By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard



Internal energy manipulation techniques are known generally by the Chinese name CHI GUNG.  Since Rodney Hard began his training in internal energy in 1969 in Korea under Hapkido Master PARK Sung Jae, the Korean name of KI  will be used in this article for internal energy.

Master PARK told Rodney Hard and Lewis Hise that they would have to be celebate and practice their meditation and breathing techniques morning and night for six months in order to reach the first level of mastery in Ki.

That was not a problem for Hard since he was already celebate at the time but posed a more difficult problem for Hise, who was married and had his wife with him living off base.  In spite of that, Hard and Hise practiced their techniques and became quite proficient at internal energy manipulation. 

Rodney Hard continued to practice the internal energy breathing techniques taught by Master PARK and mastered many of the Ki techniques over the years.  He taught and demonstrated many of these abilities over the next forty nine years after leaving Korea.

Before becoming a chiropractor, he became an instructor of Touch for Health, which is a powerful healing technique that he taught to lay people to help their friends and families.  This technique uses acupressure and other reflex techniques to bring healing by balancing the energies in the body.

Hard took 100 hours of post-graduate acupuncture training  in 1980 and studied various other healing and energy techniques over the years including Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and myofascial trigger point therapy.  Hard first started learning NLP word manipulation and hypnosis, to bring healing through the power of the super conscious mind, from Guru Lar Short of the Crysalis Institute in Mill Valley, California.  

Hard later became an associate member of the Kentucky Association of Hypnotherapists, where he learned more techniques and honed his skills.

In the early 1970s Hard traveled often to Denver, Colorado to train with Master Al Dacascos.  Among other things, Dacascos taught him Iron Palm training which is a striking technique that relies predominantly on internal energy.


Black Belt Magazine

By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard


I had read many accounts of the supposed existence of Dim Mak, the "Delayed Death Touch", but, I did not believe this legendary technique was really practiced by anybody.  The stories told of masters who could touch someone on a specific place on the body and the victim would fall over dead or get very ill several days later.  

Many skills and abilities of legendary masters have been embellished and exaggerated in books and movies over the years for the sake of a good story.  Well, what I am about to tell you is not a tall tale.  This is the truth with no embellishments or exaggerations.

In 1980, when I was running several Karate schools in St. Louis, Missouri, I hired a Korean martial arts master to run one of my schools.  Master LEE Kyu Jang had been in the Korean Secret Service and had been a bodyguard to President PARK Jung-hee when PARK was assassinated by his own security chief, on October 26, 1979.  Master Lee and all of the Secret Service came under suspicion and were purged from the service though there was no proof of their involvement.  Most went to other countries in disgrace as did Master Lee, who came to America.

Master Lee was a master of Taekwondo and Hapkido.  He was also a doctor of acupuncture.  He had grown up spending much of his time at his grandfather's clinic.  Both his grandfather and his father were doctors of acupuncture.  Master Lee had learned much about Ki energy, acupuncture meridians, pulse diagnosis, and treatments long before he went to acupuncture college and completed the four years of training.

One day, when I was over at my other Karate school talking over business matters with Master Lee, a young black man of about age 18 came into the school and immediately started talking disrespectfully to Master Lee.  He used a lot of foul language and challenged Master Lee outright.

Master Lee kept his calm composure and listened to the tirade for awhile.  He then reached over and touched the young man on the chest with one finger.  "You must leave now." he told the young man.  The rude man stopped talking and looked a little confused.  He then turned around and walked out of the school.

Master Lee then turned to me and just laughed.  I asked, "How did you put up with that?  I was wondering when you were going to put him in his place and physically remove him from the school."

He chuckled again and said, "I just screwed up his sex life.  By tomorrow he will be very sick and his 'plumbing' won't work.  I gave him what he deserves."

I looked at Master Lee in disbelief.  "You are joking with me."  I said.  He insisted he was not.  He had disrupted the man's Ki energy in a specific way that would leave the man impotent.  I left the school thinking that I would really never know the outcome, since I did not know who the young man was.

About two weeks later I was back over at my school training with Master Lee when the same young man came into the school with a completely different attitude.  He immediately apologized to Master Lee for the way he had acted and begged for forgiveness. 

I asked him what had happened and he related how he had woken up the next morning feeling like someone had kicked him between the legs.  He realized over the next few days that he could not get any relief from the pain and he could not get an erection.  He had gone to two different doctors but was not able to get any help.  He said that they had no idea what was wrong with him or how to fix it.  Tests were done and drugs were given to no avail.

