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View Full Version : Skorz, seen this book?


Matt Wallis
July 19, 2002, 09:17 AM
Hey, I found this book at a Borders down here. Looked interesting. English translation, of course. The following is from Amazon. (BTW, when did the Japanese occupation start?)

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Muye Dobo Tongji : Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts of Ancient Korea
by Muye Dobo Tongji, Yi Duk-Moo, Park Je-Ga, Sang H. Kim (Translator)

Book Description
In 1789, King Chongjo, ruler of the Yi dynasty, ordered General Yi Duk-moo to compile an official textbook on all martial art forms then present in Korea to preserve them for future generations. The result, the Muye Dobo Tongji, is the only surviving classical text on the Korean arts of war. Based on the earliest known Korean martial arts treatise, the Muye Chebo written in 1599, the Muye Dobo Tongji clearly shows the influence of the neighboring Japanese and Chinese armies.

Through hundreds of wars and invasions, Korean soldiers adapted battlefield skills and tactics from their enemies, creating a unique system of their own. Organized into 24 distinct disciplines comprised of empty hand fighting, weaponry and horsemanship, this book is an accurate historical snapshot of the warrior arts of the hermit kingdom in the late 18th century.

The release of The Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts of Ancient Korea marks the first time this volume is available in English. Carefully translated from the original text and illustrated with reproductions of ancient woodblock carvings, this book provides fascinating insights into Korea’s martial arts legacy.

From the Publisher
In 1789, King Jungjo, ruler of the Yi dynasty, ordered General Yi Duk-moo to compile an official textbook on all martial art forms then present in Korea to preserve them for future generations. The result, the Muye Dobo Tongji, is the only surviving classical text on the Korean arts of war. Based on the earliest known Korean martial arts treatise, the Muye Chebo written in 1599, the Muye Dobo Tongji clearly shows the influence of the neighboring Japanese and Chinese armies.

Through hundreds of wars and invasions, Korean soldiers adapted battlefield skills and tactics from their enemies, creating a unique system of their own. Organized into 24 distinct disciplines comprised of empty hand fighting, weaponry and horsemanship, this book is an accurate historical snapshot of the warrior arts of the hermit kingdom in the late 18th century.

The first five sections of the book detail the authors reasoning for publishing the manual, the king’s directions to the authors, the guidelines used by the authors in selecting material for inclusion, a collection of essential strategic documents and oral teachings, and background information on Mo Won-ui and Chuk Kye-kwang, military generals and scholars whose writings are extensively quoted in the work. The final section is a listing of the reference works used by the authors.

Book One comprises the arts that were originally published in the Muye Chebo (Martial Arts Illustrations) in 1592. This book establishes the format for the remainder of the work: each weapon is documented with an illustration of the Korean, Chinese and Japanese versions where applicable, followed by a compilation of references to the weapon in historical documents, a discussion of the common uses of the weapon illustrated by line drawings and finally the original manuals and comprehensive illustrations (in Chinese).

Books Two and Three comprise the arts added to the Muye Chebo when it was revised and published as the Muye Shinbo (New Illustrations of Marital Arts) in 1759. The arts added in these two sections reflect the influence of the invading Japanese armies and borrow heavily from the Japanese sword arts.

Book Four was added in 1789 when the final work was published as the Muye Dobo Tongji. Book Four contains the only documented empty hand art plus the Korean version of polo and the documentation of acrobatics on horseback, both of which were added at the King’s direction. The final two sections are illustrations of the clothing worn by the military during practice of the documented arts and a comparative chart documenting the differences in practice of the arts within the four branches of the military.

The release of The Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts of Ancient Korea marks the first time this volume is available in English. Carefully translated from the original text and illustrated with reproductions of ancient woodblock carvings, this book provides fascinating insights into Korea’s martial arts legacy.

From the Inside Flap
According to historic documents, archery was the only officially sanctioned martial art practiced by soldiers during the early years of the Yi Dynasty (1392-1910), a period during which the practice of martial arts was looked downed upon and generally discouraged. After the Japanese invasion (1592-1598), King Sunjo (1567-1608) acquired a Chinese martial arts manual called Kihyo Shinsu written by Chuk Kye-kwang of the Ming Dynasty. He took a personal interest in the arts and subsequently invited the Ming military officers for a demonstration of their fighting methods. The king ordered his military officer Han Kyo to compile six fighting methods for further study. They were later published collectively under the title Muye Jebo (Martial Arts Illustrations).

During the reign of King Youngjo (1724-1776), the publication of Muye Jebo was revised and renamed Muye Shinbo (Martial Arts New Illustrations) with twelve additional fighting methods added. It was King Jungjo (1776-1800) who added six more fighting methods and completed the Muye Dobo Tongji (Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts) in 1790. He intended to strengthen the national military forces by training soldiers daily and systematically. It is interesting to note that they included not only Chinese fighting methods in the manual but also the Japanese sword methods which had been totally ignored at the beginning of the dynasty. According to his writings, King Jungjo believed that, “Through diligently practicing these methods and mastering strategy, the soldiers protecting the capital and the military officers will become agile warriors and loyal soldiers who will not abandon their country. My intention of publishing this expanded volume of military tactics is to record this instruction for posterity.”

About the Author
Ye Duk-moo and Park Je-ga were military scholars and advisors to King Jungjo during the 18th Century (Yi Dynasty) in Korea. They compiled the material in this book from many sources, interpreting and translating documents from the Chinese and Japanese military manuals as well as Korean historical records. They also tested and adapted the skills of the Chinese and Japanese warriors to suit the needs of the contemporary Korean military forces.

When completed, their work spanned five books. It was made part of the Royal Library and used as the basis for military training in the Korean branches of the infantry, cavalry and navy during the Yi Dynasty. The Muye Dobo Tongji was the final military manual published during this period.

