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Korean martial arts

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Korean martial arts (Hangul
Hangul
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

: 무술 or 무예, Hanja
Hanja
Hanja is the Korean name for the Chinese characters hanzi. More specifically, it refers to those Chinese characters borrowed from Chinese and incorporated into the Korean language with Korean pronunciation...

: 武術 or 武藝) are the martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 that originated from Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. Some well known Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

n martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 are hapkido
Hapkido
Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks...

, kuk sool won
Kuk Sool Won
Kuk Sool Won is a Korean martial arts system founded by Suh In-Hyuk |Grandmaster]]) in 1958. The name Kuk Sool Won translates to "National Martial Art Association" and despite often being shortened to 'Kuk Sool,' the name kuk sool is a non-trade marked name used to denote similar Korean martial...

, and taekwondo
Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

. There has also been a revival of Korean sword
Korean swordsmanship
In Korean martial arts, sword disciplines are known as Gum Sool or Gum Do . The extant schools originate after the end of Japanese occupation and are heavily amalgamated with the modern Japanese schools of Kenjutsu or Kendo.Gekiken, the predeceossor of modern Kendo, was introduced to Korea in...

 arts as well as knife fighting and archery
Archery
Archery is the art, practice, or skill of propelling arrows with the use of a bow, from Latin arcus. Archery has historically been used for hunting and combat; in modern times, however, its main use is that of a recreational activity...

. In modern times, Korean martial arts are being practiced worldwide.

Early history


Wrestling, called ssireum
Ssireum
Historically, there have been other terms for "wrestling" in Korean used alongside ssireum, such as gakjeo , gakhui , gakryeok , gakgii , chiuhui , sangbak , jaenggyo ....

, is the oldest form of unarmed fighting in Korea. Besides being used to train soldiers, it was also popular among villagers during festivals. Koreans, as with the neighbouring Mongols, relied more heavily on bows and arrows in warfare than they did on close-range weapons.

It appears that during the Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

 dynasty, (37 BC – 668) subak (empty-handed fighting), swordsmanship, spear-fighting and horse riding were practiced. Paintings showing martial arts were found in 1935 on the walls of royal tombs, believed to been built for Goguryeo kings, sometime between 3 and 427. Which techniques were practiced during that period is however something that cannot be determined from these paintings. References to subak can be found in government records from the Goguryeo dynasty through the Joseon dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

 (1392-1910).

It is believed that the warriors from the Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 Dynasty (57 BC-668 AD) learned subak
Subak
Subak, Subakgi or Yusul is either a specific ancient Korean martial art. Historically this term may have specified the old Korean martial art of taekkyeon.-History:...

 from the neighboring Goguryeo armies when they appealed for their help against invading Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese pirates. Practicing subak became part of the training for Silla's hwarang
Hwarang
The Hwarang, or "Flower Boys"., were an elite group of male youth in Silla, an ancient Korean kingdom that lasted until the 10th century. There were educational institutions as well as social clubs where members gathered for all aspects of study, originally for arts and culture steeped mainly in...

, and this contributed to the spread of subak on the Korean peninsula
Korean Peninsula
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 684 miles from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the south, and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the first two bodies of water.Until the end of...

. But again, it is not known exactly which techniques the hwarang practiced. Buddhist monks, who added more spiritual aspects to the art, often instructed the hwarang. Their greatest contribution to the development of Korean martial arts is probably adding a spiritual dimension to the training practices, something that Korean martial arts lacked before.

The Buddhist influence on the hwarang is most notably seen around 600 AD when the moral code Sae Sok O-Gye
Sae Sok O-Gye
The Se Sok O-Gye, sometimes also referred to as just O-Gye, is the moral code of the hwarang formulated by a Buddhist monk named Won Gwang consisting of five rules:*사군이충 - 事君以忠 - Loyalty to the king...

 (세속오계), written by Won Kwang (원광, 圓光), consisting of five rules were documented:
  • 사군이충 / 事君以忠 – Loyalty to one's king.
  • 사친이효 / 事親以孝 – Respect to one's parents.
  • 교우이신 / 交友以信 – Faithfulness to one's friends.
  • 임전무퇴 / 臨戰無退 – Courage in battle.
  • 살생유택 / 殺生有擇 – Justice in killing.

The development of subak continued during the Goryeo
Goryeo
The Goryeo Dynasty or Koryŏ was a Korean dynasty established in 918 by Emperor Taejo. Korea gets its name from this kingdom which came to be pronounced Korea. It united the Later Three Kingdoms in 936 and ruled most of the Korean peninsula until it was removed by the Joseon dynasty in 1392...

 Dynasty (935–1392). Goryeo records that mention the martial arts always include passages about subak. The Goryeo government, however, outlawed the practice of subak by civilians because people used to bet at subak games.

Subak eventually divided into two separate martial arts, taekgyeon
Taekyon
Taekkyeon is a traditional Korean martial art with a dance-like appearance in some aspects. A Goguryeo mural painting at the Samsil tomb shows Taekkyeon was practiced as early as the Three Kingdoms Era and transmitted from Goguryeo to Shilla. The earliest existing written source mentioning...

 (택견) and yusul (유술), probably in the last years of the Goryeo Dynasty or the early years of the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

. It is believed that many techniques were lost at this time. Joseon Dynasty records and books often mention taekgyeon, and taekgyeon players are portrayed on several paintings from that era. The most famous painting is probably the Daegwaedo (Hangul: 대괘도, Hanja: 大快圖), painted in 1846 by Hyesan Yu Suk (혜산 유숙, 1827–1873), which shows men competing in both ssireum
Ssireum
Historically, there have been other terms for "wrestling" in Korean used alongside ssireum, such as gakjeo , gakhui , gakryeok , gakgii , chiuhui , sangbak , jaenggyo ....

 (씨름) and taekgyeon.