The young man told me that a deep fear and depression had overcome him when he realized that he may be stuck with this problem.  He thought and thought about the situation until it finally dawned on him that the only possible way this could have happened was when Master Lee touched him.   He had returned in hopes that Master Lee would forgive him and possibly be able to undo the damage.

Master Lee did some kind of acupressure techniques on the young man and fixed his problem.  The  young man thanked Master Lee profusely with tears of joy in his eyes as he left.

I would not have believed anything like this was possible had I not seen it with my own eyes.

Master Lee asked me if I wanted to learn Dim Mak.  He said that he would teach me.  He said that it would take years, but he was willing to teach me.  I declined his offer for several reasons.

My mental disposition is not geared to deliberately hurting someone like that.  It is probably my Christian beliefs that steered me away from wanting to learn something like that.  I am not saying that I would not hurt someone in self defense.  I have done that on a number of occasions.  It was just the idea of premeditatedly causing harm or potential death to someone that stopped me from accepting his offer.

Besides, my plate was full.  I was deep into studies at Logan College of Chiropractic and I had taken the Hippocratic oath to do no harm.  Have I since regretted that decision?  Absolutely not.  



By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard


It all started in 1969 in Seoul, Korea at the 502nd Military Intelligence Brigade, Company A.  Rodney Hard had lived in Korea already for 12 years during his formative years as a Presbyterian missionary's son.  He spoke the Korean language fluently, and, after joining the United States Army, was assigned as an interrogator of captured North Korean spies at the special Company A prisoner holding facility in Tae Bang Dong. 

Previous to this, Rodney had only trained in the art of Tang Soo Do for a while and also had a second degree black belt in Yudo (Korean version of Judo) with six years of training under his belt under Master KANG Chung Shik.

Lewis Hise was a military policeman with the 512th Military Police attached to the 502nd Military Intelligence Brigade, Company A.  He was assigned as security for the facility and personal security for the transportation of captured spies along with Rodney Hard.  He was from Tahoka, Texas, a small town near Lubbock, and had not had martial arts experience before.  He had never even seen a martial arts demonstration.

Both Hard and Hise were at the NCO club on their compound one night when they witnessed the most amazing demonstration of martial arts they had ever seen.  Master PARK Sung Jae, who was a 6th degree black belt in Hapkido, and his brother PARK Kyu Jae demonstrated joint locks, throws, kick and punch combinations, weapons techniques and other feats that were incredibly fast, graceful, and yet extremely dangerous.  Master PARK Sung Jae attacked his brother Kyu with a sword and a blindingly fast flurry of hacks, slices, and thrusts.  Kyu defended himself with only a small 13 inch wooden dowel called a Dang Bong.  Wood chips flew everywhere.  

The base commander, Col. Luis Castro Acobez, jumped up and stopped the demonstration for fear of someone getting seriously injured.  Both Hard and Hise knew at that moment that the martial art of Hapkido was something they had to learn.

Hise found out that Master PARK's dojang (Hapkido school) was right outside of the base. Hard and Hise promptly signed up for lessons.  They received private lessons four days a week from Master PARK and trained three to four hours a day, four to five days a week for the next two years.  Hise and Hard were the first American students to train under Master PARK, and the first Americans to receive black belt certificates under Master MYUNG Jae Nam and Master PARK's Korea Hapki-Sool Association.

Hard and Hise obtained their second degree black belts on August 1, 1970, shortly before leaving Korea. They opened a Hapkido school in Lubbock, Texas and began to work on innovations to what they had already learned.  They also worked on creative teaching techniques to maximize the students' learning experience. 

After six months in Lubbock, Hard went to Pennsylvania to visit his brother.  He stopped in a Kenpo school in Philadelphia owned by Marc Steiner.  Mr. Steiner introduced him to then World Heavyweight Karate Champion, Joe Lewis, who was in town to teach a seminar.  After spending some time with Hard and watching him demonstrate the unique techniques of Hapkido, Joe Lewis asked him to join the world's largest chain of karate schools called Tracy's Karate Schools.  Hard introduced Joe Lewis to Hise and he was also invited to join. 

Hise opened a school in Middletown, New Jersey in 1971 and continued to teach and develop the art of Hapkido.  He continued to learn from Joe Lewis and others and began to incorporate Kenpo and other techniques into his teaching routine.

