Taekwondo Black Belt Poomsae
177 pages
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177 pages
English

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Description

According to the World Taekwondo Federation, there are over 90,000,000 taekwondo practitioners worldwide. Every level 1 black belt student is required to learn Poomsae Koryo. Yet, few are familiar with the ancestral form known as the 'Original Koryo'.


Prearranged forms known as poomsae in taekwondo, are a primary method of transmitting martial arts skills from teacher to student. As sport preference supplanted fighting preference in taekwondo's reason for existence, the Original Koryo was modified in kind to today's well-known Koryo.


Written specifically for level 1 and level 2 black belt students, this book is a scholarly attempt to capture, transmit and preserve as an inheritance, the historical treasures and technical elements inherent in Original Koryo and Koryo, as well as the applications less obvious or even secretly encoded in these forms. This knowledge will benefit those seeking more than triumph in the ring or aerobic fulfillment from their taekwondo training.


In summary, students will find in this book:



  • History and philosophy

  • Technical elements for learning the basics

  • Detailed instruction for learning Koryo

  • Detailed instruction for learning Original Koryo


Over two hundred photographs, line of motion charts, stepping patterns, and martial applications are provided throughout this in-depth instructional book.


Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Date de parution 01 juillet 2013
Nombre de lectures 4
EAN13 9781594392603
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 5 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0032€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

