1st Doju – Choi Yong Sul

Choi Yong Sul was born July 21st 1899 by the lunar calender.
In 1908 at the age of 9 he was taken to Japan by a Japanese person.When he arrived in Japan he was abandoned and subsequently wandered around Osaka, Yokahama for two years. A policeman helped him and took him to a temple where he stayed for around 2 years (1910 – 1912).It just so happened that the monk at the temple, a Samurai and 8th Dan in Judo, was a friend of TAKEDA, SOKAKU and took Choi to meet him. At the age of 14 (1913) Choi Yong Sul met and became a student of the
founder of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu, TAKEDA, SOKAKU .Choi met Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido, in Hokaido Asahikawa in 1915.As a part of the rigorous training Takeda led five of his best students, Choi among them, into the mountains to train from 1917 – 1923(1916 – 1921?). At the end of seven years of training(1923), Choi and Takeda were the only ones to come down from the mountain, the rest had left early.
Just after leaving the mountain in September 1923 Choi saved women and children from the destruction wrought by an earthquake in Kwan Dong.Choi also accompanied Takeda on a trip to Hawaii to demonstrate Daito-ryu aikijujutsu.Choi and Takeda also lived with Imperial House holds and taught Daito-ryu aikijujutsu to members of the Imperial family.
In 1943 following the death of TAKEDA, SOKAKU Choi returned to Korea.When Choi was returning to Korea in a crowd of people he lost all his valuables including documents that validated his time in Japan. After this he lived in extreme poverty. After a while he became better known about and on February 12th 1951 he opened a Hapkiyukwonsul dojang. Because it is difficult to learn for a long time there were few students and the art was nearly lost. It is from here that the history Choi Yong Sul’s students began.
In March 1960 the Headquarters of Korean Hapkido was established. Choi was appointed the first Director General of Korean Hapkido in September 1963.Choi Yong Sul Dojunim, died on the 27th of October 1986 at the age of 86. He is said to have been thinking about and teaching martial arts right up until that day.



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