The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 20, 2002, 12:30 PM   #1
Matt Wallis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2001
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 176
Traditional Korean Arts?

Alright, here's a question. Despite the hyperbole surrounding most Taekwondo promotional material which advertizes it as a 1000 year old Korean Art, most honest practicioners (including some written histories, like Choi's) will admit that it is mixed with a lot of Shotokan techniques. Although they still maintain that it has a base of tarditional Korean kicking.

My question is, are there any surviving and intact pure Korean arts? Or is anyone attempting to reconstruct a pure Korean art (kind of like we're doing with Medieval Western Arts today)?

Regards,
Matt
Matt Wallis is offline  
Old May 20, 2002, 02:23 PM   #2
Skorzeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 1,938
Matt:

No. First of all, there is absolutely NO historical, documentary or archeological evidence that there ever was a native, "pure" Korean martial art.

Any "systematic" art being practiced in pre-colonial Korea was Chinese in origin. Koreans did have some folks style wrestling and such (the precursor to Ssireum), which were common in most Mongol/Ural-Altaic tribal cultures.
Quote:
will admit that it is mixed with a lot of Shotokan techniques. Although they still maintain that it has a base of tarditional Korean kicking.
That's just "damage control" in PR terms. In 1945, Tae Kwon Do was simply Shotokan as practiced by Korean students of Funakoshi. Of course, TKD can be claimed to be a distinct martial art today since it has evolved very differently from STK since then (largely by introducing theatrical techniques like high kicks and multi-kicks).

BTW, there is this persistent myth that "ancient" martial arts involved punching, kicking and grappling (this bizzarre myth of unarmed man beating the armed). It wasn't so. Most parent systems or arts that modern martial arts claim as ancestors were invariably weapon arts, either about using the weapons or preventing the draws of the same in close quarters. Weapons were mostly spears, swords and bows (the big three of the ancient world). This "farm implementation" business is largely bunk.

Then there were contest sports like many forms of wrestling in most cultures, which was most certainly not "martial" (war-fighting) in nature, but competitive events.

Skorzeny
__________________
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu
Skorzeny is offline  
Old May 20, 2002, 02:52 PM   #3
LASur5r+P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2001
Location: soCal,Republic of
Posts: 111
Resources?

Skorzeny,
just out of curiousity, are there books, etc., that show the typical techniques used in the "ancient" martial arts? In the old days?
__________________
proud to be an American.
LASur5r+P is offline  
Old May 20, 2002, 03:43 PM   #4
Halffast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 525
Matt,

Here's a link that might answer some of your questions.

www.kuksoolwon.com/histhome.htm

David
__________________
If your looking to government for the solution, you obviously don't understand the problem.

Shameless Personal Plug - Read "Lights Out" A SHTF Novel in progress, by me.

Molon Labe!
Halffast is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 07:18 AM   #5
Matt Wallis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2001
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 176
Quote:
No. First of all, there is absolutely NO historical, documentary or archeological evidence that there ever was a native, "pure" Korean martial art.
Wow. That is a bold statement. I suppose it, in part, depends on how one defines pure, and how one defines "martial art." But I've found, through my study of western MA, that just about every culture that fights (and just about every culture does), developes some form of MA. The degree to which it becomes systemized may vary. But as people find what works in battle, it gets re-used, refined and passed on. Don't you think that this would have happened in Korea as well?

Of course, "documented" is another case. It could very well be that these techniques always remained undocumented and informal. And of course, most fighting techniques are pretty universal (the human body can only move in so many ways, after all), so "pure Korean" technique may be a bit of a misnomer anyway.

Quote:
Any "systematic" art being practiced in pre-colonial Korea was Chinese in origin. Koreans did have some folks style wrestling and such (the precursor to Ssireum), which were common in most Mongol/Ural-Altaic tribal cultures.
Influenced by the Chinese is not hard to believe. But again, I would have trouble believing that no native Korean arts developed. And besides, I do count folk styles of wrestling as martial arts. Rudimentary and mostly non-lethal, but MA nevertheless. But I'd like to hear you say more on this.

Quote:
In 1945, Tae Kwon Do was simply Shotokan as practiced by Korean students of Funakoshi.
What about Taekyon? Real art or not?

