Letter from Master Park


It was a great privilege and honor to speak with Mr. Park on November 25th, 2008. He was quite surprised that a student of his student was calling from the Korean Autonomous region of China, and that the art had returned home!

During the conversation, Mr. Park shared that he started his Hapkido training with Choi, Yong Sul in 1946. In addition to the years of study with Hapkido’s founder, he also studied and was influenced by others. These included Choi Yeong-eui (최영의), also known as Choi Bae Dal (최배달),the style of Kwon Bup, or Chuan Fa, and was a contemporary of Myung Jae Nam (명재남). Mr. Park also stated that he learned much in the mountains of Korea, as did Choi, Bae Dal, and that much of his technique was honed by watching animals such as the tiger and the dog.

Mr. Park’s greatest concern  is that the waters of Hapkido arecurrently being polluted. Many are attempting to make Hapkido a purely Korean art, when that is not its root. Many have added techniques that do not fit within the philosophy of Hapkido.  Mr. Park stated that, “One must develop the art around a solid philosophy. A true hapkido practitioner must integrate techniques that work within the philosophy, and discard was does not. Much of what is taught today is a cloud of untruth, concealing the root of hapkido. It misses the 14 basic principles. The water is polluted. To deny the influence of other arts on Hapkido is to deny the very integrated nature of the art. That which works in the philosophy of Hapkido is Hapkido, that which does not is muddy water, polluted air.”

14 Basic Principles:

1. Be loyal to your country

 2. Be obedient to your parents

3. Have faith and honor among friends

4. Perseverance in battle  

5. Health (There are rules of health)


5a) FOOD CONTROL: eat well, do not eat food that inhibit the Ki’s full potential. Do not eat too much pork because it restricts the heart and circulation. Too much poultry reduces the oxygen intake of the lungs and slows the body’s natural healing process. Too much fish with no scales suppress the detoxification properties of the liver. Too much salt destroys the kidney’s filtering abilities. Do not drink alcohol as it kills brain cells. All these items are poisonous foods that harm the internal organs, thereby inhibiting the production of the adrenaline hormone in the Body (adrenaline gives us superpower, helps healing/stops pain & opens the third eye). Adrenaline is your physical Ki, and it is blocked by the harmful influence of these foods on your Body. If even one of your major internal organs is ill, it affects the other organs and weakens them considerably.


5c) BENEFICIAL MEDITATION: Slow, controlled breathing lengthens life. Breathe only through the nose, with the mouth closed, and use the stomach to move the diaphragm - not the chest or shoulders. Inhale deep and long, allowing the nasal passages to warm the air as it enters the lungs. The normal breathing cycle lasts 6 seconds (3 seconds to inhale and 3 seconds to exhale). Learn to inhale for at least 8 seconds, retain the breath for another 8 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Your breathing cycle will be 3 times longer than normal, and you will live longer.The legendary white crane lives 1000 years while a dog lives a mere decade. Why? The white crane takes 6 months to inhale and 6 months to exhale - one breath each year! However, a dog pants quickly with his mouth open and tongue hanging out.


There are three major sources of harm: poisonous food, external force (someone attacks you), and the mind. By far, the mind can be the most damaging. A weak mind relinquishes control of the Body and permits such accidents as hitting or cutting yourself. When the mind is weak, then the Body is weak, and you attract disasters and mishaps such as car accidents or twisting ankle. The condition of your mind is entirely up to you. You decide if you are not to be angry, sad, nor greedy. We are here for such a short time, so why waste your energies on destructive emotions ?

5d) DO NOT BE ANGRY: The face turns red and the circulation increases tremdemndously when you are angry. The heart works overtime, and this leads to heart attacks. How do you reconcile traumatic accidents ? Think of it as repayment of dept from previous life. Perhaps you borrowed money from someone. and they reclaim it in this life by stealing it from you.

5e) DO NOT BE SAD: Excessive sadness weakens the brain to the point of insanity and eventually Death. How should you prevent despair ? Realise that your fate has been fulfilled, and it is time to continue. You cannot avoid that which comes to you, not hold on to that which leaves you.

5f) DO NOT BE GREEDY: Greed is the root of a thousand sicknesses. it taints everything and harms all areas of the Body. When you die, only your soul goes with you; your Spirit is the only thing that really belongs to you. You leave behind the Body that you’ve used as well as any material possessions. The earth is God’s garden, and everything is on loan to us. The only thing of yours that you leave behind is your name. Your name may be good, bad or ordinary. An ordinary name is remembered for a few years by those that were close to the person, and then forgotten. Good names are remembered with pride for a long time while bad names retain their infamy indefinitely. Think about it: Jesus Christ, George Washington, Hitler, Napoleon, Al Capone.


God gave us 3 free things: water, air and sunshine. Places of worship typically contain bowls of water, incense (air) and candles (light). These elements may be used to charge and strengthen the Spirit. The Spirit covers the entire universe and is timeless. A strong Spirit protects you and clears your path; accidents are naturally prevented or avoided. A weak Spirit leads to problem.

5g) WATER: Drink the right amount of water at the right temperature. Too much as well as too little water causes Death. Do not drink water that is too cold nor too hot, do not let it touch the molars. The teeth trigger production of the adrenaline hormone causing vibration to the Middle brain. Once stimulated in this way, the Middle brain begins manufacturing adrenaline. Close your mouth, bite down and make the "mmm" sound, feeling the vibration in your molars. This action "opens the gate" and initiates secretion of the adrenaline hormone. Hot or cold water damages the molars, and prevents the production of adrenaline.

There are 3 types of power - mental, Body and medical. Mental Power controlled by the third eye is the most powerful. Body Power in the form of adrenaline (you Ki) is next. And last is the Power provided by medicine. So remember, your mind can be your most powerful weapon!

5h) AIR: Too much air (pure oxygen) or too little air leads to Death. Breathe in and out only through the nose. Take slow deep breaths so the air is neither cold nor hot as it enters and leaves the lungs. Use the stomach to control and deepen breathing. Exercise and use the lungs fully to enhance circulation and provide sufficient oxygen to the blood.

5i) SUNSHINE: Excessive amounts of sun as well as not enough sunshine brings Death. Getting the right amount of sunshine is like charging a battery; learn to keep yourself highly charged. Without sunlight we cannot see. If something happens too quickly or too slowly, our physical eyes cannot perceive it. However, the mind’s eye is timeless; you can learn to "slow time down". In the martial arts, this perception can be used to react in what seems like lightning speed to an opponent’s attack.

6.Hi – “humanity”   

7. Sum – “goodness”

8. Oui – “justice”

9. Duk – “virtue”

10. Yeh – “courtesy” 

11. Chung –”loyalty” 

      12. Ji – “wisdom”

13. Yong – “courage”

14. Sin – “trust”


Using these virtues and codes insures the student understands the purpose behind the martial arts training he is receiving, learns about the Korean culture, and is exposed to Biblical truth.