The Evolution of Hon Sang Mu Sa Hapkido

With GM Steve Stewart

With GM Steve Stewart

For those of you who don’t know this, the art we teach at Art Mason’s Peaceful Warriors’ Martial Arts is called Hon San Mu Sa Hapkido. The name became official in Summer of 2002, 14 years ago.

When I began my martial arts journey on November 10th 1984 I was learning a combination of Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do. My instructor, then a 4th Dan Black Belt named Philip Hollahan was a very impressive martial artist and Black Belt. We came from a linage of Grand Master Chung Won Oh, a 7th Dan Black Belt in Hapkido who came from Korean to settle in Kitchener Ontario and raise a family.

There is a very long story behind Mr Oh and his life in Canada, as well as his teaching, but that is for another time. Once night he disclosed the story behind the art he was rooted in, Kul Sul Hapkido.

After leaving my teacher in January 2000 and opening my own school I was hungry for knowledge. After 16 years with one instructor I felt I had reached the end of the journey with him. He actually had encouraged me years before to go out on my own. I began looking to fill the holes in a system I thought was very incomplete. It was fine for the tournament circuits, but that held no interest for me.

In 2001 my elder son Curt approached me about being the Cane Master program into the school. He was very excited about what he had seen, and it filled a need. He pursued it, and we added it to the curriculum. Things began to happen.

About 6 months later Mark Shuey was in Toronto doing a Cane Master Seminar. We had met him and several other Toronto area based instructors because I had become president of the World Budo Alliance. At this particular event I met a Kosho Ryu master and we hooked up for about a year. I went through very intensive training in his art. The understanding of Natural Laws as he would state it. GM Buchan is an amazing martial artist, but our paths were in different directions. I graded for rank in his system, and we incorporated it into what her were doing. It so radically changed everything I renamed the art to Hon Sang Mu Sa Hapkido, which means way of the ancient spiritual warrior. (Hon Sang Mu Sa )

Upon registering the art I was offer a 10th Dan as founder, which I declined and accepted a 6th Dan. But the learning was not over. Soon after this I discovered the world of Pressure Points, Kyusho Jitsu thanks to GM Steve Stewart. Myself, Master Curt and Master Scott each pursued it to various levels of Black Belt, all knowledge was incorporated into OUR ART.

A short time later Leon Jay and Small Circle Jujitsu came into the picture, and then years later the combat systems of Bojuka and Systema. All that we viewed as useful was incorporated. The rest dis-guarded for later consideration.

The evolution of Hon Sang Mu Sa Hapkido is far from complete. As long as its Black Belt still live and practice it will continue to evolve. The art is different for everyone who trains.

Keeping an open mind to possibilities is what it is all about.

“Your perception is equal to your reality
Your opinion is equal to your illusion
Your love is equal to your forgiveness”

Yours in the arts,

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Grand Master Art Mason
Founder: Art Mason’s Peaceful Warriors Martial Arts

 

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