Bong Soo Han

actitioner of Hapkido, and is referred to as the Father of Hapkido in the Western World. As one of the original senior students to the Founder of Hapkido, Yong Sul Choi, he led a dedicated effort in the development of Hapkido as it is known today. He has taught thousands of loyal students throughout his life with many becoming masters themselves. Other masters across all styles have and continue to seek his wisdom and teachings. Grand Master Han has studied and refined this powerful Korean martial art for more than 60 years. He currently holds the rank of 9th Dan Black Belt. He is the Founder and President of the International Hapkido Federation.

In Korea, turbulent times of the post Korean War and the increasing conflicts of the Vietnam War called upon Grand Master Han to train hundreds of military personnel, including American/Korean Special Forces and Secret Service. In part from this realistic and dynamic experience, many in the military and law enforcement agencies, including those of the FBI, continue to rely on Grand Master Han to develop and teach effective defensive tactics programs.

Grand Master Han first introduced Hapkido into the United States in 1967, although mass exposure did not come until the motion picture "Billy Jack" filled the nation's theaters in 1971. In this film, Grand Master 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. Grand Master Han redefined and revolutionalized 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. Grand Master Han has continued to choreograph, double, star in, and/or produce numerous films since.

Grand Master Han has been the subject of hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, countless martial arts magazine cover stories, and is a member of the Black Belt Magazine Hall of Fame (1978). He was also featured in The Arts and Entertainment 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, Grand Master Han himself has written many articles on the Way of martial arts, and also authored the book, HAPKIDO, The Korean Art of Self-Defense (Ohara Publications, 1974), which is now in its 23rd printing. He has completed a series of ten instructional Hapkido videotapes for worldwide distribution, and is currently working on ten more Advanced Black Belt tapes.

Grand Master Han is best known, however, for his indefatigable dedication to the teaching of Hapkido, sharing with thousands the truth and nature of martial arts, impacting those who commit to embark on this journey of self-development. He presently operates his martial arts school and IHF Headquarters in Santa Monica, California, which he has done for 37 years. In an effort to expand the IHF to include qualified and committed member schools, Grand Master Han continues to tour the world lecturing on and demonstrating Hapkido, the Art of Coordinated Power.

Magazines, DVDs, Books and Movies

 | Featured on the Cover of Magazine  | Black Belt Magazine | 9/1979 |  Magazine Publication  | 

 | Author of the Book  | Self Published | 2/1974 |  Book / Publications  | 

Hapkido: Korean Art of Self-Defense

 | Featured on the Cover of Magazine  | Inside Kung Fu | 5/1980 |  Magazine Publication  | 


 | Movies - Actor  | Martial Arts Movie | 5/1971 |  Movie / Motion Picture  | 

Billy Jack

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Comments ...

1/9/2008 9:15:42 AM | From The Family of WHITE DRAGON MARTIAL ARTS. Our Sincere Condolences to the family and many friends.

Master Mark McCumber

12/13/2007 9:14:46 AM | I am deeply saddened to hear of Master Han"s passing. My heartfelt thoughts go out to his family. My memories of him are simple and pure. He was a man of remarkable skill, serenity, integrity and compassion and I am a better person for having known him. Your spirit lives on through those you have touched. Thank you sir.

Gary Marra

12/11/2007 9:16:57 PM | I am deeply saddened to hear of Grand Master Han"s passing. My thoughts go out to him and his family. His spirit and his teachings have had a profound affect on my life. I am a better person for having known him.

Gary Marra

11/28/2007 1:58:29 PM |  I was only ten years old when I arrived in the u.s.a. from overseas in 1973. Meeting such a solid and honorable man of gentle demeanor and silent strength at the los angeles international airport, the one person whom I can never forget. "Never quit or give-up" were his words of wisdom to me, meeting him only once, those words continue to remain in my memory along with his kind and gentle smile

rich boddel

9/12/2007 8:03:00 PM |  In Aug 1965 at Osan AFB, Korea, I visited Master Han's Hapkido School and met Master Han. I observe the training class and watch Master Han demonstrate kicks and throws that I never seen and I knew then that Hapkido was the martial art for me and I became a Hapkido student. In 1967, I tested in Seoul, Korea and was awarded the Black belt. The training was very demanding and we tied a 10 lb sandbag on each leg during the kicking sessions and their was a time that I thought about quitting during an advanced kicking session because I was exhausted but Master Han told me to do one more kick, I didn't think that I could do it but I did and after that kick I got a burst of energy and I continue kicking. I learned a valuable lesson that day from Master Han which was that you always can do more than you think you can if you only try and this lesson is still a part of my life. In 1967, our Hapkido class participated in an exhibition at the Seoul auditorium along with the other Hapkido schools in Korea. We were fortunate to see Grandmaster Yong Sool Choi and Grandmaster Ji Han Jae perform. After the exhibition our class was on the bus preparing to return to Osan, then GM Choi entered the bus and Master Han introduce me to Grandmaster Choi and this was another moment in my life that I will never forget. In early 1968, I was transferred to a military base in Japan and I started my first Hapkido School and Master Han went to the United States. I last seen Grandmaster Han three years ago at his Hapkido studio in Santa Monica, GM Han was my role model 42 year ago and he will always be a my role model and a huge influence in my life and other lives as well. Ernest Brown Jr.


8/21/2007 11:09:52 AM | Grandmaster Han, although I only met you once as you toured through Pittsburgh, in the early 1970"s, I have carried your words and wisdom with me throughout my life. If you only knew how many lives you have touched and enlightened. My sincere condolences to your family and friends. I hope to see you again.

Paul R. Howe

8/20/2007 9:53:10 PM | I had the privilege of attending Grandmaster Han"s school for 3 years back in the 70"s, rising to the rank of blue belt before I moved out of California. My biggest regret of leaving CA. was not being in his class anymore. I have continued in martial arts in the intervening years and all of my instructors have remarked on my understanding and techniques of the art. I have ALWAYS given the credit to Grandmaster Han, and have always been proud to have been a student of his. He will be missed.

Daniel Sutton

8/19/2007 10:50:37 PM | Grand Master Han,
Your teaching live forever in the heart and mind of the estudents, family and people that knew you.
Fernando Lozoya
Cd. Obregón,Sonora, México

Fernando Lozoya

7/29/2007 10:24:08 PM | I had only met you once face to face but, within that time you had encouraged me to never stop trying to improve myself.Rest in Eternal peace sir, for your name shall be remembered as one of the greats in history.
Hawk Armstrong
Orange Belt IHF
Black Belt Canidate WMF

Hawk Armstrong

7/6/2007 7:13:15 PM | My deepest condolences to the passing of Grandmaster Han. I first learned of him through the Billy Jack Movies of the 1970s and have always been impressed by him both as a martial arts master and a person.

Dr. Larry Lachman

7/6/2007 10:41:10 AM | Grandmaster Han has been a great inspiration to me and my studies of Hapkido. Thank you.

Walter Max Adam





7/2/2007 1:01:37 PM | There are few masters I would have liked to have met and trained with. GM Han was one of those men. I feel that there is something unique about him that I sensed. I am sorry his not with us any longer. when I heard the news, I observed a minute of silence in all my classes in our TKD/HKD dojang in his memory. I will miss you even though I never met you. Thank you Father of American Hapkido.

Master Instructor M. J. Butler

5/23/2007 9:42:54 AM | Grão-Mestre Han foi o grande nome das artes marciais em solo norte americano, como poucos instruiu com veracidade e destreza, conhecimento e honra. Deus o abençoe.

Douglas Cordeiro

5/18/2007 5:43:20 PM | Master ! I"ve had the prevelige to train with you a few times. And every time is like a year in my martial art history. I will never forget the way you move and I will never forget how your precence "filled" the room. Even when I am training in Norway, your precence are here .. Your student forever , Cato Fjukstad

Cato Fjukstad

5/8/2007 3:07:46 AM | My friend Grand Master Han,
Your sense of humor and kindness always made your classes serious but with joy. I was honored when you asked me if you should move your dojo from Venice blvd. to Santa Monica. We went to see the location together and I encouraged you to move to the location in Santa Monica. Out of total respect (even though I was a black belt in Shotokan Karate, when I came to you) I started with a white belt at your school and studied with the new students. I was always amazed at how gentle, flexible, strong and quick you were and never had an angry word. You always took a personal interest in your students lives. I was always surprized when a new teacher would come from Korea and request permission from you to open his own school. You touched my life in a profound way and I now regret that I did not stay in touch after my injuries. I will always miss you Grand Master Han.

Steve Gabor

5/7/2007 12:05:17 PM | It is with the greatest regret that I heard about the passing of Master Han. I knew him well and he embued me with many spiritual nuances relating of course to the martial arts but in a broader sense touching all aspects of life. The amrtial arts are but a paradigm of life said he once over dinner in LA. I truly olved the man and cherish his spirit which is an indomtable part of my life. I will see you agian Master Han. DLP

Donald L. Praeger, M.D.,F.A.C.S.

5/4/2007 9:03:28 AM | Muchas gracias queridísimo Gran Maestro Han,fue en verdadero honor para mi,poder haber entrenado en su dojan,compartir una cena con ud.y ser recibido con tanta cordialidad en su casa. Infinitas gracias por su don de gente,y por sus enseñanzas. Eternamente agradecido.
Dr.José Antonio Lagier
Hapkido Cheong Kyum Kwan Argentina

Jose Antonio Lagier

4/28/2007 12:16:53 PM | I am sadden to hear the passing away of such a great master. My respect goes to him and to his family and friends.

Howard Ying Dun Chow

4/27/2007 10:32:25 PM | I learned late of the passing of GM Han, like many I was inspired by him in The Billy Jack movies as well as Force Five and to Kill a Golden Goose. Early in the seventies we were fortunate enough to have a couple former students of his join the school they were senior to me so I was lucky enough to pick up some of his locks, extremely effective and practical. In 1984 I was fortunate enough to briefly meet him at the Internationals and I agree with everyone else he was a great gentleman and role model. Thank you for your gifts you will be remembered.

Kelly Luce

4/19/2007 5:15:36 PM | i very sorry to hear about grandmaster han death i just got one of his books i read it every day i being taking hapkido for 4mouths now i will stay with it so one day iwill be like grandmaster han harry gayles 663 lee st danville va 24541

harry gayles

4/19/2007 5:06:07 PM | i very sorry to hear about grandmaster han death i just got one of his books i read it every day i being taking hapkido for 4mouths now i will stay with it so one day iwill be like grandmaster han

harry gayles

4/5/2007 11:19:58 AM | I never met Grandmaster. I bought his first book, from Ohara Publications, when I was in high-school. I was bullied and beaten on a daily basis. There was no martial arts school where I lived. The techniques gave me the courage and ability to stand up for myself and soon, the bullies became friends, wanting to learn the art of Hapkido. I could only share moves from the book, however, I found that the more we studied together, the less anyone wanted to fight. Thank you grandmaster, you have my gratitude.

Harry Q. Zayre

3/28/2007 10:26:28 AM | Your dedication to martial arts is an inspiration for all of us. World is a better place for having you and is emptier without you. But your legacy will live on for ever. Thank you,

Arshik Hartoonian

3/25/2007 9:36:59 AM | I wish to tell Grandmaster Han family that I have never ment him but seeing his films and reading about his work and love for the Martial arts has help me in being a better martial arts teacher in hapkido. And he will be missed by me and and all the hapkido teacher that I know we have all at least one time or another talked about his kicks in billy jack and loved it.
Gary Hernandez Martail Arts School Zephyrhills Florida

Gary Hernandez

3/8/2007 6:23:58 PM | A poem for Grand Master Han, may he rest in peace.
Now you are the Light
Guiding us in our journey
Your wisdom: silence

Jason J. Poston

Jason J. Poston

3/1/2007 10:41:52 AM | It was because of the movie Billy Jack that I became intereted in the Martial Arts. Over 35 years later I have my own school, teaching Hapkido and Taekwondo all because I saw this man do things I had never seen before. I first studied Hapkido at one of his schools in Texas. Not just the Martial Arts community,but the world has lost a kind and humble person. My self and my students send our deepest sympathy. Master Joey Mackie

Joey Thomas Mackie

2/23/2007 10:19:47 AM | Master Han,
For years I only watched you from afar in awe. I find myself feeling your absence with such a heavy heart. How could one man have the energy and fortitude to impact the lives of so many people on such deeply personal levels?
I watched you elevate a particularly special soul which I admire deeply. You are still elevating that soul, even in your physical absence. Thank you. As I said, I was, and am, even more in awe of you.
The world has lost a powerful and positive energy force, yet I am comforted in knowing that your teachings will live on and your legacy will continue. My only wish is that you will be able to rest in peace knowing this. Peace and blessings to you and yours...

Lisa Sadowski

2/19/2007 9:26:28 PM | I never had the honor and privilege of meeting Master Han personally but I have been inspired by his teachings and philosophy. I have been training with Master Phillip Turner, a devoted and talented student of Master Han. He has always spoken highly of Master Han and his school in Santa Monica. "The measure of a man"s character is not what he gets from his ancestors, but what he leaves his descendants." Master Han has left a lasting legacy in his pursuit of the "perfection of character;" and his immeasurable contribution to Hapkido. My condolences to Master Han"s family and friends. I am certain he will be missed by all who knew him and even those who only knew of him.

Charles M. Roberts

2/19/2007 3:04:33 PM | "When we are alive, what is important is not what we did or who we were. When still around, the most important thing about us all is WHAT we are DOING and PLAN TO DO for others. When we are dead and gone, then, and only then will it ever matter what we DID for others."
Grand Master Bong Soo Han will always be remembered for his Greatness among others and the true example of Master to us all.
Rest in Peace Grand Master,
Steve Fossum
IKF Kickboxing
Fossum"s Karate

Steve Fossum

2/18/2007 8:28:28 PM | Dear Master han
I will never forget the day I walked into yuor studio at Osan Air Base back in the year1965. i fell in love with Hapkido and your teachings. I am now 61 yrs old and still going strong in the art.Your insperation and dedication will be missed by many who have devoted there lives to teaching such a great Martial Art. My heart is heavy with grief. I have always considered you as my Teacher,even though it took me several years later to get my first Black belt in Hapkido.Our paths never crossed again,but I will always remember you. Shalom,great Master and may I get a chance to see you again in the next life.
My thoughts and prayers go with your family.
Master Robert J. Abate

Robert J. Abate

2/15/2007 8:38:55 AM | Grand maître Bong Soo Han,
Vous m"avez fait rêver étant enfant c"est en lisant et j"avais dans l"espoir de vous rencontrer pour que vous me donniez le grand honneur de vous repésenter en Belgique.Je croix que mes rêves s"éteignent avec vous. Et je me joind au chagrin de votre famille et leurs présentent mes sincères condoléances.
Crosati Alain.

Crosati Alain

2/14/2007 8:25:58 PM | I had the pleasure of having late night snacks with Grandmaster Han back in the early 70"s in Marina del Rey, CA
I am one of the few lucky ones who have witnessed Grandmaster Han made the parking meter wobbled with his amazing kick after our Korean BBQ dinner and sake; my leg hurt just watching him do that.
Many accurate descriptions of Grandmaster Han have been written here, I can’t agree more. Great masters don’t die they simply move on to the higher level and continue on.
I trust Grandmaster Han is discovering the ultimate plane of tranquility and peace.
We should celebrate Grandmaster Han"s life and legacy.
Thank you for your friendship and guidance.

Allan Eu

2/11/2007 3:30:03 PM | When I first moved to the mainland I went o all the events just to established a name with a face,I can not remember the date but it was 1971,Woodland Hills, Ca and it was a big event.I had done well in Kata that day and a couple of Korean Black Belts came up to me and asked me over to the Head table .They introduce me to Master Han .I was vey honored when he asked me to be his uki for the demo ,he told the Black Belts I had great kime and focus and he could tell from my kata. That afternoon I was thrown around and given my first introduction to Hapikido,Last he gave me two apples one in the mouth and the other I held in my hand ,he spinned wheel kicked them without touching me and they exploded.
Years later at The Living Legends in Hollywood ,He came and sat near the front again I was honored at your sweetness and kind rememberence of a young boy who you use many years ago because you saw something special ,You were a very special man ,father,master and teacher.
The martial arts community has loss a great leader but in the hearts of the warriors that loved you you will never be forgotton . Mahalo,
Gary Lee
A Devoted Uki

Gary Lee

2/8/2007 2:13:50 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han"s family,
I"m very sorry for your loss, and I feel like a piece of myself has died as well. I may have never trained with Grandmaster Han, but I have meet him once at the Battle of Columbs/Aronld fitness Expo here in Ohio. He was an insperation to me and will be for the rest of my life. I own his book on hapkido and it will have a place of honor in my library. Are you still going to make his training video"s and dvd"s available?

William Schoonard

2/4/2007 10:07:45 AM | Grand Master Han:
Thank you Sir.
You will be missed.
Heaven is fortunate to have good men like you, O"Sensei-Morihei Ueshiba, Sokaku Takeda and other great people from the martial world in it. God Bless You Grand Master Han.
God Bless Grand Master Han"s family as well as they try to complete their suffering of their tremendous loss.
Very Respectfully,

Tim Nelson.

2/3/2007 12:55:03 PM | Im sorry to hear of the loss of one of the most giving individuals in martial arts. I never got to meet him and am deeply upset that I never got the oppertunity. Although I am not that familiar with his teachings, I am familiar with the role he played in the comedy Kentucky Fried Movie. I loved his charecter of Dr. Klahn and is continually quoted with my friends with the deepest of respect for Grandmaster Han. He lived a life of extraordinary magnatude. Rest in peace, you will be dearly missed.

Brian Kramer

2/2/2007 10:20:09 AM | Dear Grand Master Han,
Last time I saw Master Han was a year ago when he came to our new location. I asked Master Han, "What is your secret in staying young?" He replied, "Eat healthy and don"t eat too much." Those words were the last conversation I had with him.

We will miss you. Rest in peace.
KI International Corporation

Naoki Inoda

2/1/2007 8:27:53 PM | A Legend lives for ever...
It was with great dismay that I learned of the passing of Grandmaster Bong Soo Hon. He will forever live on in the hearts of those whos lives he has permanently touched!
We salute your life and your legacy...
Bateman Taekwon-Do Oh Do Kwan

J. Michael Bateman

2/1/2007 6:43:20 AM | My deepest sympathy to the Han family and the IHF community. I was not fortunate to have met GM Han however I have been studying his teachings through his instructional series for years.
To all his family, students and friends, this is not a day to mourn his passing however to it is one to celebrate his legacy.
For me it is ironic, I will remember this day because it shares my Daughter"s 1st Birthday. God bless and thank you Grandmaster.

Robert Carr 5th Dan ITF TKF

1/30/2007 10:08:35 PM | Dear Grand Master Han,
Sir, your spirit will never die because it lives in each and every one of us and your legacy will never be forgotten because we will continue to practice Hapkido as you taught us. You lead the journey and left us the path to follow. Thank you for us showing us the Way.
Respectfully yours,

Lovella Soriano

1/30/2007 2:51:23 PM | What an awsome awsome man god has taken home. I feel sure he is pleased with this one. Fair Winds and Following Seas dear Sir, and thank you for all you have givin us with your marvelous life.

John K. Sligh

1/30/2007 7:32:17 AM | Although I was never fortunate to meet GM Han I have sincere respect and admiration for all that he has achieved in life and in Hapkido, It is clear from these messages that his spirit lives on within so many.. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Marc Jones

1/26/2007 11:40:48 PM | DO NOT STAND ON MY GRAVE, AND WEEP

Your Student

1/26/2007 9:48:49 PM | Con todo respeto envio mi sentido de condolencia a la familia Han en estos momentos.
El GM Han siempre sera recordado como un gran maestro y como una persona con muchas virtudes.
cheongkyumkwan colombia

william rayo

1/25/2007 8:15:03 PM | Master Han,
Thank you for all your kindness and the knowledge you were so willing to share with others. It"s been a great honor have known you in my life. We will all miss you!

