Boxing's origins can be traced all the way back to 688 B.C. in
Greece, where it was an event in the Ancient Olympic Games. However, the
sport didn't catch on in the United States until the late 1800s. Since
that time, however, Americans have dominated the sport, capturing 47 of
the 191 gold medals available.
A decade and a half after being recognized in the U.S., boxing first
appeared in the Modern Olympics at the 1904 Games in St. Louis, Mo.
In recent years, the sport has reached out to females, who now
compete in sanctioned amateur competition but do not yet compete in the
Among the now-famous professional boxers who started their careers in
the amateur ranks are American gold-medal winners Muhammad Ali, Oscar De
La Hoya, George Foreman, Leon and Michael Spinks, Floyd Patterson and
Click here to
visit the Olympic Boxing Site
The introduction of jiu-jitsu to Brazil is largely credited to one Mitsuyo
Maeda, who immigrated to Brazil in the 1920's and taught jiu-jitsu to Carlos
Gracie of Rio de Janeiro (more on the Gracies later). The large number of
Japanese immigrants to South America (after all, the president of Peru is of
Japanese ancestry) ensured that traditional Japanese martial arts, including
ju-jitsu, would find a home in Latin America. However, Brazilian jiu-jitsu
evolved into its own distinct style, incorporating techniques honed in the
rough favelas (shantytowns) of the big cities.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu emphasizes ground fighting -- in fact, most Brazilian
jiu-jitsu stylists want to take the fight to the ground, as opposed to the
stand-up fighting of other fighting arts. Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners
believe that most fights end up on the ground, so you'd might as well learn
the most effective ground fighting techniques available.
These techniques include the aptly named guard and mount. While these two
techniques seem very simple, they form the foundation for almost all other
Brazilian jiu-jitsu techniques.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu really caught on with the advent of the Ultimate
Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993. The UFC, promoted by the Helio Gracie
clan, was billed as the first tournament to pit practitioners of various
martial arts against each other in an almost-no-holds-barred setting. The fact
that Helio's son Royce won three of the first four tournaments using his
family's brand of jiu-jitsu certainly cemented Brazilian jiu-jitsu as an art
demanding serious consideration. After almost 20 tournaments, the UFC has
become a huge moneymaker, with cable pay-per-view revenues and fighting
personalities rivaling those in professional wrestling.
No description of Brazilian jiu-jitsu is complete without mentioning the
Gracie family. Carlos Gracie, after learning jiu-jitsu from Maeda, taught the
art to his brothers Osvaldo, Gastão, Jorge, and Helio. The Gracie family,
through challenge matches, televised tournaments, and sheer numbers, have
spread their namesake style throughout the world. Some say that the Gracie
clan is currently undergoing a Hatfield-and-McCoy style family feud, due to
the incredible riches spawned by the current popularity of Brazilian
jiu-jitsu. But I'll let you look over the links in this article, so you can be
Capoeira is an art form that involves movement, music, and elements of
practical philosophy. One experiences the essence of capoeira by
"playing" a physical game called jogo de capoeira (game of capoeira)
or simply jogo. During this ritualized combat, two capoeiristas (players of
capoeira) exchange movements of attack and defense in a constant flow while
observing rituals and proper manners of the art. Both players attempt to
control the space by confusing the opponent with feints and deceptive moves.
During the jogo, the capoeiristas explore their strengths and weaknesses,
fears and fatigue in a sometimes frustrating, but nevertheless enjoyable,
challenging and constant process of personal expression, self-reflection and
The speed and character of the jogo are generally determined by the many
different rhythms of the berimbau, a one-string musical bow, which is
considered to be the primary symbol of this art form. The berimbau is
complemented by the pandeiro (tambourine), atabaque (single-headed standing
drum), agog™ (double bell), and reco-reco (grooved segment of bamboo scraped
with a stick) to form a unique ensemble of instruments. Inspiring solos and
collective singing in a call-and-response dialogue join the hypnotic
percussion to complete the musical ambiance for the capoeira session. The
session is called roda de capoeira, literally "capoeira wheel," or
simply roda. The term roda, refers to the ring of participants that defines
the physical space for the two capoeiristas engaged in the ritualized combat.
Choi Kwang Do, literally translated is ‘The Art of Grandmaster Kwang Choi’.
It is a dynamic, innovative approach to martial arts training that is now
recognised by the martial arts press as the fastest growing martial art in the
Founded by Grand Master Kwang Jo Choi, 9th Degree Black Belt, Choi Kwang Do
is the culmination of Grandmaster Choi’s forty years of training and
teaching the martial arts. Choi Kwang Do is based on traditional martial arts
philosophy that emphasises the ideal of personal and social development being
paramount, rather than sports competition.
The development of good manners, courtesy, self-discipline, and good social
adjustment can be considered primary objectives of this art, along with self-defence.
The techniques of this art however are very NON traditional. Principles of
modern science, derived from psychology, kinesiology, and biomechanics, form
the basis for Choi Kwang Do. Conventional martial arts methodology is more
often based on mysticism, impractical traditional techniques, or sports
Choi Kwang Do is of Korean origin and derives many of its traditions,
customs, as well as terminology from Korea's own heritage. Many of these
traditions and customs are based on the wisdom of oriental philosophers such
as Lao Tzu, Buddha and Confucius. Aspects such as bowing, demonstration of
respect for seniors and elders, loyalty to one's family group or country,
emphasis on patience, self discipline, courtesy, and humility, are all
examples of traditional oriental philosophy.
These customs, many dating back thousands of years, were originally
designed to promote harmony, justice and social order. Interestingly enough,
it is these ancient customs that form the modern basis for promoting a safer
and more productive learning environment for Choi Kwang Do training. Another
important historical influence on Choi Kwang Do's philosophy is the idea of
Musado, or "way of the warrior spirit".
This philosophy, emphasising bravery in battle and a never give up
attitude, was based on the heroic deeds of an ancient Korean military group
called the Hwarang Do (Way of the Flowering Youth). This elite group,
comparable to today's special forces, were known for their harsh, self imposed
training, which included not only early forms of martial arts training, but
also mountain climbing and swimming rivers during the cold of winter. Through
such arduous mental and physical training, the Hwarang Do warriors were able
to unite the three warring kingdoms of Korea for the first time in its
Similar to the chivalry practised by England's knights of the round table,
the Hwarang Do had a strict code of honour which has evolved to this day to
become the tenets of Choi Kwang Do. These tenets, or aims to achieve, are
courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self control, and indomitable spirit. They
are fundamental to the development of mental strength which is just as
important for today's 'warriors' or martial artists, as it was for their
A more recent example of Choi Kwang Do's military heritage is its motto or
slogan: Pil Sung (Certain Victory) is a term widely used as a salute by
Korea's famous ROK Army. Pil Sung emphasised that no defeat is permanent or
all encompassing and that with a positive mental attitude and perseverance,
any goal can be achieved.
