Guys, Give it up. <img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle> Hapkido's DR link is a dead end road. Yes, the theory is possible to the extent that ailen abduction is possible. Lot of oral accounts with no evidence whatsoever.
As of 2000 years history, if there are few masters who were honest about their link to Choi, good for them. Just that they weren't many or loud enough to change the official line majority followed. It is quite similar to TKD. TKD's Official line was that 2000 years one. General Choi never denied that he studied karate but he pretty much went along with the official line.
As of Choi being the founder, I'm more inclined with multiple founders theory given that major trend in Korean martial arts was to consolidate different organization under (South) Korean flag. But on this point, I can be open minded about either way. Let just say that I won't be surprised if it turn out that many people unrelated to choi were part of founding member of HKD or that those who say they learned from Choi neglect to mention that they also learned from others as well.
Oh, as of this marketing Japanese arts in Korea, there were no need to cover Japanese orign whatsoever in Choi's students' generation. Doing so is akin to market aikido as ancient European fighting technique in America. People would immediately spot fraud so any attempt to cover it's Japanese origin is totally pointless. People of this generation had no illusion as to the existence of 2000 years old Korean martial tradition. If someone held (or faked) high ranking aikido/karate/judo grade, he would have no trouble finding student who are eager to learn though someone like Ashida Kim would not have stayed in business for long as many of these students were real hard core. It is what Japanese arts represent which is unpopular. Japanese arts are and were very popular and claiming lineage to one of the most esotric Japanese arts would be extremely profitable marketing move.
Lastly, read Fukuoka's comment in the link I provided. His Engrish is pretty bad but his description of Yawara is far more interesting stuff than wasting time on DR link.
Edited by - Vapour on August 20 2003 19:56:03
I hope I can REALLY end the debate about Choi mastering Daitoryu with this transcript of an interview. If his claim stated below were true, lack of any documentations or witness to coraborate his story would be impossbile. "To date, no evidence, including registrations, taxes, diaries, first-hand witness reports, immigration, employment, census have been found to support these oral traditions." Unless someone come up with something substantial, I would consider the guy an outrageous liar from now on.
Choi, Yong Sul (1904-1986)
Mr. Choi, the founder and Grandmaster of Korean Hapkido, discussed his personal history in an interview given during his visit to the United States in June of 1982.
Mr. Choi, under what circumstances did you come to live in Japan?
When I was a child I lived in the village of Yong Dong in Choong Chung Province, Korea. At this time there were many Japanese people in my region because of the Japanese occupation of Korea. I became acquainted with a Mr. Morimoto, who was a Japanese businessman and candy store owner. Morimoto had no sons. When the time came for him to return to Japan he abducted me and took me with him to Japan, intending that I would become his son. I did not like this man and because of my constant protest and crying he abandoned me in the town of Moji soon after we came to Japan. From Moji, I traveled alone to Osaka. I soon gave myself up to despair and while crying and wandering aimlessly, I was picked up by the police. When the authorities found out that I had no family in Japan, they arranged for me to be cared for at a Buddhist temple. I lived there for about two years under the care of the monk Kintaro, Wadanabi.
How old were you when you were abducted?
I think about 8 years old.
What circumstances placed you in the home of Takeda, Sokaku?
While living in the temple, I was fascinated by murals of battles and paintings of famous martial arts scenes displayed throughout the temple. When the time came, Wadanabi asked me what direction I wanted my life to take. I immediately pointed to a scene on the wall depicting the martial arts and said this is what I want to be. Kintaro, Wadanabi was a close friend of Takeda, Sokaku and arranged my introduction to him. Takeda, Sokaku liked me and feeling great sympathy for my situation, decided to adopt me. Upon my adoption he gave me the Japanese name Asao, Yoshida. I was about 11 years old at this time.
In what city was the Buddhist temple that was your home?
In what area was Takeda, Sokakuís home and dojang (school) located?
His home and school were located on Shin Su Mountain in the area of Akeda.
What was the nature of your training under Takeda, Sokaku?
Takeda, Sokaku was the head of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jutsu. I lived in his home and learned under his personal direction for over 30 years. I was his constant student, and for twenty years of my training, I was secluded in his mountain home.
Takeda was the teacher of the Japanese royal family. Were you personally involved in teaching the royal family?
Yes, at that time I was my teachersís assistant in all of his instruction. While in Tokyo, we also taught high ranking government officials within the palace circle. Also, we traveled to various parts of Japan and taught select groups of people.
Did you ever leave Japan with Master Takeda for any exhibitions or teaching outside of Japan?
Yes, when I was about 28 years old it was arranged by politicians for my teacher and his most outstanding students to travel to Hawaii in order to give an exhibition tour.
