2016 KMAM-HOF LEGEND INDUCTEEM. WollmershauserBorn in 1943, Grand Master Michael Wollmershauser passed away peacefully in the arms of his loving wife Joan and his children holding his hands on December 8, 2002 after a long five-year battle with cancer. He was employed since 1992 for the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department as a Fitness Trainer/Correctional Officer. Michael was known by many as “Master Mike”. He was an 8th degree black belt in Hapkido, a Korean Martial Art. He was the 3rd highest ranked in the world in this system, holding the esteemed honor of Grand Master. He was also known as the “Master of Hand Techniques”. He was president of the American Hapkido Association since 1981 to 2002 and he was the owner of the American Hapkido & World Olympic Taekwondo Center in Feeding Hills, MA. He previously owned the J. Parks Karate Studio in Springfield and also taught at the YMCA in Springfield, Janar Gymnastic in Wilbraham, MA, and Fitness First in Feeding Hills, MA as a Hapkido/Taekwondo/Tai Chi instructor. He was also an adjunct professor at Springfield College for 12 years and at Western New England College for six years until joining the Sheriff’s Department in 1992. Prior to studying and teaching martial arts, Mike was employed by McDonnell Douglas Aircraft in St. Louis, MO as an aircraft electrician, and worked on the Gemini Space Program and on jet engines. Mike traveled extensively to Korea to train in Hapkido and also traveled to the martial art schools under his direction in the United States, Europe, India, Australia and many other countries. He passed on his knowledge of Hapkido to thousands and at the time of his passing had promoted 247 black belts in Hapkido and Taekwondo. Mike attributed his ability to fight cancer to the martial arts and to the love and prayers of his family and friends. Mike was an avid chess player who won the McDonnell Douglas World Championship in the 1960s. He was also an accomplished oil painter. Where hapkido might be amusing to some and a sport to others, for Wollmershauser it is a way of life. That life means promoting the martial art through teaching.''The name of the sport is well-known because of the movies. . . . but people don't know a lot about it because there aren't a lot of teachers out there,'' Wollmershauser said. ''There's less than 1,000 teachers around the country, and people don't always know what it is these people teach.''“Hapkido, a Korean form of self defense in which a combatant uses his opponent's energy, pressure points and hand weaknesses to overcome him. The complexities of the art have made it difficult to teach and almost as difficult to gain popularity,” Wollmershauser said. “Although some may attend classes to stay in shape - participating definitely will raise the heart rate - hapkido appeals mostly to those who don't want to be threatened. Law enforcement officers routinely sign up to learn hapkido.”Grand Master Wollmershauser began his career in martial arts by accident. When he was 26 he agreed to help a young Korean set up a hapkido instruction business, despite the fact he was nagged by a bad back. A funny thing happened en route to doing a favor for his former wife: His back got better and he got into shape.''I decided I could take a little pain in class if I was going to feel that good after it,'' he said.He decided to study martial arts full-time. By discovering a specific form of the arts, he made himself into one of the world's leading teachers of hapkido. He picked up holds and techniques from various other teachers and combined them into his teachings.