Taekkyon?

Discussion in 'Korean Martial Arts - General' started by arnisador, Jan 29, 2002.

  1. chen yaolong

    chen yaolong Yellow Belt

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    Sorry, Im no expert on Korean history, but i dont get the feeling "nothing else survived".... perhaps you could provide some examples of what is considered "lost"
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Um... every bit of indigenous martial arts, just for starters.
     
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  3. chen yaolong

    chen yaolong Yellow Belt

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    In Korea, I have seen Taekkyon, Ssireum and Gungdo.... people have told me they are all native Korean martial arts/games/sports.... So far all you have done is refuted my comments with vague statements, and provided no actual evidence to back up your statements.
     
  4. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    And since I'm in Bonaire, with crappy internet access (ahhh, the sacrifices we make...) that's all I'm going to do for now.
    On the other hand, it's not that difficult to research. Start with right here. We have people who experience in Kumdo (or gungdo, as you spell it) who can tell you plenty about it's origins. In Japan...
    In the early days of taekwondo, there were attempts to claim it was directly descended from taekkyon, soo bahk, etc. It's not. It's derived primarily from Shotokan.
    The Korean culture was very thoroughly suppressed for far too long, and the Japanese culture put in its place. Todays Korean (and even more so, those who were alive when the occupation ended after WWII), have an almost pathological need to make connections with pre-occupation culture and will invent them when they don't exist.

    Take Taekkyon, for example. There is a man declared a "national treasure" because he claims to have been taught taekkyon prior to the occupation and to have preserved it throughout.
    OK... except if you do the math, he was like 8 years old when the occupation occurred. He may have been taught something of taekkyon, but how much could an 8 year old really know? And preserve unchanged for 50 years or so? Really? And now be teaching it as a "traditional Korean MA" when according to what few texts remain, taekkyon was a game along the lines of hacky-sack.
     
  5. chen yaolong

    chen yaolong Yellow Belt

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    Gungdo is 弓道 archery, not Kumdo 剑道 sword.

    I dont believe I ever made the comment that Taekkyon is the precursor to TKD.

    I agree with you about Koreans latching onto culture like that, I also feel that they heavily exaggerate the suppression of life under the Japanese. In fact the Japanese actively researched and documented a lot of Korean culture. And they didnt ban martial arts, they banned public gatherings. So people could still practice their martial arts at home. Even i they did ban martial arts, theres not reason people couldnt practice them in secret. My Kung Fu teacher in China learnt in secret for 10 years during the cultural revolution. People around him were killed for practicing martial arts, but he still did it.
     
  6. taekkyunbunny

    taekkyunbunny White Belt

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    Taekkyun is not precursor to TKD, however, many kicks were derived from Taekkyun.
    I'll explain in this long write up.

    I know many people either questions either if this was a game or a real martial art, but I'm not gonna get into that or try to prove one or the other, believe what you think, but it was both, depends on the setting.

    Before Japan invaded Korea, Taekkyun was already quiet difficult to find.

    Basically during Choson era, I am lazy to look up exact dates.
    People who did taekkyun (commoners) had competitions and lot of social issues came w/ it. Basically it was fight for a bet.
    For example: 2 people would fight and they would bet something or someone even of other party.
    So one guy would bid that if I win I get your wife, one guy would want the other party's house etc.
    After the fight, one guy would lose something big in life. The government banned it due to these issues.
    These facts are documented, b/c King ordered the ban. Don't know the exact name of the king etc. You can do your search to confirm the facts if you have that much interest. Its hard to find information on this subject.

    Now under Japanese colonial rule, it is hard to find evidence either way about their policy about not practicing Korean indigenous martial arts (Koreans say one thing and Japanese say another), but you can find evidence they try to assimilate Koreans, this further made taekkyun done in public difficult.

    So now under those backgrounds there have been 2 cases of taekkyun practicioners that were known.

    One is Song Duk Ki.

    There was another incident where taekkyun comes out in the news in Hawaii early 1900s among Korean immigrants there.
    Supposedly there was a Korean man who got involved in a fight and saved some people from thugs, they asked him what he used. He clearly stated Taekkyun. But after that the story or the person was not traceable. Nor did any taekkyun practioners come out from Hawaii.

    So basically the taekkyun you are seeing lately is due to Song Duk Ki's doing.

    Basically the lineage line of Taekkyun known is
    Imho (Song Duk Ki's teacher, from what we know he was an aristocrat he was also friends of Song Duk Ki's older brother) -> Song Duk Ki (1893 -1987)

    Song Duk Ki's story was that there were actually quiet a few of them learning/practicing taekkyun in his village, and after the N-S Korean War, when he came back to his village, none of the other taekkyun practitioners came back. Dead from war... who knows, basically his interview said he was the only one that appeared back at the village. Thats that.

