Profile of Presenters
Grand Master Han Jung Doo – 9th degree
GM Han Jeong-doo’s martial arts life
Born in Kangjin, Jeollanam-do, Korea in April 1954, and grew up in a rural farming village with a traditional culture. When I was in elementary school, I learned martial arts while my cousins came back from city to stay in my hometown before joining the army, so I learned Taekwondo from them.
My childhood was a time when there were no cars because the country didn’t develop, and people were farming in the countryside using a coach or cow, so my whole life was inconvenient. At that time, the culture and customs inherited from the ancestors were uncivilized and I lived in the countryside watching Buddhism and shaman rites. In my hometown, there was an elementary school that was set up by Japanese where soldiers were stationed and trained during the Joseon Dynasty. And there was only a regional office, a fire department, and a school.
Dojang was set up in a place where used to be a rice mill. There was no mat, instead a group of rice plants were laid on the floor. Still it was more fun to exercise every day than school study. I got a first degree black belt in Hapkido when I was 12 years old, and I learned Taekwondo through my cousin when I was in the middle school. When I was in high school, I got 2nd Dan and then moved to Seoul and got the 3rd Dan. After I finished the army service, I thought it would be better to teach martial arts instead of becoming a police officer or taking another job. So, with the help of parents, I opened a martial arts school in 1978. I was 4th dan Hapkido and 3rd dan Taekwondo at that time. However I had to close the school after two years due to poor management. After that, I worked for three years as a martial art instructor and taught the guards at Daewoo. I studied martial arts, acupuncture, and acupressure whenever I could, and moved back to Wonju and spent three years teaching Hapgido to the U.S. soldiers. After the wedding, I opened a dojang in Eumseong and spent eight years there. After seeing Taekwondo developed with the support of the government, I worked hard at the association with the determination of integrating Hapkido into a second Korean martial art.
After realizing that integration of the Hapkido Association is difficult, I moved to Seoul and opened a dojang again. In 1990, I started to teach Hapkido to European Taekwondo instuctors at the Dutch seminar and has been teaching them every spring or autumn since. I taught in Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Israel, Iran and the Middle East, and also visited the U.S. and Mexico twice to teach Hapkido.
At the age of 56, I came to think of Hapkido as a martial art suitable for middle-aged people, and began to realize the depth of the martial arts. I thought that the beginning of the martial arts was to learn the skills and find the fun, and then to some extent the theoretical philosophy was established to teach “Tao.” Based on the understanding that “Zen” is about to reach nirvana through philosophy and training of martial arts, I founded “Hapki-Zen,” which combines Korean martial arts with Zen at age 60.
Last year, “Korean martial arts zen” site opened up, and I want to say that the training of martial arts can be completed only when it leads to Skills, Tao and Zen.
While studying Hapkido, we can learn the principle of body movement and the movement of the universe, and find out that the gravitational energy of martial arts corresponds to the gravitational energy of the universe. Knowing that the body and the mind are used by individual by the energy of the universe, but that everyone belongs to one universe, and that in the Zen idea, there is no beginning or end.
Lastly, to help international martial arts trainees who practice Korean martial arts experience directly related to the training of martial arts and culture, we are going to run Alliance Korea to create an opportunity to experience traditional martial arts training at an old fortress and perform “Zen” in a temple in my hometown.