Joseon era manuals


During the Imjin War (1592–1598), Korean armies fought off a Japanese invasion. The Japanese had imported guns from Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and wanted to conquer the mainland. With Chinese assistance, the Koreans turned back the invaders, but with heavy loss of men and cultural heritage. It was also during this war that the famous turtle ship
Turtle ship
The Turtle ship, also known as Geobukseon or Kobukson , was a type of large warship belonging to the Panokseon class in Korea that was used intermittently by the Royal Korean Navy during the Joseon Dynasty from the early 15th century up until the 19th century.The first references to older, first...

s (Geobukseon, 거북선) were used by Admiral Yi Sun-sin
Yi Sun-sin
Yi Sun-shin was a Korean naval commander, famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty, and is well-respected for his exemplary conduct on and off the battlefield not only by Koreans, but by Japanese Admirals as well...

. These ships were covered with metal shields, much like the shell of a turtle, which could withstand the gun attacks of the Japanese. This was the first iron armoured ship in naval history.

In 1593, Korea received help from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 to win back Pyongyang
Pyongyang
Pyongyang is the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly known as North Korea, and the largest city in the country. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River and, according to preliminary results from the 2008 population census, has a population of 3,255,388. The city was...

. During one of the battles, the Koreans learned about a martial art manual titled Ji Xiao Xin Shu
Ji Xiao Xin Shu
The book Ji Xiao Xin Shu was written by the Chinese general Qi Jiguang of the Ming Dynasty. The title can be translated as New Book Recording Effective Techniques....

 (紀效新書), written by the Chinese military strategist Qi Jiguang
Qi Jiguang
Qi Jiguang was a Chinese military general and national hero during the Ming Dynasty. He was best remembered for his courage and leadership in the fight against Japanese pirates along the east coast of China, as well as his reinforcement work on the Great Wall of China.-Early life:Qi Jiguang was...

. King Seonjo
Seonjo of Joseon
King Seonjo ruled in Korea between 1567 and 1608. He was the fourteenth king of the Joseon Dynasty. He is known for encouraging Confucianism and renovating state affairs at the beginning of his reign, although political chaos and his incompetent leadership during the Japanese invasions of Korea...

 (1567–1608) took a personal interest in the book, and ordered his court to study the book. This led to the creation of the Muyejebo
Muyejebo
The Muyejebo is a Korean martial art manual written during the reign of King Seonjo in 1598.-History:As the Imjin war dragged on for years, Korea needed a way to effectively train a large number of troops, and the Korean military adopted a training methodology based on a Chinese military manual...

 (무예제보, Hanja: 武藝諸譜) in 1599 by Han Gyo, who had studied the use of several weapons with the Chinese army. Soon this book was revised in the Muyejebo Seokjib and in 1759, the book was revised and published at the Muyesinbo
Muyesinbo
The Muyesinbo is Korean martial arts manual published in 1759. The book is a revision of the older Muyejebo and adds twelve methods of both armed and unarmed fighting to the original six which were descbribed in the Muyejebo...

 (Hangul: 무예신보, Hanja: 武藝新譜).

In 1790, these two books formed the basis, together with other Korean, Chinese, and Japanese martial art manuals, of the richly illustrated Muyedobotongji
Muyedobotongji
In 1790, King Jeongjo of Korea commissioned a book called the Muyedobotongji which was an illustrated manual of Korean martial arts. This book, written by Yi Deokmu and Pak Jega , described in detail Korea's martial arts of which an unarmed combat style of kicking and punching is extensively...

 (Hangul: 무예도보통지, Hanja: 武藝圖譜通志). The book does not refer to taekyeon, but shows influences from Chinese and Japanese fighting systems. It deals mostly with armed combat like sword fighting, double-sword fighting, spear fighting, stick fighting, and so on. The chapter that deals with a style of empty-handed fighting called kwonbeop ("fist methods," a generic name for empty-handed combat; the word is the Korean pronunciation of quanfa) shows techniques that resemble Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts
Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term wushu and popularly as kung fu , are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China. These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" , "sects" or...

—quite different from taekgyeon. According to the Muyedobotongji, empty-handed combat should be learned before armed combat, since it forms the basis of a martial education. It also states that internal styles are better suited for fighting than external styles, which is remarkable since Koreans never developed their own internal systems until then. The interest in Korean martial arts began to decline during the later Joseon Dynasty, under the influence of Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism
Neo-Confucianism is an ethical and metaphysical Chinese philosophy influenced by Confucianism, that was primarily developed during the Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty, but which can be traced back to Han Yu and Li Ao in the Tang Dynasty....

, and it was only because of the Muyedobotongji and the interest the common people had in traditions like taekgyeon that these traditions managed to survive. The name for the martial arts of the Muyedobotongji is shippalgi
Shippalgi
Shippalgi is a kind of Korean martial arts, a system of eighteen traditional martial practices followed in Korea since 1759...

.

Modern Korean martial arts


Native Korean martial arts were banned during the period of Japanese occupation but survived through underground teaching and folk custom. After the occupation ancient books like the Muyedobotongji became popular study material for Korean martial artists, and influenced the development of many modern Korean fighting styles.

Ancient manuals like the Muyedobotongji became popular reading and study material for Korean martial artists and influenced the development of many modern Korean martial arts. For example, Koreans who had practiced Japanese kendo during the colonization period studied the Muyedobotongji to rediscover their own cultural heritage and recreated the traditional Korean martial arts, although this usually was nothing more than renaming techniques after those found in the Muyedobotongji. In this process the Muyedobotongji more than once was used unjustly as a link to Korea’s ancient martial heritage.

This does not mean that Korean martial arts from before the occupation completely disappeared. Masters of several styles survived the occupation or continued teaching their art even though the Japanese had put a ban on it. Taekgyeon had survived as a folk game and has grown in popularity in recent years. Also the techniques of the Muyedobotongji have survived the occupation and martial arts like shippalgi enjoy a renewed interest.

