National traditions of Korean art

the ancestors of the Koreans lived in several tribal entities on the territory of the Korean Peninsula and northeast China. In the struggle for existence primitive people were forced to develop their strength and agility, intuitively creating a system of physical exercises that strengthen the body and refining the mind.

After the invention of weapons with which it was possible to get food and defend against wild animal attacks, people continued to improve the technique of self-defense in various games and shaman rites. Constantly imitating and attacking with protective racks of animals, ancient people learned in battle to use their hands, thereby creating the oldest form of Taekwondo.

Singing, ritual dances and games during the festivities began to acquire a competitive nature, gradually it turned into a competition like the Olympics of the ancient Greeks, who also wore a ritual.

Historians suggest that the history of Korean martial arts begins about two thousand years ago. Ancient manuscripts and images that are preserved and have reached us, say that already in the beginning of our era in ancient Korea used a variety of system fisticuffs and wrestling.

Somewhere in the late 1st century BC, several tribal entities living on the territory of the Korean Peninsula, United in the three States of Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla (57 BC – 668 ad). Not only did these States constantly fought among themselves, but resisted the attacks of foreign invaders from China and Mongolia, therefore, improved fighting styles were for these States a necessity.

Differed eagerness to fight Goguryeo had well trained soldiers who used the fighting style of “senior”. An interesting feature of the armament of this army were “combat boots” – a heavy iron platform with spikes, fastened to the boots. For use of such weapons was required during training to pay special attention to the kicks, which later became one of the main distinctive features of Korean martial arts.

Compared with the harsh warriors of Goguryeo, Baekje residents were more peaceful, but they had their secrets and their methods of education of soldiers, for example, fighting style “sabak”.

The Kingdom of Silla at the beginning was weak, but created him in military school “Haran” (translated from Korean is “blooming youth”) helped to raise great warriors. Children of aristocratic families, who formed the corps of Churanov, studied the traditions of warlike ancestors, mastering the art of the encounter was for them a matter of honor. In the corps of Churanov were selected 14-15 years old boys from noble families, who have undergone severe physical and spiritual training to become reliable defenders of the Motherland and the Emperor. Ancient rock paintings of the cave temple Seokguram grotto pretty well convey the nature of the fights Korean soldiers. They were held in very harsh conditions: on ice were dances with swords, exercises were carried out and in the hole, to experience the courage and tenacity of the participants. Haran the case quickly became famous throughout Korea and has earned the respect of even their sworn enemies. In Churanov honor code included the following principles: be faithful to your master, be obedient to your parents, be honest with your friends, never retreat in battle. Relying on these elite units, the Silla rulers were able for the first time to unite under his authority all over the country and for two and a half centuries to thrive, not knowing wars. The ideology of Churanov have influenced the formation of the samurai code of “Bushido”.

Speaking about the history of Korean martial arts, I must say that on numerous frescoes and the drawings depicted the fighters competition, which took place regularly at the courts of nobility during the reign of Goryeo dynasty (918 – 1392 gg). Specialists utverjdayut that the techniques depicted in medieval paintings, have a direct resemblance to the medieval technique of Taekwondo.

After coming to power in the history of the last Korean Royal dynasty And (I) public interest in traditional martial arts has abated somewhat, although, for example, anyone wishing to enter the service of the Royal guard had to pass an examination in subak.

It is believed that Subak the struggle reached a peak of popularity during the reign of king Yeong-Mi (1147-1170.). At this time, a training manual was developed by Subaru and the struggle was no longer the domain of only the military, becoming one of the favorite Hobbies of ordinary people of Korea.

Until VIII century Korea’s close ties with the Imperial China, promoted the assimilation of Chinese achievements in the field of martial arts. Then relations with China were interrupted, and began a period of independent development, which determined the identity and originality of Korean schools. It was at this time arose the distinguishing feature of Korean unarmed combat is an extremely complex system of jumps and bumps in flight. Mandatory element of training was considered to be a jump kick with a height of human growth, so that real masters can easily beat out riders from saddles.

In 1910-45, Korea was under Japanese rule. The colonial regime was expressed, in particular, in the purposeful suppression of the national elements in all spheres of culture – from poetry and content of school education to symbolism and Traditional Martial Arts. The masters of the Korean martial arts had to hide the activities of their schools, but the wide spread of karate-do. The development of Okinawan and Japanese teachers had a definite impact on the further development of Korean traditions (for example, the technique of the hands).

Drove Korean martial arts underground for 35 years, the Japanese broke off at most schools the process of transferring spiritual and mystical practices that constitutes the innermost essence of any traditional school. So when in Korea after liberation from Japanese domination began a national revival, appeared one after another schools only taught the bare technique of unarmed combat.

In its turn, was carried out and a feedback effect. Suffice it to say that the famous master Masutatsu Oyama, the Creator of one of the most powerful styles of modern karate – Kyokushin-ryu, was by birth a Korean, and before moving to Sweden in 1938, worked in the Korean national system of thicken, Chabi and charek.

As you know, Korea was divided into two States: North Korea in the North and the Republic of Korea in the South. But both established repressive dictatorial regimes. But totalitarian regimes always and everywhere do not tolerate dissent, and spiritual independence. Therefore, the authorities of the North and South were United in their desire to finally stop the tradition of esoteric martial arts, dilute, until the end of their spiritual content and turn it into a sporty look, suitable for mass physical education. It is for this reason in South Korea periodically pursued masters Hapkido, Kuk-Sullivan, thicken, tansudo, subak and other species not being entered into official state policy. And in the North (the DPRK) just banned them once and for all.

In 1950 the leaders of the 9 “new” schools that arose after the end of Japanese occupation, combined to create a unified style. These were the following schools: Enmp-Kwan, Candog-Kwan, Mudog-Kwan, Dog-Kwan, SNMP-Kwan, Hanmag-Kwan, Chidog-Kwan, Chanag-Kwan, Chandog-Kwan (“Kwan” in Korean means “Palace”). The process of codification of the new style was led by 32-year-old Lieutenant-General Choi Hong Hee (Western transcription Choi Hong Hee), the head of Dog-Kwan. Therefore, it is commonly called “father” Taekwondo. This term was introduced into use since 1955 when General Choi announced that a unified style is “national Korean martial art of Taekwondo” is created.

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