History of Korean MA

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by klaasb, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    Korean history

    The history of the people living on the Korean peninsula is commonly divided in several periods, most of them named after the ruling dynasty on the peninsula. The Korean prehistory is divided in the Jeulmun and Mumun periods. These periods are named after the kind of pottery that date back to these earliest times. During the Mumun period the Gojoseon kingdom grew in power.
    After the fall of Gojoseon in the first century before Christ, several states appeared with three of them growing stronger. This period is known as the Three Kingdom era, with the three kingdoms being Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla.
    Eventually Silla conquered the other two kingdoms and ruled Korean peninsula from 668 to 918. Unified Silla had to give way to the Goryeo dynasty in 918 and the kings of Goryeo remained in power until the founding of the Joseon dynasty in 1392 by King Taejo. The Joseon dynasty has been the longest reigning dynasty in world’s history and lasted until 1897. In 1897 the last king of Joseon declared himself emperor and thus the Korean empire came to be. It didn’t last long because in 1910 Korea came under Japanese rule. The Japanese occupation lasted until the end of Second World War in 1945. After the war Korea was split up by the allied forces in both North- and South-Korea. Sadly, a war broke out between both Koreas in 1950. The division of both Koreas lasts until this day, with the border between both countries being the most heavily guarded border in the world.

    History of Korean martial arts

    Martial arts have existed in Korea since the earliest ages. Until modern times martial arts always had a link with the army. Although unarmed methods did exist they were not viewed as being crucial. It is only been since recent times that unarmed fighting methods are viewed as martial arts; armed fighting methods dominated until about one hundred years ago. Unarmed fighting methods were used to train soldiers or to entertain crowds during festivals where villages competed in wrestling matches.

    Pre-state times
    Nothing is known about the fighting methods from Korea’s earliest times. Polished stone swords and arrow tips dating back to the Mumun period have been found. These were presumably not only used for hunting, but for warfare as well. Later bronze tools and weapons were found and around 300 BCE the iron culture was imported from China.

    It appears that during the Goguryeo dynasty (37 BCE – 668) Subak (empty-hand-fighting), swordsmanship, spear-fighting and horse riding were practiced. Paintings showing martial arts were found in 1935 on the walls of royal tombs, built for Goguryeo kings, sometime between 3 and 427. The nature of the techniques practiced is however something that cannot be determined from these paintings. References to Subak can be found in government records from the Goguryeo dynasty through the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910).

    It should be noted that the term Subak was common in the East Asian area; China, Korea, and Japan. Ssireum (Korean wrestling), Sumo, Shuaijiao etc. were all referred to with this term 'Subak'. Although there is another term 'Gakjeo' for grappling techniques, but the names were not consequently used for the distinct techniques so many records are interpreted trading the terms for strike and grappling techniques. Hence, it would be more correct to state that Subak and Gakjeo were very common techniques that prevailed in different areas and different times in East Asian countries.

    Goguryeo was one of the three kingdoms on the Korean peninsula next to Silla (57 BCE–668 CE) and Baekje (18BCE – 660). In 668 Silla conquered of the whole Korean peninsula with the help of the Chinese Tang dynasty. The history of these three kingdoms was written down in two books called Samguk Yusa and Samguk Sagi. These books however were written during the Goryeo dynasty (918 – 1392) more than two hundred years after the collapse of Unified Silla (668 – 918). It is believed that the warriors from the Silla dynasty learned Subak from the neighboring Goguryeo armies when they asked for their help against invading Japanese pirates. Practicing Subak became part of the training for Silla’s hwarang warriors and this contributed to the spread of Subak on the Korean peninsula. But again we do not know exactly which techniques the hwarang warriors practiced and it is safe to assume that the overall emphasis would be on armed fighting methods and not so much on unarmed fighting. Many swords from this period can still be admired in Korean museums. The hwarang did not only study warfare but Buddhism and Taoism as well. Often Buddhist monks instructed the hwarang warriors. Their greatest contribution to the development of Korean martial arts is probably adding a spiritual dimension to the training practices, something that Korean martial arts lacked before. It was the Buddhist monk Won Gwang who formulated the Sae Sok O Gye in the 7th century. This code for the hwarang warrior consisted of five rules:
    1. Loyalty to one's king.
    2. Piety towards one's parents.
    3. Trust among friends.
    4. Never retreat in battle.
    5. Be selective in the taking of life.
    These five rules are still very popular in many Korean martial arts schools today.

