Entrepreneur, Chris Key, Founder of Greenville Martial Art Center, welcomes kids, adults, and families to enroll in martial arts classes!
From Humble Beginnings…
It all started at Clemson University in the early 2000s. Chris and his fellow student Krissy started a student club to study Hapkido. After graduation, they both moved to Greenville and began a small business that has expanded five times over the last 12 years.
(Image: Knife Defense) Master Chris’s first Hapkido classes began at Mauldin Sport Center with the first ten students earning their first belt in Atlanta in 2007. The following 18 months, these ten students quickly advanced and more students joined classes requiring an expansion into a warehouse on Miller Road in Mauldin. It was at this location Master Chris began offering classes in Taekwondo as well.
Three years later, enrollment continued to grow, so Master Chris then moved to a new location on Miller Road in the summer of 2010. Four years later, his program yet again expanded into the current location at Roper Mountain Road in July of 2014.
With the continued growth of enrollment in the after-school program, summer and winter camps, and evening and Saturday classes, plans are in the works to expand facilities yet again.
Kwan Jang-Nim Gerhard Brunner was born in Munich, Germany and has been practicing TaeKwon-Do for 42 years. He is currently a 7th Dan black belt and has been teaching for over 37 years. Master Brunner has gained international recognition and numerous awards throughout the years, including the Hall of Fame Award for Outstanding Traditional Leadership. After establishing nine schools in Germany he opened the first Traditional TaeKwon-Do Center in Tampa, Florida in 1997. Master Brunner was the first certified Kimoodo instructor in the United States.
Grand Master Gedo Chang originally learned Hapkido from his father, a Buddhist monk. He was also a contemporary of Master Ji. In his twenties Master Chang left the mountains of Chungnam province and the monastery he had grown up in. Arriving in the city he became formally recognised as a master (1964) by the newly created Korean Hapkido Association. He then opened his school in Korea and called it Wol Ge Kwan which means “The Victor’s Laurel”. He was the first to develop Hapkido techniques specifically for police personnel. His teaching abilities so impressed the Korean Government, that they created a special award for “Best Martial Arts Instructor”, and presented it to Master Chang. In 1973, Master Chang moved to the United States of America and settled in Lombard, Illinois where he opened his first U.S. School, “Chang’s Hapkido Academy”. Since then he has demonstrated and taught throughout the USA and is currently President of the World Hapkido Union.