A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by StuartA, Oct 21, 2008.

  1. michael s. boik

    michael s. boik Valued Member

    I thin kMr. Cole has brought up some good points that mr. Gillis needs to look at. Dr. Kim may have been part of the KCIA when he worked at the korean embassy in the US but he was never the head.
  2. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Mr. Gillis' book is a fine work, that has numerous references & sources. The problem is that it does shake a lot of people up when they read it, as there really has been some very nasty things that have occurred during the time that TKD was being developed & spread around the world. The biggest problem is that far too many people really do not realize how political the road has been & how that impacted the whole development & those involved in the development. Master Coles does highlight some, what I feel are minor discrepancies, some of which is often categorized incorrectly by many, many people, including WTFers & Kukki TKD students themselves.
    Most people do look at TKD as 2 main or separate entities, styles or forms of TKD, namely ITF & WTF. These are after all the 1st 2 world governing bodies for TKD, the ITF formed in 1966 & the WTF formed in 1973. Of course the KKW is known as the world TKD academy. While the WTF is a international sports federation, the ITF is that & the body that overseas all aspects of Chang Hon TKD. So the WTF & KKW do for Kukki TKD what the ITF itself does for Chang Hon TKD. This is not really a big deal. Please also remember that the KTA, KKW & WTF were all even led by the same man for years, with few really knowing there was a difference. The lines were indeed blurred & the BB certs at times had the WTF logs on them as well. Pretty confusing in & of itself & not a real big deal at all IMHO, especially in the book.

    If these are the main criticism, then it IMHO goes to show how powerful & accurate the book really is.
    Now the big one: If people do not think that Dr. Kim Un Yong was a KCIA operative, they really have to open their eyes & look beyond TKD & the mudslinging that took place in the TKD world over the years. Dr. Kim, like most high level officials of the military dictatorship were part of a very oppressive regime that brutalized so many, not only in Korea, but around the world. The long arm of the KCIA reached globally. Google Koreagate & see the results of an indepth investigation & hearings under oath by the US Congress that was assisted by the USA's top national investigation agency, the FBI. Congressman, officials & others were indicted, arrested, convicted, censured, recalled back to Korea, etc. Dr. Kim's KCIA operative name was Mickey Kim. He worked not only for the Korean Embassy in London & DC, but the ROK Mission to the UN in NYC. He then returned home to be the deputy director of the presidential security force, working in the Blue House. It doesn't get to much more KCIA then that.

    I also have no idea if the man who owns Mooto was also the same man who was the KKW president. What I do know is that the scandals that rocked the south Korean TKD world, resulted in some major arrests & convictions, with prison time served. GM Lee Sueng Wan, whether or not he owns Mooto, does not change the fact that he was a convicted criminal, at least 2 times & was a reason why the Korean National Assembly passed a law, making it illegal for anyone to sit on the KKW Board that was a convicted criminal. Why do you think that happened?

    So yes, Mr. Lee was the president of the KKW & not the WTF. And yes, Dr. Kim was probably the most important man in making TKD an Olympic sport. He was the president of the KTA, KKW & WTF, wearing all 3 hats at the same time & for a long time. He was also arrested, convicted, out of the IOC & other positions, served prison time & was replaced by a non-TKD man, an academic, to clean up south Korean TKD, re-elected 2x.

    The clean up continues, with GM Kang Won Sik now at the KKW. Of course there are still struggles between the reformers & some in the corrupt old guard & some who just don't like change or trust the govt. I for one hope that the clean up continues & helps all of TKD. I am also thankful for the great contribution of Dr. Kim, the father of Olympic TKD.
  3. michael s. boik

    michael s. boik Valued Member

    Mr. Gillis is accusing a man who owns Mooto of being a criminal. I believe this must be looked into. If it is false then Mr. gillis needs to appologize and remove it from his book. If it is true then Mr. Cole needs to appologize to Mr. Gillis.