Alexander Delgado

1/25/2007 4:23:33 PM | Grandmaster Han, Thank you for showing us yong folks how its done,your Teaching and Dedication willingness to help others will be greatly missed thank you Respectfully one bird of thunder.

Master Robin Brewer

1/25/2007 4:03:48 PM | Blessings to you Grandmaster Han! Your family has my sincerest condolences. Grandmaster Han had touched my life in many ways, we never met however had mumerous phone conversations. My deepest regret is to not have made time to visit Grandmaster Han. His invitation to come to Santa Monica was greatly appreciated, maybe I will visit and train with his honor in mind.

Master Chuck Beyersdoerfer

1/25/2007 5:27:30 AM | Dear Grandmaster,
Although I never met you personally, your legacy will help me in my Hapkido journey.May it continue to touch many lives.I was saddened by the news of your passing,& my thoughts and pryers are with your family, friends and students. RIP GM Bong Soo Han.

Greg Kithen

1/24/2007 10:39:58 AM | Our Deepest Condolences go out to the Han family. We are very grateful for all he has done for Hapkido. We will never forget him May he rest in peace.
Wase Hapkido Academy Belgium

Master Quintelier Patrick

1/24/2007 7:44:27 AM | To Grand Master Han, his Family, and to all, who like myself, have found that the study of martial arts has become a way of life, I want to say a humble "thank you." My friend Eric Lee and I were privileged to attend the memorial service and the reception following. We were extremely impressed with the genuine outpouring of affection and love for the man who dedicated his entire life to perfecting the way of Hapkido. All I can say is, that you should have been there to see how wonderfully his life was remembered.
I want to praise Grandmaster"s wonderful style of teaching, and his loving relationships with his family and extended martial arts community.
I think of King David, when he praised the passing of King Saul on the day of his death. The Bible has a wonderul memorial in the book of 2nd Samuel, Chapter One, "A mighty hero has fallen, he slew his strongest foes, he did not return from battle empty-handed. How much he was loved, how wonderful he was. He was swifter than an eagle, and stronger than a lion."
They say, you are rich if you have friends. And, I could see by your friends how much you were loved.
I will miss you my brother. You will continue to be in my heart and mind as my teacher and mentor. Thank You!

Jack Stern

1/22/2007 9:36:59 AM | To Grand Master Han, your Family and To all who like myself will be left behind with a great sense of gratitude and fulfillment, as a result of your teachings. I never had the pleasure of meeting Grand Master Han in person, however I can say without exageration that he was the sole inspiration and force that led me to practice Martial Arts, in the 1970"s. I was not able to practice Hapkido at that time however, I never gave up that dream and was fortunate to be invited by one of his students to train in Hapkido some twenty years later. You will be with me always, in my mind and heart.

Brian Wall

1/21/2007 11:29:27 PM | Master Han opened a school in my community alomst 40 years ago. It was a traditional school, and it taught the real Karate, Hapkido. I developed my love of the martial arts from that humble experience. I appreciate the discipline and tenacity that kept Master Bong Soo Han teaching martial arts all of these years. Thank you for your contributions.

Morris White

1/21/2007 9:07:11 PM | Grandmaster, and to all who had the honor & privelege to know you... "the space between heaven & earth is like a bellows...the shape changes but not the form. More words count less...hold fast to the center." Thank you for all you"ve shared with the world...and for all your martial arts family...
we wish you peace.
Linda Sisulak
humble Chin Na SiJier, Shaolin Boxing Methods, Waukesha, WI.

Linda Sisulak

1/21/2007 3:18:48 PM | We like to offer our deeply condolences to the Han family. He was a man we can not forget. His dedication to Hapkido made Hapkido a way of life for many people. With deepest regards;
Traditioneel Hapkido Nederland

Master W. van Kempen

1/20/2007 11:04:12 PM | Even though I had only met Grandmaster Han one time, and never even had a real conversation with him, I will still miss him very much and will have good memories of the good things he has done and how the world was made a better place because of the wonderful life that he led while he was with us here on earth. May God bless him forever in Heaven and maybe when I get to Heaven we can have a real nice conversation, along with a few of our other friends that have also passed away.

Patricia Ward

1/20/2007 3:46:07 PM | It is with a heavy heart I learn of Master Han"s Passing. I became interested in the Martial arts because of his work in the Billy jack Movies.
I remember writing to him and telling him I wish I could study with him but distance prevented me from doing so. He wrote back and encouraged me to pursue the study of the martial arts. I always hoped our paths would cross.

Darrell W. Peters

1/20/2007 3:26:40 PM | I have just returned from the studio to pay my respects to Grandmaster Han, as his legacy lives on. We had never met, however, I was moved today by his writings and disarmed by his spiritualism. I had an immediate and definitive sense that his essence was one of great compassion and total clarity. Please accept my deepest condolences.

Shelley Spiegel

1/20/2007 12:17:24 AM | I remember Hapkido finding me. My first instructor offered to share the art with me.
I remember this not being enough for me, then I sought you out because I wanted to learn from the source, I wanted nothing less than the best.
I remember seeing your pictures on your website before I moved here from Dallas and wondering what you were like.
I remember coming to your studio and being eager to get started.
I remember meeting you for the first time and being so intimidated that I could barely speak.
I remember you smiling and making me feel comfortable around you. Well, as comfortable as a person can feel around a living legend.
I remember bowing to you at your office door and how you would take the time to engage in a few words with me. Even the times when you were poking fun at my wearing desert camo pants.
I remember putting my band flyer on the display case in the studio and when you found it, asking Mr. Davis what it was about. I thought I was in big trouble, but then you called me into the office and asked me more about my band because you were genuinely interested.
I remember you sharing your experiences with famous musicians that you have known in your life with me.
I remember you out in front of the studio picking weeds and putting the rocks back into the little areas next to the sidewalk.
I remember you greeting each of us outside at the holiday party in 2004, shaking our hands and welcoming us inside.
I remember you making those short sprints back and forth across the main mat getting warmed up during black belt program class.
I remember you focusing on my kicks during class and expecting more from me than I was delivering. I will never forget the look in your eyes.
I remember your voice in every command you would give during class.
I remember seeing you come into the studio when I would cover for Mr. Davis and ask me if there were any messages for you, then retire up to your office.
I remember you asking me for the third time to print out something for you and then learning that Mr. Davis still hadn"t shown me how. I remember feeling very sorry for Mr. Davis the next time you would see him..!
I remember driving you to the hospital for one of your first series of tests and the conversation we had.
I remember you walking by the studio one Sunday last July when I was there frantically searching for a new place to live. And understanding the seriousness of what you were struggling with, asking me if "I" was alright.
I remember you calling the studio when you couldn"t be there and asking me who was there teaching and taking class, because we were never far from your thoughts.
I remember seeing you walk into the studio one day during your therapy and after I asked you how you were, you replied "fighting, I am fighting hard every day".
I remember how that made me feel.
I regret that I will never be able to test for you.
I regret that I will not be able to ask you for guidance in the future.
I am thankful that I was able to meet you and privileged enough to actually train under you.
Although I didn"t get to know you nearly as well as I had hoped to, I will miss you a great deal.

Shawn M. Lynch

1/19/2007 10:40:56 AM | It is amazing how the actions of one man can have a ripple effect as this. I wish to offer my sincere condolences to the Han family. Grandmaster Han lives in the heart of all martial artists who have benefited from his actions.

Amir Khalighi

1/19/2007 9:05:20 AM | I received the sad news from the WTSDA of the passing of Grandmaster Han, he was regarded as one of the martial arts "Greats". Myself and my students offer our condolences to the family for their loss.

Master Jeff Green

1/19/2007 12:49:46 AM | Legacy Of Greatness. To my second father. I purposely did not write on the web page until after Master Han"s departure. While at the funerual I could not join the participants, I had to stand alone-I needed the time to be with this man by myself, the brief history that follows will hopefully give you some understanding. The real greatness of a man is determined by the leagcy that he leaves, not what he says but what he does. I was blessed to be touched by such greatness. I started training with Grand Master Han at the tender age of 14, I am currently 52 years old. I trained with this Humble Gaint for over 3 decades. His impression has left a mark on this earth that very few will ever duplicate. This man SET THE STANDARD THAT OTHERS MEASURE THEMSELVES BY! I started my training with Master Han back in the time when it was not popular to train Black people. Yes, I was one of Master Han first Black students. I must say that This ROCK was a second father to me. Master Han embraced me & treated me as if I was a son he never had. I progressed with him from one of his first schools on 24th & Vermont to 48th & Vermont in the city of Los Angeles. Back then he teamed with Mr. Sea Oh Choi who I was blessed to be trainied by also. This was back in the year of 1969. I tell you this brief history just to make it clear that in my 30 plus years of training with this man he never changed. Courage, Pride, Intergrity were the nicknames that he lived by. I had such a great respect for this Gaint of a Man because the way he carried himself. His character was flawless, his intergrity was impeccable, his principals were extraordinary! Master Han was the one force outside of my own father that formed me into the Man I am today. I will always carry a special special place in my heart for this man. The world has lost a star, one of our brightest Stars! To the Han family, hold your heads high-you have much to be proud of.

Aquil Basheer (D. Davis)

1/18/2007 7:06:58 PM | On behalf of Gene LeBell and his World Grappling Federation we send due respect and acknowledge Bong Soo Han's inspiration to the world of Martial Arts. Through the legacy of the many films that featured his techniques, from Billy Jack to the Presidio, his art will live on. May the fine values he imparted to his students carry on. God Bless.
Mike Flint
Founder Gene LeBell's W.G.F.

Mike Flint

1/18/2007 6:06:16 PM | Grand Master Han,
You have positively impacted my life in a way that is impossible to describe. I walked into your studio at the age of 12 and knew instantly that I was "home"... Almost 19 years later, I am still training and teaching The Way as I learned it from you. Hapkido has given me so many gifts and made every aspect of my life better. Simply put, I am a better human being because of your teachings. You have also been like a spiritual father to me as I have and always will look up to you for guidance and support. The only way that I know how to give back to you is to continue to train and teach and hopefully pass on some of your great wisdom which I will promise to do for as long as I am able. Thank you, Sir!

Kalon Welch, 3rd Dan IHF Black Belt

1/18/2007 5:43:19 PM | I had the honor of training in Master Han"s Santa Monica studio over 25 years ago, when I was just a teenager. Master Han was an important influence on my life, and I often reflect on those few years when I studied Hapkido before heading off to college. Master Han always seemed to take a personal interest in the progress of each student. There was a rare quality about him that made people want to do their very best. He was an exceptional man and a wonderful role model. Now, I have children of my own, and I wish they could have the opportunity to learn from Master Han. Perhaps his family will take comfort knowing that Master Han inspired devotion among those who studied with him, and that we continue to live up to the high standards he set for us. With respect and admiration,

Byron Snider

1/18/2007 12:52:47 PM | Grand Master Han was one of the few who truly lived what he taught: dignity, honor, respect, compassion, patience, and character. With his passing, the world has become a poorer place.

Justin Kocher

1/18/2007 12:30:30 AM |  I am very sad this was like father to me people don,t know sad i am, every move i made was and still the way he showed me.40 years ago! Ilost a part of me!! P.S The Draggon And Tiger Federation Hapkido Wharangdo mours this lost.

Master Athen A Nelson

1/17/2007 9:30:57 PM | In an earlier email I requested that my degree, "Ph.D." be listed behind my name. Did you receive that request and is it too much to ask? Many other contributors are listing their titles (e.g., J.D., Dr., Grand Master) and my degree is part of the story of my training with Grand Master Han.
Did you receive the picture of Grand Master Han and my family that I sent you? Did you decide not to post it?
I realize that many other important matters are occurring at this time relating to Grand Master Han"s memorial, but please reply when you can.
Thank you,
Stephen E. Wong, Ph.D.

Stephen E. Wong, Ph.D.

1/17/2007 5:51:42 PM | The martial arts world has lost a great icon. I had the pleasure of conversing with GM Han a couple of years ago when he answered the phone at his studio. He chatted with me for sometime and I told him I was a huge fan of his. I found him to be very humble and so modest when I was telling him how good an actor and martial artist he was. I"m from Ottawa, Ontario Canada and was always one of his biggest fans. I so wanted to have a chance to meet him one day but unfortunately, it was not to be. He sent me an 8 x 10 autographed photo of himself which I had professionally framed and it hangs on the wall of my home and will always be there. To his students, I can"t imagine the emptiness and sadness you must feel in the loss of your Grandmaster. I"ve studied Tae Kwon Do and I still keep in touch with my Grandmaster all the time and I can"t imagine what it would be like losing him. I hurt even thinking about it. I send all of his students my deepest sympathies, and to his family, you are in my thoughts and prayers also. He starred in a lot of movies but one I think he should have starred in was the "Best of the Best" because that"s exactly who he was. God Bless you Grandmaster Han. No, we didn"t get a chance to meet here on earth, but one day we will in Heaven.

Donna Covey

1/17/2007 1:57:48 PM | It has taken me a week to be able to write anything, my heart is so filled with sadness. I can only say that you were one of the most powerful inspirations in my martial arts life,your soft spoken kindness when I first met you in 1970,when you took me in as your student and treated my like a son. When Bob Wall and myself came to visit you Aug.1/2006 you were so sick I had tears in my eye"s all the way back to Canada every time I thought of you being ill. I"am so happy that I came down to see you and spend time laughing about old times. Only history will know what a Master of Master"s you were. I thank you for your love and teachings,I thank you for being there for all hapkido stylist"s,we were blessed.I will look at the picture"s we took in Aug. of you me and Bob and smile for the rest of my life.God will hold you close as an ANGEL has returned.With Love Always Grand Master Charles Platten Director of World Blackbelt Canada&Chukido-kwan combat system

Grand Master Chuck Platten

1/17/2007 11:19:04 AM | Master Bong soo Han was one martial-art"s brighest star. As a young man I was ( and still am )a fan of the martial arts in film. When I saw the films Billy Jack & Cleopatra Jones I had to know who was laying down the baddest kicks I had ever seen on screen. Years later I was to meet his daughter Susan, but never made the connection until the day of her wedding. I had the honor to meet the Master that day and I will keep the memory for a long time. Rest in Peace Master. No more pain no more suffering.

Jose Cano

1/17/2007 11:10:05 AM | I was fortunate to meet Master Han in the early 1970s when the dojang was a tiny little school on Venice Blvd. in Culver City. Even though he had superb Black Belts such as Mike Shigazani, Steve Wong and Richard Lee guiding the classes, Master Han was always present on the mat, providing his unique and all encompassing way of teaching.
I am most humbled and grateful to this man for much more than the fighting skills he instilled in me. At the time I found him, I was battling my own psychological terrors, which included strong indicators of antisocial behavior, major depression and overall a tremendously low self esteem. Master Han provided me with the strength and guidance to meet these issues and more. In short, he became a friend and confidant as well as a mentor who taught me that by seeking the best from myself, the rest would fall into place.
Master Han once posed the question to me wherein he simply asked, "If you learn to face down the tiger each morning (through meditation), how hard can it be to deal with men?" His point was well taken and has been a mantra of mine ever since. Always a gentleman, his presence provided me with inspiration throughout my life to excel. As a result, I am now serving others through the world of education, employing the skills he imparted to me, enabling many dysfunctional members of society to become productive and happy, as am I.
Although I would only see him on occasion in recent years, our friendship was sound and I shall miss his presence greatly.
With deepest regards and respect, I remain
John C. Neimes, J.D., M.F.T.

John C. Neimes

1/17/2007 7:40:06 AM | I too will miss Grandmaster Han! I will always remember him for his powerful and gentle wisdom, and for his kindness. It has been many years since I visited with him and even more (25+) since having studied Hapkido for a short while. However, the Hapkido concepts through Grandmaster Han"s teachings have stayed with me and inspired me over the years. I will always be thankful for the time he spent with me. I also remember being invited along with a group of students for a fun dining experience at a Korean Restaurant hosted by Grandmaster Han with his wry sense of humor and gentle smile. I offer my sincerest thoughts to his family (esp. Susan).

Patricia Carone Johnson

1/16/2007 10:53:44 PM | Dear Master Han,
It was with great sadness that I learned of your passing. I still remember back to the late 1960s when we first met. Over the years, I watched you spread your art world-wide and become a true leader in the martial arts community. Your exceptional skill, your wisdom and your humbleness made you one the great martial arts masters of the last 50 years. It was an honor and privilege to have known you and may you rest in peace forever. Your legacy lives on.

Emil Farkas

1/16/2007 7:04:01 PM | With deepest sympathy and respect, Patrick LeCoq and my family are with you in our thoughts and prayers during this time of passing. Having done my best with the knowledge of the unknown, I continue to live and spread the Hapkido Philosophy taught to me by Grand Master Bong Soo Han. The Grand Master"s teachings are well portrayed in all the majesty and serenity of life here in Quincy which is nestled in the mountains of Northern California. - With Deepest Regards, Patrick M. LeCoq

Patrick Michel LeCoq

1/16/2007 6:36:11 PM | Grand Master Han taught my children pride, dignity, honesty as a way of life. He honored us with his wisdom for over a decade. His presence will be missed. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

Nastaran Khadavi

1/16/2007 3:15:05 PM | The Han was my teacher and my very dear friend.I am the actor who played Bernard in "Billy Jack"and in several other marial art movies that never saw the light of day.I was with him since the begining when he had hardly any students and went from location to location until he found the right place in Santa Monica.I knew him as few did.I trained with him for years,never taking any money from me,he wouldn"t hear of it.I took to calling him the Han when one day many years ago he said poor Han,no woman in his life.What a sweet man,what a true authentic gentleman.I live in NY and he would call me thruout the years.All I had to hear was one word and I knew it was the Han.I remember one student said what if you walking home from a bar in Venice at 2:00 oclock in the morning and five guys attacked you?The han said"I would not be at a bar in Venice at 2:00 am[or any other time}The Han had a sly sense of humor.He had a gentle strength,completely at peace with himself and did not take himself too seriously which which made you always feel comfortable with him.I am deeply saddened at his passing.I thought he would live forever.I miss you Bong soo. David Roya

David Roya

1/16/2007 12:46:01 PM | I first met Master Han in 1975 as a friend talked me into trying out the studio, I had never done Martial Arts before. Under Master Han"s guidance I spent the next three years learning HapKiDo in it"s many facets.
One evening after working out, a fairly large group of students were invited to go with Master Han for dinner. We travelled toward downtown Los Angeles and arrived at the V.I.P. Palace. I had never experienced Korean cuisine so this was an entirely new experience. The group was shown to a large table and the order was taken, if I remember correctly there were at least eight of us there. First to arrive at the table was small bowl of a green leafy vegetable, and some soup. Master Han rose, pointed to the greens and told us that it was cold, and then pointed at the soup, which was steaming, and said it was hot, he smiled and sat down. A couple of the higher ranked students laughed and we proceeded to eat. I learned that night that Master Han had a wry sense of humor, and I have learned to enjoy Kim Chee very much.

Chuck Stevenson

1/16/2007 12:13:37 PM | I was fortunate to study at the Bong Soo Han Hapkido studio for 14 years, under the tutelage of some of the most incredible and inspiring black belts ever. Also, I was privileged to personally train with Master Han. Even though I’ve been away from Hapkido for several years now, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of the life lessons I learned there. Master Han, you taught me harmony, spirit and will always be a major inspiration to me. Your great integrity and warrior spirit will live on forever. My deepest reverence to you, Master Han, and all of your family.

Maureen Tobin

1/16/2007 11:13:39 AM | Grandmaster Han, you will be sadly missed. This is a great loss to the martial arts world community. You were inspirational to so many of us martial artists...regardless of the art or style. Thanks so much for the inspiration you gave to those of us who grew up watching the Billy Jack movies, Kentucky Fried movie, Force Five, To Kill A Golden Goose and others. To the Han family, please accept heartfelt condolences. The martial arts world community, mourn with you.