Hard became a district manager in charge of 120 schools in the Tracy's Karate Schools and traveled all over the United States.  He met and compared techniques with hundreds of other martial artists and became part of the Tracy's Fighting Team, competing in many tournaments.  He got to train with and fight on the team with the likes of Joe Lewis, Roger Green, Ray Klingenburg, and Al Dacascos. 

​Hard visited Hise in New Jersey to compare notes and continue to innovate and enhance what they taught.  They had learned one of the best multi-man defense systems from Master Park Sung Jae but they also wanted to incorporate the spontaneous training techniques for mass attacks as taught by Master Al Dacascos in Denver, Colorado.

Hard finally settled in St. Louis, Missouri and took over a Tracy's Karate School there.  He taught mostly Kenpo as taught to him by Al Tracy, Tim Golby, and Dennis Cummings.  He taught Hapkido to Tim Golby, Dennis Cummings, and his advanced brown and black belt students. 

In the mid 1970s, Hise visited Hard in St. Louis and they continued to work together to incorporate Joe Lewis sparring techniques and principles into their system.  This is when the name SOO HWA (Water Fire) was developed to best describe their constantly changing and improving system.

Rodney Hard organized and consolidated all the 25 sparring principles as taught by Joe Lewis and Al Dacascos and completed a comprehensive manual and DVD teaching series which is available to his students and to those who attend his seminars.

In 1981, Hard finished chiropractic school and moved to Salem, Indiana to open a chiropractic practice.  While living there, he continued to teach martial arts and compete in tournaments.  He produced a commercially successful knife fighting video called KNIFE OR DEATH.  Some Navy SEALs saw him on an elevator in a California hotel once and asked him, "Are you Dr. Hard?"  When he told them he was, they said, "Back at the SEAL team, we've watched your knife fighting tape several times.  We really like it and learned some good stuff from it."

Hise moved to Salem, Indiana in 1991 and for the next five years, he and Hard ran a Hapkido school and a weight lifting gym.  Together, they continued to develop Soo Hwa by adding many unique and effective training techniques.  They did demonstrations and fought in tournaments. since then, though Hise moved to Georgia and Hard moved to Kentucky, they kept in contact.  In the Spring of 2008, Hise contacted Grand Master PARK Sung Jae in Brazil and invited him to come to the United States to teach a seminar at Hard's school in Salem, Indiana.

Grand Master PARK visited Hard and Hise in Louisville, Kentucky in September of 2008.  He taught a seminar at Master Hard’s school in Salem, Indiana on 9-20-2008.  Grand Master PARK spent the rest of the time giving advanced training to Hard and Hise in Hapkido techniques and concepts, advanced internal energy development, weapons, and more.

Hard and Hise have stayed in contact and continue to work on the SOO HWA Hapkido system to make it better.

Master Rodney Hard and Master Lewis Hise both have received the rank of 5th Degree Black Belt in Hapkido from tenth degree black belt Grand Master PARK Sung Jae.

The certificate translated below was issued by the government of South Korea (Tae Han Min Kuk) to six recipients.  Two recipients were non martial artists and high up government officials instrumental in spreading international goodwill through expediting the spread of Hapkido to Brazil, Europe, and North America.  Aside from the one other Hapkido master who spread Hapkido to Europe, Grand Master PARK Sung Jae, Master Rodney T. Hard and Master Lewis Hise were the only other recipients.​

Rodney Hard's instructor World Karate Champion and World Kickboxing Champion Joe Lewis is memorialized in this short documentary.



By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard


In 1969, Lewis Hise found out that Master PARK's dojang (Hapkido school) was right outside of the military base on which he was stationed.   Lewis Hise  and Rodney Hard promptly signed up for lessons.  They received private lessons four days a week from Master PARK Sung Jae and trained three to four hours a day, four to five days a week for the next two years.

Hise and Hard were the first American students to train under Master PARK, and the first Americans to receive black belt certificates under Master MYUNG Jae Nam and Master PARK's Korea Hapki-Sool Association.

There was no air conditioning in the hot summers and training was hard.  A small pot bellied coal stove was the only heat in the non-insulated brick structure, so the training during the winter months was especially brutal.  

There were no makiwara boards to punch on for hand conditioning so they used the cement wall for a punching surface.   There was a big bloody stain on the wall where everyone practiced punching until their knuckles bled.