    Regarding Mr. Kim, I said he was not the HEAD of the KCIA. I believe orders were put into place to destroy the ITF and those orders were being fulfilled. The best way was through the WTF and pressure on Korean ITF instructors. The harrassment can be verified through many ITF masters. Not only did they try to get instructors to guit the ITF but they also interfered with the ITF's travels by contacting the Korean embassies in Countries to be visited by Gen. Choi for demos or Seminars and have them stopped from coming in. Sometimes it was successful and others not so much.
  4. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Yes of course.
    But the man that was the most recent president of the KKW was a Mr. Lee Seung Man. This Mr. Lee was a convicted criminal, with at least 2 convictions & was reputed to have been a Korean gangster. If that last part is true, it is reasonable to make some sort of assumption to stretch that thinking to a high(er) level gangster, like a g-dfather, as he did make it to the top of the most prestigious TKD entity in the world, the KKW!
  5. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Ok just to be clear, when I make reference to Dr. Kim Un Yong being a KCIA operative that went by the name of Mickey Kim, this comes from the extensive investigation conducted by the US Congress & the FBI into the Koreagate scandal of the 1970s. This in-depth inquiry was in part a response to the brutal crackdown by the military dictator Gen. Park in the early 1970s. This was the time when he again changed the constitution & made himself ruler for life.
    So while this was being done, Dr. Kim was not with TKD. He was assigned as a diplomat in the USA. His involvement with the KCIA, along with that of many others, is well documented by this investigation. It was also documented the use of TKD or Korean martial artist thugs, to intimidate Koreans, even those living abroad, some of whom were US citizens at the time.
    One of Dr. Kim's connection & source of power was Col. Kim Jong Pil. He was the 1st director of the KCIA & the one who many thing was the master mind of the May 16, 1961 coup. It MUST BE NOTED that this was the same Kim Jong Pil who was the 1st honorary president of the ITF when it was formed March 22, 1966 in Seoul south Korea! Of course the KCIA, as an instrument & arm of the south Korean dictatorships, used TKD to further its interests, as well as perpetrate terrible things onto Koreans, including ITF Masters, Gen. Choi & their families, etc.
    To more fully understand the complex history of TKD, one must know the history of Korea, its politics & the context of the times that TKD was developed in!
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  6. ryuu55

    ryuu55 Valued Member

    Just received my copy of A Killing Art today, looking forward to finishing it, I just read chapter 1 during my lunch.
  7. angry

    angry Valued Member

    Just finished the book.... an interesting read and gives a new light on the corruption and lies that have been rampant with tkd since the beginning. I'd heard different bits and pieces over the years but not all together. I'm not sure I view the actions the same as the author but it is a well written and reasonably balanced look at two side of the coin... and gives me the explination of a most perplexing question annoying me since a young boy... why do the ITF schools shout Taekwon at the start and end of class.... it's a marketing ploy! (bit past it's used by date now....) I would have like to have read more on the merging of the kwans and the internal politics in the KTA and not just between ITF and KTA/WTF.
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  8. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    "Dr. Kim's KCIA operative name was Mickey Kim. He worked not only for the Korean Embassy in London & DC, but the ROK Mission to the UN in NYC. He then returned home to be the deputy director of the presidential security force, working in the Blue House. It doesn't get to much more KCIA then that. "

    This is from debunked conspiracy theorist Andrew Jennings book New Lord of the Rings (1996), and it is laughable. In his latest conspiracy theory book, he ties the Mafia in with FIFA soccer. Next I suspect a book on Bin Laden's influence on American Football. Not that US Government documents recording KCIA activities don't exist, and that they may list important Korean figures like Dr. Kim, but that in no way means that Dr. Kim was KCIA, he was not and nothing exist to prove otherwise.
  9. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    I have personally met LEE, Seung Wan the owner of MOOTO, who is a young man, somewhere around 40 years old. And I personally know Grandmaster LEE, Seung Wan (not Lee Seung Man), Past Kukkiwon President who is nearing 70 years old. He is not a criminal and he is not a gangster. What he is, is a Taekwondoin from Chollabukdo, a direct student of Grandmaster CHUN Ill Sup. In the 1960's he was a champion tournament fighter in Korea. He also runs a Taekwondo News service in Korea, called TKD NEWS.

    During the various periods of Korean political termoil GM Lee found himself on both the winning and loosing sides, and as is still the custom today in Korean politics, he was at times the victim of political witch hunts and slander against his person. But he is tough and he laughs all that off. The fact is that GM Lee is a very motivated, compassionate and giving person. He cares very much about Taekwondo and is a very strong leader because of it. Remember, strong leaders attract strong enemies. Until you know the man personally, do not judge him by what some idiot in the media writes.
  10. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    I never listed items as my main criticisms, actually, the whole book is my main criticism. What I listed was "just a sampling".

    Here is what I wrote: "That is just a sampling of Alex Gillies research and presenting of his "truth", a collection of gross errors. If you got a good laugh and enjoyed his above mis-statements, there are many more to be found in his book. So buy his book, and research out his research to find the truth, and good luck!"

    The book is far from powerful (maybe powerfully terrible?), and very far from accurate as we can clearly see by his errors in the small sampling. Alex Gillies makes GREAT errors of fact on a great many items. On one hand he claims to be a great researcher who has double and triple checked his facts, but yet he makes such gross errors on the most simple items. One must then think that for example, if he has accused LEE Seung Wan of MOOTO as being the wrong LEE Seung Wan -- because Alex FAILED to double check his facts --! what else is out of wack?
  11. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    This is ridiculous. The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) is the International Federation member of the IOC for Taekwondo. The WTF can not act on behalf of the Korean Government by calling embassies or government offices. The WTF is a true public, international sports body, governed by the bylaws and statutes of the International Olympic Committee, not the South Korean government.