Steve Orcino

1/16/2007 8:28:52 AM | To the family, colleagues and friends of Grandmaster Han,
I offer my prayers and support during what I"m sure is an extremely difficult time. While I did not know Grandmaster Han personally, his influence, teachings and legacy have impacted my life nonetheless. In comfort, I submit the following to you all. We need not worry about whether or not Grandmaster Han"s phenomenal contribution will be dismissed or forgotten as the sands of time slowly fall. The sentiments expressed on this website, along with the millions of teachers and students that have been influenced, touched and guided by this great man, are a clear illustration of the fact that great leaders and GREAT MEN live on long after they have been called "home".
Thank you Grandmaster Han. Both the MARTIAL ARTS and THE WORLD are far better because of your passion, love, humanity and tremendous contribution.
Gary G. Toms, student of the late Sifu Phil Nelson, and member of the Thunder Mountain Family Kung Fu Association (TMFKFA)

Gary G. Toms

1/16/2007 7:47:25 AM | dear sir, I miss you very much. no one can teke your possition because you are in our hearts. it is not the ending but this is the time of begining of your work in martial arts field which is followed by your students.

Grandmaster Dr. Udyan Acharya

1/16/2007 4:19:45 AM | Grandmaster Han, You are a joyous inspiration to the martial artists of the world, and you will be greatly missed. However, be asured that your spirit will live on. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Sifu Andre Butler
Thunder Mountain Family Kung Fu Assoc.

Sifu Andre Butler

1/16/2007 12:18:23 AM | I started Hapkido with Grand Master Bong Soo Han around 1973 in Venice, and I was thirteen at the time. He had taken over a failed tae kwon do studio, and had honored my membership from the previous school. I remember commuting from Pacific Palisades by bus to train virtually every weekday and on Saturdays. I also trained in both Santa Monica locations, and achieved my black belt. I was part of his original core students including Master Friske and Master Cruz.
I was a big fan of the first Billy Jack movie, especially the fight scenes, and that was even before I ever met him. I thought it was the coolest thing to see Billy Jack (Grand Master Han) tell the villain that he was going to a crescent kick to his head, and then land the kick.
Grand Master Han also gave me a bit part in Kentucky Fried Movie.
He was a very kind man, and had a very regal presence. I"ll always remember his advice not only in Hapkido, but in life in general.
I wish him well, with deep respect.

Greg Fujimoto

1/15/2007 10:36:04 PM | A good man is remembered for what he has given to this World, and what he has passed on to others. Although I did not get the opportunity to meet Grand Master Han, after reading of the lives he touched and the lessons he has passed on, it is obvious that he was truly a great man and I wish our paths had crossed. Please accept our deepest sympathies and take comfort in knowing that he will live forever in the lives he has touched, and has made the World a better place during his time.

Master Drew Serrano and Team Bergamo

1/15/2007 7:05:39 PM | Not all of Master Han"s teaching took place on the mat. I "filled-in" in the office in the winter of 2001. One afternoon I looked outside and saw Master Han dusting his BMW with this long handled, fuzzy topped duster. With knees bent and relaxed, back straight, head up, and a slight smile, he was executing the most elegant extensions and counter movements with this duster over the car. To this day I still work on those techniques whenever I wash my own car. Farewell to you Master --- and deepest thanks ! William Allen

William Allen

1/15/2007 3:15:52 PM | I first met GM Han in 74 when he appeared as a guest on my TV special on the martial arts. Over the years we became friends; I wrote a number of articles about GM Han for various martial art publications and during those interviews and conversations it was clear that the accomplishment he was most proud of was achieving the loyality of his students especially Mr. Friske and Mr. Cruz.
Beyond his fame in movies and martial arts GM Han told me his legacy was secure because of that loyality and he was proud to be their teacher. My favorite story centers around GM Han"s sense of humor. Nearly eight years had passed since our last meeting, when we met for lunch I noticed his hair had turned snow white, he noticed I"d gained 20 pounds.
He gave me a disapproving look and said, "Terry, you need to train more-lose that weight." To which I replied, "Yes sir, I can work out and lose those extra pounds but you"re going to have a heck of a time growing dark hair again."
He threw is head back and laughed ....and that is a memory of GM Han I will always carry with me.
He will be missed but never forgotten. Terry L. Wilson

Terry L. Wilson

1/15/2007 1:36:38 PM | Grand Master Han:
Your enlightenment is our gift. Thanks for leading the journey and having the vision to guide us a better way. From all of us at our condolences to you and your dearest ones.

GM Miller

1/15/2007 11:40:51 AM | I was so sadden to hear about Master Bong Soo Han"s illness and then his death. My early days at Black Belt Magazine, where we first met, he was a gentle man, respectful, and compassionate. A few years back I talked to him, and he immediately came down to where I was working, and we had a nice long talk and visit. I will miss him and forever remember his kindness and gentleness. He was a true embodimet of what a martial artist is.

Margie Tajiri

1/15/2007 8:51:12 AM | To speak in past tense, “your life touched so many,” the heart suffers with the pain of longing.
Let us continue to find this moment, and this moment only.
Spirit lives in present tense.
“He who is rooted in oneness
realizes that I am
in every being; wherever
he goes, he remains in me.” (Bhagavad Gita)
Smaller Circles,
A Grateful Yogini

A Student

1/15/2007 8:32:49 AM | Grand Master Han I may not have known you but I do know from your books and your teachings that you are a great man and a great martial artist thank you for all of the contributions to hapkido that you have made and i promise you on my word as a martial artist you will never be forgotten rest in peace Master Han

Darien Gray

1/15/2007 1:15:46 AM | As we travel through life we meet many men, we work under many leaders, but we only have one Master.
God speed Master Han.

Chuck Stevenson

1/15/2007 1:12:57 AM | My prayers go out to all the family and his family of the IHF. A great man lives on through the memory and teaching he leaves behind. Grand Master Han was a great human being and the proof is in how many he touched, myself included.
God Bless.

Grand Master Mike Fillmore

1/14/2007 7:45:32 PM | Grand Master Han,With the greatest respect and admoration I thank you for opening my eyes to Hapkido. Because of you I seeked out to learn this great art. I am thankful every day when I put on my uniform and I am put to the test of survival that I learned Hapkido.I will always continue my Hapkido training and pass it on to those around me. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

Deputy Sheriff Mike Gonzales

1/14/2007 6:00:35 PM | I met master Han wen he open his school on venice blv, that was about 1972 or 73 and I kept in touch with him every once on a wile back in 73 I had an accident and I had to move to fla so he asked me to look up master tae kwon do kwon jae Hwa mi most pleasant memories of him was his gentlenes his, his peasefullness, his kindnes, but most of all the way of making you feel that you ware very important to him.
master Han if all our religios belifs are true, then there is a special place for you next to the allmigthy I love you and I will miss you and all the peasefull conversations we ever had and the good lord give you all the rewards that you deserve.
so long my friend

mark weissenberg

1/14/2007 5:57:44 AM | I met Grandmaster Han at a seminar in NC in the summer of 2005. it was by far the most fun i have ever had at a martial arts seminar. As Grandmaster Han walked around the gym he stoped by myself and my partner and said "you have very smooth technique", this by far ranks right up there with earning my black belts. later in the afternoon he sat us doen and answered questions, Grandmaster Han told us a few stories of how Hapkido helped to keep him alive durring the Korean war. a student of Ji Han Jae raised his hand and made a statment about Ji Han Jae being the founder of HKD and the creater of all of the spin kicks used by HKD and TKD. Grandmaster Han smilled and said "Ji Han Jae thinks to much of himself." I fell in love with Hapkido after seeing one of Grandmaster"s video tapes he was truly one of the great ones and he will be missed. sean willis

sean willis

1/13/2007 4:08:06 PM | Grandmaster Han
The Martial Arts Association - International Members say THANK YOU & WE MISS You !
Wir danken Dir für Dein Lebenswerk, wir werden Dich vermissen !

Bernd Hoehle

1/13/2007 2:41:14 PM | When I wrote him in 1975 stating that I would someday like to become his student, I also sent him a copy of the Book of Mormon in Korean. He sent me an encouraging letter and one of his original school patches, stating that I could wear it on my uniform or equipment bag. He said keep learning what I could, and later, to focus on the basics. I never met him, but hope at 55 to still learn something. Maybe someday beyond mortality, we"ll meet.

Jonathan Abbott

1/13/2007 2:14:21 PM | We never had the honor of meeting "Grandmaster Han", but our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, and students. May God comfort you during this great lost! I am a student under "Master Tim Brown" in N.C.. (he speaks very highly of Grandmaster Han).

Joshua Abee

1/13/2007 7:14:46 AM | It was with great sadness that I learned of Grandmaster Han"s passing. He was a martial arts pioneer, and we all honor and thank him for what he has done for our community. To show our respect for him, one of our Head Instructors in the US will be representing our Kwan at his funeral. Our thoughts and prayers are with Grandmaster Han and his family.
Grandmaster Hee Sang Ro
World Song Moo Kwan Association

Grandmaster Hee Sang Ro

1/13/2007 6:52:35 AM | Grand Master Han:
Your contributions to the martial art world and stlye have inspired many, truly setting the example of what our purpose is. I am greatful for having come to know you, and having been apart of your circle of life. I will talk of the inspiration you"ve projected for years to come as I continue to teach martial arts and Hapkido to my students. From our family to yours, our condolences...

Steven Miller

1/13/2007 5:59:49 AM | Being part Native American Indian and Scottish I was connected with the Billy Jack Martial Arts Films. I strived to be a caring person, and a martial arts person like the character in the film (standing up for what was right). This philosophy helped me to enter the US Marine Corps, be a south Florida Police Officer and serve as a federal Agent.
When I saw Bong Soo Han in the Billy Jack Film I realized that he could seemingly fly through the air. I new that I wanted to be like him.
My wife came to America from China and had never heard of the Billy Jack Movies. later when she saw them she was amazed at the feats of Bong Soo Han. This was amazing for the 1970"s in America.
I beleive he is in Heaven now, and probaly beside the Arch Angel Michael teaching, and keeping Heaven safe.
Bong soo Han, be blessed.
We will see you in Heaven.

Drew and Hong Arthur

1/12/2007 8:27:51 PM | For the Han family-
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
We thank you for sharing an incredible man with the rest of the world. He touched many and there are as many supporting you in prayers now.
May there be peace in your hearts and homes.

Lance Fleming

1/12/2007 8:07:57 PM | To the students, friends, and family of GrandMaster Han-
Though I had been privilaged to meet with Master Han a few times, he made me feel as though I had known him for a lifetime. More importantly, he made me feel as though he had known me for a lifetime as well. I can only imagine how deep that river runs for those of you who were blessed to be with him every day. You have my deepest sympathies and condolences for your loss.
Dear GrandMaster Han,
Thank you for your kindness, humility, and generosity toward me and my students. Your words have stuck with me though our times together were brief. You will always be an inspiriation and an icon to Hapkidoin and Martial Artists alike for generations to come. You are the type of man we all strive to be. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and godspeed on your journey to come.

Master Russell Seveney

1/12/2007 7:22:45 PM |  Gran Maestro Bong Soo Han Mis mas sinceros condolencia a la familia y a la comunidad del hapkido.
Pablo Peralta

pablo peralta

1/12/2007 5:49:35 PM | The first and only introduction I had with Master Han came also with Billy Jack movie. But had Tom Laughlin not had him do that unforgettable scene, who knows how it would have all turned out? Because of that I fell in love with the movies message of peace enduring through power of oneself and had the courage as a new teenager to write to Tom. 30 some years later I ended up thru strange circumstances, to be chat co-ordinator for who once was my hero, and have gotten to know he and his wife. So thank you Master Han for the energy you possesed the day Tom saw you doing the demo. It has become a "rolling stone" gathering people from many worlds for many reasons. Rest in Peace, Anne Riegel

Anne Riegel

1/12/2007 5:28:25 PM | Grandmaster Bong Soo Han lived his life like a true martial artist should, with honor. Because of his inspiration and dedication to the arts, we all honor him. Martial Arts in America would not be where it is today without the hard work of this man. Grandmaster Bong Soo Han, you will be deeply missed. Thank you for all that you have done for all of us. -

Anshu Christa Jacobson

1/12/2007 4:25:27 PM |  You"re three rows deep in a mixed-belt class and Bong Soo Han is nowhere in sight. One of his instructors is leading the group through the punches and kicks and you know you"re goldbricking, but what the heck, it was a tough day.
Suddenly, Master Han materializes in front of you like something out of a “sci-fi” flick. He"s not pleased. He yanks you to the front of the class and shouts out the techniques that you were pretending to do. Now the adrenaline is surging and you know he"s not going to go away until you do it right.
Yeah, you can see the face can"t you, even now? And you can hear the guttural punctuation as you flail around; your ridiculous roundhouse kick—then three quick punches.
What a unique and valuable experience it was, even for a guy who only made it to brown-belt. God Bless and keep Master Han and my condolences to his family.

Jeff Knowles

1/12/2007 3:58:09 PM | I owe a great deal to Grandmaster Han. His presence and grace inspired me to become a Hapkido instructor. He touched my life and that of many others without realizing his impact. I extend my sympathy to his family and students. God Bless You.
George Thomas Kattouf
Instructor Jin Pal Hapkido Federation
Altoona, PA

George Thomas Kattouf

1/12/2007 3:13:22 PM | I will never forget seeing "Billy Jack" back in 1971. I started my Karate training right after. I quickly discovered that the man behind that inspiring action was Master Han. Years later when I finally had the pleasure to met him I discovered that Master Han was a real gentleman and a real ambassador to all of the positive virtues of the Martial arts.
May his memory will be blessed

Isaac Florentine

1/12/2007 3:11:04 PM | Dear Grandmaster Bong Soo Han to us people still walking on the earth this is a sad moment of time. I belive that you now find that harmony and inner peace that you told so many people to struggle after in the daily life. I,m so very sorry that you lost your fight against cancer, but my dear sir, you have won so many peoples heart in with your memory will be for ever.
Grandmaster Bong Soo Han rest in peace an harmony.
With my deepest respect
Your junior brother in Moo Do
Master Peter Kadergran
Hapkido Sweden

Master Peter Kadergran

1/12/2007 2:09:53 PM | Today the martial arts has lost a real martial artist.
There is rarely in todays martial arts a man that I can honestly say is a true master but such a man was Master Bong Soo Han.
Eligent, technically excellent, humble, polite, charismatic, and most of all a real gentleman.
May God bless him and his life real good.
He was not just a my martial arts senior and a role model but he was my friend and I will miss him dearly. Don Warrener

Don Warrener

1/12/2007 1:27:17 PM | Two things I attribute my love for the martial arts to. One was the Kung Fu television series of the 70"s the second and more importantly was Tom Laughlin in Billy Jack.
You all know what I"m talking about, the scene where Billy is surrounded in the park and he says: "I"m gonna take this foot and womp you on that side of your face and there"s not a thing you can do to stop me".
Thank you Grandmaster Han for making a very early and ever lasting impression in my life.

Gary G Ireland

1/12/2007 1:27:13 PM |  I had the great privilege and good fortune to meet Grand Master Han in the early ‘70s shortly after he had finished the filming of “Billy Jack.” Grand Master Han did not have his own gym at this time, so I would train with him, Mike Shigezani, and his other students in whatever places he could find, including schools of other karate instructors, recreation rooms of various apartment complexes in San Fernando Valley, and the Eagle Rock YMCA. These irregular training sessions were punctuated with Grand Master Han’s absences to work on movies and last minute rehearsals for demonstrations at martial arts shows and movies openings. This was the period in which Bruce Lee’s and other Chinese fighting movies were first appearing in major theatres, the TV series “Green Hornet” and “Kung Fu” were becoming popular, and Hollywood seemed abuzz with excitement about the martial arts. Eventually, Grand Master Han opened a small dojang on Pico Blvd, and then a larger studio on Santa Monica Blvd (the school he ran before moving across the street to its current location). I was honored to serve as assistant instructor in both of these schools. I also brought two of my good friends and sparring buddies, Richard Lee and Henry Seestedt, to train and later become assistant instructors under Grand Master Han as he established roots in Santa Monica. I left California in 1975 to pursue graduate studies in another state, and school and work demands never again permitted me to train regularly with Grand Master Han. However, I continued to practice the art on my own and taught it to my wife and daughters for self-defense and physical fitness. Twelve years ago, I began visiting Los Angeles annually and during those visits took private lessons with my Hapkido Master. Thus, Grand Master Han’s passing is an immense and profound loss for me.
Many of the earlier comments on this site pay tribute to Grand Master Han’s personal attributes, such as his noble bearing, his serenity, his modesty, his kindness, and his wisdom. He was exceptional in these ways, and I have often relied on Grand Master Han as a model in my personal life. However, I would like to write a little about what I saw as his unique contribution to the martial arts and what made him a true Hapkido Master.
Grand Master Han’s fame sprang from the 55-second fight scene that he choreographed and performed in “Billy Jack,” but why did this performance gain so much lasting attention? Certainly, the scene contained some amazing high kicks, combination kicks, and rarely seen before spinning kicks. It also showed unusual deflections of assailant attacks and an almost total reliance on knife-hand strikes (not an actual limitation of Hapkido, but a selection made, I believe, for aesthetic and dramatic effect). But, there was something else about Grand Master Han’s moves that captivated the viewer’s eye. That “something” was explosive power transmitted through extraordinary movements that appeared strangely fluid and natural, as though Grand Master Han had a secret for unleashing mysterious forces hidden within the human body.
I can attest to the reality of that power. I was staggered and had the wind knocked out of me when Grand Master Han would hit me with partial force during public demonstrations. Due to tight filming schedules, the fight scenes in “Billy Jack” barely had any prior staging or choreography, and a couple of “town bullies” in those scenes were actually injured during the filming. We know now that the secret to his power was Hapkido, but it was Hapkido as Grand Master Han applied and taught it.
Over the years, I came to realize that the secret to Grand Master Han’s grace and power was his perfect form. This can be seen in his signature roundhouse kick on the cover of his book, “Hapkido.” He is kicking above head height with full leg extension and full hip rotation -- it is impossible to execute this kick higher or with more force while still maintaining one’s balance. During the kick, his face is calm with eyes on his opponent; his upper torso erect; and his arms are relaxed, yet up and on guard, ready to deliver a follow-up punch or to block a counter-attack. (It is noteworthy that when Grand Master Han demonstrated this roundhouse kick in person it did not look like a “kick.” His striking limb moved too quickly and loosely to be a normal leg and foot. It was momentarily transformed into a whip. Grand Master Han’s legs often turned into surreal weapons: in the side kick it was a floating blade driven by bone-shattering piston, in the spinning heel kick it turned into a twirling axe.) All of Grand Master Han’s movements embodied this perfect technique -- using anatomy to maximize reach; taking advantage of the best angles, geometry, and leverage; applying body weight and the strongest muscle groups in the most strategic manner; maintaining balance to minimize recovery time -- always optimizing body dynamics. I have studied Hapkido for over four decades, and my education makes me very analytic, but I have never been able to figure a way to improve upon the techniques that Grand Master Han taught me. Although Grand Master Han did not describe it in these words, he had refined the art of Hapkido into a highly advanced science.
While Grand Master Han’s influence on martial arts in movies was very significant, it is probably even greater than some of his students realize. Close examination of the most impressive and devastating kicks that Bruce Lee used in his films reveals that they were essentially Hapkido jumping side, jumping roundhouse, and spinning-heel kicks. The most likely source of those techniques is Grand Master Hwang In Shik, a superlative Hapkido expert, who appeared in several of Bruce Lee’s movies and had his own active movie career in Asia. Grand Master Han claimed Hwang In Shik as a former student, which is logical considering their respective ages and the fact that Grand Master Han was one of the original students of the first Hapkido Master, Yong Sul Choi. Thus, some of the technical lineage of Bruce Lee’s cinematic fighting style can be traced back to Grand Master Han. This influence may very well carry on into the present in the fight choreography of Yuen Woo Ping in the films “Fist of Legend,” “Matrix II,” “Matrix III,” and most recently, “Fearless.” In these movies the ultimate martial arts master, played by either Jet Li or Keanu Reeves, is a fighter who stands erect; has crisp, clean moves that often deflect opponents’ attacks; uses explosive and lethal kicks; and neutralizes his opponent with crippling wristlocks and armbars. This style is not based on the classic animal forms of Chinese Kung Fu, to which Yuen Woo Ping would have the closest native affinity, but rather reflects Bruce Lee’s influence. It is a modern, efficient, blended martial art form, much like the type that Grand Master Han brought to America.
Now, Grand Master Han is no longer with us, and his passing came far, far too soon. I have lost my greatest teacher and a father figure. But, I celebrate his life and sublime achievements, his gracious and regal presence, his fearsome speed and power on the mat, and his perfect form. That form lives on in his pictures, his films, his unique style of Hapkido, and the movements of his best students.

