View Full Version : Research sites

Joseph Svinth
20th August 2000, 04:02
For a list of Asian studies research centers located near where you live, try http://iias.leidenuniv.nl/gateway/institutional/institutes

22nd August 2000, 20:24
Deare Joe:

I stopped by E-BUDO to participate in the threads with Sensei Obata and saw the research option. I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself and ask you to visit a thread on the AIKIDO JOURNAL website regarding the historic relationship between Hapkido and Japanese MA. its titled THE INFLUENCE OF DAITO_RYU on HAPKIDO and can be accessed on the websire homepage.

I would enjoy your feedback.

Best Wishes,
Bruce W Sims

Joseph Svinth
23rd August 2000, 03:14
Bruce --

I will take a look, but neither aikijutsu nor hapkido are areas in which I claim any expertise. So for more educated feedback on the topic, I just asked the folks in the aikijutsu forum to drop into the debate.

The link is http://www.aikidojournal.com/ , and as you will see, the question asks about the relationship between hapkido and Daito-ryu. (Originally -- around page 3 it drifts on off into hapkido discussions. Different topic, so let's restrict this particular one to history and such, shall we?)

And, if there are previous threads that Bruce could visit that go through all this, then would somebody please post them, too? :)

[Edited by Joseph Svinth on 08-22-2000 at 11:12 PM]

Neil Yamamoto
23rd August 2000, 05:59
Hi Joe, how's the hara developing?

Bruce, I know you are trying hard to find information on the link (or supposed link)between aikido and hapkido since I read all these forums as well.

I don't think you will be able to find anything in any of the history books or in any organization that is verifiable and trustworthy. You are not the first to try this research by any means. I started looking in every library and resource I could find starting in my college days in 1979. Far better researchers then me have come to the same conclusion I have come to for this matter. There is no verifiable documentation left in existance to support the claims of a Daito Ryu conection.

There are all sorts of claims out there, usually of two types. The first is the " Sensei said so because his Sensei said so, so it must be true." type of claim. Yeah, and I told two friends to use Clariol Herbal Essence too, so it must be the best shampoo. A claim no matter how often repeated still is not true unless there is verified documents to back it up.

The second is that Choi's menkyo was burned in a fire. Also heard it was confiscated by the government, and my favorite, lost over the side of the boat on which he was going back to Korea. Again, an easy excuse.

One of the websites mentioned in the Aikido Journal forum had an interview with Choi. Please note this interview has changed at least three times that I am aware of in the last few years. This discussion also took place I don't know how many times on the rec.martial-arts forum as well on the rec.martial-arts- moderated forum on usenet over the years. Julian Frost had a nice background on the changes on this story. I don't know if these threads are still accessible on usenet, but you could look and see for yourself if there is any information you find of value.

Contacting any orgainization is also full of hazards. Orgainizations exist to serve themselves and often change their history depending on the need. As an example, compare aikido history as verified by Stan Pranin to what the Aikido Aikikai would have you believe from their publications.

Having a small bit of experience in Hapkido, I find nothing more then a passing resemblence to the Daito Ryu techniques. Nowhere near enough to back up the claim that Choi was a menkyo kaiden level practioner of the Daito Ryu. As for being a 30 year student of Takeda, none of the senior sensei recall any one following Takeda around on his travel. As is verifiable, Horikawa Taiso was his usual traveling companion on an irregular basis.

I believe these and other claims of Chois's status were added by Choi's students to give prestige to Hapkido as it grew. Can I prove this? No, and that is the problem anyone looking into this will have. Likewise, I would not trust any Korean government history since they change things to suit them as they please and to hell with what really happened.

My final position on this is that Hapkido is a fine art on it's own merits. I wish you luck in your research. Maybe you will find information everyone else has missed to answer some of your questions.

[Edited by Neil Yamamoto on 08-23-2000 at 12:02 AM]

24th August 2000, 18:39
First a Big Warning - I have not studied any of the arts I will be mentioning and can barely spell them. I will also be making gross generalizations about large groups of individuals many of whom, I’m sure, do not suffer from the failings described. Get the salt!

I have noticed a strong tendency in the Korean arts to appropriate elements, concepts, systems, techniques etc. give them Korean origins (often mysterious parallel origins), and promote them to their fellow countrymen and abroad. Examples would be TKD and Japanese Karate, Kendo and Gumdo, and Hapkido and first Aikido and now Daito Ryu.

