Koren actor and hapkido instructor Ing-Sik Whang is a Grandmaster of hapkido and a student of legendary hapkido Grandmaster Ji Han-Jae, who is regarded as one of the two “fathers” of hapkido. He was born on September 13, 1940. He was awarded a 10th degree black belt, the highest rank possible in the art of hapkido, by the World Hapkido Federation.
Ing-Sik Whang is best remembered as the final villain who is defeated by Jackie Chan in The Young Master (1980) and its sequel, Dragon Strike (1982). Ing-Sik Whang made over 25 appearances in feature films and he is also known for his work in various Hong Kong martial arts films such as Bruce Lee’s The Way of the Dragon (1972), Jackie Chan’s The Young Master (1980) and Hapkido (1972) starring Angela Mao.
ng-Sik Whang ran a hapkido academy in Canada as well as held seminars around the world.
Ing-Sik Whang is known as Hwang In-Shik in the Philippines.
Hong Kong Stars Train in Hapkido
In 1972 Feng Huang, a Hong Kong film director, brought Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Wei-cheng Tang, Yin-yin Hu, Angela Mao, Yi Chang and Hsiang-lin Chin to Seoul for a location shoot. Feng Huang was looking for impressive new techniques to enbolden Hong Kong action sequences and so his stars trained at the Korea hapkido headquarters for about four months under Ing-Sik Whang and the Korean Hapkido Association leader Ji Han-jae.
Many of the impressive kicking techniques we see in Hong Kong cinema today are a result of the cross cultural influence of this time. Sammo Hung had a particular affinity for the training and some of his signature techniques such as his jumping double front kick come directly from the hapkido syllabus.
Impressed by the talents of the hapkido practitioners, both Ing-Sik Whang and Ji Han-jae were invited by Huang Feng to come to Hong Kong to develop a film idea inspired by the director’s experiences in Korea. The film was titled Hapkido (1972) and is known abroad under the English title Lady Kung-fu. It starred Angela Mao, Sammo Hung and Carter Wong.
In the film, both Ji Han-jae and Ing-Sik Whang play themselves, hapkido master and foremost student teaching the art to a group Chinese students. Subsequent films such as Fist of Unicorn (1973), also featured both Ing-Sik Whang and Ji Han-jae playing different roles.
Ing-Sik Whang went on to star in a number of films, but the first stage of his career ended after the death of Bruce Lee. Only the week before Bruce Lee died, Ing-Sik Whang had been in talks with Bruce concerning a part in the Game of Death (1978). Ing-Sik Whang also appeared briefly in Bruce Lee’s Way of the Dragon (1972), as a Japanese karate expert. Ing-Sik Whang returned to Korea, and for the next few years starred in a series of Korean martial arts movies, including A Wandering Hero (1975), Black Leopard (1975) and Black Spider (1976).
Upon retiring from making films, Ing-Sik Whang immigrated to Canada and opened up a dojang in the city of Toronto.
Later, Jackie Chan, a stuntman from Whang’s early films, became a star in Hong Kong films and he managed to talk Ing-Sik Whang out of retirement to film The Young Master (1980). The original film features a 15-minute fight scene between Jackie Chan and Ing-Sik Whang at the end of the film. Whang also did Dragon Lord (1982), where he also played a villain opposing Chan.
It was the work of Ing-Sik Whang in Hong Kong cinema that helped promote hapkido both in China and Korea.