Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dr. Klahn has left the building...

I just learned from From Varietyasiaonline, actor and hapkido teacher Bong Soo Han has passed away on January 8th, 2007. Visit Grand Mater Bong Soo Han's International Hapkido Federation. Wonder if he and Master Hwang In Shik ever got in a scrap...

From wikipedia:
On July 4, 1969, Bong Soo Han was performing a demonstration at a park in the Pacific Palisades, California. In the audience was Tom Laughlin. After a spectacular demonstration, Laughlin approached Han about being involved in a movie project called Billy Jack. In this film, Han gained critical acclaim for creating and staging some of the most breathtaking and realistic fight sequences ever to have graced the silver screen. Up to the release of this film, brief references to martial arts were often portrayed by actors and not by martial artists. Han redefined and revolutionized Hollywood's understanding of martial arts by demonstrating a level of martial arts skill previously not seen before, much to the delight of the audience who found it tremendously exciting. With one movie, Han had introduced Hapkido to the world.

Grand Master Bong on the set of BILLY JACK with Tom Laughlin

He has continued to choreograph, double, star in, and/or produce numerous films since. In 1977, he played the evil Dr. Klahn in the segment A Fistful of Yen in the spoof film, The Kentucky Fried Movie.

Bong Soo Han has been the subject of hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, countless martial arts magazine cover stories, and was a member of the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Martial Arts History Museum Hall of Fame in 1999. He was also featured in the A&E documentary, The Martial Arts, the Wesley Snipes-produced Master of the Martial Arts, and several other radio, Internet, and television profiles.

In addition to being cited in dozens of martial arts books, he wrote many articles on the Way of martial arts, and also authored the book, Hapkido, The Korean Art of Self-Defense, that was published by Ohara Publications in 1974, which is now in its 23rd printing. He completed a series of ten instructional Hapkido DVD's which are in worldwide distribution.

In 1974, in an effort to preserve the art of Hapkido as he was taught, he formed the International Hapkido Federation. On July 6, 2006 Black Belt Magazine presented the International Hapkido Federation with its 2006 Industry Award for Best Traditional School for its commitment to preserving the legacy of Hapkido.
On a side note, check out the "New Exit Strategy for Iraq" over at www.billyjack.com and learn "Why Iraq worse than Vietnam". Time to cue up "One Tin Soldier" and play it for the 21st century...

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