It should also be considered that Korean martial arts are still in a state of evolution as witnessed by recently emerging arts such as Tukong/Teukong Moosul and Youngmudo. There is now also the development of Korean arts influenced by Western boxing
Boxing
Boxing, also called pugilism, is a combat sport in which two people fight each other using their fists. Boxing is supervised by a referee over a series of between one to three minute intervals called rounds...

, Muay Thai
Muay Thai
Muay Thai is a combat sport from Thailand that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It is similar to other Indochinese kickboxing systems, namely pradal serey from Cambodia, tomoi from Malaysia, lethwei from Myanmar and muay Lao from Laos...

 or Judo, these would include Gongkwon Yusul
GongKwon Yusul
Gongkwon Yusul is a modern Korean martial art system founded by Kang Jun in 1996. Its main influences include the martial arts of Hapkido, Hakko-ryu jujutsu, Judo and Kyuktooki...

 and Kyuktooki.

It is also important to note that speaking about martial arts in terms of them being Chinese, Japanese or Korean is something that is from recent times and has grown this way under the influence of nationalistic views.

Taekkyeon/Taekgyeon



The oldest Korean martial art was an amalgamation of unarmed combat styles developed by the three rival Korean kingdoms of Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

, Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 and Baekje
Baekje
Baekje or Paekche was a kingdom located in southwest Korea. It was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, together with Goguryeo and Silla....

. Young men were trained in unarmed combat techniques to develop strength, speed, and survival skills. The most popular of these techniques was subak
Subak
Subak, Subakgi or Yusul is either a specific ancient Korean martial art. Historically this term may have specified the old Korean martial art of taekkyeon.-History:...

, with taekkyeon being the most popular of the segments of subak.

As the Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

 kingdom grew in power, the neighboring Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 kingdom became comparatively weaker, and an effort was undertaken among the Silla to develop a corps of special warriors. The Silla had a regular army
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

 but its military training techniques were less advanced than those of the Goguryeo, and its soldiers were generally of a lesser caliber. The Silla selected young men, some as young as twelve, and trained them in the liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

. Those who demonstrated strong natural aptitude were selected as trainees in the new special warrior corps, called the hwarang
Hwarang
The Hwarang, or "Flower Boys"., were an elite group of male youth in Silla, an ancient Korean kingdom that lasted until the 10th century. There were educational institutions as well as social clubs where members gathered for all aspects of study, originally for arts and culture steeped mainly in...

. It was believed that young men with a talent for the liberal arts may have the grace to become competent warriors. These warriors were instructed in academics as well as martial arts, learning philosophy, history, a code of ethics and equestrian sports. Their military training included an extensive weapons program involving swordsmanship and archery, both on horseback and on foot, as well as lessons in military tactics and unarmed combat. Although subak was leg-oriented in Goguryeo
Goguryeo
Goguryeo or Koguryŏ was an ancient Korean kingdom located in present day northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula, southern Manchuria, and southern Russian Maritime province....

, Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

's influence added hand techniques to the art .

In spite of Korea's rich history of ancient and traditional martial arts, Korean fighting methods faded into obscurity during the Joseon Dynasty
Joseon Dynasty
Joseon , was a Korean state founded by Taejo Yi Seong-gye that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was founded in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Goryeo at what is today the city of Kaesong. Early on, Korea was retitled and the capital was relocated to modern-day Seoul...

. Korean society became highly centralized under Korean Confucianism
Korean Confucianism
Korean Confucianism is the form of Confucianism developed in Korea. One of the most substantial influences in Korean intellectual history was the introduction of Confucian thought as part of the cultural influence from China...

 and martial arts were lowly regarded in a society whose ideals were epitomized by its scholar-kings. Remnants of traditional martial arts like subak
Subak
Subak, Subakgi or Yusul is either a specific ancient Korean martial art. Historically this term may have specified the old Korean martial art of taekkyeon.-History:...

 and taekkyeon were banned from practice by the general populace and reserved for sanctioned military uses although folk practice by the common populace still persisted into the 19th century.
.

Although the art nearly vanished, taekkyeon survived through underground teaching and folk custom. The Japanese colonial government totally prohibited all folkloric games including takkyon in the process of suppressing the Korean people. Taekkyeon had been secretly handed down only by the masters of the art until the liberation of the country in 1945. Song Duk-ki
Song Duk-ki
Song Duk-ki was a taekkyeon master who was critically responsible for preserving the art, and thus designated by the South Korean government as a national treasure.- External links :*...

, one of the then masters, was still alive at the age of over 80 and testified that his master was Im Ho who was reputed for his excellent skills of Taekkyeon, "jumping over the walls and running through the wood just like a tiger." Also noteworthy was the use of the term "pum" which signified a face-to-face stance preparing for a fight. The masters of Taekkyeon were also under constant threat of imprisonment, which resulted in an eventual cessation of Taekkyeon as popular games.

Taekkyeon has had a slight resurgence in recent days, getting the classification Important Intangible Cultural Properties of Korea No. 76" on June 1, 1983. It is the only Korean martial art which possesses such a classification.

Hapkido arts



Originally an ancient Silla
Silla
Silla was one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, and one of the longest sustained dynasties in...

 martial art but later named Hapkido by Choi Yong Sul who returned from Japan after World War II and started teaching a martial art he claimed to have learned from Sokaku Takeda. He called his style Yawara, but it was later renamed to Hapki Yusul
Hapki yusul
Hapkiyusul is a Korean martial art derived from Japanese Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu as it was brought to Korea by Choi Yong Sul.- Hapkido and Hapkiyusul :...

 and again renamed to Hapkido
Hapkido
Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks...

. Students of Choi Yong Sul, such as Ji Han Jae
Ji Han Jae
Ji Han-Jae was born in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea in 1936. He is one of the highest ranking hapkido instructors in the world and founder of Sin Moo Hapkido.- Trainee :...

