Santa Barbara's Leader in Self Defense & Fitness Classes
There once was a famous Japanese Martial Artist named Master Sokaku Takeda, who had grown up as the privileged son of a Samurai Warrior in the late 1800’s. His father made sure that Takeda studied with all the greatest martial artists of the time.
Yong Sul Choi
One of his students, was Yong Sul Choi, an undocumented Korean orphan that Takeda had originally taken under his wing as a domestic servant at the age of 13. Over time, Choi became like a son to Takeda, and traveled as his assistant during Takeda’s many tours as a martial art instructor and demonstrator.
Master Choi Defends Himself
After World War II, at the age of 47, Choi was finally granted a visa to move back to Korea where he dreamed of continuing as a martial arts instructor. One day in a rice wine factory, Choi was attacked by several men. Although the odds were not in his favor, Master Choi was able to successfully defend himself and impress the owner of the factory who saw the whole fight.
The owner of the Brewery, named Seo Bok-Seob, encouraged Choi to start his first Dojang and gave him a building to teach the factory workers to defend themselves. This art eventually became known as “Hapkido”.