KMA History Reference?

arnisador

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Does anyone know of a readable yet serious academic reference--by disinterested historians who did research rather than by biased martial arts practitioners repeating what they've been told--on the history of the KMA? I'm especially interested in a discussion of the Shotokan-->TKD and Jujutsu-->HKD lineages that fairly balances the clear JMA influences on the KMA against the indigenous traditions that also had an impact.

I've always been of the belief that the JMA heritage was the dominant factor in each case and that the historical KMAs were mostly used to give a native gloss to the arts, and that comments about the long tradition of TKD were mostly nationalism. But, much of my belief has been based on a visual comparison of the techniques. There's a lot of hot air on both sides. Surely someone has looked at it from a professional standpoint?
 

exile

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Does anyone know of a readable yet serious academic reference--by disinterested historians who did research rather than by biased martial arts practitioners repeating what they've been told--on the history of the KMA? I'm especially interested in a discussion of the Shotokan-->TKD and Jujutsu-->HKD lineages that fairly balances the clear JMA influences on the KMA against the indigenous traditions that also had an impact.

I've always been of the belief that the JMA heritage was the dominant factor in each case and that the historical KMAs were mostly used to give a native gloss to the arts, and that comments about the long tradition of TKD were mostly nationalism. But, much of my belief has been based on a visual comparison of the techniques. There's a lot of hot air on both sides. Surely someone has looked at it from a professional standpoint?

Arni—the best academic research on the KMAs has been done by Dakin Burdick, Stan Henning and Manuel Adrogu矇, largely in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, as follows:

Stanley Henning, 2000 JAMA paper, `Traditional Korean Martial Arts'

Dakin Burdick, 1997 JAMA paper,`People and events of Taekwondo's formative years'

---------------------2000 version of the same paper at http://www.budosportcapelle.nl/gesch.html

Manuel Adrogu矇, 2003 JAMA paper `Ancient Military Manuals and Their Relation to Modern Korean Martial Arts'

I've got a summary of some of the relevant content here

All three are professional martial arts historians. Adrogu矇 is a third dan TKDist in addition, but his paper is a classic of distinterested formal scholarship.
 

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Hi,

With respect to Hapkido, I'm not familiar with any such books. It's even difficult to find published articles that meet your requirements. The unfortunate truth is that much of the Hapkido history out there is just the kind biased, nationalistic puffery that you're trying to avoid.

We can say with confidence that Hapkido's origins date to the late 1940s and trace directly back to Choi Yong Sul. There is no serious doubt that Choi spent about thirty years in Japan before repatriating to Korea after WW2. There is no doubt that he was highly skilled in a style of Aikijujutsu that he had learned in Japan. There isdoubt, however, about his account of having studied Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu under Sokaku Takeda for thirty years. No records of his training are known to exist.

The origins of the significant additions that Ji Han Jae and a couple of his contemporaries made to Choi's Jujutsu base are also debated. Some claim they are purely Korean. Others note Chinese influences. Fortunately, Ji is still alive, so it should be possible for serious scholars to contact him. Choi, of course, has been dead for a little over twenty years, was illiterate, and left behind little in the way of written records that have been made public.

From a technical perspective, a few of us Hapkido students have managed to spend time training in legitimate Daito-ryu dojos to try to see for ourselves whether Choi's purported connection to Daito-ryu might have any basis in fact. I can tell you that I, and at least one other guy (who has done a lot more research into these matters than I have) have concluded that it is quite possible that Choi learned Daito-ryu. There are some absolute technical parallels between what we believe Choi originally taught (which can still be seen in curricula like that of the Jungkikwan in Daegu) and Daito-ryu, including the use of aiki in the techniques. There are also clear areas of difference. All I'd be comfortable saying at this point is that the evidence that I've managed to see, in print and on the mat, is inconclusive.

For more on Hapkido's history, you might want to have a look at the history section of the Hapkido Forum website:

http://www.hapkidoforum.com/phpBB3/

There are some interesting, mostly impartial discussions there. Several of the contributors have done a good deal of research. I should warn you, though, that sometimes the discussions deteriorate into emotional arguments (nothing new there, LOL).

One final thought for now: there is a man in Geumsan whom Choi's family named Doju in 2002. His name is Kim Yun Sang, and his kwan is called the Yong Sul Kwan. He calls what he teaches Hapkiyusul rather than Hapkido.

There has been word for some time from one of his Australian students (who is a very reliable source) that one of Choi's daughters was about to publish her memoirs. These memoirs are said to contain a good amount of information that is said to confirm Choi's account of training under Takeda. As far as I know, the memoirs have not yet been published, although I haven't checked in a while. Also, they will probably not be published in English.

Sorry for rambling a bit, but hope this helps. The hard truth concerning Hapkido is that you're facing a formidable challenge.

