A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do

StuartA

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Just seen this:
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A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do
by Alex Gillis

Check out the blurb:

Product Description
Obscure documents, Korean-language books, and in-depth interviews with tae kwon do pioneers tell the tale of the origin of the most popular martial art. In 1938, tae kwon do began at the end of a poker game in a tiny village in a remote corner of what is now North Korea by Choi Hong-Hi, who began the martial art, and his nemesis, Kim Un-Yong, who developed the Olympic style and became one of the most powerful, controversial men in sports. The story follows Choi from the 1938 poker game where he fought for his life, through high-class geisha houses where the art was named, and into the Vietnam War where the martial art evolved into a killing art. The techniques cut across all realmsfrom the late 1960s when tae kwon do-trained Korean CIA agents kidnapped people in the U.S. and Europe, to the 1970s when Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and other Hollywood stars master the arts new kicks. Tae kwon do is also a martial art for the 21st century, one of merciless techniques, indomitable men, and justice pumped on steroids.

About the Author
Alex Gillis is a university writing instructor and a professional journalist specializing in literary nonfiction and investigative research. He has trained in tae kwon do for 25 years and is a third-degree black belt. His instructors were some of the pioneers of the martial art, and he had rare access to these men and their families and disciples. He lives in Toronto.

Sounds interesting! :)
 

exile

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I think I need to find a copy for myself.

Yo! Double ditto for me. It's time people actually got this idea into their heads thaqt there's another, much harsher side to TKD. Thanks to Stuart for getting the ball rolling with the discussions in his book of Tra Binh Dong and the ROK Marine and commando units, and to Simon for his newsletter and book discussion of the take-no-prisoners military aspect of TKD. Now it looks as if we have a book-length continuation of the theme.

I get a sense from the appearance of this book that the tide is turning in the perception of TKD, spurred on by the new combat realism in pattern interpretation and application that we see more and more in the MAs generally. This, on top of books such as Stuart and Simon's, makes me very hopeful that we'll be seeing much more attention paid to this side, institutionally and in terms of curriculum.
 

miguksaram

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Honestly, just from that summary alone tells me that the book is not only biased but based on ITF hype and lies. I'm surprised that he didn't mention some of the more popular myths like Choi's imprisonment in Japanese jails where he developed the art. Enjoy the book gentlemen, I'm not wasting a dime on it.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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You do know that with the Korean arts you need to balance out your opinions and look at both sides. This is very, very important in finding the truth or the supposed truth in the matter of their histories.
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terryl965

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Honestly, just from that summary alone tells me that the book is not only biased but based on ITF hype and lies. I'm surprised that he didn't mention some of the more popular myths like Choi's imprisonment in Japanese jails where he developed the art. Enjoy the book gentlemen, I'm not wasting a dime on it.

Why be so closed minded about a Art we love, I do both ITF and KKW and I am able to see the balance between both styles.
 

KickFest

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tae kwon do began at the end of a poker game in a tiny village in a remote corner of what is now North Korea
Tae kwon do is also a martial art for the 21st century, one of merciless techniques, indomitable men, and justice pumped on steroids
When I saw the book originally I thought it was supposed to be a satire based on these kinds of lines :p

Sounds like a fun book, but I wonder how much of it is honestly based in fact.
 

terryl965

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When I saw the book originally I thought it was supposed to be a satire based on these kinds of lines :p

Sounds like a fun book, but I wonder how much of it is honestly based in fact.

Really how much facts do we really know? Withen the Korean mindset they needed to fabricate so much that facts and friction crossed over to what they believe to be reality.
 

granfire

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Why be so closed minded about a Art we love, I do both ITF and KKW and I am able to see the balance between both styles.


That reminded me of the bar lady in 'Bob's Country Bunker' from the Blues Brothers movie: "We have both kinds [of music]: Country and Western!"


hehehe. sorry, OT...

Anybody know which company line Tuttle's books on Martial Arts follow? (I think it was tuttle....) on TKD and Karate.

I am afraid the Korean names will have me spinning my wheels on the first page...
 

KickFest

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Really how much facts do we really know? Withen the Korean mindset they needed to fabricate so much that facts and friction crossed over to what they believe to be reality.
That's exactly my point. I'm sure I'd have fun comparing this book to the history section of The Taegeuk Cipher... I'm sure the two takes on TKD's history are quite different :D
 
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StuartA

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Reading the blurb, I think its mostly taken from Gen Chois "Taekwon-do & I" books with extars to re-enforce stuff perhaps.

The poker thing is TKD legend and well known... as are many of the other snippets in the blurb (KCIA and all that etc.)! The last line is puzzling however..

Stuart

ps. i do hope he has evidence to back things up, rather than just perpertrating certain myths
pps. there is another book due on TKD history by a Korean hisorian (Kimm).. not sure when its due out though!
 

terryl965

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Reading the blurb, I think its mostly taken from Gen Chois "Taekwon-do & I" books with extars to re-enforce stuff perhaps.

The poker thing is TKD legend and well known... as are many of the other snippets in the blurb (KCIA and all that etc.)! The last line is puzzling however..

Stuart

ps. i do hope he has evidence to back things up, rather than just perpertrating certain myths
pps. there is another book due on TKD history by a Korean hisorian (Kimm).. not sure when its due out though!

Master Kimm book is due out late November I was told just in time for the Holiday season.
 

Twin Fist

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Honestly, just from that summary alone tells me that the book is not only biased but based on ITF hype and lies. I'm surprised that he didn't mention some of the more popular myths like Choi's imprisonment in Japanese jails where he developed the art. Enjoy the book gentlemen, I'm not wasting a dime on it.


Sure thing mr "if you are not doing KKW/WTF you are not doing TKD"

after all, we all want to avoid bias, right?:hb:
 

miguksaram

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Why be so closed minded about a Art we love, I do both ITF and KKW and I am able to see the balance between both styles.

So if someone writes a book about the world actually being flat then I should read it because if not I'm closed minded? Sorry but you will have to do better than a "You're just being closed minded" type of argument. If someone wants to send a free book over to me, I'll be glad to read it during my bathroom bouts with the kimichi chigae. Other than that I'm not spending money on BS hype.

Oh...and for the record, if it was a KKW book about how TKD was discovered back 2000 years ago, I wouldn't spend my money on that dribble either.
 

miguksaram

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Really how much facts do we really know? Withen the Korean mindset they needed to fabricate so much that facts and friction crossed over to what they believe to be reality.

I would recommend doing two things. First read up on Korean history and then go and talk to some of the 2nd & 3rd generation students of TKD history. That way you will be able to decipher hype from facts. The answers are out there, we just have to do some of our own leg work to find them.
 

Daniel Sullivan

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Oh...and for the record, if it was a KKW book about how TKD was discovered back 2000 years ago, I wouldn't spend my money on that dribble either.
But carvings found on a first century BC flower pot clearly show padded hogu and headgear. And close inspection reveals a Vee neck dobok and a 2" belt!

How can you argue with such irrefutable proof??:p

Daniel
 
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