There was a target in the corner for knife throwing practice, but Hard and Hise also spent hours every week on the base practicing knife throwing.

The Tatami (straw mats) on the concrete floor covered with canvas was the not-so-forgiving training surface.  Techniques were learned by experiencing the pain and effectiveness of the technique over and over again from Master PARK.  

Techniques were practiced full bore with the attacker being thrown onto the hard mats by the defender.  If you did not practice proper falling techniques every day at the beginning of class, you would end up getting hurt during training.  Sometimes students would get hurt anyway. 

Hard was arguing with one of the Korean students once about the fact that there were some throws that were almost impossible to fall for without getting hurt.  The Korean student challenged Hard to try to throw him in a way that he could not fall safely.  He was totally confident that his falling techniques were superb and that he had mastered them.  Hard pulled a seldom seen Judo throw out of his bag of tricks and sent the Korean soaring over his head.  The student landed on his head and then lay there, lifeless.

Fear and remorse gripped him as Hard thought for sure he had killed, or at least paralyzed, the poor boy.  Fortunately, Master PARK was watching from the office and came right to the rescue.  He performed an  acupressure technique on the student and revived him in seconds.  Hapkido masters are also trained in healing techniques using Ki energy, breathing techniques, manipulation, and acupressure.

Master Park liked to learn and practice his English so he liked to hang out with Hise and Hard outside the Hapkido dojang.  He once told Hise, "When we go out together on our own time, we are friends.  In the dojang and in class, I am not your friend."  He did not have to tell that to Hise or Hard.  They knew that very well by experience.  Inside the school and in class, training was serious and PARK was the teacher, not the friend.  

One time, after formal class was officially over and during individual practice, Hard was  goofing off and not focused on practice for just a few minutes.  Master PARK came out of his office and poked Hard in the sternum with one finger.  This sent Hard flying across the room onto his back.  Hard took several minutes of gasping and holding his chest to finally get his air back.  He learned not to goof off at the dojang, whether in class or not.  

One time Master PARK got angry with the whole class, including Hise and Hard.  He put everyone in a knuckle push up position and beat everyone's back sides with a bamboo stick.

Now, over here in America, we would not dream of abusing students like that.  But this was a different culture.  Respect for teachers, elders, and especially for parents, was so strong that even adults were punished.  Master PARK was 34 years old at that time, and he took a severe beating with a cane from his father after saying something that was disrespectful to his father. 


I learned that good instruction, hard work, long hours of training, repetition, practical application, and perseverance were all important components in mastering the martial arts.

I learned that hardship and difficult training circumstances contributed to perfecting the martial arts rather than detracting from the learning process.

I learned that respect for your instructor and loyalty to your school and your art were absolutely imperative in order to develop into a true martial artist. 



By: Rodney T. Hard


What sets Grand Master PARK Sung Jae apart from other Hapkido masters is that he is a master of Ki (internal energy)(also known as “Chi Gung” in China).  Having studied and mastered acupuncture, Kiop, and many Ki energy development and control techniques, PARK has been able to demonstrate his prowess on many occasions. 

He teaches that Ki can be built up in your body by the use of the sun, by the in-taking of minerals, by herbs, by being and training in certain locations (power spots, vortexes, some mountains, some waterfalls, etc.), by breathing exercises, by visualization and intent, by Kiap (yelling or shouting techniques), by certain movements, by impartation from someone else, and by the words of Jesus Christ.

Following are some of Master PARK’s demonstrations witnessed by Lewis Hise and Rodney Hard while in Korea for two years from 1969 through 1970:

He ate and swallowed glass bottles and light bulbs without any harm coming to him.

He ate fire.

He would stick bicycle spokes through his arm with no bleeding or signs of pain and lift heavy buckets of water attached by rope to the spoke in his arm.

He shattered boards, rocks and bricks effortlessly with his hand, fist, or finger.

With the tip on one finger, he poked Rodney Hard in the chest knocking him across the room and onto the ground writhing in pain and gasping for air.  

You could hit him anywhere on his body as hard as you could and it would not faze him.  

He would demonstrate getting very heavy so that three or four people larger than he was could not lift him or budge him.  

He demonstrated unbendable arm in which several strong people would try with all their might to bend his outstretched arm or bend his wrist to put a joint lock on him.

He would outstretch his arms and stand there relaxed and calm with people trying to bring his arms down to no avail.