Good luck to you anyway. :asian:
 
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arnisador

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Thanks! The JAMA references sound promising based on
http://www.budosportcapelle.nl/gesch.html
which is the kind of thing I was hoping to find.

I hadn't quite thought about the fact that some of the principals are still alive--all the more reasons for researchers to begin now!
 

Laurentkd

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Arnithe best academic research on the KMAs has been done by Dakin Burdick, Stan Henning and Manuel Adrogu矇, largely in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts, as follows:
.

I LOVE JAMA. Well, I loved it in college when all the issues were at my fingertips for free. I still buy the occassional back issue, and should really invest in the subscription, but I tend to be cheap and it is kind of pricey (though in reality worth it and I woudn't spend money on any other MA magizine instead).

Exile, I think you would be a great peer reviewer for JAMA. There was a professor at my school who was and he didn't seem like anything special to me. Have you ever looked in to it?
 

exile

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I LOVE JAMA. Well, I loved it in college when all the issues were at my fingertips for free. I still buy the occassional back issue, and should really invest in the subscription, but I tend to be cheap and it is kind of pricey (though in reality worth it and I woudn't spend money on any other MA magizine instead).

I agree, L. I think it's head and shoulders above any of the other MA magazines, mostly because the editorial policy seems to be that the contributions should have some enduring value, i.e., stand up to the test of time.

Exile, I think you would be a great peer reviewer for JAMA. There was a professor at my school who was and he didn't seem like anything special to me. Have you ever looked in to it?

Lauren, I'm very flattered by your suggestion, but the problem is that I lack the language skills necessary for the job. If you look at people like Burdick and the others, they are familiar with a numer of Asian languages and writing systems—one of the big challenges for anyone who wants to pursue that particular angle in historical research, because the `quest' may take you across many different national and linguistic borders—as well as specialized philological skills (ancient documents require specialized training), plus a good background in the cultural and military histories of the peoples of the area, and that of course covers a huge expanse of time and space. I'm glad and grateful that there are people such as the ones I mentioned who have developed these very demanding knowledge bases, and have the kind of objectivity that a formal training in history instills, so that their conclusions are tempered by a very clear sense of how much the actual evidence available supports, as vs. what they might like to be the case. And anyone who aspires to pass sound critical judgments on work of that kind has to have the same kind of broad and deep training. But I'm not one of 'em, alas. I figure the best I can do is cheer them on from the sidelines! :)

I'm particularly happy that JAMA has published the kind of benchmark articles on KMA that they have, because, as arnisador mentions in his OP, there is a phenomenal amount of distortion and unreliable historical content out there about the Korean arts—more flagrant by far than is the case with say the Okinawan, Japanese or Chinese arts, from what I can see (though that might be a misimpression, of course; but I don't think anyone can argue that the KMAs, apart from the individual scholars I mentioned in my previous post, have anything like the calibre of research that the Okinawan and Japanese karate styles enjoy in the work of Harry Cook, say). I get the feeling—again, maybe mistaken—that the CMA and O/JMA practitioners are a bit more skeptical and demanding about documentation for the history of their arts, whereas the KMA community, to the extent you can talk about such a thing, strikes me as much more tolerant of recycled folklore and martial mythology. Look at the number of books, by leading practitioners, who cheerful present one or another version of the `2000 year/Three Kingdoms' lineages, clearly quite confident of getting a sympathetic hearing from the audience they're aiming at.

I'm not saying that you never find worthwhile articles, even with historical content, in the more commercial MA publications, but you're taking a lot more of a chance with them, precisely because those outfits clearly don't subject their submissions to the scrutiny of the kind of well-informed outside reviewers that JAMA does. Like you, I've become pretty skeptical about the value of maintaining a regular subscription to any of that kind of magazine...
 

howard

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I'm not saying that you never find worthwhile articles, even with historical content, in the more commercial MA publications, but you're taking a lot more of a chance with them, precisely because those outfits clearly don't subject their submissions to the scrutiny of the kind of well-informed outside reviewers that JAMA does.
Man, that's putting it mildly.

You have to bear in mind that publications like Black Belt and TKD Times work very differently from a peer-reviewed academic journal. If you want to get yourself and your article on the cover of either of those magazines, all you have to do is stump up about $5,000 and get in the queue.

Their editors are, shall we say, rather liberal with respect to the historical accuracy of their contributors. Caveat emptor.
 

exile

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Man, that's putting it mildly.

You have to bear in mind that publications like Black Belt and TKD Times work very differently from a peer-reviewed academic journal. If you want to get yourself and your article on the cover of either of those magazines, all you have to do is stump up about $5,000 and get in the queue.

