maker, Journalist, Composer, Photographer, Seminar Instructor, and University Lecturer. He has created a large number of feature films, hundreds of his articles have been published, he has authored numerous books, he has composed soundtracks for a number of movies, and several of his albums have been released.
Shaw was born in Hollywood, California. He spent his early years growing up in the racially charged section of Los Angeles, known as Southcentral L.A., during the turbulent 1960s. He then returned to Hollywood where he lived throughout his adolescence.
During his youth Shaw became involved with two primary elements that have come to define much of his life. The first was the Martial Arts and the second was Eastern Mysticism.
The Martial Arts
Scott Shaw began studying the Korean martial art of Hapkido at the age of six. Enthralled with the Martial Arts, Shaw studied daily and at the age of eleven earned his Black Belt. Soon after this Shaw was introduced to Taekwondo and quickly earned his Black Belt in Taekwondo, as well.
While in college Shaw began teaching the martial arts on a full-time basis. At the age of twenty-two, as the highest ranking non-Korean practitioner in Los Angeles at the time, he was chosen to lead over five hundred Taekwondo practitioners in the first annual Los Angeles Koreatown parade. That same year, he was the only non-Korean to be appointed as a bodyguard for the President of Korea on his first visit to Los Angeles.
Throughout the years, Scott Shaw has been certified by numerous Asian and Occidental Martial Art Associations, from his 1st through his 8th Dan Black Belt. In 1987 Shaw was promoted to 7th Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo and Kumdo. His Taekwondo certifications have been awarded via the Moo Duk Kwan and Ji Do Kwan branches of Taekwondo. In 1992 Shaw was awarded the 7th Degree Black Belt in Hapkido Moo Hak Kwan, a Korea Hapkido Federation registered kwan. In 1996 Scott Shaw became the first non-Korean ever to be awarded the 7th Degree Black Belt by the prestigious Korea Hapkido Federation. Today, Shaw holds 8th Degree Black Belts in both Hapkido and Taekwondo. He also has been awarded the 7th Dan Black Belt in Aikijutsu. Scott Shaw is the founder of Ki Sul Kwan Hapkido and the President of Hapkido Taekwondo International.
Scott Shaw has been a mainstay in Martial Arts Media for over two decades. His numerous articles have been published by the most respected journals in the industry. In fact, he has written more cover stories than an other U.S. based martial arts journalist to date. Click Here to see an overview of articles he has written. In 1994, Unique Publications, a leader in Martial Art Publishing and Video Production, asked Shaw to create a four-part Instructional Video Tape Series on Hapkido. In 2007 this series was re-mastered for distribution on DVD. In 1996 Tuttle Publications, one of the most highly esteemed publisher of books on the Martial Arts in the world, contracted Shaw to write the book, Hapkido: Korean Art of Self-Defense. In 2002 they requested that he write the book, Taekwondo Basics, and in 2006 they asked him to write the book, Advanced Taekwondo. In addition to these titles, he has written several other books on the martial arts, published by industry leaders. Click Here to view a list of his Books-in-Print.
During his youth Shaw was additionally drawn to Eastern Meditative Thought. This inclination led him to study in both Asian and the West. Shaw is an initiate of Buddhist, Hindu, and Sufi sects. Throughout his youth he studied with such renowned teachers as Swami Satchidananda, Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan, and Thich Thien-An. By the age of eighteen he was a certified instructor of both Yoga and Meditation. He has authored numerous articles and several books on the subject.
Thought out his life Shaw has embraced the arts. He has been an active musician since the age of six. He has seen a large amount of poetry, prose, and literary fiction published in literary journals and by presses from the 1970s forward. He is an avid painter and photographer. His art and photographs have appeared in numerous galleries and publications.
After initially appearing as an Actor in numerous Films, Television Series, and Commercials, Shaw moved forward onto Producing and Directing Feature Films, Documentaries, and Music Videos. In 1991 he developed a new style of filmmaking that he titled, Zen Filmmaking.
Shaw designed Zen Filmmaking in order to bring the essence of Zen into his films. Some of the primary tenets of Zen Filmmaking are: following the path of least resistance, never relying upon formalized structure, and allowing the moment to be the only guiding factor in the creation of a film. He formulated the concept of Zen Filmmaking as a means to allow spontaneous creativity to be the only guide on the path to a film's creation.
Beginning in the late 1970's, Scott Shaw began to continually return to Asia and the Middle East -- spending extended periods of time in such geographic locations as Cambodia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar), Nepal, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, and Turkey. He has continued this tradition and frequently returns to these geographic regions documenting obscure aspects of Asian and Middle Eastern Culture in words and on film.
Shaw's primary academic background is the Social Sciences and the Humanities, though he now predominately teaches courses on the Cinematic Arts. His undergraduate study focused on Cultural Geography, while his graduate study took place in Cultural and Urban Geography, Humanities, with a focus on Literature, and Asian Studies. He also holds a Master of Herbology degree.
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