    But unlike the WTF, the private ITF did and still does act as an agent on behalf of the Communist Dictatorship of North Korea. Also I believe there is only one ITF and that is the one in North Korea headed by Chang Ung, CHOI Hong Hi's proclaimed communist "Comrade Brother" whom Choi appointed as the new defacto leader of the ITF. The IOC also recognizes North Korea ITF as the official ITF.

    I do not doubt that the South Korean Government took some action against North Korean activities -- channeled through CHOI Hong Hi's private organization known as the ITF -- in efforts to stop spy infiltration, etc., during the cold war period. Personally I am thankful to the South Korean government for those actions, regardless of whatever mistakes they may have made.
  12. angry

    angry Valued Member

    @ MasterCole The author has listed his reference materials and interview dates in the book and has tried as best to support the statements in his book. You are throwing a lot of this and that statements are wrong, but with no substanciated supporting references. The book is quite balance in its treatment of both ITF and WTF bodies but you seem to be only defending the WTF. Why is this? From someone that is not affiliated with either group it does that both bodies have been involved in mismanagement, corruption and cronyism over long periods. Neither group has shown true leadership in the moral value of taekwondo. This book may or may not be correct in all its research but it was written to give some insight into long standing issues within the main political bodies controlling the future of tkd.

    To be honest, the book leaves a lot of things out that occurred within KTA and WTF circles in the 80's that are relevent to the topic and would likely be much better with more research and evidence into various elements but this is probably a too large an undertaking for someone to get done without backing from some organisation. (Who would likely want a certain slant taken on things...)

    MasterCole, you've said the book is full of errors but let everyone make up their own mind if they wish to read the book I hope they are interested enough to check other sources of information as well.
  13. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    Listing his references does not negate his gross error of simple facts. If he can not get the simple facts correct, you think he can offer us fact in more complex subject matter? You have to be kidding me.

    A book incorrect in it's research should give insight into issues? First I have ever heard that one!
  14. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    The statements I make are basic common knowledge. Maybe you are not aware of these basic facts and that is why you are so impressed with his error filled dissertation, but most people who have been in Taekwondo for any respectable length of time can see these gross errors of simple fact.

    Where did I "defend" the WTF? Was it by pointing out his shoddy work?

    Of course if you feel I have mis-stated something in my sampling of his errors, please, point it out and lets discuss it, after all, this is a discussion board.

    Stay on subject, I was commenting on his errors, not the moral status of organizations. If that is what you want to chat about, start a new thread.

    And you are privy to this type of information? Please, share it with us. I am sure it will make for some lively discussion.

    Oh wait, I see many errors, but according to you, I should shut up and keep it to myself? This is humor of the day!
  15. angry

    angry Valued Member

    It is standard practice to list sources for peer review in any research paper or publishing. This is much better than using the "common knowledge" defense on a range of topics to which your opinion is (as stated previously in thread where you say the book in incorrect) clearly disputed by this book. Clearly the author and myself have not been training in tkd long as we do not have your common knowledge.......:p
  16. angry

    angry Valued Member

    Just because some points may be untrue does not invalidate the whole book.

    Your post on 26-May-2011 10:31 PM appears to be a defense of the wtf while attacking the ITF.

    As it is hear say from several old Korean gentlemen I shall not pass it on because I have not done any valid research to establish it's accuracy. I would say that this book does align with the stories told by them but not fully.

    Have your say for sure, and defend you point with relevent information but unless you are adding something new why extend the thread.

    Unless I come up with something of vital importance for this topic, I'll leave it at I found the book worth spending the money on to buy and read. Thankyou for writting it Mr Gillis. :)
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  17. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    It is not standard practice to list sources, it is GOOD practice to do so. However, it is not STANDARD, nor GOOD practice to make gross errors of fact, and then list poor sources to try and back up a false agenda, is it?

    In this case, the "common knowledge" statement is better than Alex tying his errors in to poor reference. Example:

    Alex states that the WTF was formed by the Kwans. It is common knowledge that the WTF was founded by team delegates from 17 different nations in 1973 during the 1st World Taekwondo Championships held at Kukkiwon. You can find this information on the web, in books and video. Would you like an example? See Kyong Myong Lee's book "Korean Traditional Martial Arts: Taekwondo, Philosophy & Culture, page 29 under the "Internationalization of Taekwondo". One of the people that signed the document forming the WTF was Grandmaster Ed Sell from the USA, my respected senior. His position at this event? Head of US Team and delegate. I'm surprised you did not at least look this up?