, helped to spread this art. Hapkido helped to revitalize traditional Korean martial arts by providing systemization and becoming incorporated into other styles. This process complemented modern Korean martial arts like Kuk Sool Won
Kuk Sool Won
Kuk Sool Won is a Korean martial arts system founded by Suh In-Hyuk |Grandmaster]]) in 1958. The name Kuk Sool Won translates to "National Martial Art Association" and despite often being shortened to 'Kuk Sool,' the name kuk sool is a non-trade marked name used to denote similar Korean martial...

, Han Mu Do
Han Mu Do
Han Mu Do, founded by He-Young Kimm, is a martial arts system consisting of the study of empty hand techniques, the study of weapons, the study of ki, and the study of martial arts philosophy.- Origin :...

 and Hwarangdo.

Revived arts


There are also many modern Korean martial arts that are recompilations or reorganizations of techniques from traditional or imported arts. Some relied on manuals like the Muyejebo and Muyedobotongji
Muyedobotongji
In 1790, King Jeongjo of Korea commissioned a book called the Muyedobotongji which was an illustrated manual of Korean martial arts. This book, written by Yi Deokmu and Pak Jega , described in detail Korea's martial arts of which an unarmed combat style of kicking and punching is extensively...

. People trying to revive the old martial traditions of Korea studied these books and started new styles like Muye24ban and the re-enactment group Muye24gi. Many of these arts visually appear to have more of a Chinese influence than other Korean martial arts, except for taekgyeon.

Additionally, it is not clear who created these arts in the first place in their most ancient form—often, exponents of Korean martial arts argue that Korea in fact created these arts in ancient times, which then passed over to Japan, and then were later re-imported back to Korea. Historically, many cultural features, including Chinese calligraphy, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, pottery
Pottery
Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

 techniques, city design
Urban design
Urban design concerns the arrangement, appearance and functionality of towns and cities, and in particular the shaping and uses of urban public space. It has traditionally been regarded as a disciplinary subset of urban planning, landscape architecture, or architecture and in more recent times has...

, and political system
Political system
A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems...

s, were transmitted from China to Korea, and in modified form, retransmitted to Japan, which further modified them. As with other adjacent cultures, constant borrowings and adaptations in various directions make claims of origin very difficult to prove.

The Korean martial arts that may today be viewed as being traditional (as opposed to modern Korean martial arts) are taekgyeon and a handful of others including subyokchigi, subak, ssireum
Ssireum
Historically, there have been other terms for "wrestling" in Korean used alongside ssireum, such as gakjeo , gakhui , gakryeok , gakgii , chiuhui , sangbak , jaenggyo ....

, the Buddhist art of Seonmudo, and various weapon-based styles. Taekgyeon is the only Korean martial art that received the status of 'intangible cultural asset' (no. 76) from the Korean government.

Teaching methods


Modern Korean martial arts' systemization and presentation are very similar to their Japanese counterparts (i.e., barefoot, with uniforms, classes executing techniques simultaneously following the teacher's commands, and sometimes, showing respect to portraits of the founder by bowing to the picture or national flags). Many modern Korean martial arts also make use of colored belts to denote rank, tests to increase in rank, and the use of Korean titles when denoting the teacher. These include:
  • Kyosanim: teacher.
  • Sabeomnim (사범님 / 師範님): Master instructor.
  • Kwanjangnim (관장님 / 館長님): training hall owner/ kwan leader.
  • Dojunim (도주님 / 道主님): keeper of the way.


These Korean terms are based on Confucian rank systems (with the same Chinese characters). Many schools also make use of Korean terminology and numbers during practice.

Terminology


Korean martial arts are usually practiced in a dojang
Dojang
Dojang is a term used in Korean martial arts, such as taekwondo, Kuk Sool Won, and hapkido, that refers to a formal training hall. It is typically considered the formal gathering place for students of a martial art to conduct training, examinations and other related encounters.-Meaning:Do means...

(도장), which may also be referred to as cheyukkwan (체육관 / 體育館, i.e., gymnasium). The practitioners wear a uniform or dobok
Dobok
Dobok is the uniform worn by practitioners of Korean martial arts. Do means "way" and bok means "clothing." The dobok is modeled on the Japanese gi, used in Judo, which was developed by Judo's founder, Kanō Jigorō. The dobok comes in many colours, though white or black are the most common. The...

(도복) with a belt or tti (띠) wrapped around it. This belt usually shows which grade the practitioner has attained. A student usually starts with a white belt and moves through a range of colored belts (which differ from style to style) before reaching the black belt. The grades before black belt are referred to as geup
GEUP
GEUP is a commercial interactive geometry software program.It lets you dynamically explore mathematics or build mathematical models of real world.OS: Windows 7/Vista/XP/2003/2000/NT4/Me/98/95-Main features:...

or kup (급), while the grades of black belts are referred to as dan
Dan rank
The ranking system is a Japanese mark of level, which is used in modern fine arts and martial arts. Originally invented in a Go school in the Edo period, this system was applied to martial arts by Kanō Jigorō, the founder of judo and later introduced to other East Asia countries.In the modern...

(단). In some cases, students less than 16 years old are not given dan grades, but rather "pum" or poom (품) or "junior black belt" grades. Some styles use stripes on the black belt to show which dan the practitioner holds. It is common for a system to have nine geup grades and nine dan grades. While it might only take a few months to go from one geup to the next, it can take years to go from one dan to the next. Most of the above terms are identical to those used in Japanese styles such as judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

 and karate
Karate
is a martial art developed in the Ryukyu Islands in what is now Okinawa, Japan. It was developed from indigenous fighting methods called and Chinese kenpō. Karate is a striking art using punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques such as knife-hands. Grappling, locks,...

, but with the Chinese characters read in Korean pronunciation, with a few exceptions (dobok and tti have been altered to fit the Korean language).

In some styles, like taekgyeon, the hanbok
Hanbok
Hanbok or Chosŏn-ot is the traditional Korean dress. It is often characterized by vibrant colors and simple lines without pockets. Although the term literally means "Korean clothing", hanbok today often refers specifically to hanbok of Joseon Dynasty and is worn as semi-formal or formal wear...

 is worn instead of a dobok. The v-neck of many styles of taekwondo uniform was supposedly fashioned after the hanbok.