Chung (Mind) Moo (Body) Doe (Through practice a way to develop harmony).
Many Moo Doe experts have had difficulty researching Asian Moo Doe history
because much of history of Moo Doe has been passed down from generation to
generation through a closely guarded oral tradition. Only a small percentage
of what is known about Moo Doe history has come from any written record.
What some historians have discovered about the history of martial arts is
from piecing together facts of events depicted in paintings, in murals, on
vases and fans, and a rich oral tradition of folklore as well as evidence from
architectural ruins, statues and other art forms. Some Moo Doe practitioners
believe that Asian art and sculpture, dating back thousands of years, depicts
movements from early Moo Doe history.
Although the details of form and movement may be well guarded, history has
shown that the greatest results are in the mental and physical development
achieved through Moo Doe practice, and how these results tremendously benefit
the lives of individuals. It is the strength of Moo Doe that has made many
countries in East Asia the tremendous economic and social powers that they are
Even in Western culture, many in business and politics study Mushashi's
Book of Five Rings, as a guide to success. Correct Moo Doe practitioners
guarded their knowledge as they guarded their honor and name. Choosing the
right heir to pass their knowledge to was very important. A good student to a
higher Moo Doe practitioner was considered as important as his own life. To
leave behind knowledge with the wrong person that could harm others was a
disgrace and the same as planting a bad seed that could damage future
generations. To leave behind knowledge with the right student was to leave
behind a good seed to benefit future generations. This meant the honor and
respect of a meaningful life.
Most historians agree that the Bagwa line began sometime during the end of
the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 228 AD) or the beginning of the Sui-Tang Dynasty
(589 - 907). The form taught by the first generation Grand Master was called
"Bagwa" after the honored founder of the Chung Moo line. Other names
of this line include Bagwa, Goong Bu, Pal Gye Chung, Yin Yang Doe, and Ship
Pal Gae. The 7th generation Grand Master Wang Po taught the Chung Moo line of
martial arts under the style Yin Yang Doe.
About the time of the 6th or 7th generation Grand Master, other styles of
Asian Moo Doe were incorporated into the original Chung Moo Doe line. Today,
about 20% of the Chung Moo line is derived from other styles of Asian martial
Throughout the history of almost all of these martial arts the main forms
and movement have remained the same. However, over the years it was common for
an individual Master to refine form and movements in some of the styles. It
was also common for each Master to select a unique name to differentiate that
generation of form and movement from the original style.
Over the centuries, a few main styles may have developed a thousand
different names to reflect the history and traditions of the people that
taught and practiced the style.
Hapkido is a Korean martial art, which is gaining a huge following as a
practical method of self-defense. This is because Hapkido techniques do not
require great size or strength to be delivered effectively.
The philosophy, principles, and techniques are often the keys to unlocking
hidden wells of strength and confidence that lie deep within us all regardless
of age, sex, or muscle mass.
Hapkido history is the subject of some controversy. Some sources say that
the founder of Hapkido, Choi, Yong Sul was a houseboy/servant (some even say
"the adopted son") of Japanese Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu GrandMaster
Takeda, Sokaku. In Japan, Choi used the Japanese name Yoshida, Tatsujutsu
since all immigrants to Japan took Japanese names at that time. Choi's
Japanese name has also been given as Asao, Yoshida by some sources.
According to this view, Choi studied under Takeda in Japan from 1913, when
he was aged 9, until Takeda died in 1943. However, Daito Ryu records do not
reflect this, so hard confirmation has not been available. Some claim that
Choi's Daito Ryu training was limited to attending seminars. Yong Sool Choi
Ueshiba, Morihei, the founder of Aikido, was also a student of Takeda (this is
Hapkido and Aikido both have significant similarities to Daito Ryu
Aikijujutsu, so it would seem that Hapkido's link to it is real, regardless of
how and where Choi was trained. Choi returned to Korea after Takeda's death
and began studying Korean arts and teaching Yu Sool or Yawara (other names for
jujutsu), eventually calling his kwan ("school") the Hapki Kwan.
Ji, Han Jae is said to be the father of modern hapkido. He began studying
under Choi and eventually started his own school, where he taught what he
called Hapkido. Along the way, Hapkido adopted various techniques from Tang
Soo Do, Tae Kyon, and other Korean kwans (schools). Korean sources may tend to
emphasize the Korean arts lineage of Hapkido over the Aikijujutsu lineage,
with some even omitting the Aikijujutsu connection. However, as noted above,
the connection can be seen in the techniques.
Many people would categorize Hapkido as a "scientific" martial
art as every aspect of it is geared towards a single purpose: incapacitating
an opponent in the most efficient and thorough manner possible. The best way
to achieve this result is through the Theory of Dynamics. The simplest
definition of this theory can be found in the translation of the word Hapkido:
"The art of coordinating energy."
HAP-coordination, harmony KI-energy DO-art form Dynamic motion means more
than just a quick reaction. To react dynamically means more than just a quick
reaction. To react dynamically is to create a balance between two opposing
forces and use it to your advantage. Um and Yang, or the concept of balance is
the cornerstone of Hapkido philosophy.
The key to creating this balance can be found in the three principles of
Hapkido. 1) Circle 2) Water 3) Sum While each of these principles is important
in their own right, they all stem from the Theory of Circular Motion.
The Theory of Circular motion states that the body must become a dynamic
center of motion. Like a spinning top, the body must be in a state of
continuous motion in order to maintain balance, however when the top stops
spinning it will lose it's balance and tip over. Likewise with the body.
Next is The Theory of Water. The Theory of Water states that all body
movements must be fluid like water. This means your techniques must be
adaptable. Water in a river will pull a pebble with the current, go around a
boulder, or carve a valley through a wall of rock...
Finally is The Theory of Sum, or the idea of using you oppnents own energy
against themselves. This theory is nothing more than the sum of the previous
two. Continuous and fluid motion make for a most destructive force. A
hurricane is a good example of the Theory of Sum. In a hurricane the air spins
around absorbing everything and at the same time throwing off everything as
long as it's motion is continuous. What can withstand the force of a
hurricane? What can withstand the force of a hurricane? Not much.