    Sword techniques from this period are said to have survived after they were included in martial arts manuals that were written during the Joseon dynasty, where they are referred to as Bongukgeom, which means national sword. The Muyesinbo, written in 1759, tells the legend of a boy named Hwangchang from Silla who preformed a sword dance, Geommu. He had a remarkable talent and was invited by the king of Baekje to perform this dance at his court. The boy took this opportunity to kill the king of Baekje. Although subject to many changes the dance survived and is still performed in contemporary Korea.

    In the age of the Goryeo dynasty the military played an important role in society. Not in the last place due to the many invasions it had to fight off in the North. During the reign of king Sukjong (1054 – 1105) a special army, Byeolmuban, was put together by Yun Gwan to fight off the Jurchen in the north. This army consisted of three divisions; the infantry called Sinbogun, cavalry called Sinmugun and an army of Buddhist monks called Hangmagun. This army consisted of approximately 17.000 men and defeated the Jurchen. The development of Subak also continued during the Goryeo dynasty (935-1392) more as a form of folk entertainment than for military training. Goryeo records that mention the martial arts include passages about Subak. Later the Goryeo government prohibited the practice of Subak by civilians because people used to bet at Subak games. Subak split into two separate martial arts, Taekgyeon and Yusul, probably in the last years of the Goryeo dynasty or the early years of the Joseon dynasty. It is believed that many of the existing techniques were lost at this time.

    Joseon era
    Books and official records from Joseon dynasty records often mention Taekgyeon as a folk game. Taekgyeon players are found on several paintings from that era. The most famous painting probably is the Dae Kwae Do painted in 1846 by YuSuk (1827-1873). It shows competitions in ssireum (Korean wrestling) and Taekgyeon.
    During the Imjin War (1592-1598), Korean armies fought off a Japanese invasion. The Japanese had imported guns from Portugal and wanted to conquer the mainland. With Chinese assistance, the Koreans fought back the invaders, but at a heavy loss of men and cultural heritage. It was also during this war that the famous turtle ships (geobukseon) from General Yi Sun Sin were used. These ships were covered with an iron shield, much like the shell of turtle, which could withstand the gun attacks of the Japanese.

    Despite many important developments the Joseon period is seen as one of decline for the Korean martial arts. The Joseon dynasty was build on the principles of neo-Confucianism, a doctrine that advocated academics rather than martial practice. On the plus side, Confucian scholars wrote several manuals for the Joseon military and it is in these books that we can first learn about Korean fighting methods.

    Martial arts manuals
    In 1593 the Koreans, with the help of Chinese armies under the command of Li Rusong, attempted to win back Pyongyang from the Japanese invader. Li Rusong was a Chinese general of Korean ancestry. During one of the battles the Koreans learned about a martial arts manual titled Jixiaoxinshu written by the Chinese military strategist Qi Jiguang.
    King Seonjo (1567-1608) took a personal interest in the book, and he ordered people in his court to study it. This eventually led to the creation of the Muyejebo in 1598 by Han Gyo who had studied the use of several weapons with the Chinese army.

    Prince Sado (1735-1762) took the initiative to revise the methods and added twelve additional fighting methods. These were published in the Muyesinbo in 1759 as the Bonjomuyesibpalban or 18 martial classes. Important additions are the chapters on Bongukgeom and on the admiral sword, called Jedokgeom, of General Li Rusong.

    In 1790, these two books formed the basis, together with other Korean, Chinese and Japanese martial art manuals, of the richly illustrated Muyedobotongji.

    The Muyedobotongji does not concern itself with Korean methods only. Actually most of the methods and weapons described in the book are of foreign origin, with the great exception of course being the chapter on Bongukgeom.

    The book mostly deals with armed martial arts like sword fighting, double-sword fighting, spear fighting, stick fighting and fighting on horseback.

    There is one chapter that deals with a style of empty-hand fighting called gwonbeop (fist techniques). The techniques shown are not those of Korea’s own native empty-hand fighting methods but have Chinese roots.

    According to the Muyedobotongji empty-handed fighting should be learned before armed fighting since it forms the basic of a martial education. It is also quite remarkable that it quotes "Art of the Internal School" by Huang Baijia stating that internal styles are better suited for fighting than external styles.

    Modern Korean martial arts
    From 1910 to 1945 Korea was under Japanese rule. This had a lasting impact on the Korean people and Korean culture, including the practice of martial arts. The Japanese government banned the practice of Korean martial arts and promoted the practice of Japanese martial arts like Judo and Kendo through the educational system which was modelled after the Japanese system.
    The history of every modern Korean martial art starts during or after the occupation, and was heavily influenced by Japanese martial arts. These Japanese arts were either introduced to Korea during the occupation or brought to Korea by Koreans who had practied in Japan.