Stephen E. Wong

1/12/2007 9:52:43 AM | My Prayers Go Out To Grand Master Han And His Family I"ve Been A Fan Of His Movies And His Teaching"s It Will Be A Great Loss To The Martial Art"s Mahalo! To All The Years You Gave us all...

George De La TORRE

1/12/2007 9:30:41 AM | I never had the opportunity to meet or study under Grandmaster Bong Soo Han, but I felt the impact he made in the world of martial arts. I was a student of Grandmaster Masutatsu Oyama in the Kyokushin style of Karate. Mas Oyama was also Korean and supported traditional Korean martial arts such as Hapkido. In the 1970"s, I once spoke to Grandmater Han over the telephone as an immature teenager about the martial arts. However, Grandmater han was patient and gracious with me and our conversation greatly inspired me never to give up my maratial arts dream. I have been training nonstop in Kyokushin for over 30 years. His encouragement is one of the things I attribute to this. I now train my 7 year old son and pass on to him the wisdom and example of men such as Grandmater Han. I think it"s incredible when a "true" master such as him comes along and touches the lives of so many people not only directly, but, as in my case, indirectly as well. I wish only the best for the Han family and the students of Grandmaster Han.

Kenny Buffaloe

1/12/2007 4:49:42 AM | In Memory of Grandmaster Bong Soo Han,
Any person that watched the "Movie" Billy Jack, saw a true master of the Martial Art"s in Action, I started the Art"s in 1972 in Texas under Pioneer Grandmaster Dr.Robert Rapue Phd, He spoke highly of Grandmaster Han and told us Gandmaster Han was one of the true pioneer"s of the Martial Art"s, Grandmaster Han showed that the Martial Art"s moves were Highly effective for the street, and Woke up the world... there is no telling how many people started to look into the martial arts after that movie in the early 70"s,
I did...
The martial arts has lost a great teacher and humanitarian.
Grandmaster Han, Rest in Peace and May God console is Family and friend"s.
Prayer"s, condolences, to the Han Family From All student"s of the K.B.K.-A.M.I.D. System of Martial Art"s. from our Texas students and Masters, Nick Nixon, Dave Hysmith, Bob Gibson, from Colorado. All Student"s of Dr.Robert Rapue (1928-2004)

Master Bob Brewer

1/12/2007 1:55:57 AM | La tristeza que invade el arte marcial se hace presente una vez mas al perder a una leyenda, una tradicion,un manantial de conocimiento, y una fuente de inspiracion para muchos de nosotros, Tuve la oportunidad de trabajar con Master Han y conocer al ser humano y al hombre que difundio el Hapkido en Los Angeles, Trabajando y aprendiendo la verdadera humildad que nos dejo y su legado que es un tesoro para los practicantes de hapkido, Fueron pocos los momentos que comparti con el, Ya que no era miembro de su Asociacion solo invitado a sus seminarios, Pero admire mucho su profesionalismo y su paciencia para ensenar y escuchar a todos y cada uno de nosotros en sus eventos, Descanse en paz y esta es una perdida irreparable y ese lugar que deja sera siempre IRREMPLAZABLE, Rest In peace.

Master Ventura Silva V.

1/11/2007 10:13:50 PM | When I was really young, I saw Billy Jack and the Trial of Billy Jack. I kept going off to the movie theatre without telling anyone about three times to see the Trial of Billy Jack. I couldn"t watch that big fight scene with you in it enough. I had never seen anything like it. I just didn"t know it was possible for people to do the those things. Years later, having the honor to learn even a little of what you brought to the US is really a privilege. Thank you very much. I only wish I could have met you in person.

Becky McQuilling

1/11/2007 9:01:43 PM | Grand Master Han:
I wish to recognize and remember you as one who taught with an erudite quality that was passed on to others I have had the honor of being close to. I had the pleasure of being present at two belt promotions, which you were also present. What I saw and felt at those presentations, cannot be described in words that may compliment the impact you had on two very special men in my life, my two sons, Micah and Travis Miller.
They have and continue to be taught your valuable art and discipline methods through another. A man of genuine quality in whom believes in the way of your teachings, and who has promoted in my sons, a wealth of integrity and discipline. Philip Turner believes in your teachings, and my sons have been fortunate to learn what you have so wonderfully designed and promoted throughout your life.
Thank you for helping and teaching others, so that they may continue to promote happiness and well being to others who may be welcomed in your "House."

William Frederick Miller

1/11/2007 7:06:36 PM | The Crawford Family you be praying for the family of Grandmaster Bong Soo Han, I remember Grandmaster Han and this is a great lost to the Hapkido Family.
Love and God Bless

Valerie Crawford

1/11/2007 4:20:26 PM | Again, we are losing some of our greatest teachers, models, mentors, spiritual leaders and human beings in the Martial Arts community.
It is with great sadness that my fellow instructor, Joe Gumina, myself and our students at the Salesian Martial Arts Club say goodbye to GrandMaster Han and wish him good flight and also wish upon his family great peace.

Mr. Staley

1/11/2007 3:14:30 PM | Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Grandmaster Han, it was he who inspired me to take up Hapkido some thirty years ago. It was the beginning of a journey that has seen many styles and many mentors -- a journey that I cherish to this day. Thank you, Grandmaster Han.

Edwin A. Rivers

1/11/2007 3:08:01 PM | GrandMaster Han--My sincerest condolences for your family, students and fellow martial artists around the world. We truly lost a 20th Century Warrior/Pioneer in the Oriental Fighting Arts. I,USN Chief Hospital Corpsman, fortunately had the opportunity to take leave from Okinawa, Japan to visit and spend a day with you back in 2005. I will always treasure and honor your words of wisdom concerning the martial arts and life in general. "Itsumo kare no koto o kangaete orimasu." God Bless your family and your martial arts legacy!! Joe Botulinski HMC(SW/FMF)USN/RET

Joseph Botulinski

1/11/2007 10:33:36 AM | Grand Master Han -- the single greatest influence in mine, and so many other’s lives.
We sadly morn the passing of a great master, mentor and friend; and although his loss is painful and leaves a void that never will be filled, we are forever enriched by the path he has shown us, strengthened by his spirit that lives within us, and comforted knowing that he will continue to live through all of us… and generations to follow.
Eternally grateful, and forever his student,

Robert Gallup

1/11/2007 9:46:41 AM | When I saw him teaching,
He was genuine.
When I tried to prove myself,
He was patient.
When I wanted to speak,
He was a listener.
When I said hello,
He was graceful and
He smiled.
When I think of him now,
He was a wonderful human being above all...
I still want to say hello and to see him.
I will miss him greatly...
God bless his legacy and his family.

Seyon Park

1/11/2007 9:33:02 AM | Grandmaster Han was a gentleman and a true martial artist. I know that he will be missed by all.

Sifu LaRon Doucet

1/11/2007 9:28:45 AM | Grand Master HANN . You have been an insiration to countless thousands my family and I are greatful for all your years of dedication . You were not only a good man you were a great man . You will be sorely missed. Our prayers are with and for your famly at this time.


1/11/2007 8:17:15 AM | To Grandmaster Bong Soo Han and His Family,
In the world of martial arts there are many who have carried the true meaning to the world. It is with a deep inner-passion these individuals have provided a light for the path... Grandmaster Han is one of those. Even those of us who have little connection, know of his contributions. Grandmaster Bong Soo Han, your name will ride the winds of the martial arts world far into the future. You are to be proud of your efforts and may your path be peaceful as it is marked with honor and respect.
Greatest respects,

Joa H. Schwinn, J.D. - Sensei

1/11/2007 4:47:59 AM | Greetings,
I regret we truly lost a Hapkido pioneer and a wonderful person.
Although I never personally met Master Han he did introduce me to Hapkido through the movie Billy Jack.
Thank You for my 28th year in Hapkido I owe my start to you and all Hapkido has given me.
God Bless!

Stuart Rosenberg

1/11/2007 2:32:05 AM | I have got the chance to study about The great Master Teacher, Bong Soo Han, champion of the martial arts, of the art of Hapkido, teacher of countless students, role model to millions, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Friend and Mentor, is terminally ill, and while still with us, is at the moment among his family and friends and making his peace with the world.
Mohan KEIMRIKH(Nepal)
Martial Arts Research


1/10/2007 10:39:32 PM | To Grandmaster Han, Your life and your work are an inspiration. My thoughts go out to your family and all your loved ones who will miss you. You will be remembered with great warmth and respect.

Jill Brewer

1/10/2007 10:12:15 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han
I am very proud to be part of your Hapkido studio. Your teachings will never be forgotten, and your impact on everyone’s lives will never be taken for granted. Although I have only started my journey, your teachings have already touched my life, and I want to say thank you for everything. I am honored to have learned under you.

Spiros Stamatopoulos

1/10/2007 9:26:02 PM | I have been in the the presense of greatness. Thank you for a vision of living martial arts.

allen a hughes

1/10/2007 7:47:11 PM | The martial arts world has lost an amazing martial artist, teacher and leader. The Korean martial arts have lost one of their first and best ambassadors. The Korean Martial art of Hapkido has lost one of it’s most excellent exponents and true pioneers.
Personally, I had the great pleasure and honor of meeting Grand Master Han briefly, and have “known” and admired him for decades as many of us in the rest of the world through his appearances in magazines, movies and demonstrations. He has inspired us all with his beautiful technique, and his charming and humble personality.
May God take this gentle warrior into heaven. May his teachings and examples continue to guide and inspire countless others. Rest in peace Grand Master Han.
On behalf of the entire De Alba System – Modern Farang Mu Sul International family, I would like to extend our deepest condolences and prayers to Grand Master Han’s family and students.
Grand Master Michael De Alba
Modern Farang Mu Sul International
World Headquarters – San Francisco

Grand Master Michael De Alba

1/10/2007 7:37:44 PM | A huge loss for the hapkido community and the Martial Arts in general. Even though I did not have the honor of training with Grandmaster Han or even meeting him, I"ve heard many amazing stories about this great man from my teachers and hapkido brothers. may the great leader and pioneer of the Martial Arts world rest in peace.

Julián A. Vásquez

1/10/2007 7:13:34 PM | Being a teenager and at the early stages of my martial arts training, Grandmaster Bong Soo Han has been a key inspiration to me. Even though I did not have the opportunity to meet Grandmaster Han, I have the utmost respect and honor for him with his teachings and significant contribution to the art of Hapkido.
His teachings, books, and training are full of wise information that will be treasured. I have grown personally with the knowledge Grandmaster Han has provided me. He has been an incredible role model in my life.
All my thoughts and prayers are for Grandmaster Han.

Dara Toor

1/10/2007 6:25:29 PM | I"am very grateful to have the opportunity to have studied Hapkido. In my opion it is the best art for a female. I have been fortunate to meet and train with Grand Master Ji Han Jae and proud to be the first adult female to have recieved my 1st degree black belt from Master Fariborz Azhakh in 1987 I also have been fortunate to train with Mr. Steve Sexton and all of my training with these instructors have all been because of Grand Master Bong Soo Han. Thank you Grand Master.

Kimberly Anderson

1/10/2007 6:24:51 PM | Graandmaster Han,
Though we"ve never met I owe you more than I could ever Repay. The Martial Arts that you brought with you and passed down through the yeasrs has forever changed me.
Thank you Sir

Don Anderson

1/10/2007 6:23:38 PM | Dear Master Han,
Thank you for bringing Martial arts to the United States if it wasnt for you I would would have never be where I am now.Thank You.

Eric Villalobos

1/10/2007 6:21:50 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
Thank you for bringing martial arts to the U.S. Without you I would have never been able to take a martial art. Before I started Hapkido, I bought one of your books before I began Hapkido. Thanks again and I will never forget what you have done.

Adam Stahl

1/10/2007 6:20:50 PM | Grandmaster Han, thank you for everything that you have done. I have made Hapkido my life and I really don"t know where I would be if you had not brought Hapkido to America, and because of you I want to pass on that knowledge to other willing minds. Thanks again.

Mr. Joseph Gutierrez

1/10/2007 6:20:29 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
I would like to thank you for the massive contribution you have given to the martial arts. Although I didn"t have the honor of knowing you personally, I never would have started karate without you. Thank you.

Nicholas Josephs

1/10/2007 6:16:19 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
In 1999, you visited my Hapkido studio, and although I was only six years old, and a red belt at the time, you treated me with as much respect and kindness as any adult or higher belt you spoke with. That one meeting had an impact on my, as well as my father"s, martial arts training (and he was not even enrolled in our school at the time). I was so honored by this meeting with you, that when I was 9 years old in fourth grade, I did a report on Hapkido, which was mainly based around you and when you brought Hapkido to America. Your wisdom and teaching will live on in the mind"s of, not only your students, but every Hapkido student (and movie fan). My father and I hope you had a very happy and prosperous life, and our condolences go out to your family, friends, and the many students who have called you their teacher. Our thoughts are with you.

Sean Gertjejansen

1/10/2007 5:45:03 PM | Another loss to the martial arts world. condolences to the Han Family and Org. A true pioneer in many way"s. we at the Kaju Bujutsu Kwai Org in Texas are so sad of Grandmaster Han"s passing. may he rest in peace...
Bob Brewer and family

Bob Brewer

1/10/2007 5:20:38 PM | Grandmaster Han-
I can't imagine where I"d be if I had never started training at your studio. I started training when I was 15, and always looked up to you. I feel truly honored that I had the opportunity to have your teachings as a positive influence on me from such a young age. I will always remember your kindness and indomitable spirit and keep your teachings with me always.

Anton Summers

1/10/2007 5:16:58 PM | Grandmaster Han is a true grandmaster in every sense of the word. Humble, gentle, wise, he exuded class and true spirit of martial arts. Your guidance and wisdom will be sorely missed in the martial art world, but most importantly in the chaotic world that we now live in. I hope that the lessons that you have taught to everyone around you and the example that you have lived by are put back out in the world through the martial art community. You are a true inspiration to myself and have always been one of the people that I think of as a mentor. I have looked up to you and have tried to replicate the ideals in my life to be similar to yours. Thank you for being the person that you are.

Mark J. Speranza

1/10/2007 3:34:38 PM | My sincerest condolences to Susan, Tad and the entire family of Grandmaster Han. The childhood lessons I learned from Grandmaster Han at his West LA studio followed me throghout the years and around the world. I am truly in his debt for the disciplines he had instilled in my during those crucial years.

Jason Rubin

1/10/2007 3:01:00 PM | Never have I been in the presence of someone so powerful and yet so calm. In all my brief encounters with you, my awe inspired rigidness would soon melt away with your confident and assuring smile. Through your wisdom I can assuredly say that I have become a different person than who I was when I first entered your studio. I am honored to have been able to become a small part of your dream and legacy.

Jonathan Bue

1/10/2007 12:47:32 PM | In Memory of Master Bong Soo Han:
The world has suffered an enormous loss that can never be replaced; however he accomplished something that most men only dream of, he turned a page in history.
Yours In Martial Arts,

Winfred D. Walton

1/10/2007 11:25:59 AM | With all my respects and condolences to the family on this great loss for Martial Arts World.
(Con todos mis respetos a la famila del Maestro por tan grande perdida para el mundo de las Artes Marciales.) Alfredo Tucci
General Manager
Budo International Magazine.

Alfredo Tucci

1/10/2007 9:52:52 AM | My fondest memories of Grand Master Han are on the mat. I remember when he used to teach the Black Belt Program and the excitement I felt about learning something from the man who was the personification of the art that changed my life for the better. It was that familiar smack on the back from him while I was performing a technique or kick that I remember most. It was silent and forceful but not hurtful. It meant he acknowledged my efforts but he wanted more. It meant that he saw a potential in me that I hadn"t seen. Simply, it meant he cared. And that is a feeling I will treasure always.
Thank you, Grand Master Han, for being such an inspiration.

Cecilia de la Paz

1/10/2007 9:06:51 AM | Grandmaster Han-Although I never studied Hapkido, you touched my life in a very profound way. You trained my husband (Jeff Kovacs) for many years. Not everyone is able to find passion in their lives but your students were lucky enough to have found it in Hapkido. I had the pleasure and priviledge to meet you on several occasions and was astounded by your presence. I didn"t need to train under you to learn the lessons you lived by. You were an amazing inspiration to those who trained with you and those who did not. Thank you for all that you have done for everyone you"ve touched.

Julie Kovacs

1/10/2007 8:16:53 AM | Back in 1969, after I served in the USNR, where I was a Reconnaissance Attack Navigator in a 2 man supersonic carrier based aircraft called the RA5C Vigilante, I started to pursue one of my dreams and took up the study of Tang Soo Do. I had done a little boxing as a teenager, and had studied a year of Judo, along with a few months of Karate, a mixture of Japanese Martial Arts , taught to me by some friends from Hawaii, while attending community college in Santa Maria, California.
I was also pursuing another goal, attending UCLA on the GI Bill, and was a member of the Tae Kwon Do club there. At first, we had a Black Belt instructor, who was a graduate student, who taught us Tae Kwon Do and a couple of hand techniques he called “Hapkido”. Soon after, our black belt instructor left UCLA, and I found myself the ranking student. I had become a blue belt by that time.
One day, when I was teaching the class, a young man named Steve Wong dropped in for a visit. He said that he studied Hapkido. I asked him if he studied Tae Kwon Do as well. He replied, “No, just Hapkido.” He asked if he could work out with us. He said that he was a brown belt and that his instructor had gone off to make a movie, and he needed a place to work out. I told him that he was most welcome, and also added, “You can help us with our hand techniques!”
The first time I saw Steve Wong work out, I saw him do kicks and moves that I had never seen before in my life! I was absolutely amazed! I asked him what he was doing, and he replied, “Hapkido!” I asked him who his instructor was, and he replied, “Master Bong Soo Han!” From that moment on, I stopped doing all other forms of martial arts, and did nothing but Hapkido. I asked Steve to teach me everything he knew.
In time, I joined Steve’s father’s studio where I eventually got my black belt. However, my goal was to someday train under Master Bong Soo Han himself. My dream was to be realized, for soon Master Han was finished with his movie and Steve took me to meet him. Master Han and I hit it off very well and he asked me if I would like to join in on classes he was teaching around the Los Angeles area. He had not yet opened his studio, but was teaching at various sites around town. I accepted his invitation.
The movie that Master Han was making was “Billy Jack”. It is fitting in my life that this was the movie Master Han was making. I am truly very much the character Billy Jack. I am half Native American and Half White. I was born and raised on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. I am a Vietnam Veteran. I practice Hapkido. As is the case with many movies, Billy Jack had a few inaccuracies, but the basic ideas, the spirit of the movie was true to form, and, of course, the Hapkido was very accurate indeed!
Through the years, Master Han and I talked at great length about all these things. Master Han had a great respect for Native American Culture, he himself was a Vietnam Veteran, and, of course, he was the Hapkido Master! Though I was never to become a Master, we had all these things in common, and so many of our conversations and advice I received from him have remained with me and will remain for the rest of my life.
Steve and I helped Master Han open his studio, first in Venice, then eventually we moved it to Santa Monica. By that time, Steve had graduated and gone on to Graduate school out of the area, and I became Master Han’s head instructor in those early days.
When I would teach a class, often, Master Han would ask me to see him in his office and give me tips on how to improve my teaching methods. Many times to this day, when I find myself confronting a life situation and I will tell someone, “Master Han once said….” Or I will think of one of our many conversations, remembering the advice he gave, the principals of the Art of Coordinated Power he taught me. These principals have been my guide all these years.
Once, in the late 70’s, I was teaching a group of Native American students the art of Hapkido down in Bell Gardens. I was doing this through a Native American community service organization, and most all of these young people were troubled, inner city youth. One day, one of our counselors was observing my teaching method and got very excited. After my class he asked me where I learned to teach like that. He told me my method was exactly what he had learned in graduate school, a method that used Buddhist principals of Dynamic Teaching, and it was a method that many therapists were using to treat patients with fantastic results. We also both noted that the classes were giving these kids direction and putting the discipline they so badly needed into their lives. I told him, “This is the teaching method I learned from Master Bong Soo Han!”
In the mid 80’s, I found that situations in my life made it necessary for me to move on, and I left Master Han’s studio. I eventually moved back East and now live in West Virginia. I never did open my own studio nor did I ever join another one. However, I have never missed working out and practicing Hapkido at least 3 times a week for the past 20 years. Presently, I work at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, WV, where they have a gym with a Kick Boxing room. I go into that room three times a week and practice my Hapkido several hours a session. From time to time, I have taken on students and taught them Hapkido. I am very modest, and feel that my Hapkido is very humble and limited compared to the Master. However, I have been asked, “How did you get so good? Where did you learn to kick like that? How did you learn to be so centered and calm? How did you get so disciplined and focused?” I always answer, “Master Bong Soo Han!” I will surely miss him!