In Hapkido we take the Theory of Dynamics and combine it with a thorough
knowledge of the vital spots of the human body. There are over 400 vulnerable
spots on the human body, 54 of which we use as targets of attack. The
locations of these vital spots usually coincide with that of the nerves, blood
vessels, or internal organs. When these vital spots are attacked the result
can be anything from death, to impairment, to severe pain. This knowledge is
necessary to a successful attack or defense. Remember! Hapkido is a way of
physical and mental coordination. Every movement requires the coordination of
both the mind and body, and consistent practice is necessary to maintain this
Iaido (ee-eye-doe), a derivative of Japanese Kenjutsu (swordsmanship
techniques), is the study of drawing the sword, cutting, and returning it to
its scabbard, all with a minimum of exertion. The essence of iaido, a
non-combative discipline practiced for an individual's spiritual cultivation,
is much different than its forerunner, Iaijutsu. Iaijutsu is also a
sword-drawing art practiced with combative applications being stressed during
Iaido is practiced today as an aid to self-discipline, improved
coordination, and for the sake of posterity. In most styles of iaido the
actual cutting techniques are valid, but the practice of iai for defense or
war is no longer necessary in modern times. Training to deal with a surprise
attack, with a minimum of exertion while defending oneself, however, can
easily be seen to be a worthwile pursuit for the sake of day-to-day dealings
with others. With iaido the physical and mental benefits are available to all
practitioners, regardless of that person's martial arts background, if any.
The style of iaido I was taught is called Mugai-ryu, by the late Soke Shogo
Kuniba of the Seishin Kai (Seishin Kai Martial Arts, Inc. in the USA and
Seishin Kai Karate Union in Japan). Mugai-ryu was founded in 1695 by Tsuji
Getten Sakemochi (1650-1729). Tsuji, the son of a farmer, began his experience
with swordsmanship as a disciple of kenjutsu at the age of thirteen. Mugai-ryu
was a result of his more than thirty years of constant training.
The Japanese culture is heavily imbued with the sword. In fact, one of the
three objects of posession required to be Emperor is a sword. This Imperial
Regalia has been handed down, generation after generation, to the ruler of
Japan; the Jewel, the Mirror, and the Sword. The Imperial Regalia is held in the
Shinto shrine at Ise, near the traditional home of the Imperial family Nara. The
ancient legend of the Shinto that tells of the origin of the islands themselves
refers to a bladed weapon which was dipped into the sea and the drops of water
off of the tip became the islands of Japan. One cynic characterized the history
of Japan as too many people fighting over too little land. The sword and its use
was shaped by the history of the land and its people.
Japanese legend says that the gifted sword maker Amakuni was the one to
develop the classically styled Japanese sword. Long, single edged and curved
with a two handed grip. Amakuni is thought to have lived in about 720 AD. Prior
to this time, the swords were developed from copies of Chinese and Korean
designs. Straight, single or double edged, and usually two handed grips. Two
things happened with the advent of the Japanese style. First, the blade became a
very effective cutting weapon, even against armor. And two, its deployment
changed which allowed the rise of a distinct style of Japanese Swordsmanship.
About this time, the Imperial family moved the center of government from Nara to
Kyoto, where it would remain for nearly a thousand years.
In order to cultivate and improve the sword, as a weapon and as an art form,
two conditions were required. First, there had to be sufficient stability that
swordsmiths could practice their trade with little disruption. Second, there
must have existed sufficient unrest that development was required. For the first
500 years of the Japanese sword, both of these conditions existed. Most of the
legendary battles of Japanese folklore occured in this time period.
At first, the battles were fought between the race we call the Japanese now,
and the indigenous peoples, called the Ainu or Emishi. A hardy race related to
the Lapps and the Eskimos, they were loathe to release their traditional lands
to the newcomers. The battles were furious, and the leader of the Emperor's army
was called the Taishogun, later shortened to Shogun, the ultimate military ruler
of Japan. By the late 800s, they had been pushed back from the three large
arable plains which constitute the bulk of Japanese food production and wealth.
Later, the Gempei War between the Taira and the Miyamoto clans, typified the
wars between clans struggling for supremacy. The Miyamoto eventually won, laying
claim to the title Shogun on their leader; after which the Emperor declared that
only Miyamoto decendants could lay claim to the title. The zenith of the
Japanese sword is usually considered to be the early 1300s; smiths such as
Muramasa and Masamune being names commonly heard. Many consider Masamune's work
to have been unsurpassed at any time, before or since.
After that time, civil unrest outstripped the ability of smiths to supply the
demand. Quality dropped as more utilitarian quantities of blades were required.
The years from the middle 1300s to 1600 were a very dark time for Japan. These
were the years where the Imperial Court was divided into two, the Ashikaga
Shogunate ran the country into disarray, and the "Hundred Years War."
The Ashikaga also moved the center of the military government from its
traditional place in Kyoto to their home in Kamakura.
At the end of the 16th century, three great generals arose, each in
succession, and all unified the country under one leadership; Oda Nobunaga,
Hideyoshi Toyotomi, and Ieyesu Tokugawa. When Tokugawa overthrew his last
upstart rival in the battle of Sekigahara in September 1600, he unified the
country under a government for the first time in 800 years. Because Ieyesu could
claim Miyamoto blood, he also claimed the title of Shogun for himself and his
heirs. His home was near Kamakura, and so he moved the center of government to
Edo, today called Tokyo.
For the next 268 years, the Tokugawa Shogunate ruled the land in peace. And
with peace came the decline in the practice of the sword. however, small groups
of traditionalists refused to give up the old ways. The writings of these
reclusive kenshi are still quoted today as examples of great swordsmen. Miyamoto
Musashi, Tsunemoto Yamamoto, and zzz are still regarded as kensai (sword saints)
in Japanese folklore. With the great peace, came the unemployed warrior or ronin
(literally "wave man"). The Tokugawa tried to convert warriors into
bureaucrats, to run the government. The Tokugawa may have ruled in peace, but
they held an iron fist to do so. Part of their way to control the flow of
Japanese society was to establish a caste system. There were four classes of
people in descending order, samurai (royalty), farmers, artisans, and merchants.
Those who traditionally were farmer warriors could no longer posess swords, only
the samurai could wear the official badge of office, the sword. The Tokugawa
also closed the shores of Japan to the outside world, executing all trespassers
and only allowing a single small island near Kagoshima in the south to be
visited once a year by Portugese traders.
This helped and hurt the sword, as the Japanese had been introduced to
matchlocks by the Portugese in 1543. But with the closed borders, small enclaves
still held the sword as the weapon of choice for duty, honor and Emperor; along
side the bow and arrow. The saying, "kyu ba no michi" is usually
translated as "the way of the warrior", but is literally "the way
of the bow and the horse." In general, the sword and its practice continued
to decline during this time in a gradual manner.
