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Korean American Martial Arts

History of Chun Moo Hapkido and Korean American Martial Arts

Chun Moo Hapkido was founded in the late 1970’s in the Geyunggi Do province of South Korea by Choi Song Gul. Choi was the student of three early Hapkido Teachers. Choi Yong Sul, Kim Mu Wong, and Ji Han Jae. One of Choi Song Gul’s senior students was Ahn Tae Ho, who was the principal instructor of Mr. Rick Jessee and Mr. Bek Un Chun.  In 1984 Mr. Jessee and Mr. Chun were under the direction of Master Kang Shin Ho of Daegu City.

    In 1984 the Republic of Korea Hapkido Association splintered into three organizations. The organization of which Master Kang Shin Ho was a member was the Korea Hapkido Association with Park Dow Soon as the chairman. Mr. Jessee now under the direction of Master Kang belonged to this association. In 1985, Hapkido was to reunify again under a government program by the name of Saemaul Undong Jung An Yun Hyep Hwe (New village movement organization). The new Hapkido association was called Saemaul Hapkido Jung An Yun Hyep Hwe. It was at this time Master Jessee returned to the USA, and founded his own Kwan called Chun Moo Kwan USA, developing totally independent of the Chun Moo Kwan dojang where he had trained in Korea.

     Sadly, it is believed that the Korean Chun Moo Kwan was absorbed by one of the other Kwan’s from the Sung Moo lineage and never recognized by the major Hapkido organizations.  Master Jessee had reached O-Dun, (5th Dan) the highest technical rank in Hapkido (rank actually tested for), and found himself Headmaster of the only school of Chun Moo Hapkido still in existence. In the USA there were many Hapkido organizations Master Jessee could have turned to, but all of them would have required Master Jessee to adopt to their technical curriculum, Master Jesse however wished to preserve the art of Chun Moo Hapkido and let it develop on its natural course.

     Grandmaster Jessee joined the World Kido Hwe in 1994 and was given the option to have the Chun Moo Hapkido style formally recognized, but Master Jesse felt that it was not the right time, and therefore chose to remain independent. After Grandmaster Jessee’s formal retirement from teaching martial arts in 1998, Grandmaster Jessee, still the martial arts student at heart, continued to work out techniques with good friend and senior student Roger Smith. In 2009 Grandmaster Jessee revived the Chun Moo Hapkido USA Association, which is open to all practitioners of Hapkido traditional and eclectic with no politics.

Korea American Martial Arts became a charter school of Chun Moo Hapkido USA in 2010. Korean American Martial Arts is dedicated to continuing the tradition of excellence.