Master PARK once was put in three police hand cuffs at once and broke all three of them at one time to escape.

The most amazing demonstration Lewis and Rodney witnessed was when Master PARK held a rope in his mouth, standing upright, with the other end attached to the front bumper of an Army Jeep.  The Jeep had six kids standing on the back bumper to weigh it down for better traction.  The jeep went into reverse but just spun its wheels, going nowhere.  Master PARK “rooted” his energy into the ground so that he was like a tree with roots.  The Jeep could not budge Master PARK.

He could also do the same Jeep or truck demonstration holding the other end of the rope with his pinky finger.

He had trucks roll over his mid section and also over his fist with no pain or injury.

He would hold the neck of a beer bottle in one hand and hit the mouth of the bottle which would shatter out the bottom of the bottle.  

He picked up an apple one day and told Lewis Hise and Rodney Hard that it could be used as a weapon to dispatch two opponents.  They asked him to demonstrate.  Master PARK held the apple between his thumb and forefinger and flicked his wrist.  One half of the apple sheared off as clean as if having been cut in half by a knife.  The half of the apple sailed across the room at such speed as to knock a chunk of cement out of the concrete door frame.  He was still holding the other half which could also be used as a projectile, but instead of throwing it, with a mirthful twinkle in his eye he ate the other half of the apple.

He was sitting at a bar with Hise and Hard one night in Seoul, Korea in 1970 when he was jostled by a passerby going into the adjoining room.  It happened again as the patron walked back the other way.  This happened again and Master PARK realized it was being done on purpose to instigate something.  On the fourth time he was jostled by the same patron, Master PARK grabbed him by the lapels with his left hand, and with his right hand, he held a thick shot glass in front of the patron’s face between his thumb and forefinger.  When Master PARK squeezed and broke the shot glass, the patron apologized profusely for his bad manners and asked for forgiveness.

Barehanded, Master PARK once put 32 hoodlums in the hospital during a single fight.  They had just beat up his good friend, so he went after them.  When the police and ambulances showed up at the scene, Master PARK was the only one standing, but the hoodlums were taken to hospitals in ambulances.   Master PARK's only injuries were fractured carpal bones in both hands called Boxer's fractures.  This was not witnessed by Hard or Hise because that happened shortly before they arrived in Korea in 1969.  But, Hard and Hise were shown and read the extensive newspaper article about the incident.  

When Master PARK was in Brazil, he used to demonstrate killing a pig with one blow with his fingertips that penetrated into the pig’s body up to Master PARK’s elbow.  

One time years ago when he was demonstrating that to a large gathering and TV crews, the pig did not die instantly but ran around squealing and spouting blood all over the place.  A pregnant woman who witnessed the demonstration freaked out and had a spontaneous abortion of her fetus.  From that day forward, Master PARK has refused to ever again do that demonstration.

In Brazil, he also demonstrated lying on and walking on shards of glass from broken bottles without injury or pain. 


I learned that mastering martial arts was not just mastering your body and your mind.  I realized that there were many other paranormal abilities that one could master if given the right instruction. 

Hise and I learned the internal energy breathing techniques taught by Master PARK and mastered many of the Ki techniques over the years.  



By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard


Ed McPherson was legally blind and read printed material by holding the writing within an inch or two of his thick glasses, but, he sure could fight.  He had awesome power and speed in his hands and was one of my best students in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1970's. 

While going to high school, and not having earned his black belt yet, he had already mastered the multi-man defense techniques and principles I had taught.

Because of his disability, he often became the brunt of jokes and taunts.  One day at school, while he was in the bathroom, he was accosted by several other students and felt that he was physically threatened.  So, he kicked one of the attackers, knocking him across the room into one of the stalls.

That boy got a total of sixteen guys together and waited for Ed after school.  They waited until he was walking across a small bridge over a creek and trapped him on the bridge approaching from the front and back.

Ed jumped off of the bridge but stumbled around on the rocks while the gang caught up with him on either side of the stream bed.

The fight was on.  The sixteen attackers were all injured and unable to continue while Ed walked away from the fight without a scratch or bruise on him. 

A few months later, Ed was walking home from teaching classes at my Karate school.  It was dark and he had a friend with him.  A group of his former attackers, thinking that they had the advantage in the dark, tried again to beat up Ed.  As they surrounded him, Ed told his friend to keep clear of him because he could not distinguish who was friend or foe.