In 1854, American ships entered Tokyo Bay and demanded that Japan open
trading with the west. the technology that the west had compared to the Japanese
was quite considerable. Had America forced the issue, it would have easily
destroyed Japan. Instead, Japan turned itself inside out culturally and
technologically. The Tokugawa were terrified of the technological prowess the
Americans displayed. Fortunately, the Americans had troubles at home and soon
forgot the Japanese.
But the Tokugawa were being pressured by internal forces to overturn their
rule. The only way the Tokugawa could see to preserve any measure of limited
control was to return power to the Emperor. And so in 1868, the Tokugawa stepped
down, returning power to the Emperor Meiji, beginning the Meiji Reformation.
Japan had entered the industrial revolution.
The samurai were officially disbanded by the Emperor Meiji. Later, they were
stripped of the official badge of office, the wearing of the two swords in 1877.
This gave rise to the last great battle of the swaor, the Satsuma Rebellion in
December 1877 through January 1878. The Satsuma refused to obey and fought the
conscript government army (with modern weapons) at Kagoshima in the south. The
samurai were killed to a man, and their martyrdom has become a poignant symbol
of the swordsman.
The modern period of the sword has been charaterized by even greater decline.
Samurai were forced to give exhibitions in order to try to earn money. more and
more of them left the art behind, to learn new trades and skills with which they
could live. Smiths began to fashion scissors and other metal implements. the old
ways were fading away into history very fast, except amongst a small dedicated
Over the years, many people have made claims regarding the proper definition
of Bruce Lee's art. Some have defined it as a process of "change;"
others have labeled it as simply "modified Wing Chun;" others, with
the best of intentions have stated that it is simply an eclectic jumble of
various styles and arts that hopefully will, at some unspecified point in the
future, gestalt into something meaningful for the individual practitioner.
With the formation of Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do, however, there no longer exists
any need for such contradictory and confusing definitions. There is but one
definition for Jun fan Jeet Kune Do and here it is:
Jun fan Jeet Kune Do is the complete body of technical (physical and
scientific) and philosophical (mental, social, spiritual) knowledge that was
studied and taught by Bruce Lee during his lifetime.
In other words, Jun fan Jeet Kune Do (with, as its core, the combative
principles, physical techniques, training methods, and philosophical ideas
synthesized by Bruce Lee during his lifetime) is concerned solely and
exclusively with Bruce Lee's personal evolution and process of self-discovery
through martial art as indicated and supported by the written record (Bruce
Lee's personal papers and library) and oral history (recollections of those who
spent time with and/or studied under Bruce Lee). That's it. Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do
concerns itself with presenting Bruce Lee's ideas and opinions - and not anyone
else's interpretation of them - with regard to:
A distinction is made between this body of work (i.e., Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do)
and an individual student's own personal process of self-discovery through
martial art, in that each student is free to utilize all, some or none of Bruce
Lee's teachings to assist him in this respect.
Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is not about setting up restrictions or "Ways"
of doing things. It has no interest in trying to mold or shape you. It accepts
you as you are. Much like when a bubbling spring flows out from the mountains,
it is simply there for a thirsty traveler should he wish to partake of it. When
a bird sings, it does not sing for the advancement of music, but if somebody
stops to listen and is delighted, that is fine. And Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do seeks
likewise to be a source of inspiration and delight solely for those who posses
an interest in Bruce Lee and the martial viewpoint that he created. Jun Fan Jeet
Kune Do should be considered the base that Bruce Lee established and not the
ultimate goal of the individual who studies it. Individuals may, and if fact are
expected to, modify, add and delete until they have transcended the need for any
"way" or "system" at all - including Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do.
We should welcome change, but the person changing should claim responsibility
for his own innovations. Nor should Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do be called obsolete
after a martial artist evokes these changes into a personal interpretation. In
holding true to Bruce Lee's philosophy of personal liberation, it works on the
principle of a physician rather than a patent. A physician is always trying to
get rid of his patients and send them away healthy enough to stand on their own
two feet. Bruce Lee's ultimate objective as a teacher was to get rid of his
students so that they wouldn't need him or any other teacher.
Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do can be viewed as a guide to reach the highest peak of
personal liberation through the study of martial arts. You, the individual
become, through this process of self-discovery, your own best teacher. What we
really need to know about ourselves and how we perform throughout our daily life
should not end when graduating from school. Throughout our Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do
journey, the martial arts trials and tribulations we experience result in a
never-ending gain in self-knowledge and growth.
While it is true that Bruce Lee was constantly searching for a better way
("To utilize all ways be bound by none"), we must, for historical and
philosophical reasons, use the term Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do only for the art that
Bruce Lee taught. While it is true that he would have continued to grow and
explore, we cannot know with infallible certainty what direction this
exploration would have taken. Our objective with Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is simply
to remove some of the misconceptions that have arisen over the years concerning
what Bruce Lee and his art were about, and to show the world a better picture of
what is preserved in his legacy. For the sake of the future of Jun Fan Jeet Kune
Do, we must also emphasize that when instructors claim to teach Jun Fan Jeet
Kune Do, they will only teach from the body of knowledge attributed to Bruce
Jun Fan Jeet Kune Do is concerned solely with Bruce Lee's body of work - as
he taught it - and with the preservation and perpetuation of this body of work.
Jujitsu (literally ``the gentle fighting art'') is an empty handed
extension of the sword fighting art of the Japanese Samuarai.
The actual ancient art is called Aiki Jujitsu. This involves joint locks,
throws, strikes, blocks, and chokes. Aiki Jujitsu went through some changes in
the late 1800s and early 1900s. Jigoro Kano removed many of the dangerous
techniques to create Judo (``the gentle way''). This allowed students to
practice full speed against resisting opponents, but with far fewer injuries
that happened when Jujitsu was practiced at full speed.
About the same time, Morehei Uyeshiba took a different set of techniques
out to create Aikido. (A jitsu is a fighting style. A do is a way.) About the
same time, a Korean named Yong Suhl Choi combined Jujitsu techniques with the
kicks and punches so prevalent in Korean martial arts to create Hapkido.
(Hapkido is the Korean pronunciation of the Kanji that in Japanese is
Judo was founded by Dr. Jigro Kano in 1882. He developed Judo from Jujitsu.
Why did Dr. Jigro Kano develop this new Martial Art? Students were often
getting injured while practicing many of the techniques used in Jujitsu. He
wanted to form a martial art that was a little more gentle (Ju). He took out
all the Jujitsu techniques that were dangerous when practiced and kept all of
the techniques that were less harmful when attempted.
The techniques (Waza) Dr. Kano kept for his new form were throwing(Nage),
grappling (Katame) and Atemi(Striking). This new form of martial arts he
called Judo. Ju meaning gentleness or giving way, and Do meaning way of life.