TAE KWON DO BLACK BELT POOMSAE
Original Koryo and Koryo
RICHARD CHUN AND DOUG COOK
YMAA Publication Center, Inc. PO Box 480 Wolfeboro, NH 03894 800 669-8892 www.ymaa.com info ymaa.com
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-59439-264-1
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-59439-260-3
All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Copyright 2013 by Richard Chun and Doug Cook Cover design by Axie Breen Editing by Susan Bullowa
Photos by the authors unless otherwise noted. Photos in parts II through VI by Tim Comrie.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Publisher s Cataloging in Publication
Chun, Richard.
Tae kwon do black belt poomsae : original Koryo and Koryo / Richard Chun and Doug Cook. -- Wolfeboro, NH : YMAA Publication Center, c2013.
p. ; cm.
ISBN: 978-1-59439-264-1 (pbk) ; 978-1-59439-260-3 (ebook)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary: Every 1st degree black belt student is required to learn the Koryo kata, but few are familiar with the ancestral formal exercise "Original Koryo". Written specifically for black belt students, this book presents Original Koryo and Koryo, as well as the martial applications encoded in these forms.--Publisher.
1. Tae kwon do. 2. Tae kwon do--Training. 3. Martial arts--Training. 4. Hand-to-hand fighting, Oriental--Training. I. Cook, Doug. II. Title.
2013935651 1306
GV1114.9 .C488 2013 796.815/7--dc23
Warning: While self-defense is legal, fighting is illegal. If you don t know the difference you ll go to jail because you aren t defending yourself, you are fighting-or worse. Readers are encouraged to be aware of all appropriate local and national laws relating to self-defense, reasonable force, and the use of weaponry, and to act in accordance with all applicable laws at all times. Understand that while legal definitions and interpretations are generally uniform, there are small-but very important-differences from state to state and even city to city. To stay out of jail, you need to know these differences. Neither the authors nor the publisher assumes any responsibility for the use or misuse of information contained in this book.
Nothing in this document constitutes a legal opinion nor should any of its contents be treated as such. While the authors believe that everything herein is accurate, any questions regarding specific self-defense situations, legal liability, and/or interpretation of federal, state, or local laws should always be addressed by an attorney at law. This text relies on public news sources to gather information on various crimes and criminals described herein. While news reports of such incidences are generally accurate, they are on occasion incomplete or incorrect. Consequently, all suspects should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
When it comes to martial arts, self-defense, and related topics, no text, no matter how well written, can substitute for professional, hands-on instruction. These materials should be used for academic study only .
Editorial Notice. In an effort to avoid confusion, the authors have chosen to conform to the Western custom of placing surnames last rather than first, which is routine in Asia. The only exception is General Choi, Hong Hi because he is universally recognized by this configuration.
Table of Contents
Introduction
I. History and Philosophy
The Ritual Practice of Formal Exercises
The Influence of Korean History on Original Koryo and Koryo Poomsae
Foreign Influences on Taekwondo Formal Exercises
The Evolution of the Kwans
Won Kuk Lee and the Chung Do Kwan. Institute of the Blue Waves
Hwang Kee and the Moo Duk Kwan. Institute of Martial Virtue
Byung In Yoon/Nam Suk Lee and the Chang Moo Kwan (Jung Ang YMCA Kwon Bop Bu). Institute of Brighten Martial Arts
Suh Chong Kang and the Kuk Moo Kwan. Institute of National Martial Arts
Byung Jik Ro and the Song Moo Kwan. Institute of Ever Youthful Martial Arts
Sang Sup Chun and the Ji Do Kwan (Chosun Yun Moo Kwan Kongsoodo Bu). Institute of the Wisdom Way
Choi Hong Hi and the Oh Do Kwan. Institute of My Way
Unification of the Kwans
The Globalization of Taekwondo
The Creation of Modern Taekwondo Poomsae
Philosophical Considerations of Modern Taekwondo Poomsae