Quote:
Most parent systems or arts that modern martial arts claim as ancestors were invariably weapon arts
Hey, your preachin' to the choir on that point! The myth that unarmed arts were developed in a vacume, or that they were/are in some way superior to weapons arts was a myth I had exploded early on in my WMA training/research. I have found that most MA have their origins on the battlefield. Civilian MA usually developed afterwards (with the exception of things like folk wrestling, which you already mentioned).

Quote:
this bizzarre myth of unarmed man beating the armed
Heh, heh. Yeah. If that's true how come Shaolin Temple was destroyed by the Ching army!? (It is Chings, right? I always get them and the Mings mixed up.)

And Halffast said,
Quote:
Here's a link that might answer some of your questions.
Well, how trustworthy that link is (and other Korean Art "histories") is actually the subject of this post. Every Korean Art claims, or at least talks as if it were an ancient, purely Korean Art. I'm asking here if thats even possible.

Regards,
Matt
Matt Wallis is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 12:26 PM   #6
Halffast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 22, 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 525
Quote:
Every Korean Art claims, or at least talks as if it were an ancient, purely Korean Art. I'm asking here if thats even possible.
Matt,

While anything is possible, I would doubt that any martial art is "pure". The problem is how would you go about proving or disproving it?

David
__________________
If your looking to government for the solution, you obviously don't understand the problem.

Shameless Personal Plug - Read "Lights Out" A SHTF Novel in progress, by me.

Molon Labe!
Halffast is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 03:22 PM   #7
boris_01
Member
 
Join Date: November 14, 2001
Location: N.C.
Posts: 61
Ancient? Modern? Pure? Innovated? What difference should it make. Unless you are into history. I personally look for practicallity. And if you look at most so called traditional martial arts, you will see a lot of impractical techniques. And a lot of modern ones for that matter. I mean to me, what does it matter where an art originated? What matters is does it work? Does it apply to what it was supposed to? And as for some of the traditional arts originating on the battlefield? I doubt it. Unless a lot of techniques have seriously changed over the years. A lot of the techniques are too flambouyant and impractical for use on the battlefield. If these techniques were used, then they must have had some sloppy form. Because I'm sure the battles did not look as precise as the scenes on late night "Kung Fu Theater" do.
boris_01 is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 04:14 PM   #8
Skorzeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 1,938
LASur5r+P:
Quote:
just out of curiousity, are there books, etc., that show the typical techniques used in the "ancient" martial arts? In the old days?
Regrettably not as far as I know. However, "typical techniques" of pre-modern martial arts were spearmanship, swordmanship, archery, shield-work, horsemanship... you see the point. There are archaeological and documentary evidences that demonstrate the weapons and techniques - these can be found in history books, archaeology books and even art books and such.

Halffast:
Quote:
Here's a link that might answer some of your questions.

www.kuksoolwon.com/histhome.htm
The pre-1910 history section of that link is pure nationalist fantasy.

Matt Wallis:
Quote:
Wow. That is a bold statement.
It's really not. It may sound "bold" to those who have accepted the 1,000 year "ancient" art line uncritically. What archaeological and documentary evidences exist about the state of Korean martial arts from the Middle Ages to the pre-modern times demonstrate an undisputable and almost unaltered Chinese transmission of knowledge.

