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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Origins of Korean Martial Arts

From: Examiner

As with all of worlds history, there is always a story on how an origin of an artifact, theories of pre-historic fossils, or an unused building or castle, has a hidden past which there are few, some, or no records to re-tell the story of our human culture.

It’s some what the same when speaking of the origins of the Martial-Arts in most Asian cultures. When many think of Korean Martial-Arts, the first comes to mind is Tae Kwon Do, and it’s just an Olympic Art for sport and only demonstrations.

It could take a whole text book to get deep into the past of Korean Martial Arts. But I will make the best of trying to be brief and clear. If you love history, it can sound very exciting to hear how Korean Martial Arts has been formed, if you like to know the dates, places, and people who were involved for those reasons of combat and battle on warfare.

As with most world history, all forms of combat or martial arts, really basically comes from war and violence. People through out the centuries and decades have felt the need to feel secure and safe from danger. But to be clear from harm, it is really about being able to defend one-self, even if it means fighting to the death.

Korea, as with most countries, have had battles on all sides and conflicts of Religion, Communication, Culture, Language, and Economics, around its borders of Asia. That would include Mongolia, China, Japan, and at times with India. Korea has been influenced by all of its border brothers of Asia in many ways. So as with Korean Martial Arts, a lot of the styles have been influenced by Buddhist Shaloin Monks and Japanese Occupation during WWII, and having wars with the Monguls for past generations. Each confrontation brought ideas of self defense that would fit to their environment.

Kuk Sool Won Demonstrations

The Mongolians were usually bigger to which brought grappling styles being evolved such as Kuk Sool Won, Tan Soo Do, Hapkido, to which it’s a mixture of styles to grapple, rapid Chinese punches, sweep and throw, and become rapidly fast on their hands, and practice of sharp weapons. But with the influence of kicks in each style being the focus or power of the Martial-Arts un-armed combat.

Hwa Rang Do Demo Part 1

Conflicts with the Japanese during WWII, Tae Kwon Do was born, taking pieces from the Japanese Martial Arts from its open hand system, but evolving the kicks to be the main target of a weapon, but to have the hands as a last resort of self-defense when in close range combat.

Tae Kwon Do: K-Tigers Korean Demo Team

Korean National Demo Team

When in conflict or having difficult settling disputes with the Chinese, various form of martial arts evolved when having to defend one self from armed combat when using medal or wooden weapons, which would be called Hwa Ran Do, meaning "The way of the Flowering Manhood".

Hwa Rang Do Demo Part 2

As the centuries had past, Korean Martial Arts was born, but all due to having difficult Public Relations with their Asian Border Brothers, which they were surrounded without the need of an ID or pass port to show some form of an identification. Many other styles of Korean Martial-Arts has been created or designed to fit not only for the environment but also for different stages of a fight.

Tang Soo Do Demonstrations

But not only for the location or site the battle or war would be held, but also to involve young men to become warriors into army regimens, and to allow their women to learn self-defense skills while they were at their palaces performing duties in the kingdom when there is chance for war to arise.

Hapkido Sparring

Since the time of many conflicts in Korea with other national countries, many styles or systems of organizations of the Korean Martial Arts has been born to name only a few, WTF (World Tae Kwon Do Federation) ITF (International Tae Kwon Do Federation) ATA (American Tae Kwon Do Assocation), ICHF (International Combat Hapkido Federation), and many other Korean Martial Art Organizations that have created their system of Korean Martial Arts. But regardless of which martial art you could be of interest in, what really matters, what you may enjoy out of the training and what you are looking for, when wanting to better your life.

Hapkido Demonstrations in Korea

~武德为首, Martial Art Virtue comes first

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