Hapkido was founded in South Korea in about 1950 by Grand Master Choi Yong Sul. Grand Master Choi's (pronounced 'Chae') Hapkido originally consisted of about 34 techniques derived from Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu (Traditional Hapkido) which were then expanded on with the inclusion of Korean kicking and striking techniques as well as various weapons techniques introduced by some of Grand Master Choi's first generation students (Modern Hapkido).
Hapkido teaches you how to defend yourself and others against unprovoked violence. It combines hand strikes and powerful kicking techniques along with joint locks, holds, takedowns, throws and ground fighting. 
Hapkido's techniques are based on an opponents attack, meeting that attack, turning it back on the attacker, and following through with offensive finishing techniques if required. 
The best way to describe Hapkido is that it is a “Complete Martial Art” because of its many dimensions. However, unlike modern “Mixed Martial Arts” which also covers a wide range of techniques, our focus is not on competition or sport but rather on practical self-defence. Hapkido is a unique style that will enable you to defend yourself in just about any conceivable situation at whatever stage of life you are at. 

Hapkido in New Zealand 

Our particular style of Modern Hapkido, New Zealand Hapkido, was originally introduced to New Zealand by Grand Master Jung Nam Lee in 1975. Grand Master Lee taught a very practical and powerful style of Hapkido that has stood the test of time. Our Hapkido training aims to preserve and develop Grand Master Lee's original teachings and philosophy which has Hapkido as a self defence focused martial art as opposed to a sport.
The Upper Hutt Hapkido Academy is the Headquarters for Hapkido New Zealand which is an informal collective of 7 Hapkido Schools across New Zealand as at October 2016.  
The Upper Hutt Hapkido Academy is also a member group of the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association - one of the largest Korean martial arts associations in the world with over 600 member clubs in South Korea alone and over 350 member clubs worldwide.

Grand Master Jung Nam Lee (9th Dan)

Grand Master Lee is the original founder of both Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do in New Zealand. He took up the position of Director of the Bong Hwa Hapkido and Taekwondo Gymnasium in Seoul, South Korea after leaving the South Korean army in 1971 with the rank of captain (Special Forces). The Bong Hwa Gymnasium was affiliated to the Korea Hapkido Association at the time which was later to become one of the pre-cursors to the modern Korea Hapkido Federation. GM Lee issued Hapkido black belt certificates as a Director of the Korean Hapkido Association Bong Hwa Gymnasium throughout his entire martial arts career in New Zealand.  
GM Lee arrived in New Zealand in 1975 under the sponsorship of then Assistant Police Commissioner Graeme Dallow. Graeme was a big supporter of Hapkido and retained his interest until his death in 2014. GM Lee began teaching at the YMCA in Wellington with seven people and soon expanded this by running special courses for the police, traffic officers, army, air force, prison officers, and women's groups. He then started to establish new clubs by helping his senior students to become instructors. In 1991 GM Lee moved from Wellington to Auckland to concentrate his efforts in promoting Taekwondo to a larger population base and from then on his focus became more on Taekwondo and less on Hapkido. 
During the first decade of the new century, GM Lee began to select people in Hapkido to pass his knowledge and skill to. In July 2006 GM Lee formally passed his leadership of Hapkido to Callum Forbes who had already been acting informally in this role since the late 90’s. 
GM Lee changed the name of his style of Hapkido several times. Originally he called it Lee's Hapkido before changing it to Kukjae Hapkido around 1990. However in 2010 Callum changed the name to New Zealand Hapkido to more accurately reflect our geograhical influence.    

Grand Master In Sun Seo (10th Dan)

Grand Master In Sun Seo is a 'first generation' student of Hapkido's founder, Grandmaster Choi Yung Sol. Grandmaster Seo (pronounced 'Suh') received his 1st Dan black belt in 1957 and since that time he has dedicated his life solely to training and developing Hapkido.
Further information about Grand Master Seo can be found here.
Grand Master Seo is the founder and President of the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association. The Upper Hutt Hapkido Academy joined the Federation in 2011 and over the following few years the other NZ Hapkido schools joined as well.

World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association

Our membership of the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association  Federation allows our members to travel overseas to train and take part in international events as well as exposing us to many different styles of Hapkido. This allows us to benchmark our Hapkido against other styles of Hapkido to ensure that our training remains of a high quality. It also allows our black belts to be formally registered in Korea through the Federation with the the Korean Ministry of Culture and Sports if they demonstrate an appropriate level of skill.
As part of our full acceptance into the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association, Grand Master In Sun Seo assessed and awarded Callum Forbes with a new 6th Dan certificate issued by himself during the Federation's biennial Korean Trip in June 2013. This demonstrated that despite our isolation up to then in New Zealand from other Hapkido schools, that our skill levels were comparable to those of the wider interational Hapkido community.
Callum along with other members of the Upper Hutt Hapkido Academy attended the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association's Member's Summit in San Francisco in early 2014 where they received more advanced Hapkido training from the Seo family. In late 2014 Grand Master Seo's oldest son, Grand Master Scott Seo attended our New Zealand national seminar and he now provides us with on-going support. In October 2015 Callum along with 10 other New Zealand Hapkido students attended the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association's 2015 Korea Trip where they competed strongly in the World Championships as well as put on several displays of NZ Hapkido earning praise for New Zealand's strong style of Hapkido - particularly in our self-defence techniques. In October 2016 Grandmaster Scott made his second visit to New Zealand to attend the 2016 Hapkido Festival and 1st Oceania Cup Competition. Currently we are preparing for the 10th Hapkido World Championships in Busan in June 2017. 

The Future

The future of our style in New Zealand is very bright. Nationally we have a tight network of long established clubs all of whom have head instructors with at least 20 years experience in Hapkido supported by our strong Headquarters academy in Upper Hutt. We also have a growing number of young black belts in most of our schools to help ensure our continued presence in the decades ahead. 
Our affiliation to the World Kido Federation/Hanminjok Hapkido Association gives us support and direction especially for our senior instructors as they progress their own advanced training in Hapkido towards the higher Dan grades.
We are looking to develop new clubs in cities and towns where we are not represented. The New Zealand Hapkido Federation has been approached by other Hapkido students and other martial artists wanting to join it. Therefore from 2015 we have expanded our focus not only support our original schools but also to support other martial artists who want to study Hapkido. We can provide support by training people with no Hapkido experience in our style of Hapkido. Or we can provide support and direction to people who have other Hapkido experience and who do not need to be taught everything from the ground up.   

(Grand Master Choi Yong-Sul executing a double leg lift throw which we teach in our syllabus) 

GM Lee Kicking 
(Grandmaster Lee Kicking)
GM Lee in Sth Vietnam 
(GM Lee in South Vietnam) 

(GM Lee training Korean Soliders in 1970)
GM Lee and Callum Forbes 
(Grand Master Lee and Callum Forbes in 2000 after Callum’s 4th Dan grading)  

(Grandmaster In Sun Seo) 

(Callum being awarded new 6th Dan certificate by Grand Master Seo in Busan, South Korea in June 2013 alongside his daughter Master Sara Pak (7th Dan)) 

(Callum with Grand Master In Sun Seo and his sons Masters Steve and Scott (7th and 8th Dan respectively) in Busan, 2013)   
(Callum Forbes demonstrating self defence at the opening ceremony of the 2015 9th Busan Mayor's Cup and World Hapkido Championships and Festival in South Korea)

(March 2016 Hapkido Seminar with Master Fari Salievski from Sydney)
(New Zealand Hapkido Federation with GM Scott Seo at the Upper Hutt Academy, October 2016)

Contact Us

p: 021 330 989
e: Callum Forbes


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