A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do

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

  1. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    As you can imagine I disagree with your perspective. I respectfully suggest our differences can be attributed in part to having come to the discussion with different backgrounds & having heard the various stories from people who did not like one another for many reasons, often good reasons.
    But I do feel that this work is powerful as it outlines how TKD developed IN THE 20TH CENTURY, not 2,000 years ago! It also shows who was involved in the development process, clearly showing who came up with the name of TKD & applied it to the system that they were developing, when others were still using the karate associated names, like kongsoodo, tangsudo, kown bup & then embracing the taesoodo name. More importantly it also shows how Korea used TKD & how its politics caused so much harm to so many people.
  2. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Quote: Originally Posted by michael s. boik
    "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."
    Yes it does sound ridiculous, but it happened. From 1961 to the late 1980s, SK was ruled by a brutal dictator. In fact the 1st dictator ruled for 18.5 years, until he was shot at point blank range by his own KCIA man. The next 2 military generals that ran SK (Chun Do Hwan & Ro Tae Woo) were both sentenced to death for crimes against the nation & the Korean people when the 1st civilian democratically elected president took over. They were spared when the 1st civilian president (Kim Young Sam) asked the incoming president (Kim Dae Jung, himself marked for death after being kidnapped, till the US govt stepped in to have him spared, he then lived under house arrest as a leading political dissident) for input. President Kim Dae Jung, who went on to win the Nobel Prize for Peace, suggested that they be sparred (much like the American president Nixon) so the process of national healing could move forward. The dictators controlled everything & its long arm reached globally, cracking down on political dissent. Gen Choi was not only a former high ranking govt official as a founding member #44 of the ROK Army, a 2 Star Major General, who BTW sat on the military court tribunal that sentenced a young junior officer named Park Chung Hee for death, as a communist/Japanese sympathizer, who went on to lead the military coup in 1961, sending Gen Choi out of the country to Malaysia as the 1st Korean Ambassador there, but Gen Choi became a leading voice of political opposition. This was why the SK military dictators tried to break him & his private organization, as it gave him the world wide platform to denounce the brutality of the dictatorships.

    Yes there is no doubt that Gen Choi gave the NKs a powerful propaganda tool & that this was viewed as anti-national activity that in the eyes of many rose to the level or treason. However none of this negates the great work he did with TKD, bringing it to the world. Just like none of the wonderful work Dr. Kim did with Olympic TKD is negated by his criminal convictions & activities that resulted in him stepping down from & being relived of important positions in the TKD & sports world.

    Yes, good points & all Nations must take such measures to protect their interests. In fact, Gen Choi's record is still sealed & the SK govt will not allow its TKD entities to credit him, but that is changing & eventually the time will come where the credit will be more widespread. politics
    However this does not explain what the SK dictator did to him long before Gen Choi even went to NK.
  3. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    What "gross error of simple facts"?

    Far too many people around the world use WTF as a label for a style of TKD, even WTFers.
    While it is true that the WTF is an ISF for the IOC which governs Olympic sport TKD, it is also a common, albeit incorrect label for a style of TKD that many see as different from ITF TKD. It is also true that Dr Kim Un Yong wore all 3 hats of SK TKD, KTA, KKW & WTF, often confusing, blurring or clouding these lines that are more apparent now, as a result of the 3 aforementioned orgs now having 3 different leaders as a result of the corruption scandals surrounding Dr Kim conviction & imprisonment.

    Some leaders of some of the early kwans got together & formed various KTAs, finally succeeding when in 1961, as a result of military govt decree #6, ordered them to merge, unite or work closer together. They did so as Taesoodo. Eventually (1965) they gave into Gen Choi & changed the name to TKD, that he had been using since 1954. These leaders then formed the KKW & eventually the WTF. As part of the unification process & a critical element to some, was the numbering & retiring of the kwans, so the issue of certification & loyalties would be settled more completely.

    To critique Mr. Gillis' work for using fairly common use acceptance of terms, even though technically incorrect to me is more of a semantics or labeling issue which in no way effects the depth of his investigative work. In fact, the issuance of BB certs was 1st done by the KTA, when both the KKW & WTF were in existence. This was changed to the KKW, but even certain issue designs of the actual BB certs had the WTF logo & signature of the WTF president on them, adding to the blurred lines.
  4. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Originally Posted by mastercole
    "So you wanted to know what was the truth and what wasn't? Well, let's take a look............Alex Gillis Error #4
    "Kim began Olympic Taekwondo in the early 1970s"
    Shihap Kyorugi, or what you should be referring to when you mistakenly use the term Olympic Taekwondo, existed since the early 1960's - sparring with a bamboo hogu-, even before the common use of the name Taekwondo (1965), long before Dr. Un Yong Kim became involved in the administration of Taekwondo.
    Al Cole"
    Yes this martial sport was called Taesoodo & it appeared in the prestigious Korean National Sports Festival.
    However Dr Kim had a 3 point plan for TKD when he took over as the KTA president. It involved making this Korean national sport an international sport, with an international academy housed in SK, as a prelude to official Olympic sport status. He was very successful & as they say, the rest is history.

