In 1968 JD saw this impressive photo of Bong Soo Han doing a great side kick in Black Belt Magazine while wearing a judo gi top. JD was interested in what appeared to be a tae kwon do quality kick performed by a man wearing a grappling uniform.
This is where JD very first learned about this unusual HAPKIDO stuff. Little did he realize this
'Billy Jack' star's instructor (Ji) would walk into the martial arts school JD was managing in the
San Francisco Bay area and strike up a friendship/instuctor relationship with him.
JD was extremely lucky to train with Ji and his followers from around the world including
Mr. Yung Freda shown here doing an Off the Wall Roundhouse kick to the pad JD is holding.
JD began promoting and assisting Ji teach seminars and traveled across the U.S. with him.
Bruce Lee had Ji wear a Golden Belt representing the Highest Level of martial artist for their
fight scene in Lee's final movie Game of Death.
George Tan in New York sponsored Ji's seminar and gave him these photos.
Watch Bruce Lee and
Ji, Han Jae fight in
Ji, Han Jae is a quiet man and on one of these trips JD asked him why his name is not in the credits to the movie Game of Death? Ji told JD his relationship with Lee was teaching him and he would allow his face to be in a movie where he is beaten by Bruce Lee but never his name.
Mr. Scott Kifer started Ji seminars off in the U.S. Below is Mr. Yung Freda, Ji, and Dolmage
who felt most honored to share these times and learn so much from this man.
Ji needed a portrait of himself so JD took him to to get one. When you see this picture up on
the wall of one of his students schools or on the internet you will know where it came from.
JD got a copy and Ji got his.
This was an important meeting for Sin Moo Hapkido
instructors in San Francisco in the early 1990's.
L to R Yung Freda, John Beluschak, Scott Kifer, Ji, Han Jae, Greg Levin,
Ronald Suggs, James Dolmage, Fariborz Azhakh
10 Day Seminar Pacific Grove, CA Nov 1992
Rogue Community College Grants Pass, OR
JD in his Bong Soo Han uniform
with Raki the Akita.
JD and Raki, Ji, Robert Rubio, Wayne Owens
80 years young
European Sin Moo Hapkido group by Juerg Ziegler
Ji was tired of incorrect information being written about him so JD wrote this bio as part of Ji's true story published in the premier issue of Inside Tae Kwon Do magazine. Click the red link for the rest of Ji's true story.
JD is very thankful to 'Thor' for taking much abuse.
JD at R. holding pad for Massan Ghorbani from Ireland doing a scissor kick. JD had stopped competing and started eating and weighed up to 205 lbs. He disliked waddling, quit eating so much crap, trained and regained fighter conditioning.
This photo of one of Ji's students inspired JD in 1978 for his 'Run up the strong man and land on your feet' kick on the HOME page.
Among many topics Ji discussed on trips was 'Real Martial Arts Guys. Ji made it known he still fit in his Golden Belt uniform from the Game of Death movie with Bruce Lee. He spoke of those packing too much weight "Will die" if they have to really fight in serious conditions. Some real over weight martial arts guys are plain bad inages for the health and fitness levels that Real Martial Arts Guys live and teach.
Ji greatly enjoys ;-)
demonstrating most any kind of grab defense. At right JD goes for a wrestling 'full nelson' on Ji and gets a painful rump strike to the groin, followed by a throw that sometimes ties up your slapping arm used to break your fall.