Poomsae Philosophical Concepts and their Relationship to the Eight Trigrams of the I Ching
Attributes and Technical Performance of Taekwondo Poomsae
Instructional Methodology
II. Technical Elements of Original Koryo and Koryo
Stances
Ready Stance-Joonbi Seogi
Attention Stance-Cha Riot Seogi
Bow of Respect-Kyung Ne
Front Stance-Ap Koobi
Back Stance-Dwi Koobi
Horse Stance-Ju Choom Seogi
High Forward (Walking) Stance-Ap Seogi
Crane Stance-Hakdari Seogi
Front Cross Stance-Ap Koa Seogi
Blocks
Low Block-Arae Makki
Low Knife Hand Block-Sonnal Arae Makki
High Block-Olgool Makki
High Knife Hand Block-Sonnal Olgool Makki
Inside Middle Block-Ahn Momtong Makki
Single Knife Hand Middle Block-Hansonnal Momtong Makki
Knife Hand Middle Block-Sonnal Momtong Makki
Slightly Extended Knife Hand Middle Block Jogum Neulligi-Sonnal Momtong Makki
Spread Middle Block (Inner Arm)-Bakkat Palmok Hechyo Makki
Palm Heel Block-Batangson Makki
X Block-Otgolo Makki
Kicks
Front Kick-Ap Chagi
Jumping Front Kick-Twio Ap Chagi
Side Kick-Yop Chagi
Knee Kick-Moorub Chigi
Strikes
Reverse Punch-Bandae Jireugi
Double Punch-Doojumok Jireugi
Tiger Mount Strike-Akumson Jireugi
Round Elbow Strike-Dollyo Palgub Chigi
Side Elbow Strike-Yop Palgub Chigi
Outside Knife Hand Strike-Bakkat Sonnal Jireugi
Inside Knife Hand Strike-Ahn Sonnal Jireugi
Four Knuckle Fist Strike-Pyun Chumok Jireugi
Back Fist Strike-Doong Chumok Chigi
III. Original Koryo Poomsae
Line of Technical Motion
Joonbi: Ready Position (Parallel Stance)-Joonbi (Naranhi Seogi)
First Position
Slightly Extended Left Knife Hand Middle Block-Jogum Neulligi Wen Sonnal Momtong Makki
Second Position
Right Four Knuckle Fist Strike-Orun Pyung Chumok Jireugi
Third Position
Right Side Kick/Side Hammer Fist Strike-Orun Yop Chagi/Yop Me Chumok Jireugi
Fourth Position
Low X Block-Otgolo Arae Makki
Fifth Position
Right Hand High Block-Orun Olgool Makki
Sixth Position
Left Four Knuckle Fist Strike-Wen Pyung Chumok Jireugi
Seventh Position
Right Single Knife Hand Outside Middle Block/Reverse Punch-Orun Bakkat Hansonnal Momtong Makki/Bandae Jireugi
Eighth Position
Open Hand Head Grab/Left Knee Kick-Mori Japgo/Moorub Chigi
Ninth Position
Low X Block-Otgolo Arae Makki
Tenth Position
Inner Arm Spread Middle Block-Anpalmok Momtong Hechyo Makki
Eleventh Position
Extend Left Hand to Grab Opponent-Wen Son Neulligi
Twelfth Position
Right Round Elbow Strike/Left Single Knife Hand Low Block-Orun Dollyo Palgub Chigi/Wen Hansonnal Arae Makki
Thirteenth Position
Right Single Knife Hand Outside Middle Block-Orun Bakkat Hansonnal Momtong Makki
Fourteenth Position
Right Inside Middle Block-Orun Ahn Momtong Makki
Fifteenth Position
Left Inside Middle Block-Wen Ahn Momtong Makki
Sixteenth Position
Right Back Fist Strike-Orun Doong Chumok Chigi
Seventeenth Position
Left Outside Knife Hand High Block-Wen Bakkat Sonnal Olgool Makki
Eighteenth Position
Left Front Kick-Wen Ap Chagi
Nineteenth Position
Jumping Front Kick-Twio Ap Chagi
Twentieth Position
Double Middle Punch-Doobal Momtong Jireugi
Baro (Geuman): Ready Position (Parallel Stance)-Joonbi (Naranhi Seogi)
IV. Koryo Poomsae
Line of Technical Motion
Ready Position (Parallel Stance)-Joonbi (Naranhi Seogi)
Joonbi: Barrel Pushing Ready Stance-Tong Milgi Joonbi Seogi
First Position
Left Knife Hand Middle Block-Wen Sonnal Momtong Makki
Second Position
Double Side Kick (Right Low Side Kick/Right High Side Kick) Right Outside Knife Hand Strike-Kodeup Yop Chagi (Orun Arae Yop Chagi/Orun Olgool Yop Chagi) Orun Sonnal Bakkat Chigi
Third Position
Reverse Middle Punch-Bandae Jireugi
Fourth Position
Right Inside Middle Block-Orun Ahn Momtong Makki
Fifth Position
Right Knife Hand Middle Block-Sonnal Momtong Makki
Sixth Position
Double Side Kick (Left Low Side Kick/Left High Side Kick) Left Outside Knife Hand Strike-Kodeup Yop Chagi (Wen Arae Yop Chagi/Wen Olgool Yop Chagi) Wen Sonnal Bakkat Chigi
Seventh Position
Reverse Middle Punch-Bandae Jireugi
Eighth Position
Left Inside Middle Block-Wen Ahn Momtong Makki
Ninth Position
Left Single Knife Hand Low Block/Right Tiger Mouth Thrust-Wen Hansonnal Arae Makki/Orun Agwison Kaljaebi
Tenth Position
Right Front Kick/Right Single Knife Hand Low Block/Left Tiger Mouth Thrust-Orun Ap Chagi/Orun Hansonnal Arae Makki/Wen Agwison Kaljaebi
Eleventh Position