During this period, Chinese culture, technology and political system (not to mention Chinese writing) were accepted as something akin to god's gift by Koreans, who were basically Sinicized Ural-Altaic-speaking tribesmen. This is not to say that Koreans were without their own culture and history - merely that they adopted Chinese culture with reckless abandon, deeming it superior. Until a relatively recent creation and adoption of a native Korean alphabet system (Han-Gul), Koreans used Chinese writing exclusively (they still mix a considerable amount of Chinese script with their own as Japanese do).
Quote:
Of course, "documented" is another case. It could very well be that these techniques always remained undocumented and informal.
Perhaps. But we can only go by what records that are preserved, not by word-of-mouth from some Korean instructors who repeat their nationalist myth of 1,000-year old Korean systems.
Quote:
But again, I would have trouble believing that no native Korean arts developed. And besides, I do count folk styles of wrestling as martial arts. Rudimentary and mostly non-lethal, but MA nevertheless.
Koreans adopted Chinese methods of spear and sword fighting. Where they independently excelled was in archery. Korean bows were very similar to Mongol bows (their ethnic cousins), and were prized by the Chinese (who often took huge quantities from Koreans in tribute). Northern/Manchurian tribal Koreans (Kokuryo and Balhae/Pohae) also excelled in horsemanship and mounted archery (as Mongols did). I already mentioned folk wresting (which I do NOT count as a "martial art" in the purest sense of a "military art). BTW one medieval Korean document, referring to the Japanese methods of swordmanship goes "we are aware of the midget barbarians' notable swordfighting skills."
Quote:
What about Taekyon? Real art or not?
No evidence whatsoever. The term became current after the nationalization of Shotokan into Tae Kwon Do. There is some evidence that TKD added some Chinese systems (mostly northern styles with lots of kicks) being practiced in Korea up to that point to their version of Shotokan.
Quote:
Civilian MA usually developed afterwards (with the exception of things like folk wrestling, which you already mentioned).
The true emergence of empty-hand martial art was the during the Meiji period in Japan when wearing of two swords was banned. This led to a number of "ancient" Jujutsu/Yawara schools altering sword-based systems to more hand-based systems. Such "transitional" systems led to arts like Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu (you can see the sword, I mean blade-hand, in most defense techniques). The real revolution of "civilian" martial art was Dr. Kano Jigoro and his Kodokan Judo - the system that introduced a rigorous, scientific curriculum, belts, promotions, tests and etc. Crucially, this was also the system that incorporated traditional techniques with Western methods of full-strength sparring and wrestling (Randori). He trained his students in mostly those techniques that could be practiced safely thus - then went on to defeat every other school in police-sponsored contests (except once, defeated by a school that specialized in ground wrestling techniques, which led Dr. Kano to add such techniques, thus "completing" Judo's curriculum).

Skorzeny
__________________
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu
Skorzeny is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 09:43 PM   #9
Slish
Member
 
Join Date: May 30, 2001
Location: Mishawaka, IN
Posts: 47
Judo?

Do I remember correctly that the student Kano sent out to these contests actually used aiki-jutsu techniquest instead of "pure" judo?

Also, to reiterate boris_01's statement, if you are looking for a defense-oriented school, forget the names. Look for what is being taught. I don't care if it's Korean, Japanese, Chinese or Martian... it's the stuff being taught and the manner in which is taught to be used that's important.

Although I am "ranked" in ITF TaeKwon-Do, I've "played" with Aikido, Kyokushinkai, and Ueichi-Ryu and little bit of what was being called "Combat Karate". What I've found after almost thirty years is that essentially one martial art pretty much ends up looking like any other. Yes, they all have their specialties, but it all comes down to "a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick" (my apologies if I have mis-quoted the late, great Bruce Lee, but he got it right)!

"Pure" styles??? Doubtful anywhere in the world today unless you find someone on a remote island with no previous contact with the outside world. Koreans learned Chinese techniques, Japanes learned Okinawan techniques which came from China which came from ... who knows where?

If you are looking for a good Korean instructor, look for one who doesn't rely on rote and thinks for himself / herself. Again from Bruce, "take what is useful and discard what is not."
__________________
"Moondancer" over at THR.
Slish is offline  
Old May 21, 2002, 10:55 PM   #10
Skorzeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 1,938
Slish:
Quote:
Do I remember correctly that the student Kano sent out to these contests actually used aiki-jutsu techniquest instead of "pure" judo?
There are those who claim that - the truth was that a number of highly skilled practitioners of what I call transitional Jujutsu schools (of which Daito-Ryu was a part) saw what Dr. Kano was doing, joined him, was trained by him in his new methods and went on to become champions.
Quote:
Yes, they all have their specialties, but it all comes down to "a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick"...
Sure, but I disagree with the implicit assumption there - as someone else pointed out, human body can only strike and lock in so many different ways. Still, it is the context in which one (or one's school) trains that makes the crucial difference. For example, there are knee techniques in Tae Kwon Do, but compared to how Muay Thai fighters train in, and use, knee strikes, TKD knee strikes appear amateurish (there is a reason why Jeet Kune Do Concepts derives its main knee technques from Muay Thai).
Quote:
"Pure" styles??? Doubtful anywhere in the world today unless you find someone on a remote island with no previous contact with the outside world. Koreans learned Chinese techniques, Japanes learned Okinawan techniques which came from China which came from ... who knows where?
Not so. First of all, most Japanese systems explicitly acknowledge Chinese and Okinawan influence. Furthermore, most of these systems were highly internalized and evolved by the Japanese (for their own practical purposes, not just to make them different from the original foreign systems). They can be said to be Japanese arts. Most Korean systems make no such acknowledgements. If one looks at the "official" Hwa Rang Do history, for example, one will see the nonsensical and completely ridiculous claims of "the art that was practiced by the Hwa Rang warriors of the Shilla period" when in fact the system was derived almost entirely from Japanese modern arts (like Shotokan, Aiki-Jujutsu, Judo, etc.).