What was your personal status on this tour?
I was the leader of the exhibition team under the direction of my teacher.
How many people were on the exhibition team and can you recall the names of any of the participants?
At the time of the Hawaiian tour there were five of us; Takeda, Sokaku, myself (Asao, Yoshida), Jintaro, Abida and two others whose names I cannot at this time recall.
When you returned from Hawaii were there any significant changes in your life?
No, we continued to tour and teach and at the same time I continued to learn through Master Takedaís instruction.
How was your life affected by the outbreak of World War II?
World War II changed things in many ways. My teacher and I worked for the government by capturing military deserters that would hide in the mountains near our home. We would return these men, unharmed, to the authorities. The most significant changes happened toward the end of the war. Japan was losing the war and in a last desperation effort the government instituted a special military draft that called up most of the prominent martial artists of the time. These highly trained people were conscripted into special guerrilla-type units that were dispersed throughout the war zone. All of the inner circle of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jutsu were drafted except Master Takeda and myself. Most were killed in the final fighting of the war.
Why were you not drafted along with the others?
I was going to be drafted but Takeda, Sokaku intervened. Through his status and influence, he had me hospitalized for minor surgery. This stopped the process of my conscription and prevented me from being drafted. He prevented me from being put into the war because he felt that if I was killed Daito Ryu Aiki-Jutsu would be lost in its completed form upon his death.
How many separate techniques had Takeda, Sokaku developed and mastered in his system?
How many of these techniques have you personally mastered?
Shortly before he died, my teacher informed me that I was the only student that he had schooled in all of his secrets and techniques.
Do you know the circumstances of Takeda, Sokaku's death?
Yes, he ended his life by refusing to eat.
Why did he do that?
Japan had never before been defeated in war. Takeda, Sokaku felt that a great shame and loss of face had been perpetrated on his ancestors by Japan's defeat at the hands of the Allies. Being a man of leadership, he felt a strong personal responsibility in this defeat. Becase of this strong feeling, he decided that his only honorable path was to end his life.
Did Master Takeda make any final statements to you before his death?
He said goodbye to me and spoke of my long time desire to return to Korea. He bid me to do so. He was concerned that because of my position in his household and because of my Korean heritage, that I would be assassinated if I remained in Japan. Had I remained after his death to succeed him, it would have been dangerous.
When did you return to Korea?
I returned, with my household, shortly after Takeda, Sokakuís death.
Where in Korea did you settle?
We settled in Taegu Kyung Buk Province. Here I established my first Korean dojang, and have made my home here ever since. After returning I changed my name back to Choi, Yong Sul and the name of my art to Hapkido.
Copyright © 1982/1998 Joseph K. Sheya
Edited by - Vapour on August 21 2003 11:52:33
Edited by - Vapour on August 21 2003 11:59:49
"As of Choi being the founder, I'm more inclined with multiple founders..."
I could agree with you hear. What Choi taught was nothing more than Yawara. However, people like GM Sup, GM Ji and other people started adding more techniques from what they learned in other areas of martial arts.
"People of this generation had no illusion as to the existence of 2000 years old Korean martial tradition. If someone held (or faked) high ranking aikido/karate/judo grade, he would have no trouble finding student who are eager to learn though someone like Ashida Kim would not have stayed in business for long as many of these students were real hard core. It is what Japanese arts represent which is unpopular. Japanese arts are and were very popular and claiming lineage to one of the most esotric Japanese arts would be extremely profitable marketing move. "
Again, Choi did not step off the boat saying I'm here with the most secretive of Japanese arts. He never sought a teaching job. He was asked to teach after being seen defending himself. I get the impression from your posts that you feel he actually sought out students with some false claims. They came to him wanting to learn.
Jeremy M. Talbott
Originally Posted by Phrost
Originally Posted by D.Murray
Originally Posted by hangooknamja88
"I would consider the guy an outrageous liar from now on."
A simple opinoin that many people like yourself share. :) Nothing wrong in it.
Jeremy M. Talbott
Originally Posted by Phrost
Originally Posted by D.Murray
Originally Posted by hangooknamja88
Look. I made my case of the guy being outrageous liar and shameless self promoter based on copyrighted document of his interview which are false beyond reasonable doubt. Though there are those who make the same claim without much to back it up, what I did was bit more than *IMHO*.
I think we all agree that the guy had no connection to DR even though indirect connection through aikido or attendance of few DR seminar may be still possible. With that in mind, read the interview again. He didn't just claim to have an instructor's certificate (kyoju-dairi). He claimed to be the sole successor of Daitoryu, not to mention about him teaching Japanese imperial family which at that time was worshiped as semi god. If this is not bullshido, I don't know what is.