Left Front Kick/Left Single Knife Hand Low Block/Right Tiger Mouth Thrust-Wen Ap Chagi/Wen Hansonnal Arae Makki/Orun Agwison Kaljaebi
Twelfth Position
Right Front Kick/Knee Break-Orun Ap Chagi/Moorub Kkukki
Thirteenth Position
Inner Arm Spread Middle Block-Ahn Palmok Momtong Hechyo Makki
Fourteenth Position
Left Front Kick/Knee Break-Wen Ap Chagi/Moorub Kkukki
Fifteenth Position
Inner Arm Spread Middle Block-Anpalmok Momtong Hechyo Makki
Sixteenth Position
Left Outside Single Knife Hand Middle Block-Wen Hansonnal Bakkat Momtong Makki
Seventeenth Position
Right Target Punch-Orun Chumok Pyojeok Jireugi
Eighteenth Position
Right Forward Cross Stance/Left Side Kick/Left Low Spear Hand Strike (Palm Up)-Orun Koa Seogi/Wen Yop Chagi/Wen Pyeonsonkeut Jecheo Jireugi
Nineteenth Position
Right Low Block-Orun Arae Makki
Twentieth Position
Left Palm Heel Block/Right Side Elbow Attack-Wen Batangson Nullomakki/Orun Palgub Yop Chigi
Twenty-First Position
Right Single Outside Knife Hand Middle Block-Orun Hansonnal Bakkat Momtong Makki
Twenty-Second Position
Left Target Punch-Wen Chumok Pyojeok Jireugi
Twenty-Third Position
Left Forward Cross Stance/Right Side Kick/Right Low Spear Hand Strike (Palm Up)-Wen Koa Seogi/Orun Yop Chagi/Orun Pyeonsonkeut Jecheo Jireugi
Twenty-Fourth Position
Left Low Block-Wen Arae Makki
Twenty-Fifth Position
Right Palm Heel Block/Left Side Elbow Attack-Orun Batangson Nullomakki/Wen Palgub Yop Chigi
Twenty-Sixth Position
Left Hammer Fist Target Strike-Wen Me Chumok Arae Pyojeok Chigi
Twenty-Seventh Position
Left Outside Knife Hand Strike/Left Knife Hand Low Block-Wen Hansonnal Bakkat Chigi/Wen Hansonnal Arae Makki
Twenty-Eighth Position
Right Inside Knife Hand Strike/Right Knife Hand Low Block-Orun Hansonnal Bakkat Chigi/Orun Hansonnal Arae Makki
Twenty-Ninth Position
Left Inside Knife Hand Strike/Knife Hand Low Block-Wen Hansonnal Bakkat Chigi/Hansonnal Arae Makki
Thirtieth Position
Right Tiger Mouth Thrust-Orun Agwison Kaljaebi-KIHAP-
Baro (Geuman): Barrel Pushing Ready Stance-Tong Milgi Joonbi Seogi
Return to Ready Position (Parallel Stance)-Joonbi (Naranhi Seogi)
V. Original Koryo Combat Applications
COMBAT APPLICATION 1
Third Position
Right Side Kick/Side Hammer Fist Strike-Orun Yop Chagi/Yop Me Chumok Jireugi
Fourth Position
Low X Block-Otgolo Arae Makki
COMBAT APPLICATION 2
Eighth Position
Open Hand Head Grab/Left Knee Kick-Mori Japgo/Moorub Chigi
Ninth Position
Low X Block-Otgolo Arae Makki
COMBAT APPLICATION 3
Eleventh Position
Extend Left Hand to Grab Elbow-Wen Son Neulligi
Twelfth Position
Right Round Elbow Strike/Left Single Knife Hand Low Block-Orun Dollyo Palgub Chigi/Wen Sonnal Arae Makki
COMBAT APPLICATION 4
Sixteenth Position
Right Back Fist Strike-Orun Doong Chumok Chigi
Seventeenth Position
Left Outside Knife Hand High Block-Wen Bakkat Sonnal Olgool Makki
Eighteenth Position
Left Front Kick-Wen Ap Chagi
VI. Koryo Combat Applications
COMBAT APPLICATION 1
First Position
Left Knife Hand Middle Block-Wen Sonnal Momtong Makki
Second Position
Double Side Kick (Right Low Side Kick/Right High Side Kick) Right Outside Knife Hand Strike-Kodeup Yop Chagi (Orun Arae Yop Chagi/Orun Olgool Yop Chagi) Orun Sonnal Bakkat Chigi
Third Position
Reverse Middle Punch-Bandae Jireugi
Fourth Position
Right Inside Middle Block-Orun Ahn Momtong Makki
COMBAT APPLICATION 2
Twelfth Position
Right Front Kick/Knee Break-Orun Ap Chagi/Moorub Kkukki
COMBAT APPLICATION 3
Sixteenth Position
Left Outside Single Knife Hand Middle Block-Wen Hansonnal Bakkat Momtong Makki
Seventeenth Position
Right Target Hook Punch-Orun Chumok Pyojeok Chigi
COMBAT APPLICATION 4
Eighteenth Position
Right Forward Cross Stance/Left Side Kick/Left Low Spear Hand Strike (Palm Up)-Orun Koa Seogi/Wen Yop Chagi/Wen Pyeonsonkeut Jecheo Jireugi
Nineteenth Position
Right Low Block-Orun Arae Makki
VII. Reflections on the Maturation of Martial Skill
Dedication
Acknowledgements
Appendices
Appendix A. USTA Poomsae Competition Rules
Appendix B. Glossary
Appendix C. English/Korean Translations for Taekwondo Terms
Stances
Kicking Techniques
Punching Techniques
Striking Techniques
Blocking Techniques
Basic Terminology
Terms of Rank
Counting In Korean
Bibliography and Sources
Organization Web Sites and Addresses
About the Authors
Index
BOOKS FROM YMAA
DVDS FROM YMAA
Introduction