Styles

|Taekgyeon
Taekyon
Taekkyeon is a traditional Korean martial art with a dance-like appearance in some aspects. A Goguryeo mural painting at the Samsil tomb shows Taekkyeon was practiced as early as the Three Kingdoms Era and transmitted from Goguryeo to Shilla. The earliest existing written source mentioning...

 (택견)>
Traditional Korean martial arts
Martial art Annotations
Chung Do Mu Sool Won (정도무술원 / 正道武術院), also spelled Chungdo Musulwon, Jung Do Mu Sool Won, Jeong Do Mu Sul Won, Jeongdosul (정도술), etc. (literally meaning "True-Way Martial Arts," also "Right Way, Correct Way, and/or Best or Proper Method of Martial Arts Training.") This was the original martial art used by the Korean Royal Army, Royal Palace Guards, and Royal Bodyguards. Reference to this form can be found in the Muyedobotongji
Muyedobotongji
In 1790, King Jeongjo of Korea commissioned a book called the Muyedobotongji which was an illustrated manual of Korean martial arts. This book, written by Yi Deokmu and Pak Jega , described in detail Korea's martial arts of which an unarmed combat style of kicking and punching is extensively...

 and the Korean National Archives. This form uses multiple styles of fighting, and unlike many other Korean styles Chung Do retains a fair amount of weapons training. Skills employed vary from joint locks, fist techniques, kicks and pressure point
Pressure point
A pressure point in the field of martial arts refers to an area on the human body that may produce significant pain or other effects when manipulated in a specific manner...

 throws. Chung Do also incorporates the arts of jiapsul (acupressure) and chimsul acupuncture
Acupuncture
Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that treats patients by insertion and manipulation of solid, generally thin needles in the body....

, etc.). Chung Do Mu Sool Won is officially organized under the World Chung Do Mu Sool Won Association (세계 정도무술원 협회 / 世界 正道武術院 協會) and its sister organization the Chun Tong Han Kuk Koong Joong Mu Yea Sool Hyup Hye (전통한국궁중무예술협회 / 傳統韓國宮中武藝術協會), the Traditional Korean Royal Court Martial Fine Arts Association.
Charyeok (차력/借力) (literally meaning 'stance art') This is an art that mainly focused on various forms and stances.
Haidong Gumdo
Haidong Gumdo
Haedong Kumdo, also spelled Haidong Gumdo, is a name coined around 1982 and used for several Korean martial arts organizations that use swords. Spelling varies between certain organizations...

 (해동검도)
The sword traditional Korean Martial Art. Korean kendo.
Kichun
Kichun
KiChun is a Korean martial art, introduced in the 1960s, origins of the martial art being widely unknown as it was passed from one wandering master to another. Many martial artists claim that forms and postures look similar to the Wing Chun or Southern Praying Mantis styles of China...

 (기천/氣天)
This is an art that focus on rigorous stances and free-flowing combat.
Kwansunmu (관선무)
Gukgung (국궁/國弓) Korean archery, making use of a traditional composite horn bow.
Gungsul (궁술/弓術) literally: bow art, i.e. archery
Gungsido
Gungdo
Gungdo
The Korean Bow is a water buffalo horn-based composite reflex bow, standardized about 1900 AD from the variety of such weapons in earlier use...

archery
Joseon Sebeop (조선세법/朝鮮勢法) This is a sword style originating in Chosun. It has many hand and a half techniques along with slicing with little movement.
Sunmudo
Sunmudo
Sunmudo is a Korean Buddhist martial art based on Seon , which was revived during the seventies and eighties of the 20th century. The formal name of Sunmudo is Bulgyo Geumgang Yeong Gwan...

 (선무도/禪武道)/Bulmudo (불무도/佛武道) /Seon-Kwan-Moo
Seon-Kwan-Moo
Seon-Kwan-Moo is the name of a Korean "Seon ", Buddhist cultivation method for enlightenment, employing a martial arts training regimen and meditations.- Modern history :...

These are Korean martial arts passed down by the Buddhist monks and mostly preserved until today
Shippalgi
Shippalgi
Shippalgi is a kind of Korean martial arts, a system of eighteen traditional martial practices followed in Korea since 1759...

 (십팔기/十八技)
This is the style described in the Muyesinbo
Muyesinbo
The Muyesinbo is Korean martial arts manual published in 1759. The book is a revision of the older Muyejebo and adds twelve methods of both armed and unarmed fighting to the original six which were descbribed in the Muyejebo...

 and Muyedobotongji
Muyedobotongji
In 1790, King Jeongjo of Korea commissioned a book called the Muyedobotongji which was an illustrated manual of Korean martial arts. This book, written by Yi Deokmu and Pak Jega , described in detail Korea's martial arts of which an unarmed combat style of kicking and punching is extensively...

. The crown prince Sado named the 18 martial arts of Korea 'Muye Sippalki' when compiling the Muyeshinbo in 1759.
Ssireum
Ssireum
Historically, there have been other terms for "wrestling" in Korean used alongside ssireum, such as gakjeo , gakhui , gakryeok , gakgii , chiuhui , sangbak , jaenggyo ....

 (씨름)
This is Korean folk wrestling. The art requires the opponents to grasp each other in the sash belts that they wear. The first man to let go of their opponent, or to touch the ground with a part of the body other than the bottom of the feet, loses. This art is still seen in Korea today, mostly as a contest in festivals and such.
Subyeokchigi (수벽치기) (literally translated, it means 'bare block striking') It is a breaking art in Korea that trains the martial artists to break stone, metal and wood with their bare hands. Many martial artists from different backgrounds take this technique to further discipline themselves.
This is a traditional martial art that subak was divided into. It uses many sweeps with straight forward low kicks using the ball of the foot and the heel and flowing crescent like high kicks. There are many kicks that moved the leg outward from the middle and inward from the outside using the side of the heels and the side of the feet. The art also used tricks like inward trips, wall jumping, fake outs, tempo, and slide stepping. It resembles dancing in the way the fighter constantly changes his or her stance from his or her left to his or her right by stepping forward and backwards while his or her arms are up and ready to guard. This art requires traditional Korean white robes which were commonly worn in the past.

