Ji Han-Jae - Politics


Ji Han-Jae's star began to rise quickly when he started teaching hapkido to the president's bodyguards in the South Korean Blue House. In 1979 however, the Korean president, Park Chung Hee was assassinated by Kim Jae-gyu, head of the Korean CIA, and many things changed.

After the assassination of President Park most of those that were close to Park resigned. Included were the presidential bodyguards and the martial arts instructors of the bodyguards. Ji was one of the many that resigned.

In the ensuing struggle for power, many of those that had been in positions of power during the reign of President Park now found themselves without position, power or influence. In many cases those that held positions under President Park were now singled out as targets for legal action, whether justified or not.

In one such case wealthy businessmen had made financial contributions to martial arts organizations, as was the norm. Unfortunately, in several instances the contributions were not properly accounted for. In one case in particular, Ji and his organization were brought up on charges of tax fraud. Even though Ji was generally viewed as not guilty, he was given a prison term of one year. The judge in the case later explained that it was really beyond his control and that if Ji did not go to jail on this minor tax fraud charge, he would no doubt continue to be charged with other offenses until he was sent to prison on something else, perhaps something more serious.

Ji's philosophical view on the matter is that it was worthwhile to experience a year in prison and learn about a side of life very few people experience. He also stated that he was able to further develop the spiritual side of his Sin Moo, 'higher mind', hapkido concept while meditating in the prison environment.

Oh Se-Lim, one of the earliest students of the art under Ji, was elected the new president of the Republic of Korea Hapkido Association. He re-christened the organization the "Daehan Hapkido Hyub Hwe (Hangul: 대한 합기도 협회)", a name used in one of hapkido's former organizations over which Ji presided and Oh had been a founding member. The Korea Hapkido Federation (KHF) became the preferred rendering in English. The Korea Hapkido Federation remains one of the most influential of the many hapkido organizations existing in Korea today. To this day the KHF is still run mostly by students of Ji's original Sung Moo Kwan.

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