This book centers on the history, philosophy, and technical attributes of taekwondo poomsae: Original Koryo and Koryo. By far the most popular poomsae performed today by the advanced practitioner, the latter of the two, Koryo, represents a gateway to the complexities of 1st dan black belt and is a necessary component for promotion to 2nd dan as advocated by the Kukkiwon and the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). With this in mind, we feel a detailed exploration of this poomsae is overdue both in a sense of fostering an appreciation for its heritage and in cultivating an understanding of its overall combat effectiveness aside from its competitive value in the ring.
Furthermore, initially established, as we shall see, between 1965 and 1967 along with the Palgwe set of poomsae intended as a vehicle for practice by the gup holder, Original Koryo is radically different from the Koryo we know of today. Consequently, practice of this primordial iteration has been uniformly subjugated in favor of its modern mate in part due to internal politics coupled with a desire to create a poomsae with enhanced complexity. Yet, Original Koryo continues to be transmitted from venerated master to worthy disciple in various taekwondo institutes to this day, albeit with highly attenuated frequency.
Koryo, in its present state, created in 1972 in conjunction with the Taegeuk series of elementary poomsae, effectively supplanted its earlier sibling and is today actively practiced by more than 90,000,000 World Taekwondo Federation stylists in over 200 nations around the globe. Given Koryo s popularity and its challenging characteristics, it is routinely rehearsed in preparation for tournament competition at the regional, national, and international level. Moreover, documentation of this poomsae is profuse; written and video illustrations depicting the fundamental elements and unique line of motion are plentiful.
So why add to the exhaustive collection of editorial and visual documentation already available to the martial arts community at large on this subject? Succinctly put, poomsae, hyung, and tul clearly represent more than a loose collection of basic movements strung together for aesthetic or health purposes. The tactics, carefully annotated within the time-honored sequences of offensive and defensive strategies that combine to create both poomsae, are more in tune with combat preparedness than they are to sport, as they were originally intended. Relegating the execution of these tactics to a position leading to little more than the presentation of a trophy flies in the face of their authentic martial intent. Subsequently, while true completion of technique is denied by the overarching principle of honor and compassion prescribed by the tenets of traditional, defense-oriented taekwondo, it does not imply that the practitioner need remain ignorant to the practical defensive and offensive applications associated with the kicks, blocks, and strikes unique to both versions of Koryo as mapped out in a later section of this work. 1
Likewise, both Koryo poomsae, by virtue of their imprimatur, bear the stamp of pride imprinted by Korean history. These distinctive poomsae honor the technical, cultural, and philosophical innovations of the Koryo dynasty while celebrating its accomplishments with each consecutive performance. Why not then pay tribute to this golden past by awakening to the historical dimensions of these formal exercises?
Moreover, we feel Original Koryo should be recognized as an heirloom form containing many tactical strategies not found in subsequent poomsae. Therefore, it is important to note that the reintroduction of Original Koryo is not intended to subvert the practice and proliferation of Koryo as an entity for global competition in any way.
Clearly, the vast majority of us are not soldiers; if we were training in taekwondo merely to inflict injury we would enlist in the military and master the use of firearms. Yet taekwondo, at least in its orthodox form, is also not dance. So why relegate these poomsae simply to the level of physical motion within the spatial plane as is so often done in the modern dojang?
This book then is a scholarly attempt to capture, transmit, and preserve as an inheritance not only the historical treasures and apparent technical elements inherent in Original Koryo and Koryo along with their properly calibrated stances, but also applications less obvious or even secretly encoded for the benefit of those seeking more than triumph in the ring or aerobic fulfillment from their taekwondo training.
Finally, previous books we have collectively authored have been standardized as reference materials within the global taekwondo community. It is our hope that this work will also be utilized as such.
Grandmaster Richard Chun
Master Doug Cook
1 Steven D. Carpener, Problems in the Identity and Philosophy of T aegwondo and Their Historical Causes, in Korea Journal 35 no. 4 (Winter 1995): 80-94.
I. History and Philosophy
The Ritual Practice of Formal Exercises
Long before the advent of sport sparring and the invention of modern safety gear, in a time when to fight meant to defend one s life from almost certain death, an ingenious method of transmitting martial arts skills from venerated master to loyal disciple was developed. Legend has it that experienced warriors returning unscathed from combat, a testimony in and of itself to their martial prowess, mimicked techniques used to vanquish multiple opponents on the field of battle for the benefit of those less qualified in the ways of war. 2 This ritual, performed with and without weapons, may have been practiced around a campfire, in secret gardens, or in the incense-filled halls of an ancient Buddhist temple. All of which lends credence to the notion that the dynamic process of cataloging sequential packets of defensive and offensive skills through formal exercises has existed for centuries. 3 Several examples demonstrating this concept can be traced back to antiquity with roots found in primitive works of art and ancient yogic postures originally intended to promote health and core strength in sedentary clerics. Today, poomsae , hyung , tul , kata , and taolu , all culturally specific terms for choreographed sequences of self-defense techniques aimed at defeating multiple attackers approaching from various directions, represent the cornerstone of any traditional martial art.