    After the occupation, Korean masters claimed linkage to traditional Korean martial arts like Subak and denied any connection with Japanese martial arts, mostly because of the bitterness Koreans felt for the Japanese, especially in the first few decades after the occupation.

    Although the influence of Japanese martial arts is undeniable and still present, many modern Korean martial arts have diverged from their Japanese counterparts. Ancient manuals like the Muyedobotongji became popular reading and study material for Korean martial artists and influenced the development of many modern Korean martial arts. For example, Koreans who had studied Japanese kendo during the colonization period studied the Muyedobotongji to rediscover their own cultural heritage and recreated the traditional Korean martial arts, although this usually was nothing more than renaming techniques after those found in the Muyedobotongji. In this process the Muyedobotongji more than once was used unjustly as a link to Korea’s ancient martial heritage.

    This doesn’t mean that Korean martial arts from before the occupation completely disappeared. Masters of several styles survived the occupation or continued teaching their art even though the Japanese had put a ban on it. Taekgyeon had survived has a folk game and has grown in popularity in recent years. Also the techniques of the Muyedobotongji have survived the occupation and martial arts like sibpalki enjoy a renewed interest.

    Some Koreans claim that historically Japanese martial arts came from Korea and thus all Japanese martial arts should be viewed as traditionally Korean. Just as the Japanese turned the martial techniques in older ages into something distinctively Japanese, so too did the Koreans take the Japanese arts and turn them into something that suited their needs. Although martial arts like Taekwondo and Tangsudo have their roots in Japanese karate, they have taken their own route of development and transformed into quite unique Korean martial arts. A popular way to look at it is by saying that although one culture might have provided the timber, it was the other culture that built the house. It is also important to note that speaking about martial arts in terms of them being Chinese, Japanese or Korean is something that is from recent times and has grown this way under the influence of nationalistic views.

    The use of the suffix ‘do’, meaning way, to martial arts is of clear Japanese fashion. Traditionally Korean martial arts were called muye (martial art) or musul (martial technique).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2010
  2. Dragonkarma

    Dragonkarma Valued Member

    Korean history

    Very nice posting by you !!!

    I suggest the book 5,000 years of Korean martial arts history written by master Barry Harmon. His address is on the school listing at www.kuksoolwon.com.

    The book is about the general history of Korean martial arts and not Kuk Sool Won specifically.
  3. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    I have a growing concern that so many of the observations that are made in these presentations, including the recent history by Mr. Harmon are the same warmed-over bits we have heard time and again with little or no substantiation. Case in point is the often-quoted assertion that the Japanese government "banned" the practice of Korean martial arts. To date noone has been able to identify such a ban. What can be substantiated is that Koreans willfully chose to participate in such activities as Japanese Kendo, and, in fact fielded a Kendo team against the Japanese on more than one occasion. In like manner, the Japanese mandated the use of Judo and Kendo in the Korean school system (1933) and began utilizing Karate as a physical training device for Korean conscripts (1939). A very well documented, but highly unpopular view of the Occupation is that a significant portion of the Korean population supported the Japanese war effort and saw the coming of the Japanese as a way of ending the centuries of predatory behavior by the Korean upper-class and corrupt officials at the local level on the Korean agrarian base.

    Similarly, the MUYETOBOTONGJI was translated into English twice before, and has long been known to the Korean intelligensia. Yet, the Korean people adopted and fostered the popularity of practices derived from Japanese traditions rather than keep alive their own traditions. How come nobody wants to talk about this? Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

    Last edited: Oct 13, 2009
  4. Hyung

    Hyung Valued Member

    Nice posts.
    The almost always notion (mainly supported in earlier MA textbooks by koreans) that the martial traditions were in the China-Korea-Japan direction, may indeed be as true as the China-Japan-Korea direction. They are both true.
  5. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Sometimes I think that nationalism trumps everything else when it comes to the Korean-Japanese relationships. For instance, I know that the Koreans have made quite a stir about how the Japanese forces trashed the country during the invasion of 1592-1598 (see: Imjin Waerum). What you won't get the Koreans to admit is that the Korean Kingdom was making trade agreements with Japan less than 10 years after that awful conflict.

