Subforum description / questioning the supposed 2000 year old lineage

Bob Hubbard

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Yeah, I don't know that anyone here buys into the myth of the ancient Korean origins of TKD/TSD. Probably when the site was first built whoever created the subforums (Bob?) just copied and pasted the description from some random website.

I don't recall when we added the section, but most of the early art forum descriptions were based on available info in the rec.martialarts FAQ as it was at the time, or later distilled from Wikipedia entries. A few were updated, modified or totally replaced based on member input over the years.
 
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Chrisoro

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TKD History Sources
"Taekwondo is a martial art that in "todays" form of self defense has evolved by combining many different styles of martial arts that existed in Korea over the last 2,000 years and some martial arts styles from countries that surround Korea" Taekwondo History
This article says that it was created from many different styles of martial arts that existed in Korea over the 2000 years. The different martial arts styles existed in Korea not Taekwondo.

"The first Taekwondo school (Kwan) was started in Yong Chun, Seoul, Korea in 1945" This seems to be very late for something that has existed for 2000 years.

TKD History Source
History
They constantly refer to Taekkyon through their site. Then they try to make it seem that Taekkyon is the same as Taekwondo but they are different.
"The martial art Taekkyon (Taekwondo) had been secretly handed down only by the masters of the art until the liberation of the country in 1945."

This is the history of Taekkyon

Here's another source:
"During Koreas Yi period (900-1050), the Chinese introduced two more martial arts to Korea: subak, eventually renamed taekyon; and kwonbeop, which became the standard art for Korean warriors. Taekwondo arose in the 1950s when several Korean martial artists combined Japanese karate with taekyon."
Korean Martial Arts History - Black Belt

The sources that I listed are why I would question a 2000 year old lineage. The other thing is that martial arts develop over time and never stay the same as the original root. For a martial arts fighting system to be 2000 years old would be really rare. Those who master a martial arts styles are always seeking to make their style better and in the process the style is changed and often times this changes results in a new name and a new fighting system. That has roots in an older fighting system.

The problem with all those sources, is that they equate any trace of earlier forms of martial arts in Korea with Taekwondo, and make it sound as if TKD has some sort of connection with the earlier styles or that it in some way evolved from them, even though it has been proven time and time again that the main inspiration of Taekwondo was Karate.

Those sources are also claiming things they have no basis for. Take this example:

http://www.worldtaekwondo.com/history.htm said:
During the Silla dynasty (A.D. 668 to A.D. 935) Taek Kyon was mostly used as a sport and recreational activity.

How can they possibly know this when the the earliest existing written source mentioning Taekkyeon is the book Jaemulbo, written just a little over 200 years ago?
 
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JowGaWolf

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Chrisoro
That's my point. Multiple source with multiple histories about TKD. When something is definite then the sources say the same thing with the exception of a couple of sources. Take for example the history of Jow Ga. If you look it up the history of Jow Ga Kung Fu the history of it is the same. You may find that it's called different things based on dialect or based on the on the root of it, but it all has the same history with the same timeline, same founder, and same lineage as it relates to the founder.
 

jks9199

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Here's the thing, in my opinion. There are so many claims and fuzzed lines in just about every art that we can't really audit of prove the history claims. To me. You should realize every forum description should be read with a caveat of "they say" or "according to some sources..." or something similar.
 
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Chrisoro

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Then why don't just change it to say that, instead of bombastic statements such as "This ancient martial art traces its lineage back 2,000 years to the Korean peninsula."?
 

reeskm

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Yes, agree that we have the ability to change the description. You just have to get everybody to agree to it! Good luck with that! LOL

What I did for our description for our school, is this:
(old description was similar to this forum's description)

Tang Soo Do is a traditional martial art. It became popular in Korea in the 1940s, but it's philosophy and techniques are thousands of years old. The art of Tang Soo Do is a method of hand and foot fighting, based on scientific use of the body for self defense.

This way, you are not lying. TSD does incorporate techniques and ideas that are thousands of years old. This statement also avoids picking a nationality on purpose: you don't say that it is based on Japanese or Chinese arts or others. You refer only to the period where it became popular in Korea.