Sure, the practicality of the techniques should be very important in picking the right schools, but in my opinion, propagation of inaccurate, even fantastical historical myths of their systems says a lot about the intellectual honesty of such schools and instructors.

Skorzeny
__________________
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu
Skorzeny is offline  
Old May 22, 2002, 07:40 AM   #11
Matt Wallis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2001
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 176
Ah, good discussion!

Boris said...
Quote:
What difference should it make. Unless you are into history.
Ah, but I am into history! Heh, heh. Besides, I think what Skozeny said also applies; that, to put it in my own words, if an instructor is willing to lie to you (or at least, heavily propagandize) that may indicate a problem with the instructor or the art. And if the art is really effective, why would there be a need to fabricate a history for it. (And BTW, I'm not saying TKD isn't or can't be effective.)

Skorzeny said...
Quote:
It may sound "bold" to those who have accepted the 1,000 year "ancient" art line uncritically.
It sounds bold to me and I haven't uncritically accepted the "1000 year old" myth for years!

Quote:
During this period, Chinese culture, technology and political system (not to mention Chinese writing) were accepted as something akin to god's gift by Koreans
Ah, now this is starting to make more sense to me. I did know that Chinese culture heavily influenced Korean culture, and I did know about the language connection as well. In fact, I'd always heard it described as Chinese being to Asia like Latin was to Europe. Chinese was always the language of the literati.

You also mention the influence of Northen Chinese styles, especially in kicking techniques. This also makes sense to me, and in fact, I've heard that before. But doesn't that actually support the idea of, for example, TKD not being just a Korean version of Shotokan? If Korean MA in pre-colonial times was heavily influenced by Chinese MA, and heavily influenced by Japanese MA afterward, then wouldn't it seem believable that Korean MA would include all of those influences (and all of them filtered through a Korean "take" on them)?

Mind you, I'm not arguing so much here as I am trying to work through these things according to my understanding of them.

Quote:
I already mentioned folk wresting (which I do NOT count as a "martial art" in the purest sense of a "military art).
Well, I usually take "martial" not to mean "military" but rather more broadly as "fighting". So I would still consider folk wrestling a "fighting art". But that's all semantics really.

Quote:
we are aware of the midget barbarians' notable swordfighting skills
LOL! That rocks. Heh, heh. Although it does help to perpetuate the myth of Japanese swordplay being superior to all others.

Quote:
The true emergence of empty-hand martial art was the during the Meiji period in Japan when wearing of two swords was banned.
Interesting history. But just for the record, I was referring to the emergence of civilian MA in a general sense of what I've studied in most cultures. Eg. Civilian MA in Europe didn't really hit it's stride until the Renaissance which is when it started to develop techniques that worked on the street, but not on the battlefield. Before that, all MA really were military arts. Even when used in duels and single combat the weapons were always weapons that could be (and were) used on the battlefield.

Quote:
There is some evidence that TKD added some Chinese systems (mostly northern styles with lots of kicks) being practiced in Korea up to that point to their version of Shotokan.
So Chinese Arts influenced Korean combat. I'm assuming that influence was going on for "1000's of years"? Over that time unless there was constant contact and oversight between the Chinese and Koreans I find it extremely hard to believe that Korean practicioners did not develop and modify techniques. Assuming they did, by the time Japan colonized Korea I would think those Chinese arts had been pretty well Koreanized. So that would make TKD a combination of Shotokan and "Taekyon" which is one of those "ancient Korean arts" itself descended from ancient Chinese MA. Sound reasonable?

It's all musing though. I wonder if there is any archeologucal evidence of this? I wonder if there are any modern practicioners of "Taekyon" and if so, what it looks like. If it looks like a Chinese northern style, but with some significant difference in technique... Anyway, it's fun to think about.