    He taught many after that, exactly when he started teaching i am not sure, it is not documented and you can only hear about it from the people who learned from him. And from that the result varies greatly.

    There are 4 federations of taekkyun currently, led by different people.
    1. The Korea Taekkyon Federation (KTF). The KTF is led by Lee Yongbok, who learned from both Song Duk Ki and Shin Han-seung.
    2. The Korea Traditional Taekgyeon Association (KTTA). The KTTA is led by Jeong Gyeong-hwa who was given the title of "living cultural asset" by the Korean Government. He learned from Shin Han-seung and Song Duk Ki.
    3. The Kyulyun Taekyun Association (KTK). The KTK is led by Do Ki-hyun who mainly learned from both Song Duk Ki, but also from Shin Han-seung.
    4. The World Widae Taekkyeon Organization (WWTO). The WWTO is based in Los Angeles and led by Go Yong-woo who learnt from Song Duk Ki.

    Now I will tell you the difference the reality of taekkyun at the moment. What you see on youtube is not how taekkyun supposed to be. (Now you guys are going to ask me where I am getting this information) You will only understand the situation if you are in Taekkyun community and have been for a long time. Its actually a mess.

    Anyways 1, 2, 3 founders were taekwondo practitioners before they bumped into Song, and they only had few weeks even few months of training under Song.

    #4 who is in hiding somewhere and another friend somewhere in Korea had both nearly 15 yrs approximately under Song. They knew Song before the founders of 1,2,3 appeared b/c they lived in the same village as Song. They don't teach publicly or have federation of schools.
    1,2,3 are fully aware of existence of 4, yet they don't seemed to be cooperating each other.

    In time when 4 appears in public is when you will see the real thing.

    Now there is another story when these TKD practioners came to him and asked him if this was taekkyun and show them how it looks. Song actually invited people from Kukkiwon to take a look at taekkyun. Lot of them laughed at Song b/c it looked not what they were expecting. Well to summarized Song didn't like how they doubted him. He told one to get up and started attacking him w/ taekkyun, he ended up sparring anyone who questioned him and the art, none of them could beat him. TKD officials reported back to Kukkiwon of the situation and in the end Kukkiwon ordered these TKD masters to stay near him and learn as much as possible. This story was told by one of the 1,2,3,4 above. Remember at this time TKD looked more like ITF not the WTF.

    So basically TKD doesn't come from Taekkyun. Not directly at least not from Song. There is no linkage of teacher personally teaching. I know TKD founder Choi Hong Hi claimed to have learned taekkyun, but we don't know who he learned from.

    There aren't enough information on taekkyun so I am posting.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2015
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  7. taekkyunbunny

    taekkyunbunny White Belt

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    This section I have posted discard. I can't confirm this story to be true so discard.

    Now there is another story when these TKD practioners came to him and asked him if this was taekkyun and show them how it looks. Song actually invited people from Kukkiwon to take a look at taekkyun. Lot of them laughed at Song b/c it looked not what they were expecting. Well to summarized Song didn't like how they doubted him. He told one to get up and started attacking him w/ taekkyun, he ended up sparring anyone who questioned him and the art, none of them could beat him. TKD officials reported back to Kukkiwon of the situation and in the end Kukkiwon ordered these TKD masters to stay near him and learn as much as possible. This story was told by one of the 1,2,3,4 above. Remember at this time TKD looked more like ITF not the WTF.
     
  8. dhkim030203

    dhkim030203 White Belt

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    Go Yong-woo has a taekkyun school in korea, but due to the larger taekkyun groups its very little known.
    Taekkyun was banned by the Japanese to stop people gathering in large groups (What does people do when two guys start fighting?), and most taekkyun practicioners left korea or died. After the korean war song was only real practicioner left.
    Taekkyun is said to have some sort of kata, but no one knows how it was done.
    As a korean myself I really hope taekkyun gets more attention.
     
  9. paitingman

    paitingman Blue Belt

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    It's been said here many times, but I think it's important to distinguish Taekkyon as a "folk" martial art.

    Not an organized art/system. It existed as a "game" done at festivals and gatherings similarly to Ssireum, korean traditional wrestling.
    They are both rather intense, but stand out from traditional martial arts in that:
    1. the goal was never to kill or harm, but to win the game
    2. they were not taught in a formal school like you'd imagine other arts

    A lot of martial arts have a developed a sport/game aspect to them like Karate or Taekwondo, but both Taekkyon/Ssireum are games turned martial arts. While techniques in these folk martial arts may hurt or even kill someone, those are not the primary goal and intentionally causing harm is frowned upon. They were almost always contests/competitions. Not duels.

    Also you didn't learn them by going to a master to study at their school, you got good by competing and learning from your villages more experienced players. Like mongolian wrestling, you didn't go to a formal school or formal training, you just learned from your father or a mentor in the village.
     

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