Prior to the formation of the World Hapkido Federation, the World Hapkido Association had been established in December 20, 1973, by high ranking Hapkido masters from various cities. At that time, there was no organization or person to unify the Hapkido masters of schools in the United States or other countries. Shortly after the establishment of the World Hapkido Association with the wide-spread support and encouragement of the Hapkido community, the first general meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan, on June 23, 1974. That city became the headquarters of the Association and the focal point for the Hapkido community. At the first general meeting, Grandmaster Kwang Sik Myung was elected President.
Grandmaster Kwang Sik Myung, the president, had authored and published Korean Hapkido, Ancient Martial Art of Masters, a Hapkido instruction manual, which was the most significant project for the propagation of Hapkido. Grandmaster Myung also conducted annual Hapkido seminars promoting Hapkido through the presentation and demonstration of new Hapkido techniques, which were the product of research by various outstanding masters of Hapkido and its schools.
Since the first meeting, annual general assembly meetings have been held. In 1976 and 1978, the second and third annual meetings were held, respectively, which nurtured closer ties and friendship between the Hapkido masters. On June 29, 1981, the fourth General Meeting was held in Chicago, Illinois. Subsequently, the fifth and sixth Annual Meetings were held as scheduled. At the sixth Annual Meeting, held on September 29, 1985, the Association had finnaly established itself as a recognized representative of practitioners of Hapkido.
On November 16, 1985, Hapkido Association members rallied in San Diego, California, and unanimously voted to change the name of the Association to the World Hapkido Federation in an effort to unify all associations and other organizations practicing Hapkido. At this time, the official organization of unified Hapkido members worldwide was inaugurated as “The World Hapkido Federation.”