This mural, discovered by archeologists in 1935, appears on the ceiling of Muyong-chong, a royal tomb in southern Manchuria built during the Koguryo dynasty, between AD 3 and AD 427. The painting depicts two men engaged in a type of sparring activity. Courtesy of US Institute of Martial Arts at http://www.emporium.net/taekwondo/history.html . Courtesy of Richard Chun.

Generically defined as forms or formal exercises, the core patterns, which support the technical foundation of Korean taekwondo, Japanese karatedo, and the various styles of Chinese gungfu, are distilled from primitive combat elements that eventually coalesced and evolved into the subsequent predetermined routines unique to these classic martial disciplines. An illustration of this linkage, particularly as it relates to traditional taekwondo, can be found in mural paintings that appear on the ceiling of Muyong-chong, a royal tomb built between AD 3 and AD 427 during the Koguryo period (37 BC-AD 668). Discovered by archeologists in 1935, these ancient images depict two warriors engaged in a type of free sparring. While these tactics in and of themselves do not constitute the prescribed combinations of techniques that comprise forms, they do confirm the existence of an organized combat discipline unique to that time and region.

Image of the Buddha. Courtesy of Doug Cook.
Likewise, if one were to visit Sokkuram Grotto located high in the mountains of Korea surrounding the great Kyongju plain, he would witness the granite image of Sokgamoni, the grandest Buddha in all of Asia, whose presence reflects sublime beauty as he sits gazing out over the East Sea and farther on toward the rising sun and Japan. The illustrious history of this sacred site reaches back to the year AD 751 when King Gyeongdeok commissioned Prime Minister Kim Taesong, a member of the royal family, to supervise the construction of an enduring monument to the Buddhist faith. After painstaking research, he chose a site of spiritual significance high atop Mount Tohamsan situated in the heart of the Sillian capital. 4 Here, at the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, not an hour s walk from Bulguksa Temple, the elaborate shrine to Buddha Land, grew Sokkuram Grotto, a symbol regarded as a supernatural defense against external threats to the national consciousness of the kingdom.

Sokkuram is an artificial cave that consists of an anteroom, an entryway, and a temple in the shape of a dome. Hundreds of granite sections of various shapes and sizes were pieced together by an ingenious method using stone rivets rather than mortar to bind them. Natural ventilation controls humidity and temperature inside the grotto. The image of Sokgamoni, positioned slightly off center in the domed temple, is chiseled from a single block of granite and stands over ten feet tall. This unusual position takes advantage of a lighting phenomenon that causes his presence to appear centered when viewed from the anteroom. With eyes partially closed, a faint smile painting his lips, the Buddha is seated in a lotus position with his right foot exposed as it lies across his left knee. The hands are set in a classic mudra, or gesture that supports enlightenment. It is clear that the gifted sculptors did not wish Sokgamoni to feel lonely during his eternal vigil through time. Surrounding him is a pantheon of lesser deities in the form of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion; four heavenly kings, representing the four corners of heaven; and a cadre of deva kings.

Master Doug Cook at Bulguksa Temple, South Korea. Courtesy of Patty Cook.