Ed pulled out a set of Nunchaku and made short work of the attackers and his own friend, who failed to get out of the way as Ed had directed. 


I learned that the mass-attack fighting principles, spinning techniques, and aggressive offense bolstered by hundreds of hours of training and practice REALLY DO WORK!

I learned that having a weapon, knowing how to use it, and being willing to use it can give you a big advantage, even against overwhelming odds. 



By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard


With 50 years of various martial arts under my belt including 9 years of studying in the orient, I still didn’t think  much of Tai Chi.  It looked like a dance for old people to practice in the parks.  Could they really fight?  It didn’t look like any kind of fighting art I had ever learned. 

Then I met Paul Olivas.  We had both been invited to teach seminars at the Gathering of the Eagles to a bunch of Kenpo black belts from around the world.  He had a booth across from me and was selling tapes on Tai Chi.  

I looked in on one of his classes where he was teaching application of Tai Chi in fight situations. 

I said to myself, “Wow!  He moves pretty fast for an old man.”  In fact, he moves very fast. 

I befriended him and have since kept in touch with him.  We exchange ideas and teach each other techniques and concepts when we get together.  I found that his chi gung (internal energy) is also awesome. 

I took several Tai Chi lessons from him but was discouraged to realize it would take me years and thousands of hours of training and practice to begin to learn that art adequately.  I am afraid that I don't have the time or temperament for it. 

Grand Master Earl Portnoy in Plano, Texas is also a master of Tai Chi.  Originally, I taught him Kenpo, Hapkido, and Soo Hwa Kung Fu.  He was my best student ever and went on to become Grand Master of his own system.  He has far surpassed me in his knowledge and abilities in the Chinese Martial arts. 

Grand Master Portnoy also tried with little success to teach me some Tai Chi.  I learned a few moves and did incorporate some of the concepts, stances, movements, training techniques, and power into my system. 

I have mastered versions of (Chi Sao) sticky hands and pushing hands, but I have a lot to learn.  These techniques and many other skills within the Tai Chi systems should be an integral part of any well rounded martial artist's repertoire.  



Detail your services


Master PARK taught Lewis Hise and Rodney Hard the most fantastic multi-man defense system that they had ever seen or have seen since.  Lewis Hise, in 1970, used that knowledge to keep 30 hoodlums at bay in Itaewon, Seoul, Korea.

In late 1970, Hise had about two weeks left before leaving Korea and getting out of the Army.  He and a friend decided to go downtown to Itaewon near the Yongsan U.S. Army Base for a few beers.  There was the Lucky 7 Club alongside many other bars for the entertainment of GIs on weekend passes.

As Hise and his friend were walking from one bar to another one, they were approached by a group of local hoodlums that ran that part of town.  Generally, they left the GIs alone since their patronage was what brought money into the coffers of the club owners who paid protection money to the gang.

But that night, for some reason, they decided to single out Hise to start trouble.  It was almost as if they knew he was "short" (ready to leave Korea soon).

One of them asked Hise for a cigarette.  Hise told them he did not smoke and did not have a cigarette and started to walk away.  Hise was pulled around from behind and asked again for a cigarette.  Hise gave the same response and began again to walk away.  Again he was yanked around from behind, and the hoodlum rudely demanded a cigarette.  

The group surrounded Hise and the gang leader took off his belt and wrapped it around his hand, exposing the buckle.  He drew back to punch Hise, but Hise kicked him in the head with a roundhouse kick.  The point of the cowboy boot planted hard into the left temple laid the hoodlum out cold. 

That is when all hell broke loose.  Yelling and charging at Hise, the whole group attacked.  More attackers came out of the woodwork.  Hise spun around and around and fended off thirty attackers in a flurry of kicks and punches sending several more attackers to the ground.  Hise's drinking companion sat out the fight and watched from the sidelines.  Hise was not struck even once during the whole fight.

The Korean police and the military police showed up and broke up the fight.  They were all hauled into the local Korean police station to sort out what had happened.  They brought in the unconscious gang members and laid them out on tables and desks.  The gang accused Hise of attacking them.  Hise protested that it was ludicrous for the police to believe that he would single handedly attack thirty guys. 

The gang had the local police in their pocket so to speak, so Hise ended up having to pay them all off with the whole seventy dollars he had left in his wallet.  The police and the gang split up the money and Hise was allowed to leave.

