Founder of Moo Duk Kwan Hwang Kee
"Striving For Personal Excellence"
"Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee was born on November 9, 1914," the chapter begins. "in Jang Dan, Kyong Ki province where the DMZ is currently located. His father, Hwang, Yong Hwan, had a dream in which he saw the bright star (Sam Tae Song) before his son's birth. He named his son "Tae Nam", which means "Star Boy". Later he changed his name to "Kee." His father was a scholar who had achieved a high level of academic recognition from the last King of the Yi Dynasty, Ko Jong."[History of the Moo Duk Kwan, 1995] Young Master Hwang Kee was not exposed to the martial arts until he was 7.
At a festival in a neighboring village he came upon a group of seven or eight men arguing heatedly with a single man. The argument soon digressed into physical violence, but the single man prevailed using techniques the young Master Hwang Kee had never seen before. With grace and agility the man had avoided and countered their attacks until he was standing alone. Young Master Hwang Kee was terribly impressed, and followed the man home. He sought audience with the strange man, and asked to be his student. Refused for his youth, young Master Hwang Kee watched the man practice outside his home and sought to emulate his techniques in his own practice. As he grew into an adolescent man and graduated from high school, he never forgot the strange man and his fighting techniques, and he never stopped practicing his Tae Kyun diligently..
The experience was to shape his entire life. After High School, young Master Hwang Kee worked for the Railway Company in Manchuria. While he was in Manchuria he had the privilege of meeting Master Yang, a highly respected and revered martial artist. Burning with the desire for formal instruction, young Master Hwang Kee asked to become a student of Master Yang. "Master Yang refused his request gently," states The History of the Moo Duk Kwan. Young Master Hwang Kee had trouble sleeping that night. The next morning young Master Hwang Kee and his friend, Mr. Park both decided to "visit Master Yang again and again until they were accepted. On their third visit, Master Yang finally accepted them as his students.
They were so happy to be accepted that they practiced whenever they could." Young Master Hwang Kee studied with Master Yang until 1937, when he had to return to Seoul. He was able to return once more in 1941, but this was the last time that young Master Hwang Kee was to see his instructor. The creation of Communist China in 1946 secured this. Times were difficult in Korea for Kwan Jang Nim. The public as a whole had been severely influenced by the Japanese for the last generation, as they had been occupying the country since 1910. The only two martial arts known to the general public were Gum Do (Ken Do) and Yu Do (Ju Do). People, in general, did not have any knowledge of Soo Bahk, Okinawan Karate, Chinese Wu Shu, or Kung Fu. This made it almost impossible for him to continue his personal martial arts training or to teach. Kwan Jang Nim continued to train, however.
He spent long hours in meditation and self-conditioning. He was able to locate books on Okinawan Karate, and studied them intently. Working for the railroad, Kwan Jang Nim was able to travel extensively at virtually no cost. "During the previous 25 years, his maturity as a martial artist had been conditioned through his hard and long self taught training of Tae Kyun and his various experiences in both formal and informal martial arts training, as well as the significant influence by his master, Master Yang, that he was in China. It was not only Master Yang's technical influence but also his desire to improve human character, which proved an invaluable experience. The study of Okinawan Karate through the available books at the library while he was employed by the Cho Sun Rail Way Bureau in Seoul from 1939 to 1945 was also a great influence. With these experiences in martial disciplines, he founded the Moo Duk Kwan and established its philosophy on November 9th, 1945." Thus began the history of the Moo Duk Kwan Federation.
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