Taekwon-do history


Taekwondo development is closely intertwined with the history of Korea. The history of the origin of taekwondo can be divided into four historical periods: the emergence and development of Korean martial arts in the period of three states, martial arts during the state of Koryo, during the state of Joseon, modern history of taekwondo [1] [2].

The origin and development of martial arts in the period of three states

It is believed that during the time of the three states, such martial arts as “subak” (수박) and “taekkyon” (택견) began to emerge, which later became the basis for the development of taekwondo. In the late period of the history of the three martial arts on the Korean Peninsula, they were very popular, especially for the training of warriors [3].

And, as a result of this popularity, “subak” (수박) and “taekkyon” (택견) become the basis for training in various youth organizations, such as “hwarando” (화랑도) in Silla and “Choisonin” (조의 손인) in Goguryo [ four].

Martial arts during the time of the state of Koryo

During the period of the state of Koryo, “subak” (수박) and “taekkyon” (택견) began to develop more systematically and moved to a new level. An important role in the career advancement of the military of that time could be played by their level of taekkyon (택견). Ordinary soldiers who reached a certain level of taekkyon possession (택견) were introduced to the general who selected the best of them to make officers [5]. Also during this historical period, the royal family enjoyed great interest in the competition on “subak” (수박) [6].

Martial arts during the time of the state of Joseon (since 1897 – the Korean Empire)

In the fourteenth century, after the founding of the Joseon state, “subak” (수박) and “taekkyon” (택견) began to lose their popularity. This trend is compounded after Japanese invasions at the end of the 16th century. Then the government takes decisive measures to raise the country’s fighting spirit and the development of martial arts. And the result of these measures was the publication of a book – “muedobotjonji” (무예 도보 통지), which describes the martial arts of that period. The fourth volume of this book, entitled “Hand-to-Hand Combat Technique,” ​​included 38 images that resemble today’s movements in taekwondo.

Korean martial arts during the Japanese occupation

In 1910, Korea lost its independence and was ruled by the Japanese, who tried to eradicate traditional Korean martial arts. However, it should be noted that at that time there was a ban on training in any “shock” martial arts throughout Japan [7], which lasted until the 1920s, while master Gitin Funakoshi convinced Emperor Taisho about the need to include martial arts (in 1935 the name “karate”) in the program of secondary schools. Therefore, practicing Korean martial arts “subak” (수박) and “taekkyon” (택견) risked twice.

It was possible to conduct training only secretly, in addition, many masters of Korean martial arts were exported to Japan, some of the masters fled to neighboring China. In fact, before the surrender of Japan in World War II, Korean martial arts did not develop or were underground. On the other hand, many Korean masters practiced Okinawan and Chinese martial arts, complementing them with traditional Korean techniques. One of the most famous masters of Korean descent is Choi Yongyi (최영의), the founder of Kyokushinkai, commonly known under the pseudonym Oyama Masutatsu.

Taekwondo History in the 20th Century after World War II

On August 15, 1945, after the liberation of the country, Korean martial arts entered a new phase of their development. It was during this period that schools of various martial arts began to revive. Initially, the main areas of martial arts in these schools were tansudo (당수 도, Tang or Chinese fist, Korean martial art, which was greatly influenced by Chinese martial arts) and consudo (공수도, the Korean name for karate). All the masters of that period were united by only one thing – the understanding that all Korean traditions of martial arts (subak, taekkyon, etc.) should be united [8].

The Korean War made adjustments to plans for the unification of Korean martial arts, but, nevertheless, the Consoudo (공수도) Association of Korea was created. Due to numerous disagreements, some members of this association left their membership and organized their own – the Tansudo Association ((도) of Korea, which was subsequently officially included in the Korea Amateur Sports Association.

Meanwhile, the founder of one of the tansudo (당수 도) schools, Choi Hong-hee, being a general of the South Korean army and enjoying the support of Korean President Lee Seung-man, included his martial arts style in his military training program in 1955. He also understood that it was impossible to use the Chinese and Japanese names for martial arts (tansudo – Tang or Chinese fist, konsudo – Korean name for karate), so the martial art taught by him as a military man, General Choi called taekwondo. And the Taekwondo Association of Korea, established in 1959, replaced the Tansudo Association (당수 도). But she did not last long in this form. General Choi rubbed