World Baek Hop Wha Association
GRAND MASTER HAN, founder, Youn Wha Ryu system
Grandmaster Man Hee Han (9th degree Black Belt) is the founder of the Youn Wha Ryu System of martial arts. It is based in traditional Tae Kwon Do, incorporating elements of Hapkido, Karate, Kung Fu and Judo.
Grandmaster Han was originally trained in the traditional Japanese Martial Arts of Karate, Judo and Hapkido, and the Chinese Arts of Kung Fu and T’ai Chi Chuan before being involved in the post-occupation formulation of Korean Tae Kwon Do. He also holds advanced degrees in Kendo, Hapkido, Jidokwan, and Hwarang-do.
THE EARLY YEARS
Grandmaster Han considers himself a blessed man. He has had the unique opportunity to train and master several martial arts and was fortunate to train under three famous martial artists of his time. Grandmaster Han was born on May 9, 1938.
His first teacher was Son Bop Sa. Master Son was a traveling monk who had observed the young Man Han. He then presented himself to the young man's mother and asked permission to take the boy along with him and educate him in meditation and martial arts. Permission was granted and the six-year-old Man accompanied the monk to train and learn.
Most of Grandmaster Han's training during the following years involved the strengthening and sensitizing of his mind. He was trained to have a strong "sixth sense" through Zen and other mental endeavors. He learned to focus his mind through meditation and qigong, or breathing exercises.
Six years later, the young Han began to long for home. He asked his master for permission to go back and see his parents. The monk conceded and let the young man go, but that would be the last time he would ever see his master again.
RIGOROUS AND DIVERSE TRAINING
The second of his famous instructors was a man known as Byung In Yoon. Master Yoon taught Grandmaster Han a system called Kong Soo Do, one which predated Tae Kwon Do. Grandmaster Han began training under Master Yoon at the age of 13. At the same time, the young Han met Sae Chong Wang. Master Wang was his Youn Wha instructor.
During this same time period of middle school and high school, Grandmaster Han also studied Hwarang-do, Jidokwan, Kendo, Hapkido, and various weapons. He has attained an 8th dan in Hwarang-do, 7th dan in Kendo, 8th dan in Hapkido, 4th dan in Judo and has trained extensively in 24 different weapons, including rope, throwing star, double sticks, short stick, six foot staff, Hapkido cane, tonfa, sai, and others.
As a result of Grandmaster Han's diverse training, the Youn Wha system incorporates multi-discipline forms training as well as converging high level fighting techniques from many martial arts systems.
THE BEGINNINGS OF TAE KWON DO AND YOUN WHA RYU
After leaving high school, Grandmaster Han entered the law program at Kon Kuk University and graduated with his Bachelor's degree. Grandmaster Han is a respected member of the martial arts community and was on the Board of Directors of the Korean Tae Kwon Do Federation in its early days. He helped design the Palgue forms presently used by the World Tae Kwon Do Federation.
During his tenure with the Korean Tae Kwon Do Federation, Grandmaster Han was appointed president of the North Province of Seoul. Grandmaster Han was presented with his 8th Dan in Tae Kwon Do on December 17, 1972 in the 57th Promotion Test conducted by Tae Kwon Do Ji Do Kwan by Lee, Chong Woo, President of the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association.
His 9th Dan was bestowed upon him by his Youn Wha Ryu Masters in Dallas, Texas. In addition to his martial arts credentials, Grandmaster Han served as a Special Tactics Instructor for the Korean Intelligence Agency, teaching martial art techniques to the Korean military. He was also called to train the 7th US Army Infantry Division from 1970 to 1972 in hand to hand combat and served as Close Combat Instructor for the 2nd Army Infantry Division from 1972 to 1976.
In 1976, Grandmaster Han and his family made the choice to immigrate to the United States. His first encounter with the U.S. was New Jersey. From there the Han facility moved to Tennessee, Florida, and in 1978, to Dallas, Texas, where he still resides.