    However I fail to see, how this semantic type of label problem is supposed to lead to illustrating on how his throughly research investigative work is so lacking!
    What specific points about TKD's history that he asserts & backs up with more than one source is wrong?
  5. ryuu55

    ryuu55 Valued Member

    Just finished reading the book at lunch today. Just wanted to thank Alex for the enjoyable read.
  6. giada_g

    giada_g New Member

    hi! i'm a new member of this forum... i'm looking for two books: a killing art & the encyclopedia of taekwondo. is there someone who knows where I can buy them? thank you so much! giada
  7. chrispillertkd

    chrispillertkd Valued Member

    Welcome to MAP.

    You can order A Killing Art through amazon. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Art-Untold-History-Kwon/dp/1770410228/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372860087&sr=1-1&keywords=a+killing+art"]Amazon.com: A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do (9781770410220): Alex Gillis: Books[/ame]

    Gen. Choi's Encyclopedia of Taekwon-Do is available here: http://taekwondotimes.com/store/item.php?it_id=12&goca_id=

    This is a newer edition, put out after Gen. Choi's death so some of the "updates" in it might not be exactly what he wanted (I don't know). There is also a condensed version of the encyclopedia, but I don't see it anywhere on that site.


  8. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Yes amazon has the Killing Art. I believe it is now translated into 3 languages, including Spanish & German. The Spanish edition also has the history of TKD in Argentina.
    The full 15 Volume set of the Encyclopdia of TKD is only available through TKD Times Magazine. Unless someone has sme older sets in stock. So the above post is correct. I would only add that the newer editions of the 15 volume set have no changes to any techniques as far as I can see or know. I was also told that the only additions were to the back of the book where they updated Gen. Choi's travel log & his wishes when he passed away, etc. Some people that do not follow the ITF-NK may not like the photos of Prof. Chang Ung in it as his successor, but the techniques are all the same as the 1999 edition. So I think they printed 2 others, & only updated the back pages. But the full set is a must have!
  9. SJON

    SJON Valued Member

    The Spanish edition, in case anyone is interested, is rather expensive. It works out at about EUR 36 for the book, and about the same again for shipping (to Europe).


  10. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Is the Spanish version not available through Amazon?
  11. SJON

    SJON Valued Member

    Amazon doesn't stock it. It handles your order with the Argentinian publisher. I've done a dry run direct with the publisher and via Amazon and it works out about the same.
  12. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

  13. michael s. boik

    michael s. boik Valued Member

    MasterCole, may he rest in peace, Doesn't take into account all the instructors who were forced to leave the ITF from 1972-1980, before Gen. Choi delt with the North Koreans. The KCIA did whatever it could to shut Gen. Choi up and stop the ITF. During demonstrations, the KCIA used Korean Embassies to stop Gen. Choi and the team from entering the Country. They used WTF instructors and their schools to protest at events. The KCIA used family members who still lived in South Korea as pawns to get instructors to leave.
  14. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    There is no doubt that all of these things happened & more. Gen. Choi went secretly to NK in 1979 to meet his family & set up taking take there. He didn't introduce TKD there until 1980. If you doubt the activities of the KCIA, which was the arm of the military dictatorship whose mission was to keep the regime in power. No different from the KGB on the USSR & NK. I would refer readers to the official Investigation of the South Korean CIA in the USA by the U.S. Congress, Senate & Executive branches like the FBI. This was all spurred by the KoreaGate scandal, which was the 1st scandal after WaterGate to get the Gate label attached to it.
    Innocent people's lives were ruined by the military dictator, including the Nobel Peace Prize winner from SK who eventually became the President of the ROK. He was almost killed until the US CIA intervened. This is all historical facts. Investigative Journalist Alex Gillis did his homework.
    SK pressured Malaysia to cancel the ITF WCs that were to be held there in 1986, forcing the ITF to skip a year while they sought another host (Greece 87). There are tons of real stories about the terrible things of the KCIA & it wasn't limited to just the ITF, gen. Choi or his supporters!

    As a matter of fact(s) the 1st military dictator who took over by coup, ruled with an iron fist until October 26, 1979, when he own KCIA Director shot & killed him at point blank range! Then the next 2 so called military presidents, 1 took over by another coup & his henchman succeeded him. They were both tried, convicted & sentenced to death, by the SK Courts for crimes against the Korean people. They were spared by the 1st civilian democratically elected president, Kim Young Sam, after he consulted with future Noble Prize for Peace winner, Kim Dae Jung, when he was president elect, scheduled to take office after the 1st Kim's term ended. (SK limits there presidents to a single 5 yr term, as a result of the tortuous rule of murderous butchers!
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013

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