A Brief History of Taekwon-Do by General Choi

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by puunui, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    This comes from General Choi's 1965 book:

    4. A Brief History of Taekwon-Do

    Tae Kyon, the ancient name of Taekwon-Do, was as old as the history of the Hwarang-do. There was primitive activity known as Tae Kyon in the Silla Dynasty about 1300 years ago.

    Originally, Silla possessed the smallest territory when the ancient Korea was divided into three kingdoms, and she had to meet constant invasions from Koguryu in the north and Baekche in the west.

    From the time 500 A.D. Koguryo became so strong that it made Silla untenable. Therefore King Chin-Hung at his 37th year of reign called up the strong and patriotic youths throughout the country and formed a strong organization called Hwarang-Do (a kind of military organization) to meet the national crisis.

    This group respected the royalty, honour and spirit of the warrior while they enjoyed peoms, music and morality, and travelled to noted mountains and big rivers with the purpose of body spirit training. Consequently, General Kim Yu-Sin, the leader of Hwarang-Do, unified all the territories in 668 A.D. According to Mr. Song Duk-Ki who was one of the veterans of Tae-Kyon at the end of the Yi Dynasty this art had been developed and taken shape, but unfortunately the trend of the thought humiliated at art of valour while it encouraged the literary arts during the Yi Dynasty (1393-1910 A.D.) and Tae Kyon could barely maintain its exsistance having no chance to further progress from the original type of foot technique.

    During the Japanese occupation, after the Yi Dynasty, the hand technique was introduced from both China and Japan to this traditional art enabling the hand and foot techniques to be combined into one body under various names such as Tang-Su, Kong-Su, Karate, Kwon-Bup, Tae-Su, etc. Soon after the liberation in 1945, there was a movement to find the real name of this art. In 1955, a special board of many Taekwon-Do masters, historians, and prominent leaders was formed to solve this problem.

    In 1955, at the session for naming, the term worded "Tae" and "Kwon" which I submitted was chosen unanimously among the many other ballots.

    The reasons behind the selection are follows:

    1. This term had close connection with the old name Tae-Kyon both in pronunciation and meaning.

    2. It was appreciated as more relevant name to visualize the fact that this art employs combined techniques of both foot and hand, than such term as Tang-Su (Chinese hand) or Karate (empty hand) which implies hand technique only.

    This is a brief history of Taekwon-Do which is widely called and practiced in many parts of the world today.
     
  2. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    Also here is what GM KIM Byung Soo says about who created the story about Taekwondo's 2000 year history:

    http://www.arlingtonkarate.com/articles/KoreanMAtruth.pdf

    GMKS: Most people called it Tang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do or Kwon Bop. General Choi
    Hong-hi called his system, “Tae Kwon Do.”

    RM: General Choi Hong-hi created Tae Kwon Do?

    GMKS: In the early days he was teaching the same karate forms as the other kwans,
    such as Pyung Ahn, Bassai Tae, Kon Sang Kun, etc. Then in the late 1950’s he came up
    with a story about martial arts links to Korguryo dynasty, Silla Dynasty, 2000 years of tradition, etc.
    He created new forms and gave each form a name related to something in Korean history, such as a scholar’s name or a famous Korean patriot’s name. He called
    his system, “Taekwondo.” He was trying to get away from the connection to the
    Japanese - trying to make something patriotic. He wanted everyone to follow this new
    line and give up their previous training.
     
  3. bluewaveschool

    bluewaveschool 2nd Black Belt

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    I understand his desire to give it a 'Korean identity', from a nationalistic pride point of view. America has it's share of made up/exagrrerated 'patriotic' stories. Paul Revere's ride comes to mind.
     
  4. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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  5. bluewaveschool

    bluewaveschool 2nd Black Belt

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  6. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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  7. bluewaveschool

    bluewaveschool 2nd Black Belt

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    Dear Scissors,

    I feel your pain, no one wants to run with me either.

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  8. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Senior Master

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    Pax,

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  9. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    You might have forgotten the original claim, which was that the Kukki Taekwondo pioneers "lied" about Taekwondo having a 2000 year old history that goes back to Taekkyon and the Hwarang and Soo Bahk Ki. The fact of the matter is that General Choi was the one who "lied" about the 2000 year old history thing.
     
  10. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    I submit that it is far different to claim something has links to other things going back 2000 years and misquoting that and / or claiming something is actualy 2000 years old.

    Not only would this be a case of misquoting but also taking it out of context since General Choi explicitly references, with analogies to discovering fire or inventing the wheel, that such things like Martial Arts are not the invention or discovery of a single person or country but likely occurred concurrently in different areas.
     
  11. KarateMomUSA

    KarateMomUSA Black Belt

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    Yes this is all great stuff & does contribute more proof that Gen Choi did create his martial art that he named TKD.
    All sides of the historical search for more truth can learn something from this & other things that GM Kim Soo has written.
     