Henry Keshena Seestedt

1/10/2007 8:00:29 AM | Mis mas sinceras condolencias a este gran maestro, es una gran perdida para el hapkido pero que ha dejado una huella imborrable en el mundo de las artes marciales. Que descanse en paz FD:carlos sanchez (2º Dan de taekwondo)

Carlos Sanchez

1/10/2007 7:16:28 AM | The world has lost someone of great value with the passing of Master Han Bong Soo.
Like so many Hapkido-in, as well as martial artists and cinema enthusiasts from all over the world, despite having never actually met Master Han in person his influence was nevertheless greatly felt.
It was after watching a film of him performing various techniques and performing spinning heel kick superlatively against a target that I decided that hapkido was something I had to investigate.
There was something beyond mere pragmatics in his art. The blending of grace and power in his technique transcended mere mechanics and conferred something more; beauty. Watching Master Han in motion was a singularly beautiful thing.
Master Han had the ability to do something more than perform practical and efficient techniques. He had the rare ability to inspire.
I went on to train with one of Master Han"s colleagues Master Hwang In-Shik at Eagle Hapkido in Canada. Over the years some of our students made the long flight to visit Master Han and meet this seminal figure in the history of martial arts ...and perhaps catch some of this inspiration. It is to my great and ever lasting regret that I was not one of these fortunate people.
Still even with his passing the spark that he had stills lives on in the hearts of all those he touched.
On behalf of myself and all those of the Eagle Hapkido Dojang in Toronto the Han family has our deepest condolences.

Matthew Rogers

1/10/2007 5:36:49 AM | I am saddened to hear of the loss of a great man, I am a student of Grand master Hee Il Cho and wish to pass on my condolancies to the family of Grand Master Bong Soo Han. It is sad for the martial arts community to loose such a great leade and well respected man. God bless and have a safe journey to your heavenly home.

Thomas Boyle

1/10/2007 2:55:20 AM | I started Tae Kwon Do relatively late in life however my only regret is I never started as a child. In the past year I have learned the true value of the human spirit from my Instructor(s) and fellow students
The teachings of men like Grand Master Han have improved the quality of life for so many people in this world. Not just Martial Artist but their friends colleagues and families. The world will mourn his passing.
My thoughts and condolences are with Grand Master Han"s family at this trying time.

Jim logan

1/10/2007 12:37:59 AM | "What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches." ~ Karl Menninger
Whenever I stopped by Grandmaster Han"s office to greet him before class, I was always received with a warm smile and a bow. On a handful of occasions, he offered, "Please, come and sit down." Each time he asked me different questions, such as "Are you happy here?", "What have you learned?", and "How is your training coming along?". Other times he shared black and white photographs from his past, and letters from old friends in Korea. Our chats invariably led to perfection of character, and what it truly takes to be a better human being.
While I will always be inspired by his teachings on the mat, it is the kindness and generosity of his spirit I will remember most.
Thank you, Grandmaster Han. Your influence is heartfelt and profound. With great respect,

Regina Gong

1/9/2007 11:49:16 PM | My first contact with Grandmaster Han was back in late 1968. I went to visit his Pacific Palisades school located toward the beaches just west of Beverly Hills, Calif. He often told me how grateful and honored he felt that I had invited myself to pay him a visit. This was the historical traditional process by which all students searched in their journey to discovering a masters secret location in hopes of being accepted.
I remember that his martial arts movements were unique; they were silent like the wind, rhythmic like classical Vienna music, and fluid like a placid stream of water. No one could duplicate his essence in execution. His extreme good looks was only matched by his class. He was always eloquent and respectful around others. I saw these same atributes in his wife and daughter.
It is still easy for anyone watching the film, Billy Jack, to tell when Mr. Han was doing the great kicking as he doubled for the lead star in the fight scenes. He and I finally got to work together years later as he played the featured villian opposite me in the film, Force Five. Grandmaster Han was respected and revered all over the world. His legacy and memories are only surpased by his humbleness.
We will all miss you. We will always respect you.
Joe Lewis (Former World Kickbox/Karate Champion)

Joe Lewis

1/9/2007 11:48:51 PM | Grand Master Han,
Martial arts have being part of my life in one way or the other. As a kid, I always read about legendary masters who taught around the world, and I always dreamed of training under one such master. Little would I’ve known that one day, that dream would become true, and by pure dumb luck. When I arrived to Los Angeles years ago I made myself a promise that I would find a martial art that suited me, and that I will stick to it to the end. If not, that would be the last time I would entertain that idea. I didn’t know much about Hapkido other than it seemed custom-made for me, and I had no inkling of who Grand Master Han was, but when I did, I couldn’t believe my luck. I had the honor of being directly taught by a man who through his art showed me a side of myself that otherwise I would have never discovered, and his school has carried me through the most difficult moments in my life. A man who needed no title, nor rank for his spirit was and IS the true mark of a Grand Master. Grand Master Han, you made my dream come true, and I will do my best to keep yours alive.
Forever grateful,

Henry Mosquera - 2nd Dan IHF

1/9/2007 11:01:18 PM | GrandMaster Han...
There are those who can do.
There are those who can teach.
But only a few can inspire.
Thank you for your guidance, inspiration and graciousness. May we never lose sight of them. It is an honor to have tested in front of you and to have been so welcomed by you and your students.

Travis King Miller

1/9/2007 10:19:33 PM | I was sad to learn the passing yesterday of Hapkido Grandmaster Bong Soo Han, one of the greats of the martial arts world. He was one of the main reasons, if not THE main reason, for the sudden popularity of the martial arts in the early 1970s in the US. Right up there with Bruce Lee. I was fortunate to meet him a few years ago at his school. A very dignified, calm, polite, yet confident and strong man. Strong both in body and mind. A true gentleman as one on his memorial page described him. The main thing, though, is that his legacy, his art, will continue to be shared with others as his students spread it throughout the world. A life well spent. A true difference made. A goal mastered.......and then surpassed! I am honored to have met you.

Bill Null

1/9/2007 10:17:00 PM | Hello Hapkido Lovers.
Grandmaster Bong Soo Han is a symbol of Hapkido for Pakistan Hapkido community and it is really a big loss for the entire Hapkido world. The Pakistan Hapkido Federation submitt his condolence to Grandmaster Han"s family,friends and students.
May Allah (God) bless him and rest in peace,Ameen.

Prof Dr Rizwan Mustafa Zubairi



1/9/2007 8:51:52 PM | I am deeply saddened by GM Han"s passing into eternal rest. My condolence to his family and his students. I wish his family the best during the trying time. We will always honor and respect a true Legend and a Great Master. With deepest Respect on behalf of International Goju Ryu Karate-Do Renmei, Alvin Tan

Alvin Tan Oon Lye

1/9/2007 7:13:22 PM | I feel truly blessed to have had several opportunities to train and learn from Master Han both in California and North Carolina. His mentoring of my instructor, Master Monty Hendrix, was the best thing in his life. Master Han was one of very few unique individuals that have been able to give to the world so much more than they take. In doing this he added to the lives of all those he encountered. He will be missed but will always reside in the skills he gave to us. May God bless you and your family.

Bruce P. McKillican, Ph. D.

1/9/2007 6:44:31 PM | I never had the opportunity to meet or train with Mr. Han but I absorbed so much from his training videos, books and articles. I was first introduced to Mr. Han by the "Billy Jack" movie. I did not know what Hapkido was then but I have a great, deep respect for Mr. Han, his students and federation. We have lost a great man and great martial artist.
Our deepest sympathy to the Han family, all his students and friends.
Very sincerely,Onesimus Martial Arts Galesburg, Illinois

Aaron Wayne-Duke

1/9/2007 5:45:44 PM | As a young man in junior high school, I took a Hapkido class that was in Bong Soo Han system. After that one hour class, I knew the martial arts were for me. I went on to study under Bong Soo Han system of Hapkido to Red Belt when I joined military. After the military I finally joined another Hapkido school and received Black Belt. I now hold Master status and run 2 schools, but nothing to this point can compare to the training I received in the Bong Soo Han Hapkido system. I honestly feel that if not starting my martial arts training in the Bong Soo Han system I may not have went on to achieve what I have achieved today. GrandMaster Han you have been a true inspiration to me, God Bless You and God Speed.

Master Blaine Grissom

1/9/2007 5:26:23 PM | Grandmaster Bong Soo Han -- Thank you for being a role model and inspiration for so many people, myself included. Though I never had the blessing to meet you, I have very much enjoyed the readings over the many years, thank you so much for everything.
To the family and friends -- My prayers and condolences are with you fully in this time, may strength and vitality be yours.

Zo Kim

1/9/2007 5:23:55 PM | I am very sorry the world had to lose such a great pioneer of the martial arts. But above all, I know that he was a great man. My prayers are with Grandmaster Han and his family.

Jonathan Helton

1/9/2007 5:10:36 PM | I was 17 when I first met Master Han with his jet black hair he was younger then,then I am now.
I trained under him for 1 year and left (stupid kid)I would see him around town and always bowed to him I even fixed his car once for him but it wasnt until over 20 years later that i really got to know him and the 1st day i walked back into his studio he helped me tie my new whit belt then slaped me on my back and said welcome back that was 10 years ago he never stoped slapping me on my back .
I just want to let who ever reads this know to me he ws more then a Grand Master he was a true friend that knew he could call me anytime for anything and I felt I could talk to him about anything not just Hapkido . Sir If there really is a heaven and im lucky enough to get there will you please slap me on my back again I will never forget you.
I feel very lucky to still be able to train at your studio and will never forget where i got my blackbelt from and who gave it to me. Thanks for everything Mark Levitt blackbelt # 93

Mark (the fixer) Levitt

1/9/2007 4:14:41 PM | My deepest sympathies to Grand Master Han"s family, students, friends and close associates. Grand Master Han: As your student, you have graciously given me your time, your energy and your knowledge. You have been an inspiration to me many years before we met in 1997 when you accepeted me as your student. I am grateful beyond words and will continue to keep my personal promise to you to continue my training and teaching in your Hapkido, which has now become ours, your students" to share with the world. It seems a daunting task to even hope to measure up to your standards but still, I will strive to mauntain those standards here in the Pacific Northwest. I bid you goodbye my teacher and wish you a safe journey to your eternal rest. With humble thanks for all you have done to inspire myself and so many others in the martial arts, your student, Master Steven Ruiz Bettencourt.

Master Steven Ruiz Bettencourt

1/9/2007 4:08:16 PM | I was shocked to see that Grand Master Bong Soo Han had passed away. I was truly influenced by his calm style of the Martial Arts and his Philosophy. We have lost one the Greatest Masters of our generation.

John W. Graves

1/9/2007 2:55:45 PM | Dear Master Friske, Master Cruz and Family,
It deeply saddens me to have heard of Grand Master Bong Soo Han in his final moments, and then of his passing. I had the incredible honor of meeting Master Han participating in a seminar held at Master Wohlwend"s studio in Orem, UT. Subsequently I had the pleasure of performing at his 30th anniversary celebration under Master Wohlwend"s guidance.
Master Han was a powerful and gentle man. He was a credit to the Martial Arts world and humanity alike. He will be missed dearly but never forgotten.
Jason Todd McConnell

Jason Todd McConnell

1/9/2007 2:40:44 PM | Sorrow is a burden lightened only by sharing. Short is the life of an inspiration.
My associates and I offer our heart felt gratitude to Grandmaster Han for his leadership. We grieve, and look forward to sharing humorous anecdotes and tears with his family and students.
Your cousins in Hapkido, Jang Mu Won

Stephen Petermann

1/9/2007 1:39:07 PM | I studied with Master Han for several years almost 30 years ago. He was still teaching a lot back then, and I will always remember him, his instruction, and his talent. He holds a special place in my heart and mind. My very best to his family and students.

Lawrence Novick

1/9/2007 1:24:19 PM | It has been many years since I uprooted myself from California and traveled to North Carolina. It"s been many years since I have seen Grandmaster or trained in his studio. But even to this day, rarely if at all does a day go by that I do not think back to the lessons learned from Grandmaster Han.
Through Hapkido and through his example, Grandmaster Han taught us more than self defense and self confidence. He taught us how to be true human beings.
Grandmaster Han was a great man and he will be missed. But his indominatable spirit and perfection of character will forever live in us all and countless others who have never met Grandmaster Han will continue to learn the Way and forever be set on the path to becoming a true human being.
My thoughts are as they always have been, with he and his family.
A grateful student,

Ken Helfing

1/9/2007 12:47:28 PM | Grand Master Han, your dedication and commitment to spreading Hapkido. Your eternal smile and good nature. Your character and willingness to teach and share will always keep you in the minds and hearts of those that were touch by your kindness and good nature through out your extensive career. This is a really sad day for the martial arts community world and the Hapkido community. May the lord have you in his cradle and his family be blessed. The Hapkido community will never forget you.
Thank you
Students and Instructors of Northern Sin Moo Virginia Hapkido Institute

Ramfis L. Marquez

1/9/2007 12:22:55 PM | Like so many others, I first entered Grand Master Han’s studio with only the vaguest idea of what I wanted. What I know now is that the gifts of peace, patience, self-awareness, confidence and friendship that I received over the years that followed were far greater than any I could have hoped for.
From the beginning, Master Han’s dojang felt like home. His love of the art and his quiet certainty that the lessons learned by dedicating oneself to the “way” could improve all of our lives was contagious… and shared by all of his instructors. Together, their enthusiasm, desire and willingness to share the art they had come to love created a special environment that gave every student the chance to achieve more than they ever could have believed possible.
Grand Master Han had an incredibly powerful impact on my life. Having earned my black belt while studying under him, and then being allowed to teach at his school, are among the proudest achievements of my life. His was a singular presence… powerful and kind, focused and gentle, intense and yet always softened by a smile. Grand Master Han was a true master of his art – a mastery that extended into every aspect of his life… and then through all of ours.
Now, those lucky enough to have been touched by him directly – Master Friske, Master Cruz, and the thousands of other instructors and students he inspired over the years, have the chance to continue his legacy and honor his memory by continuing to share the art he loved. Thanks to his example, and their dedication and love, his spirit is sure to live on.
Grand Master Han, it was my honor and privilege to have been one of your students… and it was my pleasure to have known you. My deepest condolences go to Susie, Tad and the entire Bong Soo Han Hapkido family. May we all find peace and comfort in our memories of him and in the knowledge that no one who has touched the lives of so many ever truly passes.

Jeff Kovacs

1/9/2007 11:48:21 AM | Dear Master Han In the book of life, we all have our name imprinted and a date next to it, along with a seperate section for our deeds to other"s. Your section will need additional space, for you have touched the lives and changed and more than likely, even saved many from a wrong path. Thru your teaching and understanding, you have allowed all of us a glimse of what a true martial artist is supposed to be.
To Master Hans family. No words can offer real comfort when we are seperated from a loved one, but with the understanding that within the realm of time, family"s will be as one again. Until then, embrace the memories and be warmed by the wonderful legacy that remains.

Michael Dunn

1/9/2007 11:41:34 AM | I didn"t have the chance to meet Grand Master Bong Soo Han, but I was told many great things about him. I am an instructor under Master Tim Brown in Kannapolis and I know he has put an impact on Master Tim"s life. Your thoughts and prayers are with us.

Heather Bailey

1/9/2007 10:49:36 AM | To my old friend Grandmaster Bong Soo Han whom I have known since the 60"s years before we all get into the movie industry. He was a great master in the art of Hakido. We have done numerous demonstrations, attended parties together, weddings, even done some television shows together. I will miss you my old friend. A true master in friendship, a great master in the martial arts a great influence to the human race. With much respect I will see you in the next level of life, I remain your old friend ...
Grandmaster Douglas L. Wong - White Lotus Kung Fu System..

Grandmaster Douglas Lim Wong

1/9/2007 10:24:26 AM | Dear Master Bong Soo Han,
Thank you always for your committement and dedication to both immediate and extended families. God Speed.
You will always remembered.

Dennis Fabro

1/9/2007 9:10:36 AM | Grand Master Han has been an inspiration to the world of martial arts. Grand Master Han"s name is one that commands the respect and admiration of all who have heard it. His dedication to Hapkido and the way he has expressed himself through his art will live on far beyond his days here on Earth. I will always be greatfull for such a great role model.

Carlos Omar Garcia

1/9/2007 9:08:52 AM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
It has been a privilege and an honor to know you. No words can express how grateful I am to you, for your kindness, guidance and generosity. Your teachings will always be with me and function as the foundation of my life. Your spirit and your vision of Hapkido shall be spread through all of us for generations to come! May your spirit rise and soar. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Dagmar Bauer Prigatano

1/9/2007 9:04:04 AM | How does one impact and become beloved by so many? Grandmaster Han did this with a humble smile. In my life I have never been impacted by somebody with such charisma, charm and humility. Grandmaster Han was a supreme martial artist, however he was a perfect gentlemen and a wonderful human being.
Thank you, thank you so very much Grandmaster Bong Soo Han.

Ryan Richard Danzey

1/9/2007 8:43:24 AM | In physics we learn a fundamental law that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Rather, it can only change form. Therefore, like the primary elements on the Korean flag of fire, earth, air and water, all living things in a literal sense shall continue to exist. It is merely their form which has changed. Their essence of power or life force is omnipresent in ki. We must only develop, and direct this ki energy, that although perhaps dormant, resides in all sentient beings.

Stephen W. Contreras

1/9/2007 8:28:03 AM | We never seem to know how much someone touches our lives until they pass on into the after life. At that monment, when we reflect in our hearts, or thoughts, and our souls, we find everlasting inspiration. Grandmaster Han was that someone for all of us. We will miss his presence, but his Hapkido will persevere through the Masters to whom Master Han has shown the "Way." Especially, for me, in my Master, Phillip Turner.
Master Han, I thank you for your dedication, humility, and true Mastery of Hapkido.

Michel D. WIlson

1/9/2007 8:05:43 AM | It is a sad day for any who have studied with Master Han. My experience with him was limited and far too short, but I will always remember his encouragement and gentle humor in both the large classes I took from him and in the smaller, semi-private lessons I was privileged, on occasion, to join.
Master Han personified the Hapkido creed that adorns the wall of his Santa Monica studio: Courtesy, Integrity, Wisdom, Perserverance, Self-Conrol, Indominatable Spirit, and Perfection of Character. His example is an ideal of physical and social grace that I can only strive to approach as I continue my journey.
Rest in peace, Master Han.