In fact I remember on another BBS a couple of years ago making one of my asinine jokes to the effect that sooner or later the Koreans were going to figure out that sword work was getting popular and soon we were going to see strip mall Korean sword schools popping up. I had to sit down when I saw my first article covering the ancient Korean art of Gumdo (wow! it looks just like Kendo, but is really an independent tradition stretching back to the hallowed Korean warriors not something introduced by those nasty occupation Japanese).

Now I understand that there is little love between Korea and Japan and there are good historical reasons to scrub all things Japanese from the Korean consciousness, but that doesn’t mean we all have to buy it or shouldn’t laugh out loud when we hear it.

The connection of Hapkido to Daito Ryu seems to me to be even shakier than the outright appropriations listed above in that Hapkido just doesn’t seem to have the stuff. I think a good case could be made that there is a derivation of Aikido present, but no evidence that I can see for any direct Daito Ryu influence other that wishful desire. Add that to the complete untrustworthiness of the Korean arts on their own histories and you have squat.

24th August 2000, 21:53

I researched this subject rather intensely several years ago. Recently I had an extensive conversation with Stan Pranin at his home concerning this subject. Together we went through several supposed pictures of Choi. Several hapkido instructors claim that Choi is in a picture with Takeda in a book published by Stan Pranin. Upon close inspection I do not agree. Judging from the pictures of Choi I downloaded from "Rims Hapkido (www.rimshapkido.com)" and in Stans possession, the person in the picture cited in Stans book is not the same. The position and shape of the ears are completely different as well as the proportions of the mouth and eyes. Generally these facial features do not drasticly change as we age.

The Hapkido world has changed it's story so many times that no one knows the truth anymore. Choi may have studied some Daito ryu or other martial arts in Japan at prior to the war but the claims that he was in a position to inherit Daito Ryu or received a high level license are so preposterous as to be laughable.

I came to the same conclusion as Neil Yamamoto. There is simply no verifiable evidence to link the two arts directly. There is abundant evidence that substantial tampering with Choi's interviews and history has occurred. That is a shame because now there is no way to figure out what he actually stated. The fault of that lies directly with many of those in the upper echelons of the hapkido associations in existence today. At least at Rims Hapkido they do have pictures of a person they claim to be Choi. However, the interview located there is verifiably inaccurate in so many aspects that any supposed veracity associated with it is completely undermined.

I get asked all the time:

"Have you ever met a hapkido practitioner that could demonstrate any subtle aiki-no-justu technique".

Nope! That is the most damning evidence of all!


[Edited by Toby Threadgill on 08-24-2000 at 03:57 PM]

25th August 2000, 07:02

I was told that Choi indeed learned Daito Ryu Aikijutsu in Japan. Then he came back to Korea and joined the Aikijutsu that he learned with Tae Kyon a native martial art of Korea and thus Hapkido was born. They call Choi the Father of Hapkido instead of the Founder of Hapkido. It is said that roots of Hapkido comes from the Three Kindoms Era and then that Choi left to the mountains in Korea for some time and came back later to give to the Koreans the martial art of Hapkido.

This I was told, I could be wrong, please feel free to correct me.

I went to http://www.rimshapkido.com and saw the picture of Choi, but one thing... I thought that Kwang Sik Myung was the Grandmaster of Hapkido?


Arnold Vargas
Genbukan Satoichi Dojo
Tsunami-Ryu Bujutsu

[Edited by KAMUII on 08-25-2000 at 01:08 AM]

Joseph Svinth
27th August 2000, 06:47
http://www.hwarangdo.com/hrd2.htm -- Joo Bang Lee of Hwa Rang Do (R) says that the hapkido name dates to 1961. He says jujutsu came to Korea from Japan after 1945 but under the military junta the Japanese words "yawara" and "jujutsu" were viewed as unpatriotic and so changed to Korean words.

If this is true (and it fits with what I know of TKD history), then hapkido roots lie in yusool (which requires some serious research in itself) rather than jujutsu per se.

See also http://www.inficad.com/~azhwarangdo/indepth.html . I'm not so sure that Daito Ryu started in Korea during the Silla era (:o)), but the 1960s Korean history seems reasonable.

[Edited by Joseph Svinth on 08-27-2000 at 01:08 AM]

27th August 2000, 11:26
Choi lost his menkyo and all other records related to daito ryu while he was in a train station in Japan somewhere, stolen right out from under him:)

That was from my memory of one of the older threads on E-budo from last year.

But considering all the hijinks concerning daito ryu, along with the fact that it is "in" now, just heightens those whose training leads down a money trail. Also, I wouldn't be blaming Korea for much these days as they suffered a lot for a long time. That they applied Korean names to JA only says something about what little credit they have left in the world. Some people will say anything when deprived of acknowledgement as long as Korea has.