There is one other problem I have with all this, though. What you're saying, Skorzeny, does sound a lot like the whole, "all MA come from China" idea which is patently false. Now again, it may depend on one's definition of MA, but all cultures tend to develop their own methods of fighting. Even if Chinese MA were really so influential, it would make sense that they then _influenced_ local MA. But replaced them, or filled a vacuum? That doesn't really make sense to me.

Quote:
However, "typical techniques" of pre-modern martial arts were spearmanship, swordmanship, archery, shield-work, horsemanship...
And grappling! Don't forget the grappling! At least in the west, it was a crucial part of MA, even on the battlefield.

BTW, just want to add that I am a TKD guy. I have a 1st dan in ITF TKD. So I am not busting on the art. I've just always been curious about the history of it.

Regards,
Matt
Matt Wallis is offline  
Old May 22, 2002, 11:15 AM   #12
Skorzeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 1,938
Quote:
You also mention the influence of Northen Chinese styles, especially in kicking techniques. This also makes sense to me, and in fact, I've heard that before. But doesn't that actually support the idea of, for example, TKD not being just a Korean version of Shotokan? If Korean MA in pre-colonial times was heavily influenced by Chinese MA, and heavily influenced by Japanese MA afterward, then wouldn't it seem believable that Korean MA would include all of those influences (and all of them filtered through a Korean "take" on them)?
Except that there was really no "organized" martial art in the empty-hand sense in the pre-colonial Korea. There were very small number of people who practiced Chinese arts, and even this very small number disappeared during the colonial oppression by the Japanese. TKD was Shotokan in 1945 when Japan surrendered to the Allies. At that time, in fact, there was no TKD. Even when the name TKD was adopted, all forms were Shotokan forms. By the time the heavy rush was on to promote TKD as a purely Korean art, there weren't really any legitimate (read "real") Northern Chinese style practitioners in Korea to impart any serious influence on the TKD development.
Quote:
Well, I usually take "martial" not to mean "military" but rather more broadly as "fighting". So I would still consider folk wrestling a "fighting art". But that's all semantics really.
I am a huge fan, and a practitioner, of grappling. I think that it has some good last-ditch self-defense value in today's largely unarmed society. But grappling has NEVER been a real military art during the pre-modern times. They were always masculine contests (equivalent of today's sports) whether Greek, Mongolian, Korean (today's Ssireum) or Japanese (Sumo).
Quote:
Over that time unless there was constant contact and oversight between the Chinese and Koreans I find it extremely hard to believe that Korean practicioners did not develop and modify techniques. Assuming they did, by the time Japan colonized Korea I would think those Chinese arts had been pretty well Koreanized.
What would've been the point of "Koreanization" of Chinese martial arts? Koreans were purists as far as Chinese culture was concerned (even today Koreans use archaic Chinese characters while Chinese themselves have moved on to using simplified scripts - it's really mindboggling). Japanese had more reasons to internalize cultural transmissions - their contacts with China were more intermittent, they never really became Chinese vassals and their sense of nationalism developed much sooner. This is not to say that somehow Japanese culture was superior to Korean one (the Japanese were living in practically stone-age culture when the Koreans brought Chinese culture to Japan in two huge migrations - a Western scientific study of Japanese nobility has found that some 40% of the most notable Japanese aristocratic families, including the imperial family, derives its origins from Korean ancestors; this publication was immediately banned in Japan and its authors declared persona non grata).
Quote:
There is one other problem I have with all this, though. What you're saying, Skorzeny, does sound a lot like the whole, "all MA come from China" idea which is patently false.
Oh, no. I don't suggest that "all MA come from China." Chinese MA were probably derived from Indian and Southeast Asian fighting arts, combined with considerable internal development. Japanese arts were derived from Chinese (direct and Korean transmitted) and internalized. I'm just stating that there is no similar internalization of Korean systems in the pre-1945 eras with a few exceptions (archery and wrestling, for example). BTW, I should add that I believe Japanese Sumo to be a descendant of Korean Ssireum. I personally find Korean Ssireum to be much more technical and intricate compared to Sumo. You certainly don't see gigantically fat guys who can't support their weight on their own knees playing Ssireum.
Quote:
BTW, just want to add that I am a TKD guy. I have a 1st dan in ITF TKD. So I am not busting on the art. I've just always been curious about the history of it.
I have family members who are Korean and family members who are Japanese (and a whole lot of mixed ones of all kinds). I am not knocking anyone or any culture here.