Sang H. Kim is an internationally respected author of eight martial arts books, including the best sellers Ultimate Fitness through Martial Arts and Teaching Martial Arts. He is also the translator for the ground breaking book on the Olympic sport of taekwondo, Taekwondo Kyorugi: Olympic Style Sparring. He holds a B.A. degree in English Literature, an M.S. degree in sports science and Ph.D. in media studies.

With over 30 years experience in Korean martial arts, Sang H. Kim brings unique insight and interpretation to the work of Park Je-ga and Yi Duk-moo. This historical first English translation of the Muye Dobo Tongji is the result of many years of work and study in an effort to bring the most significant book on Korean martial history to the Western world.

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Regards,
Matt

D.W. Drang
July 19, 2002, 02:17 PM
Looks interesting, I may have to check it out myself...

Anyway:(BTW, when did the Japanese occupation start?)

While they had a huge military, political, and mercantile influence in the 1890's, the Japanese occupation of Korea began in at the end of the Russo-Japanese War, and the Japanese officially annexed Korea in 1910. (Be interesting to see if they have a centennial observance planned...)
Basically, Theodore Roosevelt, who negotiated the treaty, let the Japanese do what they wanted with Korea in exchange for the Japanese igoring our occuation of the Phillipines and Guam. I doubt TR realized the Japanese were not going to be quite as nice as we were...

Don Gwinn
July 19, 2002, 03:43 PM
I can't find that on Amazon.com. How did you find it? I'd like to get a copy.

kungfool
July 19, 2002, 04:15 PM
Sang H. Kim is an internationally respected author of eight martial arts books, including the best sellers Ultimate Fitness through Martial Arts and Teaching Martial Arts. He is also the translator for the ground breaking book on the Olympic sport of taekwondo, Taekwondo Kyorugi: Olympic Style Sparring.

I have his book on Olympic style sparring, it is indeed a good book to refer to for training the advanced fighters.

However, as I am grappling (no pun intended) with the history and even the origins of TKD, Kim himself endorses the preface which starts:

"Taekwondo originated over two-thousand years ago in Korea."

Sang H. Kim is an internationally respected author of eight martial arts books,.....

One can see my frustration.........*L*.

I will suely look for the book on Amazon......thanks.

Skorzeny
July 20, 2002, 07:00 AM
However, as I am grappling (no pun intended) with the history and even the origins of TKD, Kim himself endorses the preface which starts:

"Taekwondo originated over two-thousand years ago in Korea."Oh... Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Okay, one more time (chant with me) - post-colonialist nationalist fantasy!

Yes, there was martial art in medieval Korea. No it wasn't Tae Kwon Do. It wasn't even empty-handed (again, unless you count folk wrestling). The lone documentary evidence of medieval Korean "martial arts" of the period were government weapons-handling manuals, which were directly copied from the Chinese ones of the time.

I think I covered this in another lengthy thread about Chinese cultural influence on Korea.

To be fair, I have not seen the book. I may check it out OR may decide that I might have a brain aneurism if I see one more reference to TKD as being 2,000 years old.

Skorzeny

kungfool
July 20, 2002, 03:08 PM
skorzeny......Just cut to the quick.....What is Taekwondo? When did it start? Do you disagree with General Choi's writings that he was the "father and founder of taekwondo?"


(I'm still grappling.......*g*)

Matt Wallis
July 21, 2002, 09:30 AM
Kungfool,

I'll field that one for Skorz (though I still don't agree with everything he believes). TKD is (or was)... Shotokan Karate. Of course it's been much modified since it started, especially in the ***. ITF style remains much closer to it's Shotokan roots. In fact, many early practicioners simply referred to TKD as "Korean Karate" (even after the official name of TKD was adopted).

Regards,
Matt

kungfool
July 21, 2002, 07:39 PM
Matt........Yes, that was the way general Choi explained it in an interview in TKD Times. What is unclear to me was just how much of modern TKD is actually techniques developed by the late General Choi and how much of it is taken from the separate kwans in South Korea of the time. Since much of Choi's life was spent either in captivity or in exile it is difficult to determine.

He states, and I believe, that he had been refining japenese and chinese techniques to fit the mentality of the korean mindset since the end of WW 2. I find it difficult to accept that one man is responsible for the evolution of an entire art. So....how much TKD is karate, kung fu and head butting and how much of it is derived directly from techniques that the koreans developed (over many years) themselves?

Is TKD simply Shotokan Karate with a few flying kicks added? Choi claims that he developed TKD and that (I don't agree with this part) it (TKD) is superior to karate. I have a hard time with that last statement though because there are so many styles of karate.

It's already been said, whether it is an art that stands alone and is strictly modern or has ancient beginings or it is karate with a couple of twists, TKD, like any other art will benefit the practitioner in many ways so long as they commit to hard training.

Malone LaVeigh
July 23, 2002, 07:22 PM
I doubt TR realized the Japanese were not going to be quite as nice as we were...

Sorry for the OT, but were you kidding about that? If not chack out http://www.historyguy.com/PhilipineAmericanwar.html

"Talk about war being 'hell,' this war beats the hottest estimate ever made of that locality. Caloocan was supposed to contain seventeen thousand inhabitants. The Twentieth Kansas swept through it, and now Caloocan contains not one living native. Of the buildings, the battered walls of the great church and dismal prison alone remain. The village of Maypaja, where our first fight occurred on the night of the fourth, had five thousand people on that day, -- now not one stone remains upon top of another. You can only faintly imagine this terrible scene of desolation. War is worse than hell."--Captain Elliott, of the Kansas Regiment, February 27th

D.W. Drang
July 24, 2002, 11:10 AM
I didn't say we were nice, I said the Japanese were worse than us.