John Amussen

1/9/2007 8:04:47 AM | Grandmaster Han:
We will truly miss you. I studied under you for one year and a half. During that time I learned a great deal from you about the true spirit of martial arts. I have lived and traveled all over the world and trained under many systems and your school was one of the most impressive. When I first came to Los Angeles I went to look at many schools and when I visited your school I knew that this was the place for me. I knew because of the teachers and students I talked to and watched; they were very humble, modest, and proficient. They exemplified every thing I was looking for in a martial art: discipline, hard working, and very concerned about helping others. This was due to your influence. Your art will truly live on. Thank you very much.

Jon Price

1/9/2007 7:52:37 AM | master Han was a great teacher and he will be missed.from all of us at looang foo pai you have our blesssings. may god be with you in your hour of need.


1/9/2007 7:47:41 AM | Grandmaster Han,
I thank you for all the encouragement and advice you have given us through the years because of your caring heart and the times you gave us a good talking to because of the good you always saw in us all. It was priceless. We can never thank you enough.
Grandmaster Chang Young-Shil sends his reagards and will miss you greatly. Rest in peace sir.
Dear Susan and family,
You are in our prayers. Please let us know if you need anything. International Hapkido Fedration
Hollywood, FL

Master Jeff Allen

1/9/2007 6:42:54 AM | When I first moved to Los Angeles Grandmaster Bong Soo Han was one of the first martial artist I met. I took his seminar and was completely blown away how amazing he was. More important though was the feeling that this man was so special. His heart was so loving, his passion for martial arts and teaching was so strong. Grandmaster is truely one of the greatest martial artists I have ever met both physically and spiritually. I will miss you deeply.

Cynthia Rothrock

1/9/2007 5:39:25 AM | As I sit here now typing I can still hardly believe it; your spirit so powerful, so nurturing, I can not fathom the loss that is your passing from this world, filed with so much emotion, not the least of which, guilt; guilt, over having squandered any opportunity to have trained with you, to have taken this opportunity for granted will always be one of my deepest regrets, but because I was fortunate enough to have met you, to have been touched by you, to have trained with you privately on 5 occasions; thanks to the kindness of another student Erick Frohlich, I know that I must not allow this to do anything but strengthen my resolve. Thank you Grand Master Han for inspiring me to develop myself in a positive manner, I will endeavor to pass on your legacy in everyway I am.

Timothy D. Rundle

1/9/2007 5:06:29 AM | I remember watching Billy Jack and what a profoudn affect it had on me as a boy. I will hold Grandmaster Han in the highest place in my heart for the rest of my life as he has been a great inspiration to me for many years.
Good bye sir and thankyou for all you have inspired me to achieve as a result of your greatness.

Chris McLean

1/9/2007 4:52:31 AM | Grandmaster Han,
You have given much of yourself as the father of Hapkido. You have helped us and everyone you come in contact with in everything we do in our everyday lives.
We came to you approximately 15 years ago we have earned blackbelts from you, but even more have learned what a great man you are. Thank you for everything.

Master James & Teresa Wohlwend

1/9/2007 4:02:53 AM | It"s a very sad day for Hapkido people. I don"t know this grandmaster, I never met him but he is very famous and I know he was a pionneer in United States.
I send all my prayers to Grandmaster Han and his family and I wish him peace.
From France (Paris)

Master Remi Mollet

1/9/2007 2:49:43 AM | My deepest sympathy goes out to the Han Family. Their loss I fully understand. Master Han"s legacy will live forever.
My prayers are with the Han Family, his students and friends.
Rest in Peace Grandmaster Han,

Joannie. Wollmershauser

1/9/2007 2:00:28 AM | Grandmaster Han, even not meeting you, your spirit has been with me trough my Hapkido training and will continue to be. The world is a poorer place without people like you.

Hans H Stoermann-Næss

1/9/2007 12:29:18 AM | Sir,
If I had truly known what I was walking into when I entered your Santa Monica studio for the first time, if I truly understood the siginificance of your talent and spirit, I probably would have ducked out quietly and anonymously before anyone ever took notice. But I didn"t. I stayed. Eight years later I am still here. I am honored to have been invited to attend your weekly classes on Friday evenings, a weekly lesson in humility none of us dared to miss. Every day I have tried to live up to the challenge you laid down for us on those nights, but I know on most days I do not suceed. I know that every wrist twist I do is a pale shade of the true technique, every arm lock a weak interpretation, every kick a feeble variation, every flip an model of fear and hesitation. But somwhere buried deep inside of me -- in all of us -- is Hapkido"s true beauty, absorbed over the years by watching you when you taught us. I thought those Friday classes would go on forever and in fact believed that they had to. But one day they stopped. And now I miss them all the time. I will never forget you, Sir, and I am blessed to have the chance to remember. Goodbye Master Han, and thank you. May your spirit find the peace that, in the end, your body could not afford to give.

Rob La Franco

1/9/2007 12:16:44 AM | It is sad to lose a wonderful human being who has given so much to the world of martial arts. I am proud to be a student of martial arts and Hapkido. Thank you for your dedication, vision, hard work and the way you have touched so many martial artists. You will always be an inspiration in our hearts and minds.

Master Farshad Azad

1/9/2007 12:00:41 AM | Even though I never met him or never trained with him, I still feel that I have a bond with him. That is what makes the martial art of Hapkido so fantastic. My thoughts goes to grandmaster Hans family, friends and students. The world has lost a great personality and the hapkido community has lost one of its leading stars.

Edward H. Valholm, Norway

1/8/2007 11:49:02 PM | I never had the opportunity to meet you sir, but the love and respect that others have for you has impacted my life. I pray that I will learn to live as you did, in harmony with yourself and with others. God Bless You!

Dana L. Stamos

1/8/2007 11:47:42 PM | Grandmaster Bong Soo Han was unique, even among men of high character and higher achievement. While I deeply regret not having had the chance to spend time with him face-to-face, GM Han was tremendously polite, dignified, and warm during our phone conversations. He has successfully passed these qualities of character onto his students, many of whom I"ve had the pleasure of treating and knowing. We would all do well to emulate such class, such dignity, such courage, and such generosity.
My family, students, and I pray that God keep his soul and watch over his students & followers. The martial arts world has lost a founding father. Regardless of style, country of origin, or school, we all bow our heads in remembrance.
With respectful condolences,

Sifu Mark Cheng

1/8/2007 11:08:50 PM | I have seen for myself the true power of Master Han's spirit. I am not a martial artist nor am I follower of his teachings.
I have, however, witnessed Master Han"s impact on the people he touched. I have wathced him transform the potential of people into reality. I have watched "lost" turn into "found". I have seen "scared" turn into "confident". Master Han may be a great in the world of Hapkido. But, in my mind, he his great in his way with teaching life. Thanks for sharing. As we all have read on this site, your presence will be felt - and your teachings fulfilled- long after your life here on earth has ended.

Storme Warren

1/8/2007 10:53:08 PM | I am very sad about the loss of my friend the Master Bong Soo Han. He was a great martial artist, a warrior and a true human being. Everyone that know him will miss him. He can Rest in Peace with his teachings living on in the many generations of his students. My thoughts and prayers are with him and with his family.

Fumio Demura

1/8/2007 10:30:44 PM | Grand Master Han, It is with deep respect.
Grandmaster, your teachings will live on forever as will your spirit. we cannot Thank You enough for your contribution to the arts. You are one of the great men in the world.

Dr. seyed mohammad safivand

1/8/2007 10:17:37 PM | Grand Master Han has forever influenced my life and I know he will continue to impact many lives through the people he has taught and mentored. My prayers go out to Grand Master Han and his family.

David Hill

1/8/2007 9:44:45 PM | We honor and we respect a true legend and Master. Rest in peace warrior, rest in peace

Master Felix Lugo

1/8/2007 9:39:27 PM | To the family of Grandmaster Han:
Please receive my sincere condolences to all of you at this time. Grandmaster Han has been an inspiration and an example to me and to the world of a real martial artists. Although I never met the Grandmaster personally, the respect with which my own Master Philip Ameris speaks of Grandmaster Han tells me all I needed to know of this great man, beyond all the accolades. My prayers and well wishes are with you all.
God Bless.

David Harrison

1/8/2007 9:31:24 PM | I first met Grand Master Han 27 years ago. Unbeknownst to me, I was there at his school, the IHF Headquarters tonight at 6:05 p.m. as he took his last breath. Sadly, like the Snow Tiger, he is a rare and endangered breed in our modern culture. To preserve their legacy, we must revere their way as we flow through this life. Masters of all disciplines follow this way of passion, purity and truth. Paradoxically, the greatest gift Grand Master Han gave us is one of self reliance and faith in our own potential for success and extraordinary achievement. Confidence is like a great river into which all streams flow. It advances, always moving forward, and eventually there is nothing that can stand in its way.
Steve Contreras
Senior 1st Degree Black Belt, IHF

Stephen William Contreras

1/8/2007 8:55:43 PM | Grandmaster Han will always be such an inspiration to me within my journey in martial arts. I feel extremely blessed to have studied with him. I believe without any doubt that his strong spirit will live on in those whom were lucky enough to have known such an incredible man, even if just for the briefest moment. You will be missed forever within our hearts.

Jacqueline Ortoleva

1/8/2007 7:13:34 PM | The inspiration you shared with me in 1985 at Grand Master Clingan school in Yuba City has been part of our Training in Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance.
I felt a brotherhood in our Korean martial arts. I honor you for what you have shared with Master Phillip Turner. Our prayers to your family, friends and students as we will all miss you, your spirit prevails!

Darryl D. Khalid

1/8/2007 6:42:52 PM | My prayer is that God gives Grnadmaster Han peace and grace during this very critical time. My prayer is that Grandmaster Han"s family have the peace of God through it all.

Oliver Patrick

1/8/2007 5:33:40 PM | Thank you- your teachings will continue on.

Master L. Dorsey

1/8/2007 4:55:03 PM | I am so deeply saddened by Grandmaster Han’s passing into eternal rest. Although he is no longer with us, his strong legacy will continue to be with all of us. Master Han without a doubt was a true master and a warrior.
He not only taught the art of Hapkido, but he lived the way of Hapkido, that is he lived very balanced and harmonious life. His mastery of Hapkido was evident even in his casual foot steps and way he courteously greeted everyone. As his formal student, I pray that his family and friends will find peace and comfort in knowing that his art and his legacy will live on!

Shin Kim

1/8/2007 4:53:06 PM | United Kingdom Martial Arts Standards & Advisory Comission
We would like to join our prayers and voice to all the others here. Such a great Martial Arts Master will always be remembered with great reverence.

Professor Tony Smith

1/8/2007 4:52:43 PM | To the most Honourable Grandmaster Bong Soo Han
It is with deep sadness that I read of your illness today. It seems that the world will be alittle dimmer with another Martial arts legend..and traditional Master gone from us. I promise to try to remember the lessons your my elder brothers leave for us and have love in my heart as I teach. You will brighten the path for us to the next place...see you there Brother

Timothy R. Davis

1/8/2007 4:47:56 PM |  I was saddened to learn of the passing of Grandmaster Bong Soo Han. I remember the first time I watched the movie Billy Jack many years ago.I had never seen Hapkido demonstrated and was simply amazed by the ability of Grandmaster Han. I joined a Dojang the next day.
My condolences and prayers go out to Grandmaster Han"s family,students and friends.

Justin Colatarci

1/8/2007 4:33:14 PM | You have always been an inspiration to me from the very first time I met you when we both had dark hair in korea over fouty four years ago.
I was very fortunate to have trained with you and learn the wonderful art of Hapkido.
You honored me with your presence at my Do Jang in Yuba City in 1985 .Peace Grandmaster.

grandmaster william clingan

1/8/2007 4:16:27 PM | Master Han and I go back over 30 years. Many do not know that he had a great sense of humor and adventure. We sang a duet once of "Secret Love" at Paul Anka"s Whispers restaurant in Las Vegas. He and Patrick Strong and I have spent hours going over movie scripts and writing one and just hanging out. He is and always will be the best of the best to me. A great friend, a true martial arts warrior and an upstanding human being who loved his family, his martial arts and his friends. I am a better person simply for knowing him.

Grandmaster Duane R. Ethington

1/8/2007 3:54:25 PM | I am sorry to hear of Grandmaster Han's passing. Although I only had the privilege of meeting him once, he has influenced my life as a martial artist. He was an inspiration to all and will be truly missed.

Grandmaster Roy Johns

1/8/2007 2:08:32 PM | There is something to be said and taken essential notice of when a person is so powerful that they can touch our very hearts and souls through another. I have not had the honor in spending the time with you in which I read and hear about, however I have had the fortune to spend time with you through Master Phillip R. Turner of Morning Calm Hapkido (Martial Arts). It is that I have been touched by you, through him that I speak of now...a formidable power that I will not forget even in my own passing. Master Turner has become and remains one of the finest Artist of the Martial Way, thanks to your life, as well as one of the best friends fortunately bestowed upon my life. My pursuit of the Way has become frayed in these days of late...I am not perfect, but I look back now upon what you have taught so many, and what I have learned thus far, and it is time to continue my Master Turner"s honor, in my own honor...and in your honor.

Micah Justin Miller

1/8/2007 2:05:26 PM | Grandmaster Bong Soo Han has made a tremendous impact throughout the world of Martial Arts and his contribution will never be lost but instead perpetuated in all of our hearts and lives. His constant drive for perfection and sharing of his knowledge will certainly live on in all of us through his spirit. Candles are lit...prayers are said for such a great humanitarian so loved and cherished by many who benefited by his expertise and soulful sharing. He will be greatly missed. On behalf of the Kajukenbo-Wun Hop Kuen Do Ohana, our prayers are with Grandmaster Han and his family.

Grandmaster Al Dacascos - Kajukenbo-Wun Hop Kuen Do

1/8/2007 1:54:06 PM | Dear Grand Master Han,
It has been both a great honor and pleasure to have had the opportunity to learn from you about Hapkido, about life, and about what it means to walk the path of a martial artist. Your teachings have and will always be the cornerstone of who I am and who I continually strive to be. My heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you and your family. With deep respect,

Dr. Karin Sponholz

1/8/2007 1:48:24 PM | Grandmaster, your teachings will live on forever as will your spirit. We will strive to be our best and to teach others, curtesy ,self control, self dicipline, self defense and integirty.

James Maze

1/8/2007 1:45:37 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han, your family, friends, and students,
I have known you for many, many years and often think of you fondly. Whenever I want to tell my students about the true meaning of the martial arts, I never fail to mention you as a TRUE GENTLEMAN, the very embodiment of what it means to be a martial artist.
Gramdaster, you are one of a kind and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for inspiring me and generations of others with your quiet leadership and for always being a role model for the world. Your life has mattered and made an incredible difference in the world and has pointed us in a better direction.
May you always remain in the presence of the Divine and continue to bless us with your gracious presence and energy for all enternity.
With much love and respect,

Prof. Carl Totton

1/8/2007 1:43:24 PM | Lets all keep the Master and all his History saved and carried on in our daily lives. Help make sure we don"t loose the man, the teacher the the Master and all his hard work through out his life.
We hold him in Horor and History for all of time.

Sifu Mike Sandos

1/8/2007 1:33:20 PM | I thought of Grandmaster Han as a real statesman for Hapkido. I visited his school a number of times through the 90"s and each time he welcomed myself and my students with a warmth and generousity not common in any martial art today.
His stories of himself and other other Hapkido Masters from the 60"s and wise advice were always welcome. Without his guidance I would not have attained what I have today.
He encouraged me to keep true to my dreams and strive to overcome obstacles. He always displayed a class of character far above the crowd. It will be impossible to replace such a distinguished ambassador for Hapkido!

Keith Stewart

1/8/2007 1:21:02 PM | Grandmaster Han was one of the grandfathers of martial arts that allowed students to create a world of realistic goals. Especially women. He gave us the opportunity to choose strength and inner power over fear. He will be missed by those of us that had the opportunity to know him and those of us that wanted to learn more about him.
Many blessing to his students, family and friends.

LaShonta J Strong

1/8/2007 12:09:37 PM | Grandmaster Han,
I have never had the chance to meet you personally but, you have been a great inspiration to me through the teaching of my father Master William Clingan the dedication you have had not only in Hapkido but martial Arts as a whole will never be forgotten.

Charlie Clingan

1/8/2007 12:05:55 PM | Grand Master Han,
It has been both my honor and pleasure to know you, Sir. I truly cannot imagine my life without your teachings to guide my way. I know thousands of others feel the same way. As you continue on your journey, know that your family is now our family - and we will be there for them as you were for us. Again, both my honor and pleasure. Thank you, Sir, for all you have given me. With a deep bow,

Steven Binder

1/8/2007 12:03:58 PM | Dear Mater Han,
We have known you for over 30 years, we worked to gether on Kentucky Fried Movie, done lots of demonstartions...
You are a great martial artist and a person
our family will miss you,
With Respect.
From Rhee Family

Philip Rhee

1/8/2007 11:37:50 AM | I was never fortunate enough to meet Grandmaster Han, but he has always been a huge inspiration in my life, first having seen him in Billy Jack. He was and will forever be a major figure in Hapkido. From all of us at the World Combat Arts Federation, our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends of the Great, Grandmaster Bong Soo Han. He will live on forever through the hearts of all of us involved in the Korean Martial Arts, and more specifically, Hapkido. Rest in Peace Sir.

Ed Annibale

1/8/2007 11:36:07 AM | We had the pleasure and honor of meeting and training with Grand Master Han at his seminar hosted by Master Monty Hendrix in Greensboro, NC in April of 2005. My young students were deeply impressed by Grand Master Han"s depth of teaching, and I his dignity and grace; all of which have wonderful influence in my dojang. As a young girl who studied karate and followed Grand Master Han"s career, I never dreamed in a million years that I would be blessed to meet him in person. Grand Master Han leaves an indelible impression on the hearts of those he has touched with his wonderful Martial Spirit and that will live on eternally. His family is in our prayers during this time.

Elizabeth J. Roshdy

1/8/2007 11:18:23 AM | Grandmaster Han
I am a newer Hopkido student in Florida and have been reading your writings since I started 2 years ago. Even though we never met I thank you for your years of dedication in the martial arts. You are an inspiration to me and everyone in my school. Your influence reaches far beyond those you have met in your life and it will continue on.

Jason Regensburg

1/8/2007 11:14:12 AM | I began training in 1972. It was at that time, at age 13 that I became aware of you as a Hapkido practitioner thru the "Billy Jack" movies. I have watched you over the years and found great inspiration in your work.
Thank you...

Master Jay S. Penfil

1/8/2007 10:54:04 AM | Since we met many years ago, I have attempted to have my students use you as the example of a Grand Master, for myself and my students we cannot Thank You enough for your contribution to the arts, and to the many people you touched
Forever in Peace
Thank you

Grandmaster John Pendergrass

1/8/2007 10:32:10 AM | Grandmaster Han. May your spirit be with us through eternaty. You will be remembered always as other masters have in the past, present and future. I pray that you will come out of this and live a longer life. With the articles I have read you are unique and will be amoung the best in history. God Bless.

Michael Bourget

1/8/2007 10:27:38 AM | Grand Master Han: I feel so honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to have you lead me down the Hapkido path. Having you in my life has helped me to work on perfecting my charater, become a stronger woman and grow into becoming a better mother.
Sir, I am so honored to have become your 13th female black belt and I can honestly say that the day that you handed me my belt, it was in the top 5 days of my whole entire life.
My heart and prayers are with you, Susie and the rest of your family and friends and I will think of you often.
Warmest, Warmest love and respect,

Samantha Kuhr

1/8/2007 9:47:42 AM | If a great man leaves this world, a vacuum arises. Deepest condolences from Germany.
Ikusagei Berlin / Taiyo Berlin

Jörg Weisflog

1/8/2007 8:57:43 AM | Dear Grandmaster Han and the Hapkido family
I am thankful for have had the oppurtunity to meet you and got lessons from you and your excellent instructors.
Please know that our prayers are with you and the familiy in these hard times.

Henrik S. Hunstad

1/8/2007 7:33:53 AM | We want to send out our best to the family. Grandmaster Han will always be remembered as a great man and the father of Hapkido. Thanks for everything.