    I often characterize the Korean people as the "street persons" of East Asia, in that its a well-known and acknowledged fact that street people in Urban settings have an almost instinctual ability to turn a given situation so as to assure their benefit/survival. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

  6. Hyung

    Hyung Valued Member

    Maybe that's why many koreans are good at trading business.
  7. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    I'll have to reserve judgement on that. Here in the US I can report that after bailing out our Banking System to the tune of hundreds of Billions of US dollars, that same banking industry has gone back to business as usual. Probably a good subject for another thread. However, I am more concerned with the understanding and preservation of Korean martial traditions, and these are what I see suffering because of preoccupation with commercial success. The Neo-Confucian philosophy in Korea required that people respect the contributions and status of the previous generations. I would hate to see that sort of thinking lost just because it does not produce a profit. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

  8. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Does anyone want to continue the discussion concerning KMA. I am thinking of specifically focusing on Barry (Harmon)'s book as a venue for furthering the discussion. I have some issues with his particular take on Korean history, but the idea would not be to pull his effort down but rather to use his contribution as a springboard for reflecting on the overall development of Korean martial traditions. I think we could get a good discussion going, but I am not particularly interested in just poking at Barry's book or finding a comfort level with oral traditions. Anyone game? Thoughts?

    Best Wishes,

  9. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    I haven't read the book (nor own it)... what is your initial take? Is it worth buying and reading?
  10. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Honestly, Thomas, I can't think of many books that aren't worth reading ( :) ), but the matter of buying it.....that is to say, making it a productive part of one's library--- is still open to discussion.

    Compared to the recent history offered by a Teacher's Association in Korea,

    (see: Korea through the Ages
    by The Academy of Korean Studies
    Author: The Association of Korean History Teachers ISBN 89-7105-544-8 (Vol. 1, 2)

    I suspect that Barry (Harmon)'s book is a much better read. The former book was essentially an examination of various socio-political efforts and their impact on the Korean people. Barry's book tends to focus on a richer view of history albeit through the lens of Martial traditions. So far, my only concern is that the narrative seems to be shaped to produce a certain level of---shall we say----"nationalistic fervor" rather than allowing the history to speak for itself. The reading level for both books is about High School level so the presentation is comfortable and easy-going but I would still support Barry's book over the other, if only for its worth as an introductory work and not as an exhaustive examination. Any of this help?

    Best Wishes,

    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  11. reedk

    reedk Valued Member

    awesome man keep at it and don't give up
  12. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    OK…… lets just keep in mind that I don’t have any particular agenda. My own view is to hold to documented history as well as is reasonably possible. Since this thread is concerning Korean military and martial traditions lets go back to the beginning and start by putting the house in order there.

    The Koreans are very fond of representing that their people go back hundreds of thousands of years and this is true…..sort of. Drawing on the material of the Handbook of Korea, published by the Korean Overseas Information Service (Edit. 2003) we have a clearer picture of this position based on better scholarship.

    At Seokjang-Ri near Gongju there are artifacts excavated from the Paleolithic (“Old Stone”) Age, a period that began some 2.5 million years ago. However, the Korean peninsula does not show occupation by Humans or Humanoids prior to about 500,000 years ago. So that’s about where things start for the Korean history----about 500,000 years ago in the Paleolithic Period. However, sites carbon-dated to about 20,000 years ago and bearing flat-bottomed pottery indicate that the original occupants of the Korean area gave way to late-comers from the Ural-Altaic area of Central Asia about 3,000 years BCE. The original occupants are still closely related to the AINU of Japan and the INUIT of Sakhalin Island as well as the eastern coast of Siberia. The modern people of Korea are very much descendents of the late-comers of the 3rd Millenium BCE. So while one can say that Korean history could be said to start some 500 millenia ago, the History of the Korean people is easily identified as starting about the 3rd. Millenium or about 5,000 years ago, and I think that is where we need to make our start.

    Beginning with these original inhabitants of the Korean area, we know that they were totemic and lived in clans. They had a firm founding in Animism and participated in rituals commonly guided by a female shaman. They followed an agrarian lifestyle, wove cloth and wore tailored clothing. Tools for skilled work including hunting, farming, domestic labors such as cooking , weaving and sewing were all of an organic or otherwise non-metallic source such as stone, wood or animal. We can keep to this pattern until about 3000 BCE with the arrival of the aforementioned "late-comers". The Bronze Age (4000 BCE - 280 BCE) is in full-swing in the lands west of Manchuria and the first Bronze Age artifacts are found in the Korean area about this time suggesting that the late-comers brought this metallurgy with them and that such technology may have been of no small import in driving off the original inhabitants of the Korean area. Alternately there is the matter of importing this technology from China or nomadic Sythian tribes of northern asia, but I think I'll wait for the next chapter for that. Thoughts?

