Hapkido West’s core instructors possess over 120 years of collective experience in the martial arts. While many of us come from strong, tradition-oriented martial arts backgrounds, we nonetheless share a modern point of view, characterized by an openness to new ideas, a willingness to innovate, and the recognition that all martial artists are brothers and sisters, irrespective of style or beliefs. Brief biographical information on our instructors is given below.
photo of Marc Tedeschi, martial artist and chief instructor at Hapkido West
Marc Tedeschi
Marc Tedeschi is the founder of Hapkido West and its chief instructor. An internationally respected designer, photographer, educator, and master-level practitioner, he has practiced martial arts for more than 40 years, training extensively in Hapkido, Taekwondo, Jujutsu, Judo, and Karate. A prolific writer, Mr. Tedeschi’s landmark publications rank with the finest ever produced on the martial and healing arts. He is the author of over a dozen books, including the 1136-page Hapkido, the 896-page Taekwondo, Essential Anatomy for Healing and Martial Arts, and a unique series of general martial arts books that provide an in-depth look at the core concepts and techniques shared by a broad range of martial arts.

Mr. Tedeschi’s primary martial arts teachers were Grandmaster Merrill Jung, the widely respected Hapkido and Taekwondo master who brought Grandmaster Ji Han-Jae to the United States and subsequently helped him to found and establish Sin Moo Hapkido during the 1980s; and Professor Wally Jay, acknowledged by martial artists in all styles as one of the major innovators of the twentieth century. Mr. Tedeschi was born in 1956 in the USA, began martial arts training in 1974, and held a 7th degree black belt in Hapkido before founding his own style of Hapkido in 2007.

Mr. Tedeschi holds arts degrees from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Kansas City Art Institute, formerly taught design at the Academy of Art University and the University of San Francisco, and has been a strategic design consultant to major corporations and institutions worldwide. He currently devotes most of his time to writing, teaching, and training, and is working on a broad range of projects related to martial arts and Asian culture.

photo of Philip Atkins, martial artist and instructor at Hapkido West
Philip Atkins
Philip Atkins has practiced martial arts for over 25 years, training extensively in Hapkido, Taekwondo, Judo, and Aikido. He began studying Hapkido in the early 1990s at the California State University Hayward, and in 2002 began training under Master Tedeschi. His other prominent teachers have included Masters Robert Zambetti (Taekwondo, Judo), Tim Ghormley (Taekwondo, Hapkido), George Chung (Taekwondo), and Anthony Chan. He has been teaching martial arts for more than a decade and was formerly a senior instructor at a major Bay Area Taekwondo school. Mr. Atkins is a professional developer of music and sound content for film, television, video games, and multimedia projects. He holds a Masters Degree in Psychology, works as a Senior Technical Architect for AT&T, and is fluent in Japanese.
photo of Daniel Dedet, martial artist and instructor at Hapkido West
Daniel Dedet
Daniel Dedet has trained in the martial arts for over 25 years. In the early 1990s he began studying Hapkido under Master Sinoe Era in San Francisco, and in 1998 began training under Master Tedeschi. Mr. Dedet has also trained extensively in Jujutsu and Judo, most notably under Professor Willy Cahill, a former two‑time US Olympic Judo coach. Mr. Dedet is a 30‑year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department, has served as a police academy instructor in practical applications of policies and procedures, and is a certified ASP instructor in retractable baton. His professional career has encompassed a range of law enforcement activities, including investigations, intelligence gathering, critical incident response (Sniper Team), hostage resolution, fugitive extradition, and security for dignitary functions and citywide events. Mr. Dedet was born in Guatemala, emigrated to the United States in 1966, and is fluent in English and Spanish.
photo of Neil Johnson, martial artist and instructor at Hapkido West
Neil Johnson
Neil Johnson has trained in the martial arts for over 45 years. In 1968, he began studying Aikido in Wales, eventually coming to train under Sensei Minoru Kanetsuka in England. In the early 1980s, he emigrated to the United States, where he continued his training under Senseis Bill Witt, Frank Doran, Bob Nadeau, and others. During the 1990s, he ran his own successful Aikido school in San Francisco, and also trained for several years with Doc Fai Wong in Tai Chi Chuan. In 2002, he began training solely in Hapkido under Master Tedeschi. Mr. Johnson is a professional fitness-trainer, and a certified instructor in Yoga, Pilates, and meditation, which he has taught for decades. He is currently writing a book on methods for integrating martial arts training and Eastern energetic concepts, with body‑development practices such as Yoga. Mr. Johnson holds a degree in Graphic Design from the Newport College of Art in Wales.
photo of Erik Medeiros, martial artist and instructor at Hapkido West
Erik Medeiros
Erik Medeiros has practiced martial arts for over 20 years. He began studying Hapkido in 1997 at the California State University Hayward, and in 2001 began training under Master Tedeschi. He has also trained in Aikido with Sensei Patricia Hendricks, in Tai Chi Chuan under various instructors, and has practiced Yoga for over 20 years, most notably with Julie Kimball and Rodney Yee. Mr. Medeiros attended graduate school in Math and Computer Science at the California State University Hayward, was formerly a missile systems specialist in the US Air Force, and currently works as a programmer for Accenture, a global management consulting firm.
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