Skorzeny
__________________
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu
Skorzeny is offline  
Old May 22, 2002, 11:37 AM   #13
Danger Dave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 21, 1999
Location: Dallas, GA, USA
Posts: 791
Skorzeny is correct.

It would be hard to say what a "native art" is, anyway. Everything is infuenced by contact with the outside.

Oh, and the ones who claim to be practicing "TaeKyon" are full of it. It's some other martial art, or a pastiche of a few. TaeKyon ceased to exist many, many years ago - at least in any verifiable form.

Hapkido is as close to a native art as there is in Korea, and it claims to be a descendant of Aiki-jitsu (as does Aikido). Wherever it came from, it's certainly unique and Korean, although it isn't even recognized by the Korean gov't as an official martial art. (sorry - don't mean to open another can of worms altogether).

Just a little personal note - I've been in TKD since 1980, and I was taught the "old forms"; that is, the Shotokan forms that Funakoshi taught. There's a reason it used to be referred to as "Korean Karate". Interestingly enough, I've noticed that when my instructor (7th dan ***/KTA/CMK) does a side kick, it lacks the distinctive TKD chamber (knee up high, kicking foot in front of standing knee) and instead looks very much like a Japanese side kick with the foot-to-knee chamber. I've also noticed this among the handful of "old timers" I've met over the years. I picked this technique because it's one of TKD's "signature" techniques - it seems to have changed in the last 40 years.

And the modern "martial" arts are a lot more geared to personal self-defense/combat than any military action. I just can't imagine - in any age - a massed formation side-kicking their way through the enemy.
__________________
I hope these evil men come to understand our peaceful ways soon - My trigger finger is blistering!
Danger Dave is offline  
Old May 22, 2002, 11:52 AM   #14
Matt Wallis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2001
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 176
Skorzeny,

I've found this discussion to be hugely edifying! So I really just have a couple more comments and a question. Let's do the question first.

Is there anything written somewhere that refers to the Korean practice of what is now TKD as Shotokan? That would be the real nail in the coffin, so to speak. Although, come to speak of it, I do remember reading someone's bio (can't remember who) that said they studied TKD, which was then called Korean Karate. The light is slowly turning on...

And I wanted to respond to this too...
Quote:
But grappling has NEVER been a real military art during the pre-modern times.
Not true, at least in the West. Grappling (more like Aikido with throws and joint locks, but very little on the ground work) has always been a part knightly combat. Check out the grappling sections in Fiore De Liberi (1409) and Hans Talhoffer (1467). Very extensive. There is even grappling included in the _armored_ fighting sections. Very cool.

Matt
Matt Wallis is offline  
Old May 22, 2002, 05:37 PM   #15
D.W. Drang
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 25, 2001
Location: The Deepest Pacific NorthWet
Posts: 590
Quote:
My question is, are there any surviving and intact pure Korean arts?
Come on now, everyone knows that the Sun Source Of All Martial Arts is Sinuiju, north Korea.
__________________
Quote:
Imagine you're an idiot. Now imagine that you're in Congress--but I repeat myself."
S. Clemens
http://thecluemeter.blogspot.com/
D.W. Drang is offline  
Old May 22, 2002, 06:07 PM   #16
Skorzeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 1,938
Danger Dave:
Quote:
I just can't imagine - in any age - a massed formation side-kicking their way through the enemy.
You made me laugh.
Quote:
Is there anything written somewhere that refers to the Korean practice of what is now TKD as Shotokan?
There are interviews in various magazines and articles, in which some of the "founders" of TKD speak more candidly about their origins. There is a sports jounalist in Korea who was writing a critical (and objective) book that intends to debunk much of this "pure Korean" MA mythology. He is not very popular (anymore) in Korea, needless to say.

Obversely, try to find any documentation that supports the "pure" art view. You won't, except for the "there is no documentation because, you see, I learned it from a secreat mountain monk" bit.

D.W. Drang:
Quote:
Come on now, everyone knows that the Sun Source Of All Martial Arts is Sinuiju, north Korea.
Hey! I know some folks who are originally from that area (NW Korea, near Chinese border?) who now live in ROK. I've never met people who hated "communism" more than these folks.