The next morning, Master PARK Sung Jae showed up at our base and asked to speak to Hise.  "Were you in Itaewon last night?" he asked.   Hise answered, "Yes." 

"You fighting last night?" asked Master PARK.  Hise sheepishly answered, "Yes."

"You win?" asked Master PARK.  Hise again answered, "Yes."

Master PARK then told Hise, "Good, if you lose, I beat you the hell out!"

Hise asked Master PARK how he knew so quickly about the fight last night in Itaewon.  

Evidently, a Korean third degree black belt in Hapkido from another school was there and watched the whole fight from beginning to end.   He was totally impressed by the amazing demonstration of incredible fighting technique by Hise, but said that he did not want to get involved.  He recognized the unique fighting style as that taught by Master PARK and knew that Master Park was teaching some Americans. 

First thing the next morning he had gone to Master PARK and told him about the fight, describing Hise as the stocky built American. 


Though I had never been in a fight of that magnitude, by Hise's example I realized that what Hise and I had been learning really did work. 

I learned that it really is effective to keep moving, to keep spinning, to keep changing directions, and to take the fight to the opponents.  All the many Hapkido mass attack defense principles and techniques were used by Hise in that fight.  Every one of them was important. 



By: Dr. Rodney T. Hard


My first introduction to a Hapkido type wrist technique was in a Judo (“Yudo” in Korean ) class in Pusan, Korea when I was 12 years old.  My Judo instructor, KANG Chung Shik, was a fifth degree black belt at the time when he took me on a trip to the school (“dojang”) he originally trained in.  When we got there, we bowed in at the door and politely asked if we could train with them there.  

Now if you were a black belt in Judo, you could walk into any Judo school and they would let you train with them.  I never sensed any hostility toward me walking into a rival school.  There was usually at least one black belt at the school who felt he had to uphold the honor of the school against outsiders.  So, the sparring sessions could get a little intense at times, but, I never felt threatened or in danger. 

Well, there was one situation when I was a brown belt and Master KANG took me to another school to train.  One of the black belts was choking out students while grappling and he wouldn’t let them go when they tapped out.  He only let go after they passed out.  I saw him do that to two students before he called me up to spar.  When we ended up on the ground, I was so afraid of him doing that to me that once I got him into a hold, I did not let go.  He would not give up and tried his best to get out of that hold for about 35 minutes.  I was never in my whole life so relieved to hear a bell telling us class was over.

Back to my story.  After bowing in and suiting up in our uniforms, Master KANG’s instructor, who ran the school, had every student in the school line up by order of rank.  There were about twenty Judo practitioners who lined up with the white belts on one end, increasing in rank up to a burly third degree black belt on the other end.

The head master told Master KANG that he wanted to see how far along he had come since he had not seen him for a long time.  He made Master KANG have matches with each student, starting with the lowest ranking one and progressing up to the highest ranking one.

I watched in fascination as KANG would bow in with an opponent and throw him for a win within seconds.  As he worked his way through the line, the matches got longer but the outcome was the same.  KANG would win with a beautifully executed throw that sent the opponent arching through the air and landing with a thud on the mat.


By the time KANG bowed in for his final match with the muscular young third degree black belt, I could tell that he was getting pretty worn out.  Normally, the opponents would start the match by grabbing each other’s lapels, but this time, something happened that I had never seen before and left me sitting there in stunned amazement.  As soon as the young man grabbed KANG’s lapels, KANG reached up with one hand, grabbed his opponent’s hand, and somehow effortlessly twisted it so that his opponent went to his knees writhing in pain and tapping out his submission.

As the whole class lined up once again across from KANG to bow out, I could see KANG look over at his instructor.  His instructor had a disgusted look on his face and shook his head back and forth as if to say, “You had to resort to that?  That is not a traditional sport Judo technique.  You are getting soft taking the easy way out.  It was only twenty guys.”

I asked Master KANG on the way back about the technique he used.  He would only tell me that it was an advanced technique that I would not learn at traditional Judo classes.


The next time I saw techniques like that was six years later when I came back to Korea in the US Army.  Hapkido stylists Master PARK Sung Jae and his brother Master PARK Kyu Jae gave a stunning demonstration at our NCO club of wrist locks, throws, kicks, and hand strikes that I had never seen before in my six years of Judo training and two years of Tang Soo Do training.  I was hooked.  I immersed myself in Hapkido training from that day forward.