LEWIS HISE IS JUMPED BY A GANG OF                                        THIRTY HOODLUMS

By:  Dr. Rodney T. Hard

Master PARK taught
Lewis Hise and Rodney Hard the most fantastic multi-man defense system that they had ever seen or have seen since.  Lewis Hise, in 1970, used that knowledge to keep 30 hoodlums at bay in Itaewon, Seoul, Korea.

In late 1970, Hise had about two weeks left before leaving Korea and getting out of the Army.  He and a friend decided to go downtown to Itaewon near the Yongsan U.S. Army Base for a few beers.  There was the Lucky 7 Club alongside many other bars for the entertainment of GIs on weekend passes.

As Hise and his friend were walking from one bar to another one, they were approached by a group of local hoodlums that ran that part of town.  Generally, they left the GIs alone since their patronage was what brought money into the coffers of the club owners who paid protection money to the gang.

But that night, for some reason, they decided to single out Hise to start trouble.  It was almost as if they knew he was "short" (ready to leave Korea soon).

One of them asked Hise for a cigarette.  Hise told them he did not smoke and did not have a cigarette and started to walk away.  Hise was pulled around from behind and asked again for a cigarette.  Hise gave the same response and began again to walk away.  Again he was yanked around from behind, and the hoodlum rudely demanded a cigarette.  

The group surrounded Hise and the gang leader took off his belt and wrapped it around his hand, exposing the buckle.  He drew back to punch Hise, but Hise kicked him in the head with a roundhouse kick.  The point of the cowboy boot planted hard into the left temple laid the hoodlum out cold.   

That is when all hell broke loose.  Yelling and charging at Hise, the whole group attacked.  More attackers came out of the woodwork.  Hise spun around and around and fended off thirty attackers in a flurry of kicks and punches sending several more attackers to the ground.  Hise's drinking companion sat out the fight and watched from the sidelines.  Hise was not struck even once during the whole fight.

The Korean police and the military police showed up and broke up the fight.  They were all hauled into the local Korean police station to sort out what had happened.  They brought in the unconscious gang members and laid them out on tables and desks.  The gang accused Hise of attacking them.  Hise protested that it was ludicrous for the police to believe that he would single handedly attack thirty guys. 

The gang had the local police in their pocket so to speak, so Hise ended up having to pay them all off with the whole seventy dollars he had left in his wallet.  The police and the gang split up the money and Hise was allowed to leave.

The next morning, Master PARK Sung Jae showed up at our base and asked to speak to Hise.  "Were you in Itaewon last night?" he asked.   Hise answered, "Yes." 

"You fighting last night?" asked Master PARK.  Hise sheepishly answered, "Yes."

"You win?" asked Master PARK.  Hise again answered, "Yes."

Master PARK then told Hise, "Good, if you lose, I beat you the hell out!"

Hise asked Master PARK how he knew so quickly about the fight last night in Itaewon.  

Evidently, a Korean third degree black belt in Hapkido from another school was there and watched the whole fight from beginning to end.   He was totally impressed by the amazing demonstration of incredible fighting technique by Hise, but said that he did not want to get involved.  He recognized the unique fighting style as that taught by Master PARK and knew that Master Park was teaching some Americans. 

First thing the next morning he had gone to Master PARK and told him about the fight, describing Hise as the stocky built American.

Lewis Hise was a military policeman with the 512 Military Police tasked to secure the 502nd Military Intelligence Company detention facility for captured North Korean spies and guard the "packages" or detainees.  You can see the guard tower in the background.  Our small unit was "hidden" conspicuously in the middle of a suburban neighborhood on the outskirts of the bustling capital city of Seoul, Korea.

Rodney Hard, with a Russian linguist from the Army Security Agency, standing outside the 512th Military Police Platoon barracks that Lewis Hise lived in.  Rodney Hard was an interrogator and interpreter with the 502nd Military Intelligence Company.

What I Learned: 

Though I had never been in a fight of that magnitude, by Hise's example I realized that what Hise and I had been learning really did work. 

I learned that it really is effective to keep moving, to keep spinning, to keep changing directions, and to take the fight to the opponents.  All the many Hapkido mass attack defense principles and techniques were used by Hise in that fight.  Every one of them was important.

Black Belt Lewis Hise practicing a takedown at the school using a Hapkido wrist lock technique.

Dr. Rodney T. Hard