Dr. Kano also developed Judo as a way to teach and develop physical
education. From my limited study of Judo I believe Dr. Kano regarded physical
education not only as means to develop the body but the mind also.
In Judo he sought to create something to stimulate the mind and the body to
work together or in harmony with one another. To accomplish this he used
Randori(free practice) and Kata(form practice) as primary teaching methods.
Later Shiai(tournament or contest judo) was used as a another learning and/or
Karate-do is a martial art originated in Okinawa, modified and transformed
into a way of life by Master Gichin Funakoshi. Until before these
modifications, it was just a group of techniques that permitted self-defense
without weapons other than your hands and feet. Though there was some Chinese
influence, the development was Okinawan, and later mainland Japanese. Master
Funakoshi, inspired by traditional martial arts from the main Japanese islands
(kyudo, kendo, judo for example) modified Karate, that until that moment could
have been called Karate-jutsu, a fighting art, and emphasized the
philosophical aspects. This way all that was learnt could be extrapolated to
the daily life of the student. This is why Karate is a way of life: Karate-do
(do, means way or road). Gichin Funakoshi, thus, combined Karate techniques
with traditional Budo (the martial way), inserting the essence of Budo in the
heart of Karate.
The word Karate is also formed by two characters, the first one kara
(empty) and the other te (hand), the first one having many ways of defining
it. The first definition is the least subtle and the most straightforward,
through the practice of karate, self defense techniques are learnt, where no
weapons are needed, other than hands, feet or other parts of the body. The
second one, and in the words of Master Funakoshi: "Just as it is the
clear mirror that reflects without distortion, or the quiet valley that echoes
a sound, so must one who would study Karate-do purge himself of selfish and
evil thoughts, for only with a clear mind and conscience can he [she]
understand that which he [she] receives. This is another meaning of the
element kara in Karate-do." Another meaning given by the Master is that
of always striving to be inwardly humble and outwardly gentle, thus meaning an
internal emptiness of egoism and acting gently and moderately. Finally he
talks about the elemental form of the Universe, which is emptiness (kara, ku),
"and thus, emptiness is form itself. The kara of Karate-do has this
meaning." After what's been said, it is clear that Karate-do and Karate
Budo are much, much more than mere self-defense techniques, actually, such a
definition is a far shot from the real essence of Karate as a philosophy,
which strives to develop the inner qualities of a human being and the search
of perfection of your character, through strenuous training in the do and budo
Kendo is a Japanese style of fencing derived during the Meiji period in
Japan (1868-1912), from the two-handed sword fighting techniques of the
samurai. Today kendo, which means "way of the sword", is practiced
with shinai (bamboo swords), and fighters wear protective equipment covering
the target areas: the head, wrists, and abdomen. The bogu (protective gear)
consists of a men (face mask), a do (breastplate), kote (fencing gloves), and
the tare, a kind of apron to protect the stomach and hips. Under the
protective gear, kendoka (students of kendo) wear a hakama, or wide split
skirt, reaching the ankles.
The weapon used in Kendo is the shinai, or bamboo sword. The shinai is
approximately four feet in length and is made of four carefully formed bamboo
slats bound together to form hollow cylinder. A cord runs along the length of
the shinai. To make a valid cut a player must strike his opponent with the
side opposite the cord. In addition the point must be struck with the top
third of the shinai.
Kickboxing started in the US during the 1970's when American karate
practitioners became frustrated with strict controls on martial arts
competitions that didn't allow full contact kicks and punches. Many questions
were raised when the sport began about the high risk of injury. As a result,
safety rules were improved and protective clothing was added. As this is a
relatively new sport there are no long-term traditions. The sport has
undergone changes and been refined during the last two decades. Competitors
use sparring, kicks, punches, kick blocks, shadow boxing, and wood breaking
that is learned and applied under professional instruction.
Krav Maga first appeared approx. 40 years ago, making it one of the most
modern self defense methods. It was created for use by the Isreali Defense
forces. The IDF needed to teach self defense to a variety of people with
varying abilities in a very short amount of time.
Krav Maga was integrated into army training by Imi Lichenfield, a career
IDF officer and chief instructor at the armys physical training facility at
Wingate Institute. Imi is still active involved in the Krav Maga Association
and maintains the role of president.
Through the years, the system came to be used not only by the IDF but also
by Isreali's security forces, the Mosad and the police. This system is
computer tested, reexamined and adjusted on an ongoing basis. Krav Maga
focuses on building readiness, physical fitness and confidence. Krav Maga is
taught in many public schools in Isreal.
The history of Korean martial arts is as old as the history of Korea and
can be traced as far back as to the prehistoric Korea, where primitive weapons
made of wood and stone were used for hunting and fighting. As early as 2707
BC, the Korean warlord Chi-Woo also known as Jaoji, reigned as the "god
of war" in what is now mainland China. Since the majority of Koreans
migrated and settled in the Korean Peninsula, there have been more than a
thousand recorded instances of foreign invasions. Consequently, the Koreans
have developed unique martial arts and military strategies in order to defend
themselves. Most of these Korean martial arts fall into three branches;
namely, tribal, Buddhist, and royal court martial arts. The development of
each of the three branches of martial arts is briefly described below.
Tribal martial arts ( SahDoh MuSool )
The earliest martial arts developed in Korea are called SahDoh
MuSool; tribal, clan or family martial arts. SahDoh MuSool was
popular among the ancient Korean tribes, city-states and kingdoms formed in
the Korean Peninsula and parts of what is now China. This was well before the
first unified Korean kingdom of Ko-Cho Sun was founded in 2333 BC by the
legendary king, DahnGoon WahngGuhm. SahDoh MuSool was mainly passed
down from one generation to the next by family lines. Later, SahDoh MuSool
has been further developed and made widespread by militias voluntarily formed
by the common people who often fought in battles to defend their villages.
Popular traditional sports activities such as Taekkyon, and Ssireum are
considered to have originated from SahDoh MuSool. Many techniques
found in the popular Olympic sport of TaeKwonDo can also be traced back to SahDoh
Buddhist martial arts ( BoolKyo MuSool )
Since Buddhism was first introduced to the kingdom of Koguryo in the
year 347, unique martial arts have been developed by both Buddhist monks and
martial artists, known as BoolKyo MuSool. Buddhist monks developed
and practiced BoolKyo MuSool to improve their health while meditating
and defend themselves while traveling. As a result, Buddhist martial arts
include internal training with emphasis on special breathing and meditation
methods, as well as external training with emphasis on effective self-defense
techniques. Many Buddhist monks were so accomplished as martial artists that
they were occasionally called upon during national emergencies to fight in
battles by forming unprecedented armies of warrior monks. To this day, BoolKyo
MuSool plays a significantl role for Korean martial artists by providing
them with philosophies of non-violence and compassion as well as spiritual
codes of conduct such as the famous Five Commandments of the HwaRang warriors.
