the passing of Soke Choi-Young-Sul (Yosida Asao) the question many
people have is, where does H.K.D. go from then, after the founder has
This is an interesting question. There are a number of H.K.D. teachers,
me included, who could claim and do claim, to the mantle of inheritor
and so built the groundwork for
a “Range War” that would rival what happened to the International Kempo,
Tang-Soo-Do, Wing Chun and Jeet-Kune-Do communities after the deaths of
Shortly after Doju Choi´s death, several Masters split of from the
largest H.K.D. groups and today operate their own organizations. Some
other even start to claim to be a former student of Doju Choi, what they
never have done during his lifetime. Most of them were mainly just
students under Grandmaster Chi-Han-Jae.
The point of interest is that none of these former students of Doju Choi
have taken the concepts, techniques and training methods taught by him
and have moved them forward to progress them to an up-to-date realistic
Self Defense System. Now they fight over questions like:
Who is senior to whom and who outranks who ?
Who has the highest rank ?
Where get this and that person his rank from ?
Who learned the most and who learned the highest techniques and methods ?
Is an organization or an Instructor less good or worth without the blessing from Korea ?
Is somebody senior to another because he was promoted first or is he higher because he is older ?
Is there only one 10th Dan in the world ? (No ! Actually over 36 people with 10th Dan, and over 55 with 9th Dan are recorded.)
Can be there a 11th Dan ? (Why not ? This depends on the rank structure of each H.K.D. System !)
Who is teaching “pure “ H.K.D. and who offers also other techniques, principles and philosophies
were not part of the original three systems Soke Choi used to create H.K.D. ?
(Takeda-Ryu, Bulkyo-Mu-Sool, and Tae-Kyon)
I gave up the idea of Soke Choi´s dream, of one big H.K.D. family a long timer ago, because it just won’t happen.
But just because we can’t band together doesn’t mean we have to fight and disrespect each other.
OK, lets put down some facts:
Hap-Ki-Do is a mixed System of Martial Arts, which includes techniques principles and philosophies from the Korean
and Japanese Buddhism, as well as from the Japanese Shintoism.
Chinil Chang is the only one that received a 10th Dan from Choi. He handed over H.K.D. to him on 1-15-1985.
Choi´s student Kang-Woo-Jin was the first person who used the name
“Hap-Ki-Do” in 1956, in agreement with his teacher and Suh-Bok-Sup.
Chi-Han-Jae trained under Soke Choi and was certified as a 3rd Dan. He
is in charge of the promotion of Hap-Ki-Do worldwide and produced most
of the HKD Instructors since the 1960´s.
Soke Choi offered sucessorship to several people at one time or another.
Today, there are more than 95 different systems of Hap-Ki-Do worldwide