TONG HAP KWAN HAPKIDO by KJN Paul Holley
There are not many facts known about the origins of Hapkido. A popular
story is that GM Choi was taken to Japan when he was a young boy and
learned Japanese martial arts over the years he was there.
Hapkido began to form when Choi Yong Sool went back to Korea from
Japan and started teaching what he had learned while living there.
Originally his art was just a few strikes with some throws and locks.
Other techniques and several types of kicks were added by GM Choi and
some of his students as the martial arts continued to develop in Korea.
Some of his students like GM Ji Han Jae were very influential in the
progression of Hapkido.
The Original Hapkido system made evolutionary jumps over the years and
New Hapkido systems were formed.
My Tong Hap Kwan Hapkido is one of the new ones.
Hapkido is truly an evolutionary martial art for all the human races.
I got my first glimpse of Hapkido in 1971 watching the movie “Billy Jack”
and my first chance to learn Hapkido was in the US Army where I learned
some Hapkido in the states etc.
I was also fortunate to train a couple different times in Korea while
I continued my training on my own when I got out of the service and in the
mid 90’s, I met Dojunim Jae Jeannotte who became my teacher, my friend
and my brother!
I learned a great deal from him, and I am eternally grateful to him and he
will always be my Teacher!
I eventually received my 8th Degree Black Belt in Jae Mu Kwan Hapkido
from Dojunim Jae Jeannotte on January 13th, 2014, and I have been
changing, shuffling, and creating different techniques etc. over the years
and formed Tong Hap Kwan Hapkido.
Tong Hap Kwan Hapkido is not considered a Traditional Korean System
but rather a Modern Eclectic Hapkido System with other style influences.
Tong Hap Kwan Hapkido stands for “Integrated School Way of
Coordinated Energy” and teaches students to be defensive but, also
offensive if the need arises to defend another person, etc. This is a
Hapkido System that allows each practitioner to portray the art in their own
The Tong Hap Kwan Hapkido system has a curriculum for each belt level.
All practitioners must follow even though instructors are allowed to learn
and add techniques as they wish if they follow the curriculum I set up and
then each individual instructor will add their own requirements for their
students. This will give an endless variety of techniques and concepts that
Tong Hap Kwan Hapkido practitioners can share with one another for
generations to come.
This system of Hapkido does not use all the Korean terminology and
techniques of Traditional Hapkido and is a little bit like the popular Combat
Hapkido with different concepts and techniques.
Tong Hap Kwan Hapkido’s main emphasis is self-defense. Although this
Hapkido System is different than other Hapkido Systems its roots are still
traced back to the Hapkido Motherland of Korea and we still respect and
the values and teachings of Korean Traditional Hapkido.
Regardless of the System of Hapkido, I encourage anyone interested in
Hapkido to seek out an instructor and begin your pursuit of excellence in
The Lifelong Journey of Hapkido Excellence begins with the first step!
Good luck in your Hapkido journey and I wish you greatness!
About the author: Paul C. Holley is a multi-art Grandmaster and the
Vice Director for the State of New York for the USA Hapkido Union and
owner of Family Martial Arts Club in Panama, New York. Phone: (716)-
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