Royal court martial arts ( KoongJoong MuSool )
Kings, royal families and government offcials had private armies and
bodyguards who practiced martial arts known as KoongJoong MuSool.
These royal court martial arts gave rise to esoteric techniques of portable
weapons such as fans and short swords. Also developed were unique empty-handed
techniques of joint-locking and pressure point striking. Existing records in
Japan suggest that many KoongJoong MuSool techniques found their way
to Japan and gave birth to the Japanese art of Jujitsu. King JinHung of the
Kingdom of Shilla encouraged the HwaRang warriors to practice KoongJoong
MuSool and other martial arts. During the Koryo Dynasty and Chosun
Dynasty, Korean kings enforced policies to discourage practice of martial arts
and forbid possession of weapons, in order to protect themselves from any
rebellion against them. However, Korean martial arts have continued to develop
both within and without royal courts thanks to the efforts to practice, record
and compile martial arts techniques by many dedicated Korean martial artists.
Traditional Korean martial arts ( Kuk Sool )
The three branches of traditional Korean martial arts of SahDoh
MuSool, BoolKyo MuSool, and KoongJoong MuSool are
systemized as Kuk Sool in 1958 by Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh, the
founder of Kuk Sool Won. Kuk Sool consists of 270 categories and more
than 3600 techniques from the three branches of traditional Korean martial
arts. Kuk Sool has been actively promoted worldwide by the World Kuk
Sool Association, and recognized in the martial arts community as one of the
most effective and comprehensive systems of traditional Korean martial arts.
The History of China is the history of its Kung Fu. Through most of its
turbulent past, China has been a nation beset by invaders and internal strife.
In Cantonese the word China is jung gok and means middle or central country. A
vast land mass, much desired by invaders from other lands, China has had to
develop martial arts as a way of life.
As far as birth of Kung fu is concerned there are two main theories behind
it. One stream believes that Kung fu was already in existence long before
Bodhidharma, the great Buddhist monk arrived in China. His main contribution
was the introduction of Chan(zen) into the Sil Lum Temple. And the large
number of people believes that the great Buddhist monk Bodhidharma is a
founder of Kung fu. Throughout history credit has been given to Bodhidharma as
a creator of Sil Lum Kung fu or the man responsible of introducing
the martial arts to China.
It all began, so the legends say, when a stern Indian monk noticed that his
young Chinese disciples couldn't stay awake during the long and tiring
meditation of the new religion known as Chan or Zen Buddhism, he was trying to
teach them. Not conditioned to endure the exhaustive meditative methods
developed by the Hindu, Yogic and Buddhist monks of their Master's homeland,
the young disciples seemed on the verge of failure in their new undertaking.
Realizing this the first patriarch Bodhidharma took the initiative and
introduced his frail disciples to an 18 movement exercise based on techniques
discovered and developed beyond the Himalayas. Soon daily practice of the 18
movements strengthened the young disciples at the Sil Lum Temple enough to
receive their Master's teachings thus sowing two seeds that would later known
as chan (Zen Buddhism) and Sil Lum Kung fu .
Three hundred years before Christ, China was in its age of chivalry. Only
the nobility participated in warfare, using the symbol of medieval
chivalry, the chariot. These chariots were drawn by four horses, harnessed
with a multitude of small musical bells. Three men rode in each chariot, a
driver, an archer, and a man proficient with the lance. The lance was
like a spear, but with the addition of a hook used for snaring the enemy
Behind the chariots were standard bearers carrying standards depicting the
symbolic animal of each direction - the red bird of south, the black tortoise
of the north, the white tiger of the west, the green dragon representing the
east. This was honorable warfare. Warriors from opposing armies would often
drink together before a battle.
Then came the period of the "Warring States" (300 B.C.). During
the era, Chivalry gave way to warfare carried on by adventures or
knight-errands. They were literally soldiers of fortune. The chariot was
replaced by mounted archers, cavalry and an abundance of foot soldiers. Many
of the lone adventurers became famous as ascorts for the nobility and rich
travelling through the countryside. Because there was violence everywhere,
these escorts had to be good fighters. Martial arts among the civilian
population of China began to gain importance.
In 246 B.C., the first emperor of the Ch'in dynasty came to power. He
assumed the name , Ch'in Shih-huang-ti or "first emperor of the Ch'in"
known to the history as Chinese Caesar. He was able to do what none
before had accomplished, unite China into complete Empire. He ruled China with
an iron hand, enslaving multitudes to build the Great Wall of China, and
burning all books which might conflict with his rigid rule. He also prohibited
the practice of martial arts and carrying of weapons by civilians.
It was the next emperor, an adventurer named Liu Pang, who turned China
back to the study of martial arts. He was originally an escort, a freelance
martial artist. One day while escorting the band of prisoners to jail, Liu
Pang decided to free them and become their leader. He led his rapidly growing
army of ruffians throughout China and soon assumed the throne, from soldier of
fortune to emperor. He became the first emperor of the Han dynasty, destined
to rule China for four centuries. (202 B.C. - 220 A.D.)
It was Liu Pang who said " It was while dressed in rough cloth and
wielding a three-foot sword that I conquered the empire!" He was truly a
soldier's king and from his influence, martial arts flourished throughout the
During the Ching Dynasty (A.D. 1644 - 1911), protection from government forces
reached a peak when revolutionary martial artists were engaged in rebellious
activities while headquartered in the safety of the Shaolin temple, kung fu
systems like choy-li-fut, hung gar and white eyebrow grew from such origins.
In retaliation, the Manchurian government of the Ching dynasty burned the
Shaolin temple, forcing the rebels to go into hiding and to form secret
Martial arts spread throughout China during the Republic (A.D. 1912 -
1948). Military tactics were taught in all schools and fighting arts became
very popular in China.
There is one thing that all Chinese martial arts have in common; the idea
that kung fu itself is merely skill. Of course, it's a skill that requires
serious and diligent training to perfect, but it is just a skill that anyone
can learn. The literal translation of kung fu is "a skill or knowledge of
something physical". The real value of Chinese martial arts goes beyond
self defense alone. It lies within the strong traditional training that all
kung fu systems emphasize: training that teaches the kung fu student to
respect his teacher and his teacher's advice; to be respectful towards other
kung fu styles, because they are part of China's legacy; and perhaps most
important, to only use his kung fu skill in a morally correct manner.