Extinct Korean martial arts
Martial art Annotations
Subak
Soobak
Subak, Subakgi or Yusul is either a specific ancient Korean martial art. Historically this term may have specified the old Korean martial art of taekkyeon.-History:...

 (수박/手搏) (Means 'hand fighting')
This was a term for empty-handed combat methods. It translates into Chinese as shoubo.
Yusul (유술/柔術) A supposedly ancient grappling style sometimes called the predecessor of hapkido. The Chinese characters are identical to Japanese jujutsu
Jujutsu
Jujutsu , also known as jujitsu, ju-jitsu, or Japanese jiu-jitsu, is a Japanese martial art and a method of close combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon....

.

Modern Korean martial arts
Martial art Annotations
Kung Jung Mu Sul
Kung Jung Mu Sul
Kung Jung Mu Sul is Korean for Traditional Royal Court Martial Arts. A lethal system of self-defense whose origins can be traced back to the three original martial arts systems of Korea. Kung Jung Mu Sul - Royal Court Martial Arts. Bulkyo Mu Sul - Buddhist Martial Arts. Sado Mu Sul - Tribal Martial...

Kung Jung Mu Sul, Traditional Royal Court Martial Arts in Korean, was created by Grandmaster Soon Tae Yang. It is a comprehensive system dealing with both single and multiple attackers utilizing a vast array of kicking, in-close striking, joint lock manipulation, grappling and weapon techniques from both the standing and ground positions.
Cheongye Kwan
Cheongye Kwan
The Cheongye Kwan Daehando Institute is a British eclectic Korean Martial Art system, conceived and developed from 2003-2005 by Barry Cook before officially forming and being opened in March of 2007. In English, the association name means "School of Excellence in the Korean Way"...

This art focuses on combining hand strikes, fast kicks and evasive blocks as well as locks, breaks, strangle and take-downs and martial arts weapons. Formed between 2003 and 2005 by Barry Cook. It is an unfixed conceptual art allowing individual development for each participant.
Choi Kwang Do
Choi Kwang Do
Choi Kwang Do is a martial art developed by Kwang Jo Choi. The style relies more on flexibility and fluidity of movement as opposed to the more rigid lines of some other martial arts. To achieve this it employs yoga-based stretching to develop the flexibility of practitioners.-History:Choi Kwang...

This art focuses on strikes and blocks as well as wrist breaks, strangle breaks and take-downs. Formed between 1978 and 1987 by Kwang Jo Choi Its stretches are based on moves from yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

 and designed to increase flexibility.
Danmudo This art comprises many empty hand techniques Ho Shin Sool, as well as weapon elements. Similar to other circular Korean arts such as hapkido
Hapkido
Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks...

, Dahn Moo Do is one that utilizes an opponents energy and weight against them.
Hankumdo
Hankumdo
Hankumdo is a Korean sword-art where the basic techniques are based on the letters of the Korean alphabet, Hangul.-Goal:The goal of hankumdo is to teach people how to defend themselves and at the same time offer them exercises to stay healthy. It also is meant to give practitioners the means to...

This is a newly created Korean sword-art where the basic techniques are based on the letters of the Korean alphabet, hangeul
Hangul
Hangul,Pronounced or ; Korean: 한글 Hangeul/Han'gŭl or 조선글 Chosŏn'gŭl/Joseongeul the Korean alphabet, is the native alphabet of the Korean language. It is a separate script from Hanja, the logographic Chinese characters which are also sometimes used to write Korean...

.
Gwon-gyokdo (권격도/拳擊道) This is a Korean style of kickboxing
Kickboxing
Kickboxing refers to a group of martial arts and stand-up combat sports based on kicking and punching, historically developed from karate, Muay Thai and western boxing....

.
Gyongdang
Gyongdang
Gyeongdang a Korean martial art consist of 24 military arts. The 24 military arts come from the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. Korea who had had a peaceful life for 200 years was defeated quickly by the well trained Japanese troops...

This is the name of the association where the Muye24ban was practiced. The founder is Lim Dong Kyu who studied the Muyedobotongji and reconstructed its martial arts.
Haidong Gumdo
Haidong Gumdo
Haedong Kumdo, also spelled Haidong Gumdo, is a name coined around 1982 and used for several Korean martial arts organizations that use swords. Spelling varies between certain organizations...

 (해동검도/海東劍道) (literally meaning 'Techniques of the Eastern Asian Sword')
This is a sword art created by Kim Jeong Ho and Na Han Il around 1980. Its original name (as they learned it from Kim Chang Sik) was Shim Gum Do
Shim Gum Do
Shim Gum Do, translated as the "mind sword path", is a martial arts system of recent invention, originating in Korea. Shim Gum Do emerged from the enlightenment of the monk Won Gwang, born as Chang Sik Kim, during a 100 day meditation and prayer retreat in 1965. The central component of the system...

. It is more concentrated on field techniques and combos rather than having only one opponent.
Hankido
Hankido
Hankido is a new hapkido style developed by the late Myung Jae Nam using even more circular flowing movements owing to Nam's background in traditional Korean dance.-Etymology:...

 (한기도/韓氣道)
This is a martial art developed by Myung Jae Nam
Myung Jae Nam
Myung Jae Nam or Jae-Nam Myong was a Korean Hapkido practitioner who founded two martial art styles; Hankido and Hankumdo.-Life:Myung Jae Nam was born in Jeollanam-do province but lived in Incheon for most of his life....

 based on both hapkido
Hapkido
Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks...

 and aikido
Aikido
is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to...

 as well as a lot of own creation.
Hanmudo
Han Mu Do
Han Mu Do, founded by He-Young Kimm, is a martial arts system consisting of the study of empty hand techniques, the study of weapons, the study of ki, and the study of martial arts philosophy.- Origin :...

