Ji Han-Jae bigraphy, stories - South Korean hapkido martial arts instructor

Ji Han-Jae : biography

1936 -

Ji Han-Jae ( Chi Hon-tsoi) was born in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea in 1936. He is one of the highest ranking hapkido instructors in the world and founder of Sin Moo Hapkido.http://mookas.com/media_view.asp?news_no=11077


On his first trip to the United States, Ji appeared in the film Game of Death with Bruce Lee. (Ji did not opt to appear in the additional footage shot for the 1978 version of the film.) Before that he had already made his appearance in a movie called Hapkido (aka Lady Kungfu) together with Angela Mao.


Year Title Link
1972 Hap Ki Do (a.k.a. Lady Kung Fu) (合氣道)
1973 Fist of Unicorn (The Unicorn Palm; 麒麟掌)
1975 The Dragon Tamers (女子跆拳群英會)
1978 Game of Death (死亡遊戲)


In 1963, Ji Han-Jae was a founding member of the first attempt to create a large organization which would include hapkido. Called the Korean Kido Association (Daehan Kido Hwe; ) Choi Yong-Sool was elected the first titular chairperson with the organizations first constitution authored by Ji, Choi and Kwon Jang. Its purpose was to promote martial arts to the public school system, police officers and government officials. Ji was very instrumental in organizing this group however Choi appointed another of his top students, Kim Jeong-Yoon (), to a position above Master Ji greatly diminishing his influence.

By 1965, Ji had received a position as hapkido instructor for the presidential guard at the Blue House and he thereby became acquainted with Park Jong-Kyoo (), the Head of Security Forces for the country. Unhappy with his lack of input in the Daehan Kido Hwe, with political connections and an ever growing support from his Sung Moo Kwan students he decided to form his own organization the Korea Hapkido Association (Daehan Hapkido Hyub Hwe; ). Kim Woo-Joong (), the president of the Daewoo corporation, was elected the KHA's first president.

Later in 1973, seeking to consolidate three of the larger hapkido organizations which had grown up over the years, he united his organization with the Korean Hapkido Association, of his contemporary Kim Moo-Hong, and the Korea Hapki Association, of one of his former senior students, Myung Jae-Nam, to form the large and influential Republic of Korea Hapkido Association (Daehan Min Kuk Hapkido Hyub Hwe; ).


He began his martial arts training in 1949 under the direction of Choi Yong-Sool (), and was Dan # 14 under Choi. Ji trained with Choi Yong-Sool until 1956 when he moved to Seoul in order to open a school of self-defence in the nation's capital. Ji Han-Jae trained in the ancient methods of the Korean martial arts, known as Sam Rang Do Tek Gi by a man named Taoist Lee. Though this man's identity can not be confirmed, it is believed that he trained Ji in meditation, the use of the Korean long staff "Jang-Bong (장봉; 長棒)", short staff "Dan-Bong (단봉; 短棒)", and the unique kicks of Sam Rang Do Tek Gi.


Ji Han-Jae's star began to rise quickly when he started teaching hapkido to the president's bodyguards in the South Korean Blue House. In 1979 however, the Korean president, Park Chung Hee was assassinated by Kim Jae-gyu, head of the Korean CIA, and many things changed.

After the assassination of President Park most of those that were close to Park resigned. Included were the presidential bodyguards and the martial arts instructors of the bodyguards. Ji was one of the many that resigned.

In the ensuing struggle for power, many of those that had been in positions of power during the reign of President Park now found themselves without position, power or influence. In many cases those that held positions under President Park were now singled out as targets for legal action, whether justified or not.

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