Keumgang Yuksa. Courtesy of Doug Cook.
But for the taekwondoist, perhaps the most significant of these images is that of Keumgang Yuksa, the stern guardian-warrior stationed at the entrance of the Tong-Il Jeon shrine in Kyongu, South Korea. Cast in bas-relief, he seems to leap out in defense against the demons that threaten the sanctity of this spiritual vortex. Naked to the waist, exposing a muscular torso adorned below in a flowing skirt, he was selected by Kim Taesong to defy the invisible enemies of Buddhism. Translated from Sanskrit as diamond or thunderbolt, Keumgang embodies the power of compassion yet manifests raw, physical power. It is from this potent example that taekwondo draws elements of its technical heritage. Martial arts historians trace the high block ( olgool makki ), palm heel strike ( batangson chigi ), and knife hand ( sonnal ) to this ancient warrior. Supported by one leg in some cases, his crane stance ( hakdari seogi ), too, has contributed to the defensive arsenal of taekwondo. Currently, Keumgang Yuksa is memorialized in Keumgang, a black belt poomsae inspired by his name as well as a majestic mountain range located within the borders of Korea. Featuring the diamond block ( keumgang makki ) and crane stance, this formal exercise emphasizes the strength of nature s hardest substance, the diamond, in cutting through unforeseen adversity. Moreover, since Korea, the homeland of taekwondo, is no stranger to life s struggle for survival, the philosophical component underscoring this poomsae is all the more poignant. As millions of martial artists worldwide acknowledge this faithful warrior through the practice of Keumgang poomsae, he remains unwavering, standing his eternal watch at the entrance of Sokkuram. Always the silent sentinel, it is forces unseen that he defies and defends against.

Grandmaster Chun (left) and Master Cook at Bulguksa Temple in Korea. Courtesy of Patty Cook.
Moreover, beyond the borders of Korea, within the vastness of China, lies the Shaolin Temple, widely regarded as the fountainhead of the Asian martial arts. There, in the early sixth century, formal exercises used as a vehicle for cultivating physical discipline and defensive tactics begin to materialize when we examine the life of the Zen Buddhist patriarch Bodhidharma, third son of the Brahman Indian king, Sagandha. Early references are made to Bodhidharma s association during his youth with a warrior caste known as the Kshatriya. Through this alliance, he became schooled in the empty hand fighting art of vajramushti . It is conjectured that Bodhidharma traveled to Hunan Province in Northern China, eventually finding his way to the fabled Shaolin Temple. Upon his arrival, he discovered that the clerics inhabiting the monastery were incapable of sitting in meditation for extended periods in part due to the extremes of their environment coupled with a weakened state of mind and body. As a result, Bodhidharma initiated a series of formal exercises that came to be known as Shih Pa Lo Han Sho, or the Eighteen Hands of Lo Han. These movements were imparted with the hope of strengthening the residents ability to concentrate while preserving the spiritual harmony required in monastic life. Given Bodhidharma s adherence to Buddhist doctrine, the Shih Pa Lo Han Sho routines were, in all likelihood, initially intended as a non-violent form of discipline, but may well be credited with spawning many of the taolu, kata, and poomsae prevalent today. Furthermore, since their religious ideology forbade the use of weapons, teaching the Shaolin monks how to defend themselves from wild animals and marauding bandits during their travels, both valid concerns of the day, through the use of empty hand techniques, came as a secondary benefit. It is also claimed that Bodhidharma was responsible for teaching the clerics methods to cultivate ki , the vital life force, in the form of Da Mo s Wei Dan (Bodhidharma s Internal Elixir). 5 Aimed at concentrating this internal energy within specific parts of the human anatomy for martial purposes while at the same time insuring against ki blockages that can result in illness, these exercises are said to be the precursor of the routines found in modern day qigong .

A statue of Bodhidharma at Golgusa Temple in Kyongju, South Korea. Courtesy of Doug Cook.
Similarly rooted in Chinese culture, the Baduanjin routine, or Eight Pieces of Brocade, a medical qigong therapy whose performance is professed to impart a silken quality to the body, dates back to AD 1300 where it appears in the Xiuzhen shi-shu ( Ten Compilations on Cultivating Perfection ). An encyclopedia of the time, this text attributes the creation of this formal exercise to Zhongli Quan and Lu Tung-pin, two of the Eight Taoist Immortals. Later, in keeping with the martial tradition of forms as an adjunct to battle through conditioning, Chinese general Yue Fei required his soldiers to perform the Baduanjin to achieve physical fitness.
Centuries after Bodhidharma planted the seeds that would eventually blossom into the varied Buddhist and Taoist-based Chinese disciplines we are currently familiar with and the creation of the Baduanjin, King Jungjo (r.1776-1800) of the Chosun dynasty (1392-1910) commissioned Duk Moo Lee, Dong Soo Pak, and Je Ga Park, three statesmen, to compile a comprehensive, illustrated manual of martial arts that came to be known as the Muye Dobo Tongji . Written in 1790 and reflecting combat tactics native to the nation that would soon be called Korea, this broad treatment included additional military applications unique to neighboring China and Japan, both sworn enemies of the state at one time or another and guilty of brutal invasions. Learning from past defeats, the Chosun leadership possibly siphoned wisdom from The Art of War where its author, the scholar Sun Tzu suggested, Know your enemy, know yourself. One hundred battles, one hundred victories.