On the other hand, you are making a case that he is NOT a shameless self promoter based on an story of "he never sought a teaching job. He was asked to teach after being seen defending himself" which is obviously based on oral accounts of himself or his students. So you are basing your argument on assumption that their oral account is true when it is the credibility of their oral account itself which is contested. Does the words "circular logic" mean anything to you?
I have been using phrases like "believable only if someone want to believe", "excuse invented by someone who cannot accept the obvious". This is one of those thingy.
Edited by - Vapour on August 21 2003 16:00:12
He obviously learned Hwa Rang techniques from a Taoist immortal while living on a mist covered mountain!
Well, if Choi Yong Shul was self-promoting, I am curious why "Hapkido" or any of it's earlier names wasn't really known about or popular in Korea during the 1940's, 50's, or 60's or why there weren't many dojangs back then.
Claiming to teach Japanese imperial faimily is a shameless self-promotion. Period. I don't really care how good he was in selling his sales pitch but given that he switched the name of his art few times, it appear that he didin't start off making Daitoryu line from start up. To be fair to him, some of his students are very good. So what he did was like selling supra as ferrari. Supra is a good car. You make supra a rice only if you try to make it looks like a ferrari.
As of my personal *opinion*, i think HKD's origin should be traced to Aikido. The reasons are as follow.
1) Jujitu schools are extremly rare in Japan. If you go to Japan, you will find that aikijujitu is often the only koryu jujitu school to be found. And even that, majority of non MAist never have heard of Daitoryu (me before aikido included). That is why it is still commonly perceived that Morihei *invented* aikido.
2) I know someone who has seen other jujitu schools. He commented that those schools are visibly distinct. Katas are often different. How the same technique are performed and taught are different. The way the techniques are categorised or named are differents. It is like how different kung fu styles are visibly different but still visibly kung fu. Now, HKD even with its later modification is visibly aiki based arts. Without Daitoryu, this only leave aikido.
3) I personally consider HKD in line with the history of TKD, an attempt to consolidate japanese jujitu arts into national (South) Korean oranization. Unlike karate which had number of majory style, aikido is the only dominant jujitu based arts (judo to be completely in different category). In multiple founders scenario, this would leave aikido as the single most dominant influence into HKD.
4) Of course, what I have been stating is speculation. It is still possible that Choi is the founder who happened to learn a unknown jujitu style which is incidentally similar to aiki. But why obsess with possiblity which is so unlikely when another very likely possiblity is right in front of you, which bring to my suspicion as to why HKD are eanger to link its lineage to DR rather than aikido. I personally think it is to avoid being junior to aikido in term of lineage which is the real competitior in term of global popularity.
5) We will know whether my guess is correct when someone check how many of earlier HKD practioner happened to have studied aikido. But given the pervasiveness of japanese martial arts in Korea, it is unlikely that there weren't large number of aikido practioner in South Korean which seems to have disappeared after the appearance of an arts which incidentally has the exact same name in Korean.
Edited by - vapour on August 21 2003 19:50:52
Wasn't Aikido actually founded in 1942? So unless Choi was in on the ground floor, he would have had to borrowed/taken from this art after he returned howe to Korea which means that his form of martial art would not take a recognizable form until sometime in the late 1940s at the very earliest (I don't know when the first post war aikido teacher came to Korea, but given the climate of the time they were probably not japanese) I do agree that I find choi's comments in the article to be unbelievable. He should have left some kind of trace if he was teaching outside his master's home.
I think I should make corrections/clarifications here. I done some reading. Morihei opened his first dojo in 1936. Students who studied there for 5-10 years then spread aikido all over Japan.
Choi who was said to have been born in 1904 cannot have done aikido if the story of him returnig to japan shortly either after the war or the death of Takeda is to be believed, which is incidentally an another discrepancy in his interview. Takeda died in 1943. So Takeda cannot have committed sucide out of shame after the defeat of Japan. To be honest, are we still to believe this guy's account of being kidnapped and brought to Japan at age of 8?
Anyway, where the similarity come from? A million buck question. Most people agree that HKD appear to be aiki related arts. If Choi as the single source of HKD is to be believed, either Choi has done daitoryu, which is very unlikely, or HKD was modified in line of Aiki arts by Choi himself or by his students. Korean of this peiod have eagerly studied Japanese arts. I think the link to aikido juournal i provided had a comment about HKD practioners eargerly studying aikido and aikijutu techniques.
On the other hand, if my HKD as consolidation movement is to be believed, then, HKD was built by the choi's student generation not all of them have to be choi's stuedent. By then, aikido has grown into major Japanese martial arts. So again the big question. Where did Korean aikido (pronounced as Hapkido) practioners disappeared to in Korea?
Edited by - vapour on August 22 2003 18:28:28