 (한무도/韓武道)
This style was created by Kimm He-Young; a martial arts historian and a student of Lim Dong Kyu. The name just means 'Korean martial art'. It is one of the arts claiming to have deep roots in Korean culture. It consists of many different striking, grappling, and weapon techniques. Its signature feature is the mu han de, or infinity symbol, shaped movement incorporated into blocking, grappling and striking. Hanmudo should not be confused with another style called Han Moo Do.
Han Moo Do Han Moo Do (also Hanmoodo) is a Korean-style martial art founded in Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 by Young Suk. It is mainly practiced in the Nordic countries. Hanmoodo contains almost all sectors of traditional martial arts and its exponents may participate in full-contact competition.
Hapkido
Hapkido
Hapkido is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form of self-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks...

 (합기도/合氣道)
This martial art has the same roots as Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu, but many kicks, acrobatics, and weapons added later.
Hapmudo (합무도/合武道) This modern martial art is a combination of styles including empty hand and weapon techniques. Hapmudo means combination of martial art studies. Fist techniques, kicks, grappling, joint submissions and throws are all incorporated.
Hoejon Musul (회전무술/回轉武術) This is a Korean martial art developed by Myung Jae Ok which uses circular motions in order to direct an opponent's power against him/her.
Hwarangdo
Hwa Rang Do
Hwa Rang Do is a Korean martial art that was created by Dr. Joo Bang Lee and his brother Joo Sang Lee. This martial art teaches fighting techniques, weapons, spiritual training, intellectual enhancement, and artistic pursuits. It has a very evolved technical structure.-History:The name Hwa Rang Do...

 (화랑도/花郞道)
A modern Korean martial art founded in 1960 by Joo Bang Lee. It includes hard and soft style striking and blocking, joint locks, throws, take-downs, ground fighting, and weapons. It is governed by the World Hwa Rang Do Association, and claims to be based on the traditional fighting skills and philosophy of the Hwarang
Hwarang
The Hwarang, or "Flower Boys"., were an elite group of male youth in Silla, an ancient Korean kingdom that lasted until the 10th century. There were educational institutions as well as social clubs where members gathered for all aspects of study, originally for arts and culture steeped mainly in...

.
Geomdo-kwan
Kom Do Kwan (곰도관) (literally way of the bear school) A modern taekwondo kwan with strong emphasis on self-defense oriented techniques originating from the Allen Steen
Allen Steen
Allen R. Steen is an American martial arts practitioner, teacher, and promoter. He was taught by Jhoon Rhee, the "Father of American Taekwondo", and was the first of Rhee's American students to reach black belt standing. He was inducted into the Taekwondo Hall of Fame in 2007.Steen was a business...

 line of the Chung Do Kwan with strong influence from Shotokan, Hapkido and Arnis.
Kumdo
Kumdo
Kumdo is a modern martial art descended from kendo, which is practiced in Korea. It is also romanized as kǒmdo, gumdo, or geomdo. The name means "the way of the sword," and is a cognate with the Japanese term. Kumdo is a martial art that has become engrained within Korean culture and society since...

 (검도/劍道) (literally meaning 'sword art')
Korean version of kendo
Kendo
, meaning "Way of The Sword", is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting based on traditional Japanese swordsmanship, or kenjutsu.Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements.-Practitioners:Practitioners...

.
Kuk Sool Won
Kuk Sool Won
Kuk Sool Won is a Korean martial arts system founded by Suh In-Hyuk |Grandmaster]]) in 1958. The name Kuk Sool Won translates to "National Martial Art Association" and despite often being shortened to 'Kuk Sool,' the name kuk sool is a non-trade marked name used to denote similar Korean martial...

 (국술원/國術院)
This is a branch from Suh In Hyuk, a student of Choi Yongsul's hapkido school. The art is based on three branches of traditional Korean martial arts: Family/Tribal martial arts, Buddhist temple martial arts and Royal Court martial arts.
Kwonbup
Kwonbup
Gwonbeop means fist fighting method. The earliest surviving written reference to gwonbeop is found in the Muyedobotongji, which has extensive documentation on the techniques and history of gwonbeop. According to this text, gwonbeop was impractical for large scale combat on the battlefield, but was...

 (권법/拳法) (literally meaning 'fist methods')
Kwonbup is the Korean translation of the Chinese word quanfa. Various old documents and scrolls in Korea depicted barehand techniques and referred to them as kwonbup.
Soo Bahk Do
Soo Bahk Do
Soo Bahk Do is the name of the martial art founded and taught by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee, his successor Hwang Hyun Chul, known as H.C. Hwang, and instructors who are certified by member organizations of the World Moo Duk Kwan, Inc.- History :...

 (수박도/手搏道)
The present incarnation of Hwang Kee
Hwang Kee
Grand Master Hwang Kee was one of the most important figures in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do. He was the founder of Soo Bahk Do and the school of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan.-Life:...

's style; previously it was known as Tangsudo, a name still used by some schools. These include use of the hip and interesting kicks. Similar to old-style taekwondo, there are some unique methods such as the "reverse roundhouse kick". Aside from Hwang Kee's own creations, many of the techniques in Soo Bahk Do were adopted from Shotokan karate and higher levels include those from Chinese martial arts.
Mankwondo (만권도/慢拳道) A Martial Art that is based on Korean Martial Arts that was developed (and is actively being developed) in the United States. The name translates to the Way of the Slow Fist (literally Slow Fist Way). It is based on (mostly) Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do, though all the Poomsae are original to the art. The art, as its name suggests is slow (or soft) style martial art whose focus is on mostly on hand techniques and circular movement. It can be viewed as an amalgamation of Taekwondo and Tai Chi, though there is very little influence from Tai Chi in the art.
Muye24gi (무예이십사기/武藝二十四技) This is a branch of Muye24ban made by Kim Young Ho a former student of Dong Gyu Lim. The Muye24ki community is a re-enactment group that tries to revive the history of the Muyedobotongji
Muyedobotongji
In 1790, King Jeongjo of Korea commissioned a book called the Muyedobotongji which was an illustrated manual of Korean martial arts. This book, written by Yi Deokmu and Pak Jega , described in detail Korea's martial arts of which an unarmed combat style of kicking and punching is extensively...