Muye Dobo Tongji . Courtesy of Richard Chun.
The Muye Dobo Tongji , comprised of four discreet sections, was a compendium of two previously written volumes, each highlighting specific elements of martial skill. The first, entitled the Muye Jebo , was published following the Japanese invasion of the Korean peninsula led by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1592. During this period, King Sunjo (r.1567-1608) directed Han Kyo, a military officer who had received weapons training from the Chinese, to document several fighting methods primarily featuring the sword, shield, and spear. Later, during the reign of King Youngjo (r.1724-1776), the Muye Jebo was appended to include significantly more sword techniques and renamed the Muye Shinbo . It is important to note that this canon contained a chapter dedicated to kwon bop , the fist-fighting method championed by the sunbae of ancient Koguryo. Interestingly, the authors suggested learning kwon bop as a prelude to weapons training since empty hand techniques laid the basis for armed practice.
The use of kwon bop (Chinese: chuan fa ; Japanese: kenpo ) as a martial tradition can be traced to a primitive era in Korean history categorized as the Three Kingdoms Period. Koguryo (37 BC-AD 668), the largest of the three, was founded along the Yalu River and encompassed an area with land holdings reaching far up into Manchuria and what is now North Korea. Due to its close proximity to China, the kingdom was in constant conflict with its imperialistic neighbor. In answer to a continual fear of invasion, the ruling aristocracy established a warrior corps that came to be known as the sunbae, literally translated as senior or respected one. Sunbae philosophy emphasized a deep belief in the gods who created the universe coupled with a strong will to defend the country against all odds. These warriors, selected from all rungs of society, practiced kwon bop, dressed in black velvet robes, and were required to shave their heads. The sunbae hierarchal structure was such that anyone with high aptitude and an ambitious character could obtain superior rank. Using this select group of soldiers as a blueprint for its own design, the tiny kingdom of Silla (57 BC-AD 935) would later create a similar warrior corps, a military fraternity known as the hwarang , whose legendary triumphs would echo down through the halls of Korean martial arts history for generations to come. Unlike the sunbae, however, members of the hwarang, practicing hwarang-do or the way of the flowering manhood, were composed of elite warriors exclusively drawn from noble stock. Aside from their knowledge of kwon bop, these youthful soldiers were distinguished from other combat troops by virtue of their unique holistic training in archery, music, poetry, equestrian skills, and the Eastern philosophical paradigms of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. The kwon bop of the sunbae and hwarang was documented in the Muye Dobo Tongji .

Following the reign of the Chosun rulers, the Muye Dobo Tongji lay dormant for over a century until 1957 when it was rediscovered in a Seoul library by Hwang Kee, founder of the famed Moo Duk Kwan, while pursuing a detailed study of historical documents pertaining to the martial arts of Korea. This startling cache of ancient wisdom inspired Hwang Kee to develop Hwa Sun, a hyung based on the illustrated kwon bop formal exercises documented in the text. Originally intended to be performed by two people, Hwa Sun or pure flower form, is unique from other hyung in that it includes a number of open hand slaps performed while striking one s own shoulder, hip, foot, and shin.
From the evidence at hand, it becomes abundantly clear that empty hand fighting arts, in conjunction with their associated formal exercises, did not originate in any single country but developed naturally across continents as various cultures adapted to cope with the dangers posed by increased trade and human aggression accompanied by imperialist desire. Still, the need to practice choreographed sequences of prearranged combat tactics in a relatively relaxed environment devoid of mayhem and death was apparently universal.
In his book, Moving Zen: Karate as a Way to Gentleness , Shotokan karateka C. W. Nicol describes formal exercise practice as a dynamic dance; a battle without bloodshed or vanquished. He further goes on to say We are somehow touching the warrior ancestry of all humanity, and Of all the training in karate, none is more vigorous, demanding or exhilarating than the sincere performance of kata. From this we can see that poomsae training, if approached in a traditional manner, not only cultivates defensive and offensive proficiency coupled with ki development, but establishes a profound link with masters of the past who clearly did not practice formal exercises merely for physical fitness.

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