Interesting history article

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SahBumNimRush

SahBumNimRush

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I don't know what the informed folks think, but I've always liked that article. :)

I qualify "informed" as those who do not subscribe to the 2,000 year old history of TKD, ergo, most of the folks on this forum I feel fall under the "informed" category. ;)
 

Tony Dismukes

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Excellent article. I was familiar with the general gist of the material already, but learned more details. I appreciate the fact that the author listed his sources.
 

Kong Soo Do

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Good article and I've read some of the referenced articles in the past. As with anything, some things have to be taken 'as-is' because the nitty-gritty has been lost to time or revisioned history. But I'd say it's fairly spot on and offers the reader some good insight.

We had some 2000 year old TKD folks on the board a few years ago. Thankfully they're gone.
 

Archtkd

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Good article and I've read some of the referenced articles in the past. As with anything, some things have to be taken 'as-is' because the nitty-gritty has been lost to time or revisioned history. But I'd say it's fairly spot on and offers the reader some good insight.

There was an international WTF-sponsored academic conference in San Fransisco today covering this subject. I was suppossed to attend the annual event, but didn't make it this year. l will possibly gain access to the papers presented, which I will post here: The conference had interesting presenters, all restating the karate roots of taekwondo, a fact, which even the Kukkiwon now presents in instructor seminars. The presenters included George Vitale, an international ITF spokesman and Steve Capener, a well known taekwondo historian. Abstracts of the academic papers presented can be found here:
http://www.worldtaekwondofederation.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Information-on-iACT2016.pdf
 

Kong Soo Do

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That really looks good and I'm glad to see them doing it. As I've said for many years, TKD, TSD and HKD are solid martial arts which have no need of embellishment.
 

Archtkd

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That really looks good and I'm glad to see them doing it. As I've said for many years, TKD, TSD and HKD are solid martial arts which have no need of embellishment.
The abstracts are here: http://www.worldtaekwondofederation.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/iACT-2016-Conference-Booklet.pdf
The WTF and Kukkiwon (althought the Kukkiwon still has old myths on its web site) have been shifting away from the 2,000 year roots story, particulalry in regard to the creation of kwans that developed modern Kukki taekwondo. Part of the shift , I think, ihas come becuase South Korea has matured as an independent state, relations with Japan have improved,and taekwondo (the Kukkiwon variety) is widely spread and established around the world as a martial art and sport. I sometime think the 2000-year story was promoted more vigorously and adopted in the West -- with help from Western students and teachers -- much more than it was pushed in Korea.
 
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SahBumNimRush

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ArchTKD, Thank you very much for sharing that conference booklet! I was unaware that the International Academic Conference for Taekwondo existed, and I am very pleased to see the work it appears to be accomplishing.
 

Balrog

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Good article and I've read some of the referenced articles in the past. As with anything, some things have to be taken 'as-is' because the nitty-gritty has been lost to time or revisioned history. But I'd say it's fairly spot on and offers the reader some good insight.

We had some 2000 year old TKD folks on the board a few years ago. Thankfully they're gone.
Nope, I'm still here. :D

Didn't this whole 2000 year (well, actually 1300 year) thing come about because someone had uncovered some drawings at a temple that were dated back to the 700s CE, and the drawings were of people in martial arts poses? It's been a while since I read that, and since I'm 2000 years old, my memory may be a little shaky.
 

TrueJim

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Didn't this whole 2000 year (well, actually 1300 year) thing come about because someone had uncovered some drawings at a temple...

As I understand it, it's a few things:

1. The mural below, discovered by archeologists in 1935, appears on the ceiling of Muyong-chong, a royal tomb in southern Manchuria built during the Koguryo dynasty, between 3 C.E. and 427 C.E. Some scholars believe it depicts unarmed combat, while others believe it depicts a form of dance.

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2. The stone sculpture below known as the Kumgang Yoksa depicts two figures, each about 2 meters tall, flanking either side of a doorway in a Buddhist temple in what was ancient Silla. The sculpture appears to depict two men in unarmed combat. The sculpture has been dated to the 8th Century CE.

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3. There's not a lot more to go on than things like murals and sculptures, because written records from ancient Korea are scarce:

a) The Korean people didn't write much to begin with, since they didn't yet have their own alphabet (Hangul) and so learning to writing using Chinese characters (Hanja) was difficult -- so even more-so than other parts of the world, there's not a lot of written records from ancient Korea.

b) Even if the Korean people had done a lot of writing, most of what writing there was was burned when the Mongols invaded Korea anyway.

4. So lacking any hard historical evidence one way or another, and desiring to reconstitute Korean culture after the occupation by Imperial Japan, the claim was made that taekwondo has historical antecedents dating back through centuries.


My opinion: taekwondo probably has as much historical antecedent in ancient Korean martial arts as modern LARPing (live-action role-playing) has in realistic medieval combat. That is to say, very little connection...other than inspiration perhaps. (And by the way, inspiration shouldn't be entirely dismissed as unimportant...inspiration motivates.)

Moreover, there are some people nowadays who say that the Koreans probably didn't have any kind of ancient martial arts -- that what we see are just murals and sculptures of dance. Personally, it's my opinion that even if those murals and sculptures are of dance, it seems very unlikely that there would be NO martial arts in ancient Korea. With all the cultural interchange occurring back then between China, Korea, and Japan I don't see any reason why martial arts traditions wouldn't have spread as much as other cultural influences: writing, religion, agriculture, etc.
 
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