History of Hapkido: Hapkido as we know it comes from Korea, but it has a convoluted development that can be traced across Asia from Japan to Korea. Korean martial arts historians argue that Hapkido can be traced in Korean History more than 2000 years, when it was believed to be practiced by the Buddhist monks and members of the Korean noble elite as a means of self-discipline and self-defense. The Martial Arts (Moo Sool) began in Korea through Buddhism. The techniques were initially handed down through the hierarchy of monks to ruling families and other royal officials as a means of self-protection and personal safety. The recorded history of Moo Sool dates back to Sam Kuk Sidae (The Era of Three Kingdoms, c. 3) Buddhism arrived in China from India circa 67 BC and was introduced into Korea in 372. The evidence of Buddhism and Moo Sool passing through the Korean court can be found in various wall paintings depicting martial artist during Kokuryo.
Moo Sool disappeared almost entirely during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Hapkido was reintroduced to Korea by the father of Hapkido, Dojunim (Founder) -Yong Sool Choi (1904-1986). Ji Han Jae is credited with establishing what is contemporarily called hapkido. He did so by combining the fighting and meditative skills he learned from Doju Choi, Yong Sul, the warrior monk known as Taoist Lee Dosa and an ascetic hermit nun known as Saramonim (commonly referred to as Grandma). The combined teachings gave birth to a system that focuses on the coordination of one’s mental, spiritual and physical energy into one. With the help of a group of dedicated disciples and close friends Dojunim Ji, developed Hapkido in to a cohesive martial art that has spread throughout the world over the past six decades. Now days all over the world there exists a solid foundation of Hapkido schools.