. The martial arts of Muye24ki is inspired by contemporary sibpalki.
Sul Ki Do Rooted in traditional Korean martial arts, Sulkido emphasises practical self defense.
Taekuk Musul This style was founded by Suk Ku Kim. It teaches falling techniques, kicks, strikes, hand techniques, pressure points, joint locks and weapons.
Taekwon-Do (태권도/跆拳道) Based around the studies of Japanese Karate and Taekkyon, Taekwondo (originally Taesoodo) was created in the 1950s by a collaboration of the various kwans, although Choi Hong Hi
Choi Hong Hi
Choi Hong Hi , also known as General Choi, was a South Korean army general and martial artist who is a controversial figure in the history of the Korean martial art of taekwondo. Choi is widely regarded as the 'Founder of Taekwondo'—most often by International Taekwon-Do Federation organizations...

 later claimed to be the sole creator. The first governing foundation was the Korea Taekwondo Association
Korea Taekwondo Association
Korea Taekwondo Association , originally the Korea Taekwon-Do Association, is the first taekwondo organisation. It was founded in 1959, although official South Korean sources give 1961 as its year of establishment. In 1966, some members of the KTA, led by H. H...

. The International Taekwondo-do Federation was a splinter group of this association, led by Choi Hong Hi
Choi Hong Hi
Choi Hong Hi , also known as General Choi, was a South Korean army general and martial artist who is a controversial figure in the history of the Korean martial art of taekwondo. Choi is widely regarded as the 'Founder of Taekwondo'—most often by International Taekwon-Do Federation organizations...

. The major governing body, the World Taekwondo Federation
World Taekwondo Federation
The World Taekwondo Federation is the International Federation member of the International Olympic Committee for the competition events of the martial art of taekwondo...

 was formed later by the KTA. The art is based around weaponless self-defense applying arm, hand, foot and leg techniques and mainly focused on standing or jumping applications of techniques. The name is derived from "tae" (跆; an obsolete Chinese word meaning trample or break with the feet), "kwon" (拳; fist), and "do" (道; way). Tournament sparring allows the use of hands and feet in combat and permits full-contact strikes to the face and body above the hip with use of both striking elements. It is a modern martial art that is based on Korean style kicking and punching techniques, mixed with techniques from karate, aikido and many other arts. Taekwondo is now an Olympic
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 and Commonwealth Games
Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years....

 sport.
Tangsudo
Tang Soo Do
Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art promoted by Hwang Kee that has roots in various martial arts, including taekkyeon and Subak.-Etymology:...

 (당수도/唐手道) (literally means 'Chinese hand way')
Tang Soo Do is the Korean pronunciation of the older way of writing karate-do (唐手道, i.e. "Way of the Chinese Hand"). For many years, Koreans referred to their striking martial art as Tang Soo or Kong Soo Do (the Korean pronunciation of Kōngshǒudào (空手道), "Way of the Empty Hand"). In the West, Tang Soo Do often refers specifically to Hwang Kee's style (see mudukkwan subakdo). It is essentially Korean karate and its patterns (hyung in Korean or kata in Japanese) are karate kata. Tangsoodo practitoner persist in trying to deny this obvious connection.
Tong-Il Moo-Do (The Unified Martial Arts) Tong-Il Moo-Do is a Korean style that combines circular and linear movemets or hard and soft aspect of the moo-do (martial arts). It is similar to modern Mixed Martial Arts. Tong-Il Moo-Do combines kicking and punching techniques with throwing and grappling.
Tukong Moosul (특공무술/特攻武術) (literally meaning 'techniques of the Korean Special Forces') is a style based on the distance theory. The martial artist practicing Tukong is trained in four areas: Throwing (leverage techniques), Punching (hand techniques), Kicking (foot techniques), and Weapons (extended body techniques). Training also includes combat training and self defense. Tukong is practiced in conjunction with a softer style martial art (Ip San).
Kang Duk Won
Kang Duk Won
Kang Duk Won was one of the original 9 kwans that eventually merged to create the Kukkiwon system. This Kwan was founded in the later 1950s by former students of the YMCA Kwon Bop Bu . These two students of YMCA Kwon Bop Bu founder Byung In Yoon were Hong Jong-Pyo and Chul Hee Park...

A martial art that places more emphasis on punching than kicking.
Yongmudo A modern combination of taekwondo
Taekwondo
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

, hankido
Hankido
Hankido is a new hapkido style developed by the late Myung Jae Nam using even more circular flowing movements owing to Nam's background in traditional Korean dance.-Etymology:...

, ssireum
Ssireum
Historically, there have been other terms for "wrestling" in Korean used alongside ssireum, such as gakjeo , gakhui , gakryeok , gakgii , chiuhui , sangbak , jaenggyo ....

 and judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

 developed at Yong-In University
Yong-In University
Yong In University is a private university located in Yongin City, Gyeonggi province, South Korea. It has an enrollment of about 15,000 students. The university offers graduate and undergraduate study in a wide range of fields. The university began its life as a martial arts school, and continues...

.
Gongkwon Yusul
GongKwon Yusul
Gongkwon Yusul is a modern Korean martial art system founded by Kang Jun in 1996. Its main influences include the martial arts of Hapkido, Hakko-ryu jujutsu, Judo and Kyuktooki...

This is a martial art style combining hapkido, kyuktoogi, judo
Judo
is a modern martial art and combat sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. Its most prominent feature is its competitive element, where the object is to either throw or takedown one's opponent to the ground, immobilize or otherwise subdue one's opponent with a grappling maneuver, or force an...

 and hakko-ryu jujitsu.

External links