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Myung Kwang-Sik
Hangul 명광식
Revised Romanization Myeong Gwang Sik
McCune–Reischauer Myŏng Kwang Shik

Myung Kwang-Sik (born 1940 – 19 July 2009) was an early Korean hapkido practitioner and a pioneer of the art, first in Korea and then in the United States. He formed one of the earliest associations for hapkido in the United States, the World Hapkido Federation, and wrote several of the most influential books on the art.



Myung Kwang-Sik was born in North Korea but lived in Seoul for most of his early life.

Myung started his martial arts training 1948, at the age of eight with exposure to Kumdo through his father, and in kong soo do through the tradition of the Yon Mu Kwan attaining his Chodan at the age of 12. Myung began his study of hapkido with Ji Han Jae in Seoul at the Ma Jang Dong location in 1957. Joining Myung at that time were also early hapkido practitioners Hwang Duk-Kyu (latter day president of the Korea Hapkido Association), Lee Tae-Joon, Kang Jong-Soo, Kim Yong-Jin (founder of the Ulji kwan) and Kim Yong-Whan. Myung Kwang-Sik later received lessons from hapkido founder Choi Yong-Sul.[1]


One of the earliest important teachers of the art, Myung Kwang-Sik first began teaching hapkido at the Northern Branch of the Korea Hapkido Association in Seoul while attending Sung Kyun Kwan University as a Commerce Major. It was after graduation that Myung was awarded the directorship of the Northern Branch Dochang of Hapkido. At this time the first Hapkido federation, founded by Ji in 1963 and called the Kido Hwe,evolved into the Dae Han Hapkido Hyup Hwe (founded 1965). The original Kido Hwe had started with 10 Hapkido gyms. The central gym was run by Ji. The north gym was overseen by Kwang Sik Myung. Bong Soo Han oversaw the southern gym at the Osan Air Force Base.In the west was Kim Duk In’s gym.Those directors who did not follow Ji into his new organization remained with the Kido Hwe to establish what would later become the Korean Hapkido Federation. In 1967 the Sung Mu Kwan of the Korean Hapkido Association sent 15 members of demonstration teams to Vietnam and taught Korean, US, and Vietnamese troops as well as Special Forces. Upon returning to Seoul Myung opened up a school in the Sansunkyo district and called it the Korea Hapkido Yon Moo Kwan Association, dedicated to the furtherance of Hapkido as a highly visible martial art. In 1968 he published a 254-page, Korean-language book, “Hapkido,” at the age of 27. This was later followed by the first major Hapkido book in English, "Hapkido - Art of Masters" (October, 1976). [2]

Personal life

He later moved to Detroit where he opened up his first hapkido school and formed the World Hapkido Association. Shortly thereafter in 1976 he published one of the first and most detailed books on hapkido technique in English available to that time, improving upon the material from the book he had published earlier in Korea. Myung later moved his headquarters to Los Angeles and then to Tustin, California. With the assistance of his son, Myung continued to teach in last his years, give seminars and produce new books and videos on various aspects of the art of Hapkido.

Published works

Myung, Kwang-Sik. Korean Hapkido; Ancient Art of Masters. World Hapkido Federation. Los Angeles, California, 1976.

Myung Kwang-Sik. Hapkido: Special Self Protection Techniques. Seolim Publishing Co. Seoul, 1993.

Myung Kwang-Sik. Hapkido Textbook"; Vols. 1-6; Seolim Publishing Co. Seoul, 1998.

Instructional Videos

Video Instruction 1 - 32 Covering From White Belt to 7th Dan Techniques

References and Further Reading

  1. ^ Hapkido (alternately The Hapkido Bible). Andrew Jackson Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1991
  2. ^ Hapkido (alternately The Hapkido Bible). Andrew Jackson Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1991
  • Kimm, He-Young. Hapkido II. Andrew Jackson Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 1994.
  • Myung, Kwang-Sik. Korean Hapkido; Ancient Art of Masters. World Hapkido Federation, Los Angeles, California 1976.

See also

External links

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