  12. KarateMomUSA

    KarateMomUSA Black Belt

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    Quote
    Originally Posted by puunui [​IMG]
    You might have forgotten the original claim, which was that the Kukki Taekwondo pioneers "lied" about Taekwondo having a 2000 year old history that goes back to Taekkyon and the Hwarang and Soo Bahk Ki. The fact of the matter is that General Choi was the one who "lied" about the 2000 year old history thing.


    Yes it does appear that Puunui is really not to open to views that contridicate what he has come to know. Now I am not really sure what he wants us to think?
    Is it that Gen Choi created the 2,000 year old myth or that GM Lee Chong Woo was lying when GM Lee said he made it up? Which one is it?
    So is it that GM Lee just stole the idea from Gen Choi? If so, why?

    Now to think seriously that Gen Choi did not insist that he the founder of TKD is beyond silly. Gen Choi constantly promoted the idea that he was THE Founder of TKD. While it is true that Gen Choi led a team that did create & systemized a Korean martial art for self defence that they called TKD, long before anyone else even wanted to acknolwedge the name, he was not the sole creator, he was their leader & he was a martial artist. Now maybe he was not as physically strong, gifted with God given talent as some others, especially the supermen he picked from thousands, he was their leader. So now what are we to believe, he was over 2,000 years old?
    What Master Weiss accurately points out is that this was only part of what he wrote. He clearly says he created TK-D & he also points out that Korea had fighting systems in place since days of long ago, preceeding the Japanese occupation of his beloved homeland of Korea.
    So what comes next Puunui? More accusations that Gen Choi lied? Well tehn GM Lee followed a liar. But let me tell you upfront, that Gen Choi was consistent with his claims. He told of how Korea had arts in the past, how they died out & how he, along with his soldiers created TK-D. He never denied his karate roots & the training he had in that Japanese martial art. He then said how he used that, along with Taek Kyon, to make TK-D. It is the Kukki TKD version, repeated still to this day that says TKD is 2,000 years old & their versions do not make the all so obvious link to karate. Even the great GM Lee Chong Woo says it is time to tell the truth!
     
  13. KarateMomUSA

    KarateMomUSA Black Belt

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    I offered proof in the man's own words that he lied about it, that he made up the story & that he said since TKD was now on the top of the world, they can & should come out with the truth. This is essentially what Steve Capener, PhD says as well.
    So GM lee Chong Woo made up the story that he gave to the Education Ministry of the ROK. This became the template for the Kukki TKD world & still is.
    So now I guess that you want us to believe that GM Lee stole the story from Gen Choi & of course wrote him out of the part that he came up with the name, erased the karate connection & that was the basis for his fabrication, right? LOL ;)
    I am just not sure we can have it both ways.
     
  14. KarateMomUSA

    KarateMomUSA Black Belt

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    Yes & exactly why I keep harping on the fact that we must know the history of Korea, its politics & the context of the times that TKD's development took hold during!
     
  15. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    But that is what General Choi did, say that it was 1300 years old, in his 1965 english book. Try and read the first post above. He might be saying something different now in the encyclopedia, but that isn't what he said back in 1965.
     
  16. puunui

    puunui Senior Master

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    What I am not open to is your paraphrasing of what GM LEE Chong Woo said. He didn't say what you say he said. He said this:

    [Reporter’s Question]: Many Taekwondo textbooks set the time of Taekwondo’s beginnings as the pre- Three-Kingdoms Period. Even with all the historical assumptions,
    it seems somewhat extreme.

    [Chong Woo Lee’s Response]: “I am one of those who wrote that in a book. To
    be frank, we did not have much to come out with. At an early stage in the course of our
    introducing Taekwondo to foreign countries, when we said ‘Taekwondo was a Korean
    traditional martial art’, it was well justified and accepted. However, although there was a
    resemblance, it is in fact different. Should we consult [Taekwondo’s] historical origins, it
    could be persuasive to say that Japan adopted their martial arts form from the Chinese
    martial arts, and it flowed into Korea later. Japanese people scientifically developed
    them by making many modifications from the Chinese martial arts. It seems that there
    remained a problem. Japanese people put emphasis on muscle strength rather than on
    flexibility in the course of developing the form of exercise. Accordingly, you cannot
    avoid the body movement being stiff.”

    “With this, we started competitions in order to make Taekwondo a combative
    sport. On the other hand, the Japanese kept Karate as an exercise form to be done by
    oneself without competition. The Chinese developed a flexible exercise with interacting
    [with a partner] hand movements. In this context, Taekwondo is not inclined to either
    side, but lies somewhere in the middle. To make it easy to understand, it is neither right
    nor left. Neither this nor that. Meanwhile, because we held competitions, we were able
    to improve drastically. As a result, China and Japan are learning from us now.
    Furthermore, their martial arts did not gain popularity, whereas in Taekwondo, young
    children enjoy hitting and getting hit rather than fighting by themselves.”

