Takeda Sokaku Minamoto Masayoshi is regarded as the “modern founder” of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, a martial art which uses many of the same joint locks we use in Hapkido today. Additionally, he also studied Sumo wrestling, sword techniques, spear techniques, long pole techniques, Isdo Ryu, and Jokusinai Ryu and incorporated them into Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu. Both Hapkido and Aikido trace their origins back to Takeda Sokaku and the Minamoto family.
Choi Yong Sool trained in Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu under Takeda Sokaku from 1912 until 1943. He returned to Korea in 1945, after being encouraged to do so by Takeda shortly before his death, and developed Hapkido with the help of his students by incorporating Yudo (Korean Judo) and a number of traditional Korean martial arts into Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu.
Won Kwang Wha began his Yu Kwon Sul (an early name for Hapkido) training under Suh Bok Sub, Choi Yong Sool’s first student in Korea, before training directly under Choi Yong Sool. From 1954-1958, Won Kwang Wha served as Congressman Suh Dong-jin’s personal bodyguard. Won Kwang Wha taught at Kim Moo Hong’s dojang for a number of years before opening his own school.
Dr. Kimm is the Founder of Han Mu Do and has earned advanced ranks in the numerous Korean martial art styles including Hapkido, Yudo (Korean Judo), Bi Sool, Taekwondo, Tang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do, and Kuk Sool. Dr. Kimm holds a Ph.D. in History from Louisiana State University. He is also the President of Dae Han Kido Hwe operations in America and Director of the International Commerce Committee and is the President and Founder of the World Han Mu Do Association.
J.R. West began his martial arts training while serving in the Special Forces in the 25th Infantry, otherwise known as the Korean Tiger Division, during the Vietnam War. Upon returning to the US in 1970, he began training under Dr. He-Young Kimm. In 1973, he opened the West Hapkido Academy in Jackson, MS. J.R. West currently holds the rank of 9th dan in Hapkido (DaeHan Kido Hwe #89), is the Vice President of the Korea Kido Association for Hapkido operations in America, and is the President and Founder of the United States Korean Martial Arts Federation (USKMAF).
Joe Borucki began training in Hapkido in 1985 and also has experience in Tae Kwon Do, Yudo (Judo), Aikido, and Brazilian Jujutsu. In 1991, Joe Borucki opened his own school, Global Martial Arts Academy. Joe Borucki currently holds the rank of 7th dan under Grandmaster J.R. West and the United States Korean Martial Arts Federation (USKMAF Certification # H-7007) and is the USKMAF representative for the Northeast United States.