    Need another good reference? Contact James at MOOTO, yourself, don't take my word for it. Ask him if his boss, LEE Seung Wan, the owner of MOOTO is a criminal or the same LEE Seung Wan who was the former President of Kukkiwon. Let us know if James answer jives with Alex's search for "Truth"

    If you have any question or business proposal, Please contact us
    E-mail : james@mooto.us
    Culture Maker. Co. Ltd
    President : Lee Seung Hwan
    Oversea Dept StaFax No ff : James(E-Mail : james@mooto.us)
    Address : 16100 Gundry Ave, Paramount, CA
    Zip Code : 90723 / Tel No : +1-877-666-8662 / Fax No : +1-562-251-0333

    A book could be written just pointing out Alex's minor and major mistakes. I recommend that you do some research yourself, don't depend on me, and surely don't depend in Alex. :)

    Clearly, but that is OK, I don't mind sharing.
  18. mastercole

    mastercole Valued Member

    Some points? Let's go for "Many Points". When one finds so many gross errors, it does invalidate the work of the whole book, just like in court when a witness is proved to be unreliable, even in small fact, their testimony becomes invalid.

    Please post what I wrote, and let's discuss it.

    Why not pass it on? I have been kind enough to share what I learned from seniors, why not you? Oh and do name names, I do.

    The book aligns, but it does not? In addition to this statement, you have not done valid research on "hearsay" of old Korean gentlemen? I'm curious, how would you go about such research?

    Your to kind. Thank you for permission to post my statements of fact, and even my references!

    Good luck on coming up with something of vital importance, so far, you haven't as far as I can see, but I did enjoy our discussion. I will also recommend that folks who are interested read Alex's book and in the process do little research of their own.
  19. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Sir if one reviews the volumes of reports that were issued by the US Congress, one will see what the KCIA was & that Dr. Kim was a KCIA operative named Mikey Kim. There are several references to him & what he was doing, including when he was the head of the TKD groups in SK. These reports come in 3 groups, (1) being the investigation into the activities of the KCIA in the US, which BTW was happening all over the world, especially in countries aligned with the West, as SK was allied with them, therefore their secret ogvt entity (KCIA) operated more freely, as in the case of the US, the US govt entities did not monitor the KCIA & other like groups rom allied nations like they did the KGB & other secret govt entities from enemy nations. In fact this was a recommendation that the US Congress made as a result of the investigation, another (2) being the investigation on Korean-American relations done by the US Congress with investigative services being done by various US National agencies, including the FBI & (3) the 3rd one was the transcripts of the series of public hearings that the US Congress held on these activities & activities.
    While I have not read Mr. Jennings complete works, anyone who knows about Korean politics & Korean history will understand that the series of 3 military dictators that ran SK for decades did so brutally, with the last one, finally moving their Country to a more democratic state in the late 1980s, when the Olympics were approaching, due to the enormous amounts of large scale student & civilian protests. The 1st 2 dictators held onto their near complete control with vicious & extremely harsh tactics, often trough the arm of the KCIA which reached around the globe.

    Dr. Kim was a very important figure in TKD's development, rightfully called the father of Olympic TKD. However as a very high ranking govt official, there is little real doubt that he was a KCIA operative, as was the case with most if not all high ranking officials in the military dictatorships. In fact, Dr. Kim was close to the founder of the KCIA, the man who was behind the May 16 revolution, better know as the 1961 military coup. Many of these figures, including Gen. Park Chung Hee himself - have polarized views of their leadership, from father of the economic miracle, which he was or a savage human rights abuser, which he also was.
    For some, the ends justified the means & for some, they ignored the abuses, as the south was under a constant & ever looming fear of attack from the brutal communists of the north.
  20. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    I accept your learned input on this & think that an immediate retraction & correction should be made.

    So are you then saying that GM Lee, the former KKW president was not a 2 time convicted criminal?
    Or are you saying that yes he was convicted twice, but it was a set up due to the politics?

    I for one know that Gen Choi was himself "at times the victim of political witch hunts and slander against his person". I also think that he (Gen Choi) was "tough and he" laughed "all that off. The fact is that" Gen Choi was a very motivated, compassionate and giving person. He" cared "very much about Taekwondo and is a very strong leader because of it. Remember, strong leaders attract strong enemies".

    I also agree with this statement as well: "Until you know the man personally, do not judge him by what some idiot in the media writes."

    I would add to this, that in the case of Gen Choi, it was not some idiot in the media, but the long arm of a dictatorial regime wrote that slandered & tried to break him, his private organization, which was so successful that it had followers in a 100+ nations, that afforded him the platform to speak out against the brutal dictators.

    The manipulators that contort & distort the history of TKD for their own agendas on all sides, must be seen for what they are & what motivated them. It is only when we step outside of the TKD world & look at history, can we hope to sort through all the nonsense that far too many have spread, jmho

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