Their editors are, shall we say, rather liberal with respect to the historical accuracy of their contributors. Caveat emptor.

This essentially predatory attitude towards the MAsturning themselves into wall-to-wall advertising (most of the mags' text space is advertisement, and many of the stories are promo bought and paid for by the `subjects' of the `articles') is why I let my TKD Times subscription lapse.

The problem is that these publications, which have relatively large circulations, get credibility they do not in the least deserve simply because of the size of their readership. People forget that National Enquirer at one point had a documented weekly circulation of 7,000,000!
 
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arnisador

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All true. But even JAMA isn't peer-reviewed, I believe, leaving few sources for information that is free of legend and myth (though those refs. have been helpful and I appreciate them).

But surely someone, somewhere did his Ph.D. thesis on this?
 

exile

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A., my understanding is that the `academic' articles in JAMA ARE peer-reviewed. Have you run across something to the contrary? Note the following part of their on-line prospectus for the journal:
Journal Description

Covers all historical and cultural aspects of Asian martial traditions; focuses on Asia, but includes important related material from all other countries, such as museum collections, interviews, announcements and media reviews. Articles flow smoothly in consecutive pages, without being interrupted by advertising. Indexed. Peer reviewed. Cover perfect bound, illustrated, 8-3/8" x 10-7/8" format, with 112 pages or more.
(emphasis added). This dovetails with what I know from other sources, and with Lauren's reference to her acquaintance being a referee for the journal. Note the further explicit notification of the acceptance process in their statement:

Editorial Policy

The Journal of Asian Martial Arts publishes three types of materials: (1) scholarly articles based on primary research in recognized scholarly disciplines, e.g., cultural anthropology, comparative religions, psychology, film theory, and criticism, etc.; (2) more informal, but nevertheless substantial interviews (with scholars, master practitioners, etc.) and reports on particular genres, techniques, etc.; and (3) reviews of books and audiovisual materials on the martial arts. These three types of materials are organized in separate sections of the journal. In order to ensure the quality of all submissions in terms of scholarship as well as writing, each submission will be reviewed by at least two members of our editorial board. We look forward to making the journal accessible to all readers while establishing and maintaining a high quality of scholarship, writing, and graphics.
Editorial board review procedure, in the syntax, mathematics and logic journals I'm familiar with, is an old, established and legitimate—almost canonical—format for peer review. That's essentially what working editorial boards are for. So I think that based on the journal's explicit self-description, it would be hard to justify a claim that the journal was not peer reviewed. And according to MagSampler,
Editor-in-chief Michael A. DeMarco notes in his celebratory editorial that "out of thirty article submissions, only two or three are accepted for publication."​
That 1:10 ratio is also characterstic of the elite premier journals of record in the academic disciplines I'm involved in professionally that I mentioned earlier, and is absolutely diagnostic for peer reviewing, and pretty intense peer reviewing at that. Papers of mine which have appeared in journals with that submission to acceptance ratio have sometimes taken eighteen months to two years from first submission to acceptance. Not to publication, but to acceptance. The intervening time was filled with four-to-six-month refereeing cycles, revision, and then the next round of refereeing. So that too dovetails perfectly with JAMA's profile as a seriously refereed scholarly publication that has the stature both to attract large number of submissions and to be able to be very choosy about what they do publish...
 
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arnisador

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I had it in my mind that it was not peer-reviewed...I stand corrected! Indeed, the sample articles are well-referenced thought somewhat informal. I must say thought that when it says (emphasis added):

scholarly articles based on primary research in recognized scholarly disciplines, e.g., cultural anthropology, comparative religions, psychology, film theory, and criticism, etc.;

...that I would usually assume that the "peers" are doctorally trained experts in those areas, but it was my belief that the Editorial Board was trained at about the baccalaureate level. I will have to check; the endorsements shown are a good indication that it is a respected journal in professional circles, which is encouraging to know.

Editorial board review procedure, in the syntax, mathematics and logic journals I'm familiar with, is an old, established and legitimate—almost canonical—format for peer review.

Actually, it's rather more common in mathematics to send them out to reviewers without a formal association with the journal; the board members are responsible for selecting mathematicians to review said articles and interpreting the responses. Indeed, I'll be reviewing a (re-)submission to Elsevier's Computers & Mathematics with Applications this evening, and my closest connection to it is having published in a sister journal of it. Consider the submission-to-rejection ratio you cite and look at the size of a typical board and the number of papers published in a year. Being on most journal's boards would be a full-time job (cf. the Math. Reviews) if the board members typically did the reviewing!
 

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The last I looked there were some baccalaureate editors. But most had terminal degrees. Some were professors.
 
