title of the art Hapkido. More detailed
information regarding the circumstances of this period is available
1968-1972 : DAEHAN HWARANGDO HWE
- Korean Hwa Rang Do® Association:
Dr. Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee
1968-1975 : DAEHAN HAPKIDO HYUPHWE
- Korean Hapkido Association: Han-Jae Ji and Dae-Hoon Choi
1972- PRESENT : SAEGAE HWARANGDO
- World Hwa Rang Do® Association:
Dr. Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee
1973-PRESENT : SAEGAE TAEKWONDO
- World Taekwondo Federation: Dr. Un-Yong Kim
1973-PRESENT : KUKJAE TAEKWONDO
- International Taekwondo Federation: Hong-Hi Choi
1985-PRESENT : SAEGAE SINMU HAPKIDO
- World Sinmu Hapkido Association: Since Hapkido had so many
organizations Han-Jae Ji created a new martial art in 1985, which
he named Sinmu Hapkido and subsequently he founded the World Sinmu
Note about Hapkido: After
1975 many individual schools made their own organizations for business
promotional purposes. Since this type of occurance has happend in multiple
regions around the globe, Hapkido has lost its ability to maintain quality
control and has turned into a generic art.
Note about Taekwondo:
After 1973 many Taekwondo and Hapkido schools each had their own organization
and most Taekwondo schools used other generic martial arts' names for
business purposes. Taekwondo has become an Olympic discipline and has
changed from an art to a sport. Since Taekwondo has also become a generic
term, many public schools now use other generic art names in conjunction
with the Taekwondo name, which has further damaged the traditional Taekwondo
Note about the current situation
of the general martial art community: With the influx of business
tactics and the goal of financial success as the primary motivational
factor for the majority of martial art school owners, the overal level
of quality control has diminished to an alarming level within the martial
art community. Many of the arts that once defined the skills and values
for their particualr art within the sphere of the entire community have
become generic. Karate, Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kungfu, to name a few, have
lost their ability to govern themselves and even the ability to define
common syllabi, concepts, and philosophies.
Now that these arts do not have the means to govern their
name, many individuals within the martial art community use mulitiple
martial art names (and to some degree techniques) as if they can be
combined without losing the integrity of their original traditional
identity. In the past, martial arts were divided into two main divisions,
hard and soft style. However, now since the mixing of techniques has
become a prominent phenomena, the soft style arts (Hapkido, Kungfu,
etc) and the hard style arts (Karate, Taekwondo, etc) now look similar
to one another, and the features that once definded these arts and styles
have been lost. The wonderful martial art identities that were founded
by the those original masters have now become just a synthisys of techniques
and their art names are used indiscriminately for the benifit of an
individual's buisiness purposes, like a retail store.
With the onset of the co-optation of most martial art
names by financial motivated individuals, and the public realization
of this fact, many members of the martial art community now wish to
claim that they have "pure" roots. Whether they are simply
unaware of the true development of the modern martial arts or have selfish
interests, there are many individuals who are attempting to rewrite
the the historical development of the martial art lineage in order to
cast a brighter light onto themselves for promotional purposes. Unfortunately
the ignorance and common place of these new "historical claims"
has lead to further degradation of the traditional martial art identities.
Now there are multidutes of books, videos, and websites
that exemplify these current trends, which are also created by individuals
who do not have any qualification. Black belts and even color belts
call themselves by a master or grandmaster title without true certification
or testing. These are also the individuals who make many of the books
and videos that are sold to the public, which in turn has caused somewhat
of a prolififeration of these false martial art practitioners and claims.
This has caused drastic public confusion as to the true nature of these
particular martial arts, and now today, in many cases it is hard to
tell what the original arts of Karate, Hapkido, and Taekwondo ever were;
and moreover what the spirit of these martial arts were.
These events and circumstances have been an eye opener
to many of the traditional practitioners within the martial art community.
In order to truly maintain the level of quality for the representation
of a martial art within the public, a strong governing organization
combined with thorough awareness of all of the traits that define that
particular art (technically, conceptually, and philosophically) for
that art's practitioners, is needed. We can also see the need for legal
protection which is evident from a few martial arts such as Hwa Rang
Do®, Tae Soo Do®
and other martial arts which are now internationally registered
trademarks. This type of action has created strong control of the quality
of these arts and also ensures the integrity of their public representation
will remain good.
A martial art is not a sport or type of academic study.
There are traditional virtues and qualities that define all aspects
of each particular martial art. It is strongly reccomended that if you
wish to practice a martial art you thoroughly research which art contains
what you wish to learn technically, and which art's identity has a high
level of quality and will maintain that level in the future.
If you are a member of the martial art community, and have participated
in the degradation of the quality of your own martial art identity or
the quality of the martial art community through the use of multiple martial
art names and the mixing of techniques, or through actions such as the
creation of false titles, ranks, and certifications, or through the use
of fabricated historical accounts and claims, it is deeply and sincerely
hoped that you come to understand the emptiness of these actions, and
the pride that can be felt by following the traditional way of the martial
arts, and maintianing and working for the benifit of your honorable martial
art identity and the integrity of the future generations of practitioners
of choice your one true art spirit.