Skorzeny
__________________
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu
Skorzeny is offline  
Old May 25, 2002, 06:07 AM   #17
shy_man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 1, 2001
Location: Valenzuela City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Posts: 366
I found Tae Kwondo of Korea almost the same to Japanese karate that has emphasis on kicking techniques. I myself have studied hard this art, but find it that it has no so much difference to japanese karate.
shy_man is offline  
Old May 26, 2002, 12:51 AM   #18
D.W. Drang
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 25, 2001
Location: The Deepest Pacific NorthWet
Posts: 590
Skorzeny
You disappoint me. How can you have spent so much time there and not have studied and absorbed the wisdom of Chiun?
We read those books religiously when I was at the language school, mostly when we should have been trying to memorize Hanja.
__________________
Quote:
Imagine you're an idiot. Now imagine that you're in Congress--but I repeat myself."
S. Clemens
http://thecluemeter.blogspot.com/
D.W. Drang is offline  
Old May 27, 2002, 01:23 AM   #19
RobRPM2222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2002
Posts: 11
Grappling and Military Combat?

grappling did have some practical military value back in the day, although it certainly wasn't hugely important.

Many Western fencing fechtbuchen (fight books, essentially instructionals for knights) contain both grappling with daggers, and appropriate methods of grappling with swords and without. However, some of these techinques were mainly appopriate for the judical duel. Many koryu Japanese sword systems were connected with a corresponding jujitsu that taught anti-sword empty-hand techniques and sword grappling.

of course, you have to remember that the common sword was mostly dead last on the list of battlefield weapons in Europe, Japan, and Asia. Bows, spears, pikes, halberds, and later gunpowder weapons all ranked higher in most people's estimation. Sometimes 5 to 6 feet long two handed swords were used (i.e. "claymores", no-dachi's, etc. depending on tradition) against pikes, or normal sword and buckler men against pikes. The Spanish swordsmen were especially renowned for their techinque against pike formations, slipping through the cracks.

Swords were important, and take on so much mythology, because they were intensely personal weapons. Just like a modern soldier loves his rifle and says that, "There are many rifles like this one, but this one is mine," so the sword of the Middle Ages was analogous to the handgun of the modern American civilian and the rifle of the soldier. Most soldiers in practice owned their swords, and they considered it a little part of them.
__________________
Jujutsu!
RobRPM2222 is offline  
Old May 29, 2002, 12:21 PM   #20
Matt Wallis
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2001
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 176
Quote:
of course, you have to remember that the common sword was mostly dead last on the list of battlefield weapons in Europe, Japan, and Asia.
Rob, I think you're overstating here. Though it depends somewhat on the time and place, the sword was certainly not dead last. It wasn't the usual primary weapon either. It's true that simpler, easier to manufacture and train with weapons like the spear were the norm for peasant infantry. And Knights had an arsenal of other weapons to use as well. If that's your point, you've no disagreement from me. But dead last? I don't think so. Just look at some of the archeological excavations of medieval battlefields. One finds plenty of swords and evidence of their use. They were still a common battlefield weapon, just not the most common.

Regards,
Matt
Matt Wallis is offline  
Old May 30, 2002, 03:31 AM   #21
RobRPM2222
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 27, 2002
Posts: 11
Quote:
Rob, I think you're overstating here. Though it depends somewhat on the time and place, the sword was certainly not dead last. It wasn't the usual primary weapon either.
you're right, that was a bit of hyperbole. Long and short daggers would have actually been lower than swords, same with studded wooden clubs which were used by some peasants.

Quote:
It's true that simpler, easier to manufacture and train with weapons like the spear were the norm for peasant infantry. And Knights had an arsenal of other weapons to use as well. If that's your point, you've no disagreement from me.
that's basically what I am saying.
__________________
Jujutsu!
RobRPM2222 is offline  
Old May 30, 2002, 11:56 AM   #22
Skorzeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 1,938
Until the late medieval times, the two dominant weapons of war in almost all areas of the world were: spears and bows.

I should also add that shields were often associated with spears, horses with bows.

Skorzeny
__________________
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu
Skorzeny is offline  
Old May 31, 2002, 02:42 PM   #23
GePZo
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 14
Korean Martial Arts

The link posted earlier to kuk sool won's page probably explained this better, but here goes my quick attempt:

Kuk Sool Won is based upon the traditional martial arts of Korea. It teaches techniques based upon 1) Royal Court martial arts, 2) family, or tribal martial arts, and 3) Buddhist monk martial arts.