Master James & Teresa Wohlwend

1/8/2007 6:55:47 AM | It is with great sorrow that the Greensboro IHF affiliate has followed Grand Master Han's battle with cancer. The thing that sticks with me most is the humility of Grand Master Han. He will be greatly missed.

Edward Jordan

1/8/2007 5:21:12 AM | GrandMaster Han
We are in this world for a short term than we must go on to a better world,you leave us your wisdom and your teaching and we shall charish all you have given us,so that we can be better persons and teach on.We will all meet one day in that better world.Thank you

Vic Antico Rome Italy

1/7/2007 11:23:11 PM | A child, a student, a teacher, a Master, a Grandmaster of Teachers, an Influence, a Positive Influence to the Earth. You are and will continue as a Spiraling Galaxy as your Master"s Master before you. Through your past, present and into your future beyond you I see your Spiraling Galaxy"s Influence live on in the minds and actions of those you have touched and of those who shall inhale and grow from your spirit. Safe and Happy journey Grandmaster Han.

paul kurtz , a passing shadow in your life.

1/7/2007 10:25:17 PM | Dear Grandmaster Hon,
It was a late night as my family walked along a New York street looking for something to eat. My children have never forgotten as you stood up saying "This place is closed" then laughed as we looked around for the voice that spoke those words. We were all in New York for Wesley Snipes, World of the Martial Arts program.
You have been an inspiration to generations and left a legacy for many more to come. You have not only touched the Martial Arts community, but the world.
My thoughts and Prayers are with you and your family at this time. You will never be forgotten, but will be in our hearts forever. Respectfully, Sifu Carrie Ogawa Wong

Sfu Carrie Ogawa Wong

1/7/2007 10:17:05 PM | For thirty years I looked for a Master. Not only for my martial arts training, but also for spiritual guidance. In Grand Master Han I found both. He showed me a way of combining meditation, energy and martial arts and I found myself doing things I never thought I was capable of. I was honored to be trained by him and taught by him. His teachings transformed me and for that, I will treasure them for a lifetime. Thank you, sir, for making me a better person.

Ms. Irma Perez

1/7/2007 8:35:49 PM | When I walked into the studio, almost 18 years ago, I was lost... I didn"t know who I was, what I wanted to be, what I wanted to do with my life, what I wanted out of life, what I had to offer others, what the world had to offer me, let alone how I would ever find the answers to those questions. Little by little, day by day, as years passed, guided by the Hapkido Creed informed by Grand Master Han"s care and wisdom, with the careful reinforcement of instructors and fellow students, I began to recognize how my life has meaning. I have even, I think, glimpsed at the answers to the question that earlier, and still, ellude me. And, I know I am not the exception in finding a, my path. Walk through the studio doors, Grand Master Han"s legacy is in each and every one of us. Grand Master Han may is ultimately fleeting. But more than the boundry of his physical touch, he has deeply touched, transfored us all for the better. He will continue to make this world a better one so long as we all pass just a little of the care and wisdom that he exemplified and offered us each and every day to others, whether students of the martial arts or no. My best recollections and memories of Grand Master Han are seemingly mundane...but will linger with me forever...memories of how, every day, without fail (save for the last years) he so regally sat in his office and greeted us, his students, by his door with a genuine smile, gracious words of salutation and inquiry, and a most humble open heart. If I can only touch others" lives 1/1000th as much as he has touched mine, I would be proud to live in his shadow. And I am. With admiration and love,
Your Grateful Student, Richard Scott, 3rd Dan PS... Just train and everything will fall into place...

Richard Scott

1/7/2007 8:29:22 PM | Grand Master Han, It is with deep respect I address this words to you: I never had the honor of meeting you in person, but you inspired me in my earlier days of Hapkido with the movie billy Jack. I will always remember GM Han as a great master and a honorable and humble man.

Fabian Duque

1/7/2007 8:26:02 PM | Dear Grand Master Han:
You will never know what a huge gift you have given me. Since training with you and immersing myself in your way of life, I have become a stronger woman, a kinder person, and a better mother. When you handed me my black belt it was one of the proudest days of my life, and I am truly honoured to be your 13th female black belt. I will cherish the times that we have spent together and I will be forever grateful to you and will remember you always. You will always be in my heart and my prayers.

Samantha Kuhr

1/7/2007 8:24:13 PM | Grandmaster Han has touched many people"s lives through his work in movies, and the through the promotion of Hapkido in many other media, but there is one occasion that crystallized for me that he lived what he has taught about striving to continually improve the mental and spiritual dimensions of life over the physical.
At a seminar Grandmaster Han was giving, with roughly a hundred participants, and many spectators, he noticed that a white belt was tiring easily. He personally and repeatedly checked on her well being throughout the seminar, and even translated some Korean characters for her, giving her extra time to rest. Unknown to Grandmaster Han, the white belt had recently finished her most recent rounds of surgeries and chemotherapy after a second episode of an aggressive form of breast cancer. In fact, she had regrown her hair not long before deciding to attend.
His kindness was small thing, but allowed her to feel special, and not that she had special needs. His kindness was a small thing, but character is revealed in small actions and decisions. They always reveal more than public image or roles someone adopts.
Because of this small act of kindness more than any other reason, I am proud to have shared time with Grandmaster Han, and to be an affiliate of his organization. His passing is a source of sadness. His memory is a source of inspiration.
Pennsylvania IHF Affiliate

Jerome Weber

1/7/2007 8:05:32 PM | Grand Master Han,
I first met Grand Master Han in 1975 and studied with him for two and a half years. For various reasons I was not able to continue my martial arts studies at that time.
Many years later I realized that there was something missing in my life and that I had always wanted to return to martial arts. There was only one person that I knew I had to study under, Grand Master Bong Soo Han. In the mid seventies I had gotten a glimpse of “a way of life” that I knew I needed in my life again. In 1996 I walked back into Grand Master Han’s studio. He took one look at me and to my utter amazement recognized me after 18 years, asking me, “Are you going to stick around till you to get your black belt this time”?
Sir, I am greatly honored to have received both my 1st and 2nd Dan black belts under your guidance. You have been a mentor and inspiration to me for many years. I thank you for teaching me “a way of life” that I live by. We, who have studied under you, and continue to teach Hapkido as you taught us are your legacy to the world. The greatest honor I have is to continue that legacy.

Robert Levitt

1/7/2007 8:03:59 PM | Grandmaster Han,
Though I never had the opportunity to meet you, reputation was well known. Thank you for all your dedication and work. May you rest in peace.

Brandon Fisher

1/7/2007 7:47:14 PM | I worked in the office w/ Master Han and studied at the Santa Monica studio for years.
Master Han has given me gifts that I shall always cherish... his wealth of wisdom and his unwavering spirit.
I thank you Master Han. I am honored to have studied with you.

Christopher Stewart

1/7/2007 7:23:29 PM | Grandmaster Han:
It is with heartfelt sadness and deep gratitude that I write these comments. My time training with you was an honor and a gift I will never forget. I will do my best to pass on your spirit, gentle manner and kind wisdom in my teachings to all USA Martial Arts students.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and remarkable example of humility and inner strength. You and your family remain in our thoughts and prayers. God bless you as you have blessed so many others.

John Nottingham

1/7/2007 7:02:08 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han:
What an honor it was for us to get to know you. You have nothing but being an honorable man in not only the martial arts but life itself. Your smile and friendship has made us what we can be in this life. May your next journey be uplifting to those who have come to know you not only in this life but the next. We love you,

Head Master Royal & Meda Key West

1/7/2007 6:19:47 PM | To the family and memory of Grand Master Bong Soo Han. We are all a part of everyone we take time to know in this lifetime. Master Han has inspired me and so many others too numerous to count. You will be missed but I for one will strive to keep your memory ever present in my schools and in my heart. My prayers will be with your family.

Master Royal J. West P.T.

1/7/2007 2:41:26 PM | Dearest Grandmaster Han,
Thank you so much for the memories. The short time that I have known you were indeed precious and memorable. I cannot fathom enough how much your passing has saddned me.
You were a vision of what a master should be. You were kind, gentle, humble and above all a very caring human being.
No one can ever be like you Grandmaster Han. Your legacy and your memory will live on forever !!!.
I will never ever forget you Grandmaster Han. Someday we will meet again.

Prince Loeffler

1/7/2007 2:07:13 PM | What an honor and priviledge it has been to train under you, Sir. What a humbling, enlightening, and exhilarating experience! Your influence and guidance in my life has been profound and will last forever...
To have dedicated onesself to a Way of Life; to have embraced that Way completely; and to have shared that Way directly with thousands of students and indirectly with millions more...what a great gift we were given!
I have heard you speak countless times about taking Hapkido and its philosophies out into the world. As your student and a teacher of Hapkido, I will strive to share your Way with everyone I meet for the rest of my life. My prayers to you and your family. With Deepest Respect, James Lerman

James Lerman

1/7/2007 1:57:19 PM | Grandmaster Bong Soo Han. Prior to my first contact with Grandmaster Han in 1972 he was an inspiration of iconic value, so our meeting in 1986 was, for me, an ambition fulfilled and an honor beyond words.Entering into my 39th year teaching hapkido the memory of this gentle man will continue to inspire myself and future generations of students of the art he so loved. My sincere condolences.

Michael Forster

1/7/2007 1:54:49 PM | Grandmaster Han,
My thought and prayers go out to you,your family and loved ones.Your fight scenes in "Billy Jack"made me very proud to be a student of Hapkido.Your name and reputation will live on forever.

Grandmaster John Beluschak

1/7/2007 1:43:53 PM | Grand Master Han.
The one thing that has always stuck with me was when I interviewed him after Eric Frisky and Danny Cruz just pasted their master"s level, 6th degree, black belt test. Both gentlemen credited Grand Master Han for them being able to train for over 25 years, at that time, to become masters. When I interviewed Grand Master Han and told him that they credited him for their success, he sat and shook his head, looking intense as if I said something incorrect. Then his face lightened, and he said words that will always stay with me. "I merely showed them the path. They are the ones that had to walk it." I then realized how lucky I was to have such a great guide not only on the mat, but in life. We should all be so lucky to have guides of such greatness and humility.

Rob Bedell

1/7/2007 1:29:44 PM | Your inspiration was one of the reasons I have a beautiful life in the martial arts. Thank you for your passion and dedication. You will live on with us forever.

Brent Tibbetts

1/7/2007 1:28:57 PM | Dear Grand Master Han,
Your presence in my life is nothing less that the providence of God. How else could it be explained? You are the main reason I got into the martial arts in the first place.
I remember, as a teenager, watching the Billy Jack movies and watching you. Watching intently at the credits after the movie so I would know how to spell your name.
I remember the day I first met you and what a moving experience it was. Then achieving Black Belt from you, 27 years after first being profoundly influenced by you - it was not something I could have ever imagined. Only to be eclipsed by my being able to teach your art to the level of your approval and to produce two Black Belts for you from my own school.
When you told me that you didn"t have to worry about me because I had "enthusiasm" - it was the most impacting thing anyone had ever said to me.
I will help carry on your legacy, sir, just as you charged us with that night in late October, 2000. It will be an honor and a privilege.
I wish you could live forever. In my heart you will.
Your student,
Forrest Rindels
CrossTraining Martial Arts
Flower Mound, Texas

Forrest Rindels

1/7/2007 1:16:58 PM | I am a student of GM J.B. Lee. I have seen many pictures of my teacher and GM Han together. Alhough I myself never got a chance to meet him, my teacher spoke so highly of him. I feel as though Hapkido now has an everlasting void in it. I hope in my training and experiences I can bring as much honor and respect to this art as GM Han.
Best wishes and god speed into your next journey.

Daniel Wesley McCullar

1/7/2007 12:44:45 PM | Dear honored sir, you have inspired me to live within the spirit and show dignity and strength in adversity. I was lucky enough to have met with you on a project many years ago and you projected yourself in calm spirit and kindness. You are the best the world will ever know and I pray for your continiued journey in the pursuit of happiness. My family and I are praying for Grandmaster Han and send special prayer and condolences to his family. With much respect, Jim Gordon & Family

GM James A. Gordon

1/7/2007 12:23:15 PM | In a wonderful and interesting life, I have never met a man of greater wisdom, integrity, humility, courtesy and grace than Grand Master Bong Soo Han. To know him was to repsect him. To know him better was to truly love him. No one has had a greater influence on my life and I think no one will ever replace him in the hearts, minds and bodies of those of us fortunate enough to have trained, worked and celebrated life with him. Grand Master Han was always pround and spoke to me often of his respect and affection for Masters Friske and Cruz. My friends, you have a great legacy to draw upon and a great opportunity to carry on the teachings of a Grand Man. John Mason
3rd Dan IHF

John Mason

1/7/2007 11:44:20 AM | Grandmaster Han
My dear old friend. Since the trips to Vegas when we sang the duet of "Secret Love" to the countless times spent together at Patrick Strongs to just a month ago when I talked with you, you have always been an inspiration to me and a great role model for my long career. You will forever have a place in my heart and in the heart of millions like me who owe you so much. OSU

Grandmaster Duane R. Ethington

1/7/2007 11:43:37 AM | May The Lord Jesus Christ bless Mr.Han"s
loved ones at this time, and into the future. Mr.Han"s book on Hapkido was one of the first martial arts books I purchased. His skill as demonstrated in that book was phenomenal. I hope he is throwing that fantastic spinning heel kick on the streets of gold in GOD"s kingdom!!!! 1stJohn1:9

donald everett

1/7/2007 11:36:41 AM | Bong Soo, hello my old friend. My prayers are with you. You have always been such an inspiration to so many in the arts, and truly one of my best friends. I will see you again, and we will talk over old times. Do you still have that hat? :)

Ron Chapél

1/7/2007 11:17:07 AM | No hay duda que el Gran Master Han dejara una marca inborrable en el espiritu de los artistas marciales de todos los estilos...Desde la Argentina mis respetos a la familia Han.

Gualberto Moncayo

1/7/2007 10:52:57 AM | This is a sad day for the whole Hapkido community. Our thoughts and prayers are with Grandmaster Han and his family. With deepest respect, on behalf of all the members of Hoshinkido Hapkido Belgium.

Marc Noe

1/7/2007 10:33:04 AM | Master Han, you were my first inspiration thru the Billy Jack caracter. Thank you for a life time journey in the Martial Arts.
Frank Trejo,Kenpo Karate

Frank Trejo

1/7/2007 10:18:56 AM | Grandmaster Han thank you sir for being an inspiration, when I first had the opportunity to watch the movie "Billy Jack" I was mesmorized by how realistic and real world the fight scenes were it was to say the least inspirational. Because of your role in that movie I"m sure you inspired many others like me to become better martial artists and human beings. Your legacy will live on in us and our students for generations to come.
Thank you.

Timothy Bell

1/7/2007 9:53:51 AM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
when I first came to Los Angeles in 2000, you and your studio welcomed me with open arms. Five years later, when I became a black belt, it marked the proudest moment of my life. It was the first time I truly felt I had met an important challenge purely through dedication, discipline and indomitable spirit. Even though I am now living on the other side of the country, I continue to incorporate the lessons I learned in your studio in my daily life and seek to share them with others. Thank you.
With great respect and admiration,

Laura Wides

1/7/2007 9:37:11 AM | Dear Mater Han,
We have known you for over 30 years, we worked to gether on Kentucky Fried Movie, done lots of demonstartions...
You are a great martial artist and a person
our family will miss you,
With Respect.
From Rhee Family

simon Rhee

1/7/2007 9:31:39 AM | Grandmaster Han,
Your spirit will always be with us and you will live with us forever.

Don Newton

1/7/2007 9:06:34 AM | We can’t know why some things happen... but we can know that beautiful memories outlast the pain of grief.
If I’ve learned anything down through the years, it’s that nothing beautiful in this world is every really lost – Those we cherish will always live on in memory.
The IMB family prayers are with the Bong Soo Han family. Aloha, RSBustillo

Richard S. Bustillo

1/7/2007 8:17:16 AM | When I hear the word Hapkido I think of the movie titled Billie Jack that came out in the early 1970s. It was a great inspration to many of us in the martial arts at that time. I also recall articles in various martial arts magazines back then featuring Grandmaster Han who as I recall helped with the many fight scenes in the Billie Jack movie. Its sad to think of him passing on but I"m cetain the good Lord will put him to work in Heaven.
Semper Fi & God Bless !
Sincerely, Jim Curtis

jim curtis

1/7/2007 8:08:00 AM | Master Han. I met you many years ago in my living room. I watched you on my television in 3 of your movies; "Billy Jack," "Force Five," and "Kentucky Fried Movie."
Many years later I was able to meet you in person and train directly with you. I consider it to be an honor to have been one of your last students and the time I had with you I will always treasure.
You have been a shining example of what it means to be a traditional martial artist and have stayed true to your art and to yourself all these years.
May others come to know you through your book, your movies, your video series and your legacy.
With deepest respect,
your student,

Master James Theros

1/7/2007 8:04:11 AM | My respects to a MASTER HAN on the next stage of his journey.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

Roberto Vidal C

1/7/2007 8:03:39 AM | Dear Grand Master Han,
Is a very big lost, in the Korean Martial Arts Comunity and in geral. You inspired and touch in the hearts of thousands of students, been a example and a rôle model to follow, to many martial artists.
Stay in peace and with God.
My condolences and prayers, to the family and students.
From Chief Inst.Nelson Pinto, FMS-Alliance and Portuguese Association of Modern Farang Mu Sul.

Nelson Pinto

1/7/2007 7:26:56 AM | Great Grandmaster Han
You are the Heart of the Philosophy of the true martial arts. You always will teach every one all over the world with your methods and your character and personality. Martial artists from every style will always learn from you and your teaching. From me and all the World Jug Tai Association members from all the world our great respect. My thoughts and Prayers are with you and all your family members.

Dr. Bill Ag. Drougas Sijo

1/7/2007 6:49:01 AM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
Your books and movies inspired me when I was young with the fluid and effective way you moved and that image has kept me motived for 30 years of martial arts training. You are one of the memories I have from my early days that pop into my head and even though I never met you, I did play a round of golf behind you one day:-) Be at peace and know that you made a mark on the martial arts world.

John Shipes

1/7/2007 6:11:35 AM | Grandmaster Han, Thank you so much for your vast contributions to the arts and bettering humanity. Your time here was well spent and may you have Peace.

Martin Seck

1/7/2007 6:06:42 AM | Grandmaster Han,
You have touched more lives than you"ll ever know. As a student and instructor of Hapkido for more than 25 years, I have researched and studied the resources and information you provided. I consider myself more than well-rounded because of the knowledge you have imparted to me. Thank you!

Vincent Rios Vergara, Jr.

1/7/2007 4:27:23 AM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
For many years I have read your magazine articles, watched your skills in the movies, and read of many of your students. From all of us heare at the Molum Combat Arts Association, we lift up our prayers and concerns for you and your family. We also pray that your legacy will live on in you students and friends. We will place you on our prayer list through our prayer chain.
God Bless

Sifu Tim White

1/7/2007 4:01:30 AM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
Thank You for you inspiration to the martial arts world. We will miss you!!!
From Grandmaster Ralf Bartzsch and the International Bachi-Ki-Do Federation / Germany

Grandmaster Ralf Bartzsch

1/7/2007 3:51:52 AM | Dear Grandmaster Bong Soo Han & Family.
A great many Martial Artists of all Martial Arts were greatly inspired and influenced by your work, dedication and you spirit as well as contribution to Hapkido. You will be missed by all of us - our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
From Grandmaster Juerg Ziegler and all the members of the "European Sin Moo Hapkido Association" as well as from the "European Community Sin Moo Hapkido"

Grandmaster Juerg Ziegler

1/7/2007 3:08:01 AM | Grand Master Han was always an inspiration to me. Whenever I think of him it is with a deepest respect.