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arnisador

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OK, I didn't realize that! Thanks to exile and tellner for bringing me up to date. That's good news for my relying on the Burdick, Henning, and Androgue papers, which is just what I wanted!
 

exile

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I Indeed, I'll be reviewing a (re-)submission to Elsevier's Computers & Mathematics with Applications this evening, and my closest connection to it is having published in a sister journal of it. Consider the submission-to-rejection ratio you cite and look at the size of a typical board and the number of papers published in a year. Being on most journal's boards would be a full-time job (cf. the Math. Reviews) if the board members typically did the reviewing!

True, it depends on the size of the board. At one time, I believe, the Journal of Symbolic Logic used their editorial board as their primary referee pool. But I suppose as submissions increase, that becomes impossible unless you create editorial boards with 1,000 members or more. In the case of journals that I've been on the editorial boards of, we were the `first line' of refereeing; if there were overflow, external help was called in. One of the reasons for this, I've heard from more than one senior editor, is that there's a sense that a referee who's a member of the journal's editorial board will be more... well, fanatical in carrying out the reviewing function—no perfunctory twelve-paragraph evaluation, but page upon page of detailed critique which gives the editor plenty of ammo when it's judgment day and the judgment is negative (as is going to be the case far more frequently than otherwise in the premier tier of journals). Authors can be pretty bloody whiney when their submissions are turned down, and editors get a lot of flack for that reason. And beyond that, the higher ranked a journal is, the more careful it needs to be to maintain its reputation. Journal-affiliated reviewers are considered more devoted to the journal itself, more protective of its reputation (possibly because the better the journal's street cred, the more of a CV trophy it is for the reviewer to be on the board of that journal, which has the ring of truth to it). But for sure, there's plenty of variation in practice.

I'll say this: every article I've ever read in JAMA gave me the sense of scrupulous scholarship, carefully measured use of secondary sources, and conclusions only as strong as the evidence base warranted. In that sense, it really does seem to be the gold standard for serious academic work in our field...
 
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arnisador

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I'll say this: every article I've ever read in JAMA gave me the sense of scrupulous scholarship, carefully measured use of secondary sources, and conclusions only as strong as the evidence base warranted. In that sense, it really does seem to be the gold standard for serious academic work in our field...

I occasionally flip through it at the bookstore but don't often buy it; and I think I just didn't consider how it distinguishes between the peer-reviewed articles and other articles, and tend to think of it in terms of the picture-heavy technique demonstrations that are easy to browse. I'm glad to have its more serious nature called to my attention, and particularly glad to know that there is a serious journal of the M.A. That JAMA was different from the usual crap magazines I knew but I thought of it as on a par with the Dragon Times' Classical Fighting Arts--high-quality but not verified quality.

Logic has a smaller number of journals than math., so perhaps it's different! I agree about the benefits of having referees be on the editorial board but it quickly becomes impractical. Every year at the Joint Math. Meetings--for which I finally registered this evening--I glance at the A.S.L. sessions, but my knowledge largely ends with Godel, give-or-take a few well-known results since then. (The history by Kneale and Kneale sits on my shelf but never quite bubbles to the top of my must-read list). It's on the long list of things I wish I knew more about.
 

exile

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That JAMA was different from the usual crap magazines I knew but I thought of it as on a par with the Dragon Times' Classical Fighting Arts--high-quality but not verified quality.

CFA is one that I have considered subscribing to, largely because as the publishers of Harry Cook's work on the history of Shotokan—widely regarded as the most carefully worked out large scale historical work on any MA ever published—I have the sense the sense that they are much more devoted to accurate and well-documented research than other MA publishers. I haven't gotten around to it yet, largely because dithering is really what I do best...

Logic has a smaller number of journals than math., so perhaps it's different! I agree about the benefits of having referees be on the editorial board but it quickly becomes impractical. Every year at the Joint Math. Meetings--for which I finally registered this evening--I glance at the A.S.L. sessions, but my knowledge largely ends with Godel, give-or-take a few well-known results since then. (The history by Kneale and Kneale sits on my shelf but never quite bubbles to the top of my must-read list). It's on the long list of things I wish I knew more about.

It impinges on my work to the extent that formal semantics uses increasingly ramified kinds of higher-order logic as models for the formal languages that it employs to characterize truth conditions on natural language sentences, so as a syntactian trying to keep one eye on the consequences of particular syntactic hypotheses for the mapping to semantics, I need to keep up with it a bit. One of the big journals on the interface of language and logic—the Journal of Language, Logic and Information—uses largely editorial-board reviewing. But that's a very small research community, relatively speaking. There are probably more algebraic topologists or number theorists on the eastern seaboard than there are people doing mathematical logic, particularly in terms of model theory, in the whole country, so yes, that does affect journal policy.

Now I feel inspired to contact Dragon Times about setting up a subscription to CFA... :)
 
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