The oral history of Daito Ryu traces the art to Minamoto Yoshimitsu (1045-1127) who allegedly developed an advanced fighting system by dissecting corpses and then passed on this art in secret through his family line. His grandson adopted the surname Takeda, and then the art would continue being transmitted through the Takeda family until Takeda Sokaku began teaching publicly in 1898 and giving it the name "Daito Ryu" after Yoshimitsu's birth place.
But the Minamoto family certainly does not come from Korea! Minamoto was one of the surnames bestowed by the Emperors of Japan upon members of the Imperial family who were excluded from the line of succession and demoted to the ranks of the nobility. The Minamoto Clan is also called the Genji Clan depending on how you read the kanji. The hereditary line of Japanese Emperors can be firmly traced back to Emperor Kinmei (509-571), and possibly to the legendary Emperor Jimmu (660BC). Regardless, to say that the Minamoto clan came from Korea is just flat-out lying.
While I will give him credit for at least being so publicly adamant that Choi Yong Sul is the founder of Hapkido, and not Ji Han Jae as so many people incorrectly proclaim, that is about where his credibility ends. But for the love of God, can we please stop making up titles for Choi? His official title is Dojunim. That is the title he used. That is the tile he passed on. That is the title his successor used. Stop coming up with random Korean words that don't actually mean anything like Deok-Am and Yeong Gam Nim, that no one in any Korean martial art has ever heard of. Historically, Yeong Gam was an honorific title for 2nd and 3rd class civil servants and I can't seem to find Deok-Am anywhere.
Park seems to have studied with Rim Jong Bae, from whom he claims to be the successor to Choi's great legacy and holder of the advanced secrets to his art. According to the certificates posted by Todd (see below), it appears Rim was only a 6th Dan under Choi, a rank he held for over 10 years. With so many higher ranked students above him, I am unsure how Rim assumed he was the inheritor of anything. The certificates below, from what Todd tells people, are authorizing Rim to pass on Choi's original teachings... As opposed to all of the other instructor certificates Choi awarded for something other than what he taught??
I don't know what level of internal skill Park possesses. His pictures certainly look like he is somewhat familiar with Daito Ryu but I would be highly surprised if he had the same understanding and level of expression as the other high level aiki practitioners I've had the honor to work and/or touch hands with, such as Steven Hatfield, Howard Popkin, Salahuddin Muhammad, Ismael Franco, Ikeda Hiroshi... One day I do look forward to sharing the mat with him and seeing what Todd's hype is all about.
You know what, to be absolutely honest I have no issues with Park. I'm sure he is a skilled martial artist. While I am skeptical about his level of aiki, this has nothing to do with him and I truly do wish him success. I fear that success will always be fleeting, however, if Todd continues to be the face of his organization. He probably doesn't have anything to worry about though, as Todd will either get bored or fed up with his lack of progress that he'll jump ship to the next organization and proclaim them as the most authentic and original hapkido lineage.