Ken Melbourne

1/7/2007 2:51:20 AM | I first had the pleasure and chance to work first hand with Grandmaster Han during the shooting of "Force Five", back in 1981. I remember being struck by the nobility and presence of Granmaster Han and felt immediately that I was in the presence of someone special. Most of all I was struck by what a true gentleman this man was. His courtesy and manners were impeccable. I remember thinking how much our various arts needed to always be represented by true "gentlemen" of the arts such as Grandmaster Han. My heartfelt feelings go out to your family and extended family of students during this trying time. There are few people in the arts capable of leaving such a legacy as yours Grandmaster. You are and will continue to be such a role model for students of the arts for decades to come. Thank-you for your priceless contribution to the arts we all love so much. Sincerely,

Richard Norton

1/7/2007 2:48:34 AM | Dearest Master Han,
I only ever trained under you once many years back in England on a Seminar. I would like to say thanks for teaching me and all the advice you gave without holding back you will always be part of me.

Grandmaster Gunter Bauer

1/6/2007 11:19:34 PM | Grandmaster, Sir: I visited your studio a few years ago to pay respect, at the suggestion of my instructor, Mr. Fariborz Azhakh. I met you only briefly, but will never forget the presence you had. You projected confidence, and also class. Thank you for your time that day. And thank you for the great contributions you have made to this wonderful art so many of us know.
With deepest respect and best of wishes,

Bill Null

1/6/2007 10:51:56 PM | Grand Master Bong Soo Han,
Who can say anything of significance after the introduction of such a phenominal influence on the entire Martial Arts community, the community he lived in as well as society as a whole! The Man is the "Hapkido Tenets", lived the "Hapkido Tenets", and spread the "Hapkido Tenets". All of us touched by him, whom have had the privilege of training under his guise, have been touched so deeply by the influences of this Man that there is no possible way of expressing how grateful we are and have always been to be blessed by his presence in our lives! It is with great pride and confidence that I say... The influences of this Man will continue for generations to come, for the lives he has touched will continue his legacy with a perseverance unparalleled in the Martial Arts community with conviction, commitment, honor, integrity and love of the Art! Love the Man like a father, honor the Man like the Man his presence in our lives has always been and will continue to be! Thank you Master Han, I am humbled, honored and blessed with all of my heart to have been touched in my life by your presence. Thank you Susie and Tad for sharing your Father with all of us over the years, we are so grateful!!!

Daniel Mark

1/6/2007 10:27:04 PM | God has sent the world a gift, that gift was and is Bong Soo Han. His teachings and his students have created a better world of Martial Arts. It is and has been a pleasure knowing and watching him and his students over the past 30 plus years. God will always be with him, now and throughout all eternity.
thank you Mr Han for being there for the many thousands who needed you.
God Bless you.
Red Dragon Karate Studios
Louis D. Casamassa
Chris Casamassa
Scotty Casamassa
David Casamassa

Louis D. Casamassa

1/6/2007 9:18:16 PM | I remember when we were first introduced to Grand Master Han and the "Billy Jack; episodes which introduced many of us Chinese & Japanese Budo-ka to the world of Hapkido.
The world will loose. not only one of its Pioneer"s, but will loose a major contributor to "Combative" methods of Budo in general.
Our Prayers are with Grand Master Han on this day and we Pray for the family and friends during this time. May He be Blessed!
In Metta,

Tenshin Arakawa

1/6/2007 7:57:20 PM | Grandmaster Han, it is for those of us who are to remain on this earth an immeasurable professional tragedy that you leave us. Your departure will create a void within the ranks of martial artists impossible to fill. Your legacy will continue to charge us with the responsibility to always travel the honourable path as peaceful warriors.

Carl Johnoff

1/6/2007 7:52:42 PM | Honourable and Respected Grandmaster Bong Soo
I am saddened by the news of your illness. On my behalf and that of the Martial Artists of the Republic of Guyana, South America, please be assred that you and your beloved family are in our prayers.
Your unselfish efforts in the promotion of the Martial Arts, particularly Hapkido ("The Art of Coordinating Energy") will always be remembered the world over.
May God continue to Bless and Keep you and your beloved family in His Loving and Saving Grace. Yours sincerely,

Dr. Stephen Michael Monasingh

1/6/2007 7:43:13 PM | Master Han will always be in my mind. I think he had a great sense of humor, he was in Kentucky Fried Movie, and that alone made me think of him as a true Master of Martial Arts. He will be missed by more people than anyone realizes. It was because of Master Han that I sought out my own Hapkido teacher. Thank You for teaching and for your movies, Joel Morales, 3rd Dan Hapkido.

Master Joel Morales

1/6/2007 7:27:05 PM | I have so many "flash" memories, none more enduring than blistering hot summer afternoons in the studio with Grand Master Han, alone together on the mat, being drilled over & over & over on Hap Ki Do kicking fundamentals. These were my early days of training, back in the late "80s....learning the roundhouse... countless repetitions...oblivious to the heat...considering it a victory to just finish an intense, non-stop hour of "his" training. He was a tough, strict taskmaster, with a wonderful sense of humor...yin & yang.
Close my eyes...and the images appear as clear as day...Certain memories are priceless. Sir, I will always be honored to be a member of your studio. With profound respect, I wish you Godspeed....

Bill Plaskett

1/6/2007 6:28:51 PM | We have known each other for many years. You are one of the foremost leaders of the Martial Arts and one of the most respected men in the History of the Arts in America. We have only spoken infrequently over the last few years but i think of you often. You may recall I am at present a 9 year cancer survivor.
You are truly one of the great gentlemen in the world.

Grandmaster Jerry Fisher

1/6/2007 6:04:01 PM | Grandmaster Han,
"The good teacher discovers the natural gifts of their pupils and liberates them by the stimulating influence of the inspiration that they can impart, never imposing laws of containment or stigma on them"
You Are One Of Those Teachers. :-)
Peace-Love-Soul, Walk On!

Sifu John McNabney

1/6/2007 5:49:07 PM | Although I have never had the pleasure of meeting you or being a student of yours. I have heard that you are a great teacher and no matter what, a martial arts master is always missed. May your soul rest in peace

Kristina Williams

1/6/2007 5:17:19 PM | Dearest Mater Han,
Although never a student of yours, I am a student of all the information you had to pass on. A student of Myung Kyu Kang, Hapkido hads been an intregal part of my life for over 25 years.
Thank You Sa Bu Nim, for passing it on, which is the highest pinnacle in a martial art life. Peace, Senseiande

Andrew Vargas

1/6/2007 4:54:05 PM | Grandmaster Han,
You were one of the men who inspired me to make the martial arts my way of life. I will never forget you. My prayers are with you and your family. May God bless you. Goodbye my friend.

Steve Benko , Jr.

1/6/2007 4:51:17 PM | It wasn"t Billy Jack or Bruce Lee that began my martial arts journey. It was you! And while I couldn"t locate a Hapkido school to begin my journey, I honored you everyday by remembering the roots.
A great peace follow you, sir! And someday the rest of us...

Dr. Gregg E. Townsley

1/6/2007 4:49:25 PM | Grand Master Han,
Though I haven"t seen you for many years and have been unable to study Hapkido any longer I do and will always think of you when I step to the side as life comes at me. I speak of you often. I will endeavor to honor you in everything I do. I will forever be grateful to the years I spent as your school manager. You and your black belts respected me even when I failed. I will remember that I thought of you many times this last year but didn"t make a point to visit. I"m sorry for that. I want you to know that I am healthy, happy and still on the road. You are a great man to me. Thank you Sir for allowing me to learn from you.

Shawn Beard

1/6/2007 4:47:49 PM | I arrived in Madison Indiana on March of 1971 as an young 6th degree black belt in Taekwondo.
My first public demonstration was in front of the Cincinnati theatre. We were invited by theater management to put on demonstration of martial arts. There were about 6 different local martial art pioneers in the demo and we all tried to impress audience.
To name a few, Grandmaster Kyung Won Ahn, Young Chi Kim, Young Nam Chung and other Taekwondo pioneers in u.s.a.
Grandmaster Dometrich and Nagamine from Okinawan Karate and few other original masters whom responsible to spread martial arts in this country.
I was very proud and impressed that Korean Hapkido master was playing important role in this movie and I was performing the art of Taewkondo to promote BONG SOO HAHN,S movie.
I invited Grandmaster Hahn to my Championships 25th Battle of Columbus Martial Arts World Games which held in Columbus, Ohio on March 2002 in conjunction with ARNOLD FITNESS EXPO.
I was very excited and honored to have Great Grandmaster Hahn whom I mentored for many decades.
He was gentle, handsome and kind to all of us. He helped us to bring fine masters, sponsors and martial arts film stars to make our event success.
My utmost respect toward grandmaster Hahn"s legacy will last as long as I live.
God bless grandmaster Hahn and his family and all of the students he inspired throughout his life.

Joon P. Choi

1/6/2007 3:36:41 PM | I just wanted to take a moment to send out my heart to the Han family.
My father, the late Sensei Bill Sosa passed along a few years back of cancer over a quick but yet enduring battle.
My heart truly and warmly goes out to you all ! Master Han was an early icon of what true Martial arts and true warriors should personify in my humble opinion. As a young man, I enjoyed watching and learning through movies and magazine articles, and I was always impressed with the level of humanity Master Han exemplified!
The martial arts world has lost a great man and a great teacher, but gained much true knowledge as well from Grandmaster Bong Soo Han.
Sincerely and warmest regards

John A. Sosa

1/6/2007 3:35:10 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han,
Today is a sad day for all the hapkido community,all korean martial arts including myself.Thank you so much for the great contribution you have given in the art of hapkido as the Father and Hapkido Pionner in America. My thoughts and Prayers are with you and all your family members. From Grandmaster serge Baubil and all the members of the International Hoshinkido Hapkido Federation

Grandmaster Serge Baubil

1/6/2007 3:18:16 PM | In the grand scheme of things, what more powerful way to show the respect you have earned and deserved, than to simply say, "Thank You"

Master Dale Lockwood

1/6/2007 3:10:13 PM | Dear Grandmaster Han. Martial artists of all systems were influenced by you. We will miss you. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Han family.

Rudy Timmerman

1/6/2007 3:02:18 PM | Grandmaster Han, if St. Peter gives you any trouble at the Pearly Gates, remind him that you can put your right foot, on the right side of his face. Gamsahamnida! "Neol ijeul sun eopseul kkeoya"

Master Mark R. Thibodeau

1/6/2007 2:52:55 PM | To a great legend of Hapkido and a true Martial Artist who lived and trained the Martial Way. You will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences to all of your friends, family and students. Some of my earliest martial arts interest and memories was the Billy Jack movies. The Martial Arts world has lost one of the true Hapkido pioneers.

Frank Ehnle

1/6/2007 2:45:39 PM | Grandmaster Han is a true leader and warrior of the Arts. I wish him Peace. With deepest Respect.

Master Benny Harrison / Master Steven Page

1/6/2007 2:38:47 PM | Your leadership and vision have been inspiring. I wish your family the best during this trying time. Thank you for all that you have done for the Martial Arts. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Carl Tate

1/6/2007 2:29:40 PM | I am so sorry to hear of GrandMaster Han's passing. I have never met him, but have read so much about him and have the utmost respect for him. He has kept the traditional values of the Martial Arts which is so rare in todays world.
I have been training in Traditional Tae Kwon Do for the past 26 years and teaching for the past 20 years at my own school and am currently a 6th Dan Black Belt with the World Tae Kwon Do Federation, so I know how dedicated one must be to continue to perservere to be the best one can be, as a student an a teacher.
Martial Arts study is not about 4 years, or 10 years or 20 years, but it is a lifetime endeavor. GrandMaster Han has obviously touched anyone who has been involved in the Martial Arts even if they have not met him. His values will stand the test of time. My condolences to his family and his students.

Mitchell Barron

1/6/2007 1:33:05 PM | Grandmaster Han is a true leader and warrior of the Arts. I wish him Peace. With deepest Respect

Luis Morales

1/6/2007 1:24:41 PM | Grand Master Han,
You are what a true Master should be. You are an inspiration to all you have encountered. The influence and direction that you have helped me formulate can not be expressed into words. Before I began training with you, I primarily focused on the benefits of exercise and self defense from my training; but so many times I have heard you say that HapKiDo is our way of also making individuals better people. You have touched me and my students in so many ways and you truly have made us better people. You should know that you are admired and loved and it is a great honor to be your NC affiliate.
Thank you for showing me the true "way". -Monty

Monty Hendrix

1/6/2007 12:59:56 PM | I remember Grandmaster Han in martial arts books,and mags.He will be missed.

Sifu Louis Williams

1/6/2007 12:58:58 PM | Grandmaster Han,
Thank you so much for the contributions you have given in the martial arts. You work on films insipired me as a young boy to seek out a martial arts school and here, 29 years later I am still at it with three schools. Thank you so much for all the wonderful things you have given in life and the arts. God Bless you and your family.

Steven M. Franz

1/6/2007 8:21:46 AM | Dear GrandMaster Han,
I can not thank you enough for the way you have inspired and changed my life. I have been studying martial arts for almost 35 years. Your inspiration propelled me to success that I never imagined possible. I am so proud and fortunate to have studied with you as well as continue your legacy in my own way. When I opened my studio in Rialto, CA as an affiliate school of the Bong Soo Han International Hapkido Federation, I felt compelled to name the studio "Morning Calm Hapkido" as a tribute to you. I am honored that Morning Calm Hapkido produced the first five 2nd generation Bong Soo Han IHF Black Belts. As we all near the completion of this cycle of your life, rest assured sir, your example of true Mastery, integrity, compassion and undying dedication to "perfection of character" will be carried on. Thank you sir. You will always be the quintessential example of how I want to live my life. With the greatest of love, admiration, and respect,
Sincerely, Phillip R. Turner 3rd Dan # 13 ,Bong Soo Han IHF Fed. 6th Dan Cand. Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance.

Phillip R. Turner

1/5/2007 8:25:08 PM | Dear Master Han,
As your student, I can"t thank you enough for your mentorship and a way of life I"ve come to embrace. So many lessons I have learned on this eleven year Hapkido journey. Physically I learned I could do far more than I ever thought, considering I never participated in any physical activity than a little weight lifting. You taught me what is means to persevere. Mentally, you have taught me to stay in the now and use my wisdom in a positive manner. And my spirit, you never doubted, but showed me how to funnel it. As my friend, I can only thank you for all those times you were there for me. Please know I am always there for you now and forever. With Love,


1/5/2007 11:34:17 AM | Dear Mr. Han,

I think back all those years ago when I first meet you and the influence you had on me. When I first heard the words "I"m going to take my right foot and kick you on the right side of your head" of course those words were from the movie Billy Jack! I was told by Mr. Steve Sanders before I saw the movie to go see it because his friend Mr. Hahn would be doing the fighting in the big fight seen, that was the first time I had heard your name, Mr. Sander talked so much about you that I said I really wanted to meet you, and see the movie.

Well, the time came and I finally meet you, you were so nice and encouraging to me that I felt a special friendship with you. We keep seeing each other over the years and it was always a big deal for me to see you again. I even got a chance to come and work out in a couple of class that you taught, I always like to kick and being in your class started me on my way to surprising a lot of fighters and promoters at how well I could kick. Master Hahn you be well, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

P. S. I did learn how to kick someone on the right side or their hear with my right leg.

Cecil Peoples

1/5/2007 10:39:00 AM | I not only had the Privilege of meeting Grandmaster Han but to also train with him and have him visit my school.
He is the man, the father and role model we all should be. A true Grandmaster that lived an amazing life giving so much value to all that he met.
It’s truly a sad day for not only Hapkido but for all the martial arts.

Fari Salievski

1/5/2007 8:15:22 AM | We so often do not know of those who blazed the trails we walk. I have not met Master Han, but I remember as a child seeing him in films playing sometimes serious and sometimes comical roles. What was always clear was his mastery of the arts. I wish him peace and contentment and extend my sincere thanks for his lifetime of bringing martial arts into the popular consciousness of this country, an effort from which all martial artists young and old continue to benefit.

David Meyer

1/4/2007 5:53:08 PM | Grandmaster Han,thank you for your dedication,integrity and being an inspiration to millions of martial artist around the world. your teachings will never be forgotten.with love and respect, reza ghasry

Reza Ghasry

1/4/2007 4:19:49 PM | Grandmaster Bong Soo Han is one of the very first, a true pioneer and exceptional teacher. Dedicating most of my life to the pursuit of knowledge, Grandmaster Han was one of the shinning stars that helped to guide me in my journey to understand Hapkido. Grandmaster Ji Han Jae spoke very highly of him. My prayers go out to his family and friends. I promise that all of those whom I teach will never forget this great man and gifted educator. God Bless You Grand Master and thank you for being the gift that you are to all of us sir.

Master Dan Anderson

1/4/2007 2:28:08 PM | Thank you for all that you have done for the Martial Arts. Your leadership and vision have been inspiring. I always admired you from a distance, but after my one brief conversation with you a few years back, I new that the admiration was well deserved. I wish your family the best during this trying time.

Dave Kovar

1/4/2007 12:21:45 PM | To Grandmaster Han, I don"t imagine that you would or could know how many people you"ve touched and inspired, like myself for example. I never had the opportunity to study with you, yet your efforts in the martial arts community have had an impact on my career and my life. I would guess that there are countless others who might say the same thing. My family and I send you our love and respect. I hope someday to meet you again.

Tom Callos

1/3/2007 10:00:00 PM | The museum shares the sadness of the passing of a true pioneer in Grandmaster Bong Soo Han. There are very few people that deserve being considered a legend and Grandmaster was one of them. He was a man that overcame great difficulties in his early years in America and became a true leader. He opened the doors for millions of people worldwide and we all stand grateful to have known or have been influenced by him. His integrity, his honesty, his stand for traditionalism made him beacon for many to follow. He will be greatly missed by all.
Michael Matsuda
President, Martial Arts History Museum

Michael Matsuda

1/3/2007 9:21:52 AM | Grandmaster Han,
The impact you made on the martial arts world is second to none. Your contribution to everyone in the Hapkido world is incredible. I know coming up through the ranks I had a chance to meet you several times, because you and my teacher were friends. You were an inspiration to me and you will greatly be missed.

Steve Sexton

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Grandmaster Bong Soo Han Funeral

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Martial Arts Chronology

1/8/2007  Korean-American hapkido master Bong Soo Han dies at his home in Santa Monica, CA. Born on Aug. 25, 1931, he was 75.
Han died at his home in Santa Monica, California, on January 8, 2007. He was buried in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
7/6/2006  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.
0/0/1974  In 1974 Bong Soo Han had a starring role with Master Edmund K. Parker the father of American Kenpo Karate in the action film Kill The Golden Goose.
0/0/1974  In 1974, Bong Soo Han founded the International Hapkido Federation.
5/1/1971  Master Bong Soo Han potent hapkido fight scenes in the film Billy Jack
Master Bong Soo Han potent hapkido fight scenes in the film Billy Jack set in motion an unprecedented mainstream surge in popularity of the martial arts. Billy Jack died at the box office in its initial run on this date, but took in more than $40 million in its 1973 re-release. Ironically, Billy Jacks 73 success was evidently due to some extent to the unprecedented martial arts craze that the films original release helped create two years earlier.
4/4/1971  Master Bong Soo Han powerful hapkido fight scenes
Although Billy Jack died financially in its initial 1971 run, Master Bong Soo Han powerful hapkido fight scenes in the film original release set in motion an unprecedented mainstream surge in popularity of the martial arts. This surge ignites into a genuine martial arts boom throughout the world when Bruce Lee films and the Kung Fu TV series jointly captivate the public in 1972. Ironically, Billy Jacks 73 success was evidently due to some extent to the growth in martial arts popularity that the movies original release helped create two years earlier.
0/0/1967  Bong Soo Han emigrated to the United States of America
In 1967, Han emigrated to the United States of America, first staying with and teaching at his friend S. O. Choi hapkido school in California. Han later opened his own school in Los Angeles in 1968. His early years were difficult and he worked in a factory during the day while he taught at a struggling hapkido school in the evening located in an economically depressed area. Later, he relocated his school to the Pacific Palisades area in an effort to be closer to Hollywood and the movie industry.

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