Most of what is known about the early history of Thai Boxers comes from
Burmese accounts of warfare between Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) and
Thailand during the 15th and 16th centuries. The earliest reference (1411 AD)
mentions a ferocious style of unarmed combat that decided the fate of the Thai
kings. A later description tells how Nai Khanom Tom, Thailand's first famous
boxer and a prisoner of war in Myanmar, gained his freedom by roundly
defeating a dozen Burmese warriors before a Burmese court. To this day, many
martial art aficionados consider the Thai style the ultimate in hand to hand
fighting. Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, USA, Germany and
France have all sent their best and none of the challengers have been able to
defeat top-ranked Thai Boxers. On one famous occasion, Hong Kong's top five
Kung Fu masters were dispatched in less than 6 and a half minutes cumulative
total, all knockouts. (note: the previous statement can be disputed at
present. A check of recent history would show many USA fighters have beaten
Thai fighters in title fights at Bangkok's Lumpinee Stadium. At the recent
annual King's Cup 2000 in Thailand, several USA fighters from San Francisco's
Fairtex Muay Thai gym beat Thai fighters. Also of note, many of the current
Muay Thai world champions are not Thai fighters, e.g., Alex Gong, Jean Claude
Leuyer, and George Tsutsui.)
King Naresuan the Great (1555-1605) was a great Thai boxer himself, and he
made Muay Thai a required part of military training for all Thai soldiers.
Later another Thai king, Phra Chao Seua ( the 'tiger king), further promoted
Thai Boxing as a national sport by encouraging prize fights and the
development of training camps in the early 18th century. These are accounts of
massive wagers and bouts to the death during this time. Phra Chao Seua himself
is said to have been an incognito participant in many of the matches during
the early part of his reign. Contestants fists were wrapped in thick horsehide
for maximum impact with minimum knuckle damage. They also used cotton soaked
in glue and ground glass and later hemp bindings. Tree bark and seashells were
used to protect the groin from lethal kicks.
The History of Ninjutsu Ninjutsu began more than 800 years ago among the
ninja people living in Japan. The warrior class which ruled Japan at the time
were called the Samurai. They controlled the land and it's people. Their lord,
the Shogun, was the only person the Samurai was answerable to. The ordinary
peasant served the warriors every whim. A peasant could never strike a
Samurai. If he did, it would mean his life.
The ninja would not serve the Samurai, and fled to the barren, cold,
mountainous regions of Iga and Koga. There they trained in the arts of war. It
is said that their art is based upon a great Chinese military text written by
a general named Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
Over the centuries the ninja (word meaning 'stealers-in') trained from the
cradle to the grave in every known martial art. Their forte was espionage and
assassination, by any means possible. But their training also taught them to
reach spiritual heights, by pushing their bodies and minds to limits far
beyond that of normal human endurance.
Training for a ninja began almost as soon as he could walk. Childhood games
were designed to inculcate expertise in unarmed combat, swordwork, weaponry,
camouflage, escape and evasion. In time, the ninja warriors came to be feared
throughout Japan. Even the mighty Samaurai looked over his shoulder if a ninja
was known to be in the area.
Over the centuries, while ninjutsu was being practiced in secrecy, no one
knew anything about the art except the ninjas themselves. When Japan emerged
into the modern era, and feudalism collapsed, the ninja were absorbed into
Japan's secret service and special services groups.
The martial arts boom of the 1970's saw two men searching for something
different. Doron Navon and Stephen Hayes found a ninjutsu headmaster living in
Japan who came from an unbroken line of ninja instructors dating back almost
800 years. The art was then brought to the western World.
When speaking of Ninja, the image of a black clad assassin disappearing in
a cloud of smoke is what comes to mind. This distortion has nothing to do with
the reality of studying Ninjutsu, or "Ninpo" in its highest order.
Ninpo is a traditional Japanese bujutsu martial art with a rich and viable
history that stretches back over ten centuries.
Developed as a highly illegal counterculture to the ruling samurai warrior
class, Ninpo still flourishes today under the direct guidance of Dr. Masaaki
Hatsumi,34th grandmaster of the Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu tradition and eight
other budo traditions. Dr. Hatsumi is the last variable true Ninja grandmaster
having a direct line of decent from feudal Japan.
History of Shorinji Kempo
Shorinji Kempo refers to the Japanese martial art formed by So Doshin in
1947. So Doshin based this martial art on the techniques he had learnt in his
17 years working in China as a special agent for the Japanese government
during WWII. This work had brought him into contact with numerous Chinese
secret societies, from which he learnt various Chinese fighting arts. "Shorinji
Kempo" is the Japanese reading for the Chinese characters "Shaolin
Ji Chuan-fa", or fist-method of the Shaolin Temple, and does not refer to
the Chinese martial art known commonly as Shaolin Kung Fu in the West - this
is referred to as "Shorin Ken", or Shaolin Fist, in Japanese.
So Doshin chose the name Shorinji Kempo because he based his techniques on
those of the Shaolin arts, as well as others, nowhere does he or any official
of Shorinji Kempo claim that he created this techniques himself. He
acknowledges the source of these techniques. Furthermore, in creating Shorinji
Kempo he hoped to carry on the tradition of the Shaolin Temple in creating an
art which trained both mind and body. In Shorinji Kempo he hoped to combine
the spirit of the training method of the Indian monk Bodhidharma (Tamo in
China and Daruma in Japan), which cultivates both mind and body, and the
teachings of Buddha which emphasize self-reliance.
Doshin's dream was to cultivate in the youth of Japan compassion,
cooperation, and the determination to stand up for justice, and thus
contribute in rebuilding Japan from the ashes of World War II to a country
that was stronger, spiritually and not militarily. This dream is carried on by
Kenshi (trainees in Shorinji Kempo) throughout Japan, and in countries all
over the world.
There are three main associations that uses Silat Gayong as their
curriculum. They are all led by Dato' Meor's closest followers who wear the
sixth degree black belt, the highest a student could attain. The biggest is Pertubuhan
Silat Seni Gayong Malaysia (PSSGM) which is led by the grandmaster's
daughter Cikgu Kalsom. Others are Pertubuhan Seni Silat Pusaka Gayong
Malaysia (PSSPGM) which is led by Cikgu Majid Mat Isa, Silat Seni
Gayong Pasak Singapura (SSGPS) by Cikgu Hussain Kaslan and Pertubuhan
Silat Seni Gayong Warisan Serantau Malaysia (PSSGWSM) by Cikgu Mat Nanyan.