    *****

    But if it would make you happy, then feel free to tell the world that GM LEE Chong Woo did steal the 2000 year old lie about Taekwondo's origins from General Choi, that in fact it was General Choi, not GM LEE Chong Woo, who created the lie that Taekwondo is 2000 years old.
     
  17. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Earl Weiss [​IMG]
    I submit that it is far different to claim something has links to other things going back 2000 years and misquoting that and / or claiming something is actualy 2000 years old.


    That is what he said... if you take the introductory sentense at page 22 "T'ae-Kyon the ancient name of Taekwon-Do was as old as the the history of the Hwa Rang Do. There was a primitive activity T'ae-Kyon in the Silla Dynasty 1,300 years ago."

    The page goes on to review the naming in 1955 and concludes with:
    That page concludes with the caveat "this is a brief history...'

    More importantly this section is oreceded at page 14 which recounts TK-D being a version of an ancient form of unarmed combat practiced in the orient and now "perfected in it' present form in Korea"
     
  18. KarateMomUSA

    KarateMomUSA Black Belt

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    Please sir didn't Gen Choi write 1,300 years? Didn't GM Lee write 2,000 years? So GM Lee took Gen Choi's idea about connecting TKD's roots to Korea's proud past, BUT he then made it clear that He, Gen Choi was the founder of TKD & that he did it by combining his karate with the kicking from Korea's past.
    So now it appears that GM Lee, took Gen Choi's concept, added 700 years to it & never disclosed the fact that the roots were karate. of course we know why they did it, for national pride. This is what I mean by GM Lee's fabrication. The KTA, KKW & WTF publications & company line is still the same. That template has simply been repeated over & over. It is really so clear if one has an open mind, just read the following that you left out: [Reporter’s Question]: After the Liberation, did all the people who opened
    studios do Karate?
    [Chong Woo Lee’s Response]: "The basic movements, such as the blocking and
    hitting techniques, were identical with Karate."
    [Reporter’s Question]: If that is true, do you mean there is no resemblance to our
    traditional martial arts forms?
    [Chong Woo Lee’s Response]: “At a quick glimpse, it looks the same, but the
    basic techniques are completely different. Therefore, it should be determined that there
    are no similarities. Taek Kyun has transformed significantly recently. Since people who
    practiced Taekwondo are learning Taek Kyun, the kick is being transformed into the
    Taekwondo style.”
    [Reporter’s Question]: Is Karate the only martial art that had an impact on
    Taekwondo in the process of its creation after Liberation? No other influences at all?
    [Chong Woo Lee’s Response]: “That is a candid statement. I am the one who
    wrote books bringing in various materials of all sorts, but now is the time to disclose the
    facts. All the masters who taught Karate got together and formulated basic Taekwondo
    forms, and I took a central role. It should not be a big issue now to disclose this fact,
    because we are at the top of the world.”

    See so GM Lee, who I admire & who I feel should be publicly credited with his vitally important role in Kukki TKD, but he also was the one who crafted the fabrication about TKD being 2,000 years old & back in 2002 felt it was time to set the record straight, by disclosing the fact, karate men made TKD. It is not 2,000 years old. And how they did it was by emphasizing the new sports rules that they devised. It is plain to see.
     
  19. KarateMomUSA

    KarateMomUSA Black Belt

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    I did not want to derail another thread that announced the passing of a TKD Pioneer, as I did not think it was approriate.
    I am glad that GM Hong spoke positive things about Gen Choi. I also know that Gen Choi's patterns that he named after great Korean patriots & significant events in Korean history resonated with many Koreans & I am happy to hear that their 1st president is 1 of them. However this appears to be another mistake in the Modern History, as EuiAm was not named after President Rhee. There was another pattern that was never introduced that had a different name, that was never implemented as President Rhee was disposed off. The name escapes me at the moment.
    Eui Am Tul was not even introduced till the 1972 textbook. It was 1 of the last 4 to be added.
     
  20. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    People People People, comeon everyone knows that puunui is always right about the history and was told just about everything from somebody. I find some of these thread just plain funny since the actual people that supposely said this or that are not here to say whether they did or did not say it. History was fabricated by all sides to give TKD some credibility out in the world, the only problem is later certain people started to say so and so is not telling the truth but my potion is the truth now. I own a pretty good library of TKD books with there own version of what they believe to bethe truth we all must decide which version we will believe in since we all must take one side or another.

    You know the old story put seven people in seven different rooms and ask the same question and get seven defferent answers to your question. Keep the thread going because I do find it very informative and entertaining.:asian:
     
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