Australian History of Hapkido

Grandmaster Sung Soo Lee and Andrew Sands
Grandmaster Sung Soo Lee
with Andrew Sands

In 1974, 6th dan Master Sung Soo Lee emigrated to Australia after spending 2 years coaching the National Singapore Taekwondo as directed by Korea Taekwondo. Master Lee was 6th dan in both Taekwondo and Hapkido.

The first class to open in Australia was in Burwood, Sydney at the Police Citizens Club. The school name of Moohakkwan was adopted.

The first Hapkido Moohakkwan tournament was held at Marackville Council Hall on in 1977. A tournament was held each year.

1984 was the formation of the unincorprated Australian Hapkido Federation.

1985- 1 x 7th dan, 2 x 3rd dan, 4 x 2nd dan, 11 x 1st dan black belts registered.

1991- The Australian Hapkido Federation (AHF)  revised its committee members to be; Sung Soo Lee (President), Peter Georgiou (Executive), Jeff Nguyen (Secretary), Dennis Glover (Tournament Director), Geoff Scully (Treasurer), Andrew Sands (Facility), John Fielder Gill (Public Relations) and Margret Nguyen (Assistant Secretary).

Other than the committee members, other instructors included Dale Eagling, Lachlan McMasters, Michael Leech, Paul Lodge, Andrew Crotty, Paul Walker, Peter Karakasianis, Nazie Boydoun, Ian Kneen, Scott Rowley, Darko Desic, Paul Shannon and Jim Chapel.

The first Hapkido tournament held under the new committee management was at the State Sports Centre, Homebush on 23/06/91. It included free sparring and demonstration events. The free sparring was loosely based on TKD rules, but also  included kicking to the leg 1/2 way down the shin to include lower cross kicking and low reverse turning kick, and throwing techniques that must have affected within 2 seconds where the referee would suspend the competition, regroup the competitors and continue the bout. The tournament was open to all martial arts. The demonstration title was won by Matt Maloy of the Central Coast.

Next was the Australian Hapkido Federation Interclub Tournament held at Granville South High School on 1/12/91. This gave the organisation an opportunity to improve its skills ready for the next open tournament in 1993. The 2nd Interclub tournament was held at Granville South High School on 29/11/92 where syllabus self defence was introduced and judged by its technical performance and execution.

The next tournament was the All Styles Open Tournament held at the State Sports Centre Homebush on 27/06/93. This was attended by Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Karate, Judo, as well as the Australia Hapkido “Association” (AHA) and a break away Hapkido class called “Street Lethal” who is now known as the Australia Hapkido Group (formally with AHA). A team from the AHA consisting of Daniel Marie, Michael Barrass and Con Prasoulas won the demonstration division. However, there were very few free sparring winners other than Hapkidoists.

The 1994 All Styles Open Tournament was held at the State Sports Centre Homebush on 17/07/94. However the tournament was cancelled due to a lack of competitors. Seemed that as almost no martial artists other than Hapkido won at the previous years tournament, the other styles were reluctant to compete.

On 29/07/94, the first Queensland instructor was appointed. he was Ma Hyung Joo who emigrated from Korea. He was formally a student of Sung Soo Lee while he was teaching in Seoul.

On 26/08/95, the 1995 Open Titles were held at the State Sports Centre Homebush and sponsored by Westfield Shopping Town Figtree. The majority of free sparring competitors were from AHF however there were two Taekwondo clubs.  The demonstration division was won this time by Bondi Taekwondo.

July 1996- The AHF visited the Korea Hapkido Federation in Seoul. Also trained with the Korea Hapkido Demonstration team.

11/09/97, The Australian Hapkido Federation becomes an Incorporated body under the Department of Fair Trade.

31/08/98, established its first internet website with CitySearch

XXXX Dale Eagling passes away. He was chief instructor for the majority of Taekwondo classes in Tasmania and Queensland. As a student of Master Sung Soo Lee, Master Lee to control of these classes for Grading examinations. At the same time he began holding Hapkido seminars. All Taekwondo classes enjoyed the experience and began learning and later teaching Hapkido.

1999- First overseas black belt recognised by AHF.  Registered blackbelts now;

1 x 9th dan, 1 x 5th dan, 10 x 4th dan, 17 x 3rd dan, 111 x 2nd dan, 224 x 1st dan, 293 x Bo dan

Federation schools;

NSW-12,    Vic- 3,    QLD- 6,    SA- 2,    TAS- 1,    WA-1,    Overseas- 8