Myths of the Martial Arts: A Black Belt Is a Master

Daniel Sullivan

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How did Dojunim Choi support himself after 1958 when he opened his own school? I'm assuming that he had quit farming by then?

After returning to Korea at the end of the war, he worked at the Seo Brewing Company, which is where he broke up a fight using what I think he was calling yu sul or yawara at the time. This brought him to the attention of Seo Bok Seob, the chairman's son, who was a judoka as I recall. Seo Bok Seob was impressed and became Choi Dojunim's first student and set up a dojang on the premises so that he could be trained. He later worked as a bodyguard for Seo's father who was a politician as well.

I don't know what he did professionally after that, but he and Seo opened a dojang in Daegu in 1951, calling the art Daehan Hapki Yu Kwon Sul. He opened his own school until 1958, at which point I think he was calling the art hapkido. Apparently, he had a farm where he taught private students, one of whom was GM Ji Han Jae.

Glenn can, I'm sure, give a much better account.

This article might be of interest to you, Daniel. The author, GM KIM Pyung Soo, states that martial arts teachers had a difficult time keeping their dojang doors open due to finances though he doesn't explicitly state a time frame. I gather it was kwan era Korea however because he mentions GM PARK Chul Hee being a itinerant instructor, teaching all over Seoul where he could find the space.

http://kimsookarate.com/articles/dojang-bee.html
Many thanks! I am kind of checking in and out, but I will definitely make some time to read it today.
 

puunui

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I gather it was kwan era Korea however because he mentions GM PARK Chul Hee being a itinerant instructor, teaching all over Seoul where he could find the space.

Funny, but GM PARK Chull Hee told me directly that he taught for 25 years at the YMCA, until 1970. GM Park speaks fluent english. Perhaps I misunderstood him though.
 

puunui

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The author, GM KIM Pyung Soo, states that martial arts teachers had a difficult time keeping their dojang doors open due to finances though he doesn't explicitly state a time frame.

That might have been true in the 1950's, but by the 1960's, things were rolling.
 

Grasshopper22

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When I was younger I always thought that black belt was the ultimate target but since then I have learned that earning your black belt is the beginning of your proper training. Your black belt actually symbolises the fact that you have now got all of the basics nailed and are now ready to start the more advanced stuff. By the time you've earned your black belt you will have come on quite a journey but once you achieve your black belt, then and only then do you really start learning.
 

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