Other associations that teach Silat Gayong as brought by Dato' Meor are
PERWANIT in Singapore and Gayong Amerika (colaboration of PSSGM and PSSPGM).
The governing body of PSSGM (crest at the banner) is headed by Cikgu Mohd
Razali Mohd Salleh, the chairman. Initially registered in 1962, it is probably
the oldest silat association in Malaysia. Each state has its own branch in
which they govern their own curriculum as outlined by the central
headquarters. Hence to obtain a white belt in Selangor is not the same as
obtaining one in Johor due to the specialization of certain masters in those
regions. For instance PSSGM Selangor once invited a master from Pahang to give
a javelin seminar since he was the renown expert.
PSSPGM, also known as Gayong Pusaka, was founded following the
sacking of Cikgu Majid as the chief instructor of PSSGM in 1978. It
recognizes Dato' Meor as the grandmaster although all activities are
self-regulated. Gayong Pusaka has an almost identical belt system to
PSSGM's but the curriculum for each belt is different. They are famed
for producing world champions in silat seni tournaments such as Jebat,
Zulkarnain and Mat.
In Singapore SSGPS is the main body that regulates the study of
Silat Gayong. Cikgu Hussain Kaslan, the chief instructor, was one of
the earliest student of Dato' Meor when Silat Gayong was first being
introduced in Singapore. Some of the masters in PSSGM even went for
their black belt grading with SSGPS.
Another breakaway from PSSGM is Pertubuhan Silat Seni Gayong
Warisan Serantau Malaysia (PSSGWSM). Is was established in 1992 and
currently being led by Cikgu Mat Nanyan. PSSWSM has its headquarters
in Alor Setar and active mostly in the northern states. The main
training center is in Kampung Kepayang, Ipoh.
Although there are three major associations, there is no animosity between
them today. The split between PSSGM and PSSGPM was an old grudge and many are
trying to reunite them both. An example of a successful merge was the Gayong
Amerika which sees both associations gang up together to bring Silat
Gayong into the western world. May the near future bring more enlightening
news of reuniting Gayong.
Originally known as "sumai", meaning struggle, sumo began around
20 B.C. as military combat. Sumai used most of the modern sumo techniques,
plus a variety of strikes. . It resembled other wrestling based arts such as
mongolian wrestling and Indian wrestling. Before the 16th century almost all
wrestling was practiced for battle. Evolving after the 16th century, it
eventually became known as sumo. Rules, ranks, and a ring now make sumo into a
sport of giants. The water ceremony, the bowing, the costumes, and pagentry
are all reminders of the ancient military traditions are still recognized
today in competition. To follow a competition is quite easy. The winner is the
one who forces his opponent out of the ring or forcing his opponent to touch
the floor with any body part above the knee, first. The techniques they employ
range from slapping (tsuppari), sweeps (ketaguri), and a wide variety of
sacrafice throws (utchari).
The earliest records of Martial Arts practice in Korea date back to about
50 B.C. These earliest forms are known as 'Taek Kyon'. Evidence that
Martial Arts were being practiced at that time can be found in tombs where
wall-paintings show two men in fighting-stance. Others reject this evidence
and say that these men could be dancing as well.
Back then, time there were three kingdoms:
Koguryo (37 B.C. - 668 A.D.)
Paekje (18 B.C. - 600 A.D.)
Silla (57 B.C. - 936 A.D.)
Silla unified the kingdoms after winning the war against Paekje in 668 A.D.
and Koguryo in 670 A.D. The Hwa Rang Do played an important role at this
unification. The Hwa Rang Do was an elite group of young noble men, devoted to
cultivating mind and body and serve the kingdom Silla. The best translation
for HwaRang is "flowering youth" (Hwa ="flower",
Rang="young man"). The HwaRang Do had an honor-code and practiced
various forms of martial arts, including Taekyon and Soo Bakh Do. The old
honor-code of the HwaRang is the philosophical background of modern Taekwondo.
What followed was a time of peace and the HwaRang turned from a military
organization to a group specialized in poetry and music. It was in 936 A.D.
when Wang Kon founded the Koryo dynasty, an abbreviation of Koguryo. The name
Korea is derived from the name Koryo.
During the Koryo Dynasty the sport Soo Bakh Do, which was then used as a
military training method, became popular. During the Yi-dynasty (1392 A.D. -
1910 A.D.) this emphasis on military training disappeared. King Taejo, founder
of the Yi-dynasty, replaced Buddhism by Confucianism as the state religion.
According to Confucianism, the higher class should read poets and play music.
Martial arts was something for the common, or even inferior, man.
Modern-day Taekwondo is influenced by many other Martial Arts. The most
important of these arts is Japanese Karate. This is because Japan dominated
Korea during 1910 until the end of World War II. During WWII, lots of Korean
soldiers were trained in Japan. During this occupation of Korea, the Japanese
tried to erase all of the Korean culture, including the martial arts. The
influence that Japan has given to Taekwondo are the quick, straightline
movements, that characterize the various Japanese systems.
After World War II, when Korea became independant, several kwans arose.
These kwans were: "Chung Do Kwan", "Moo Duk Kwan", "Yun
Moo Kwan", "Chang Moo Kwan", "Oh Do Kwan", "Ji
Do Kwan", "Chi Do Kwan" and "Song Moo Kwan". The
Kwans united in 1955 as Tae Soo Do. In the beginning of 1957, the name
Taekwondo was adopted by several Korean martial arts masters, for its
similarity to the name Tae Kyon.
General Choi Hong-hi required the army to train Taekwondo, so the very
first Taekwondo students were Korean soldiers. The police and air force had to
train Taekwondo as well. At that time, Taekwondo was merely a Korean version
of Shotokan Karate. In 1961 the Korean Taekwondo Union arose from the Soo Bakh
Do Association and the Tae Soo Do Association. In 1962 the Korean Amateur
Sports Association acknowledged the Korean Taekwondo Union and in 1965 the
name is set to Korean Taekwondo Association (K.T.A.). General Choi was
president of the K.T.A. at that time and was asked to start the I.T.F. as the
international branch of the K.T.A. The southern government was overthrown in
1961. General Choi Hong-hi left for America and established I.T.F.
(International Taekwondo Federation) Taekwondo, as a separate entity, two
Demonstrations were given all over the world. It took a while before real
progress was made, but eventually, in 1973, the World Taekwondo Federation (W.T.F.)
was founded. In 1980, W.T.F. Taekwondo was recognized by the International
Olympic Comite (I.O.C.) and became a demonstration sport at the Olympics in
1988. There were several attempts to unify I.T.F. and W.T.F. Taekwondo, but
unfortunately, these failed. In the year 2000 W.T.F. Taekwondo goes Olympic.