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NEWS | Nov. 14, 2014

Bringing Do Hap Sool to JBLE

By Airman 1st Class Breonna Veal 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

With a simple bend at the waist and hands pressed firmly together, students signify their respect for the creator of an art designed to teach self-defense.

While living in South Korea in 1970, In Hwan Chung created Do Hap Sool, a non-competitive martial art which teaches self-defense through the imitation of nature and the composition and components of its environment.

"When I look around, I see the simplicity and beauty of the natural order," said Chung. "Many of the animals in nature are beautiful and majestic, but they are also powerful and deadly if not respected.  In mimicking animals in the wild, Do Hap Sool reflects animal movements, rhythmic styles, and the inherent power they possess."

Do Hap Sool, meaning weapons, natural things and skill, consists of 23 animal forms; 28 different weapon techniques; 24 natural forms; and 180 original martial arts forms in addition to strengthening the spiritual and mental aspects of an individual.

After 20 years of perfecting and molding Do Hap Sool, Chung teaches his breed of martial arts to Joint Base Langley-Eustis personnel at the Community Commons.

"My connection and relationship to my family, friends, community, country and martial art students are important to me," said Chung. "I want to have a positive impact on their lives by being a contributor to their joy, a solution to their problems and a tonic to their pain. To be any and all of those things is to fulfill a sense of purpose and self-worth."

As the only grandmaster for Do Hap Sool, Chung takes pride in being the best teacher he can be for his students.

"In all ancient cultures, whether Eastern or Western, the role of a teacher was very important," said Chung. "Teachers were considered the icons and role models by those in the communities where they lived. The relationship between the master and disciple is a symbiotic one of mutual assistance, honor, and respect." 

Ray Snyder, 480th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing contract support technician, admires Chung's techniques when instructing his students.

"[Grandmaster's] teaching technique is superb," said Snyder. "What a privilege to learn from him. All of the teaching is original; nothing is lost through second hand information. He is patient and understands the learning pace each student possesses."

Snyder's participation in Do Hap Sool has also helped in other aspects of his life.

"Do Hap Sool improves my physical well-being," said Snyder. "After retirement from the Air Force, I was busy in so many things that I stopped working out.  Since I joined Do Hap Sool two years ago, I've lost over 40 pounds and am now in much better shape, physically [and mentally]."

To benefit as Snyder has, Chung encourages JBLE members to give a Do Hap Sool a try due to its many mental and physical benefits. 

"Do Hap Sool increases stamina, reflexes, flexibility, strength, self-confidence, self-respect and self-discipline," said Chung. "The positive effects of Do Hap Sool are felt and experienced well beyond the workout, since the endorphins released by physical activity appear to be active in your body for as many as four hours after exercise."

In the end, Chung's only wish is to pass his creation on to other generations.

"My obligation as the Do Hap Sool master is to look after my disciple's wellbeing and training as they progress toward becoming masters of the Do Hap Sool martial art," said Chung. "My ultimate desire is for my students to become my perfect reflection as they perform Do Hap Sool, and in turn, pass along the perfect Do Hap Sool form to others."