Thursday, March 24, 2011
A Complete History of Korean Martial Arts
My buddy and fellow Dojo Rat William Acevedo up in Canada has contributed a great essay on the history of Korean Martial Arts. William is a published author and martial historian. Last time we trained together he gave me an autographed copy of the "Journal of Asian Martial Arts", in which he wrote "A Historical View of Mixed Martial Arts in China" (Volume 19, number 3 - 2010).
William wanted to fill in some of the details for my previous posts on Korean fighting: "The Long and Short of Tae Kwon Do", and "Returning Korean Fighting to it's Roots".
"Even though we support any efforts to return modern combat sports to its original roots, we need to ask, what are these roots when discussing Korean martial arts?. Let's take a look at what the different Korean schools have to say about this question.
"It is logical to assumed that Chinese intervention lasted enough to probably influence in some way earlier martial practices in Korea. Confucian thought was assimilated in Korea. An example of this is the Hwarang, who included Confucius' Six Arts and virtues as part of the their preparation; among them archery and charioteering (Henning points out that this might have been replaced by horse riding due to the difficulty of the Korean terrain) during the Silla period (668 - 935). Chinese language as well as the Confucian merit system in the form of Civil Examination was also adopted. Testing in martial skills was a requirement for entry in the elite guards, much like China's Military Imperial Examination instituted by empress Wu Zetian (690 - 705). The Imperial Examinations included several skills to be tested, varying in scope depending on the different dynasties these exams were held. The tests included: strength, archery on foot and horse, spear, boxing, wrestling, military classics etc."
This is just a small piece of William's extensive historical essay, which can be found at THIS LINK.
William also has a YouTube page "Tianshan Warrior" at THIS LINK
For those interested in Korean martial arts and Asian martial arts history, please see this article by William and others on his website.