View Full Version : Hapkido - New Evidence - Daito Ryu Link

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Rupert Atkinson
10-24-2018, 04:46 AM
Finally - Some proof found that Choi Yong-sul, the founder of Hapkido, studied with Takeda Sokaku in Showa 17 (1942). Should interest those who follow Hapkido.

This was posted by my Korean friend - Sung Ju-hwan. It's in Korean - but there is some Japanese and English too.

So, we have some evidence that Choi Yong-sul trained with Takeda for 20 days. Not a lot ... but he must have been doing other stuff. And, of course, maybe more evidence is lurking (or hidden), waiting to be discovered (revealed).

Not sure how to post a pic here - I copied the Japanese pic of the text but it has now disappeared. Could send if you want it. See my Discovering Aikido Facebook Page.

Sung Ju-hwan wrote: Choi Yong-sul's eimeiroku issued by Takeda Sokaku was found from Kondo Katsyuki's.
It reads :
'Choi was taught by O-sensei Takeda Sokaku in the house of Watanabe Kintaro for 10 days from Aug 6th to 15th in 1942.'

And also a receipt of 60 Yen for 20 days training was found. No Hiden Mokuroku, Kyoju Dairi or above was issued to Choi.

So the record says Choi's span of training under Takeda is just 20 days, and he began the training of the ryu in 1942.

10-28-2018, 01:34 AM
Interesting discovery!

It's just a private hypothesis of mine, but perhaps Choi was more of the patron-founder of Hapkido rather than it's the key technical exponent (in the early days, at least). This in no way discounts the skill and expertise he developed over time!

Some of the inspiration for this thought is that, some time back, I ran into an article online talking about Koreans who were known to have trained in Daito-ryu. My recollection is a bit faded, but it featured a captioned photograph of three Koreans in keikogi (none of which were Choi) and a several Japanese in a group photo with Takeda Sokaku. The article mentioned that one of the Koreans pictured (I wish I could remember the name) later assisted Choi in his efforts to establish Hapkido.

I really wish I had bookmarked that article when I found it... if it sounds familiar to anyone else, post the link if you have it!

Perhaps additional research should go in searching for other Koreans in the books, and their duration of training and potential scroll awards. Instead of trying to maintain a tenuous link to Daito-ryu through Choi, perhaps the history of Hapkido could be better served by establishing a stronger link through Choi's assistants.

Rupert Atkinson
10-28-2018, 11:18 PM
As I know, anyone who claims Hapkido lineage traces it back to Choi Yong-sul (who brought 'it' to Korea on his return after WWII). He didn't name it Hapkido - it went through various name changes until one of his students (Ji Han-jae) called it Hapkido in the late 60s, apparently against his wishes (as Choi knew of Aikido, which uses the same characters). Some claim that Ji Han-jae created Hapkido; he added kicks/other - and to me, this changed it somewhat, but also meant that it lost its original style. Ji Han-jae then, changed the direction of Hapkido by adding Korean-ness (techniques from native Korean arts). I have a copy of one book (1965) by Kim Jeong-yun who calls it Korean Martial Art of Kido. Cho's pic is in the intro. The techniques look like Daito-ryu and or Aikido. Another book, same author, (1962, Choi's pic again in the intro) and it is called Hapkisul (Aiki-jutusu). Not so many pics - looks like Daito-ryu to me. At least - both books look very Japanese in style. Another example, a friend had (might still have it) an early 60s TKD book and it is 100% Shotokan Karate. History is never 'clean'.