The Royal Court martial arts include many of the weapons, and shows a lot of Chinese influence, probably because it was the Chinese that were running the royal court. Weapons used include: sword, spear, short knives, fans, bows, halberds, etc.

Family or tribal martial arts are the simpler weapons, like staffs, rope, etc. These were probably more distinctively Korean than the royal court arts, since they were developed by locals for their own use, not for display in the royal court.

The Buddhist monk arts would include some weapons, such as the cane and short staff, and are where much of the Ki training comes from. You can see differences between the staff techniques of the monks vs. those of the court and tribal within the Kuk Sool Won system itself, which I found interesting.

As far as history, Kuk Sool Won was created from the teachings of many masters in Korea, which were passed on to In Hyuk Suh over 60 years ago, from the time he was a small child until adulthood. He put them all into a single system, called it Kuk Sool Won ( National Martial Art), and started teaching it to others about 40 years ago. The schools are run in a traditional manner, where the students learn some Korean language ( the names for the kicks, punches, etc. ), are encouraged to show proper martial arts etiquette, and all wear black uniforms, etc. There is a rank system, and advancement to black belt usually takes several years of training, usually over 3 years. Further advancement takes even longer.

There's some reference to the hworang, or 'flower-of-youth' in the Kuk Sool Won literature. They were a group of warriors in Korea around the 1500's, I think, maybe even earlier , almost like knights, in that they were trained as fighters, and held to a strict moral code.

When reading about Korean history, I'm struck by its resemblance to Greek history. They were all lumped together as Koreans by others, but it was more like a whole bunch of independent city states, each fighting with and against the other, as well as the Chinese and Japanese.

Note that there was influence both ways between the many cultures in the area, such as Korean sword techniques and technology going to the Japanese, Chinese techniques going to the Koreans, and all of them intermingled at various times.

There are many interesting stories about the Korean peninsula, if you're interested in the martial arts of the area, you would probably like learning more about it.

Gepzo
GePZo is offline  
Old May 31, 2002, 03:17 PM   #24
Skorzeny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 1999
Posts: 1,938
Quote:
As far as history, Kuk Sool Won was created from the teachings of many masters in Korea, which were passed on to In Hyuk Suh over 60 years ago, from the time he was a small child until adulthood.
That's wonderful. Even if all these systems actually existed, how is it that Mr. In Hyuk Suh came to learn all these? From whom?
Quote:
There's some reference to the hworang, or 'flower-of-youth' in the Kuk Sool Won literature. They were a group of warriors in Korea around the 1500's, I think, maybe even earlier , almost like knights, in that they were trained as fighters, and held to a strict moral code.
Ah, I was wondering when "Hwarang" was going to come out. These were a group of noble youths from Shilla Kingdom during the Three Warring States period (circal 7th Century AD). There hasn't been a real "Hwarang" for about 1,000 years. Pretty unlikely that anyone alive today knows anything about Hwarang "martial arts," "Hwarang-Do" notwithstanding. These people are even more ridiculous than those who claim to practice the Greek Pankration (which also died out a LONG time ago).
Quote:
When reading about Korean history, I'm struck by its resemblance to Greek history. They were all lumped together as Koreans by others, but it was more like a whole bunch of independent city states, each fighting with and against the other, as well as the Chinese and Japanese.
They were hardly like the ancient Greeks. They did not have city-states or republics, for one thing. There are too many differences to elaborate them all. As for inter-tribal fighting, that went on everywhere, including in China and Japan.

Skorzeny
__________________
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. Sun Tzu
Skorzeny is offline  
Old June 4, 2002, 04:19 PM   #25
GePZo
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 28, 2002
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 14
?

I have a nice picture here, its of a young boy, with Down's Syndrome, running in the special olympics... its very moving, such strength of will, such determination, and a sense of triumph over adversity...

The caption reads: Arguing on the Internet is like Running in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded.

This isn't an argument. I was trying to convey information, and I was doing a bad job of it, apparently.

If Matt Willis wanted to know about Korean martial arts, he's got enough info now to start a more directed search, and I hope he's happy with that.

I'm saddened that some posters have chosen to make this into a soap box for debate about the merits of certain systems.

Peace,
Gepzo
GePZo is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.15751 seconds with 7 queries