But since we have some of the best eyes and experts here in this forum I invite you all to critique my description. Any issues with it? Is this an improvement, and does it go far enough to fixing the issues of the "2000 year old martial art from Korea"?
 

JowGaWolf

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Reeskm
I like the discription that you showed.
 
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Chrisoro

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Yes, agree that we have the ability to change the description. You just have to get everybody to agree to it! Good luck with that! LOL

What I did for our description for our school, is this:
(old description was similar to this forum's description)

Tang Soo Do is a traditional martial art. It became popular in Korea in the 1940s, but it's philosophy and techniques are thousands of years old. The art of Tang Soo Do is a method of hand and foot fighting, based on scientific use of the body for self defense.

This way, you are not lying. TSD does incorporate techniques and ideas that are thousands of years old. This statement also avoids picking a nationality on purpose: you don't say that it is based on Japanese or Chinese arts or others. You refer only to the period where it became popular in Korea.

But since we have some of the best eyes and experts here in this forum I invite you all to critique my description. Any issues with it? Is this an improvement, and does it go far enough to fixing the issues of the "2000 year old martial art from Korea"?

I like this description a lot better than the one that currently describes this subforum. The only thing I have some minor issues with, is the claim that it incorporates techniques that are thousands of years old. Which techniques is that, and how do you date them? And if you by this mean such things as generic straight punches, since examples of these are found in other arts that can be documented to have been in existance in ancient times(such as in old roman boxing and pankration) then why mention it in the first place, if it cannot be reliably traced to, or be proven to have influenced, modern Tang Soo Do? But this is minor issues, and nitpicking on my part.
 

reeskm

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The only thing I have some minor issues with, is the claim that it incorporates techniques that are thousands of years old. Which techniques is that, and how do you date them? And if you by this mean such things as generic straight punches, since examples of these are found in other arts that can be documented to have been in existance in ancient times(such as in old roman boxing and pankration) then why mention it in the first place, if it cannot be reliably traced to, or be proven to have influenced, modern Tang Soo Do?

Chrisoro,
I very precisely chose the word influence, because this is exactly what I am claiming. I am not suggesting by the description that what we do today is the exact same "martial art" or style as what was done thousands of years ago.

So philosophies found in the warrior cultures of China, Korea and Japan should be taught in the classroom, to appeal to the western and modern generation. These include strategy, meditation, the warrior spirit, the martial way, concepts of the tao te ching, etc, the song of the sip sam seh (13 influences), internal and external power, ki/chi, etc.

Zen Buddhism is one example. It came to Japan between the 4th and 6th centuries AD. It has influenced Karate and Tang Soo Do as they are the same art, in different languages. Therefore, this influence is "thousands of years old" (measured in units of at least 1000, in this case 1.4 - 1.6 thousand years.)
 

Tez3

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It came to Japan between the 4th and 6th centuries AD.

Just a minor thing not a criticism but a suggestion, (it's used in British schools now) but valid I feel for a scholarly article, rather than use 'AD' perhaps 'CE' especially when discussing non Xtian civilisations, and when discussing with non Xtians.
Common Era - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

reeskm

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Tez3 - seems more of an attempt to be politically correct than anything. I am not a religious person but am 1/2 brit myself and baptized Anglican.

I learned AD/BC in school and old habits die hard. Personally, I think you could use either one and it would be obvious what you mean. By all means use CE/BCE if it suits your fancy. :)
 

Tez3

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Tez3 - seems more of an attempt to be technically correcty correct than anything. I am not a religious person but am 1/2 brit myself and baptized Anglican.

I learned AD/BC in school and old habits die hard. Personally, I think you could use either one and it would be obvious what you mean. By all means use CE/BCE if it suits your fancy. :)

It's a very old system actually and far from being politically correct it's
use is tecnically correct. It's not a fancy at all and has nothing to do with being British at all but just as children here no longer use or know what imperial measurements are they will soon like their European counterparts not know what AD and BC is so no it's not quite as obvious as you think. It will be considered old fashioned in just a few years, thought you might like to keep what you have written up to date.
 

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