    See: Handbook of Korea; Korean Overseas Information Services; Edit 2003; pgs 37-38 and 47-49
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  13. Kwajman

    Kwajman Penguin in paradise....

    Its quite easy to state something as fact and not have to references to back it up. Someone told me the other day that TKD was thousands of years old, not created in the 1950's by general choi, I asked for documentation or proof, none could be had of course.....
  14. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    :hail: "We are not worthy"

    Bruce, you never cease to amaze me with your generous and outstanding posts, esp on this subject.
  15. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Examining the Bronze Age of Korea in three parts.

    Part One: Bronze Age People of the 3rd Millenium.

    The Bronze Age, identified as extending from about the 3rd Millenium BCE to about the 3rd Century BCE, was most recently affirmed by the discovery of 5,477-year-old Neolithic human remains found in the glacier between Austria and Italy in September 1991. Identified as “Otzi”, after the Otztal Valley in Italy, examination of his body, equiptment and environment provide welcome insights into a life lived at this European location at this time in history and may shed light on the nature of the people who came to Korea in the 4th Millenia BCE. A rather complete examination can be easily found at WIKIPEDIA on the INTERNET. For the purposes of this discussion of martial traditions, however, the following comments taken from that article are germane.

    1.) Analysis of Ötzi's intestinal contents showed two meals (the last one about eight hours before his death), one of chamois meat and the other of Red Deer meat. Both were eaten with some grain as well as some roots and fruits. The grain from both meals was a highly processed einkorn wheat bran,[10] quite possibly eaten in the form of bread. In the proximity of the body, and thus possibly originating from the Iceman's provisions, chaff and grains of einkorn and barley, and seeds of flax and poppy were discovered, as well as kernels of sloes (small plumlike fruits of the blackthorn tree) and various seeds of berries growing in the wild. Hair analysis was used to examine his diet from several months before.

    2.)High levels of both copper particles and arsenic were found in Ötzi's hair. This, along with Ötzi's copper axe which is 99.7% pure copper, has led scientists to speculate that Ötzi was involved in copper smelting.

    3.)By examining the proportions of Ötzi's tibia, femur and pelvis, Christopher Ruff has determined that Ötzi's lifestyle included long walks over hilly terrain. This degree of mobility is not characteristic of other Copper Age Europeans. Ruff proposes that this may indicate Ötzi was a high-altitude shepherd.

    4.)Ötzi had approximately 57 carbon tattoos consisting of simple dots and lines on his lower spine, behind his left knee, and on his right ankle. Using X-rays, it was determined that the Iceman may have had arthritis in these joints. It has been speculated that they may be related to acupuncture.

    5.)Ötzi's clothes were sophisticated. He wore a cloak made of woven grass and a coat, a belt, a pair of leggings, a loincloth and shoes, all made of leather of different skins. He also wore a bearskin cap with a leather chin strap. The shoes were waterproof and wide, seemingly designed for walking across the snow; they were constructed using bearskin for the soles, deer hide for the top panels, and a netting made of tree bark. Soft grass went around the foot and in the shoe and functioned like modern socks. The coat, belt, leggings, and loincloth were constructed of vertical strips of leather sewn together with sinew. His belt had a pouch sewn to it that contained a cache of useful items: a scraper, drill, flint flake, bone awl, and a dried fungus to be used as tinder.

    6.) items found with the Iceman were a copper axe with a yew handle, a flint knife with an ash handle, a quiver of 14 arrows with viburnum and dogwood shafts. Two of the arrows, which were broken, were tipped with flint and had fletching (stabilizing fins), while the other 12 were unfinished and untipped. The arrows were found in a quiver with what is presumed to be a bow string, a tool of some sort, and some antler which might have been used for making arrow points.[18] There was also an unfinished yew longbow that was 1.82 metres (72 in) long. ……The copper axe could not have been made by him alone. It would have required a concerted group tribal effort to mine, smelt and cast the copper axe head.

    In addition, among Ötzi's possessions were berries, two birch bark baskets, and two species of polypore mushrooms with leather strings through them. One of these, the birch fungus, is known to have antibacterial properties, and was likely used for medicinal purposes. The other was a type of tinder fungus, included with part of what appeared to be a complex firestarting kit. The kit featured pieces of over a dozen different plants, in addition to flint and pyrite for creating sparks.

    DNA analysis revealed traces of blood from four other people on his gear: one from his knife, two from the same arrowhead, and a fourth from his coat. Interpretations of the findings were that Ötzi killed two people with the same arrow, and was able to retrieve it on both occasions, and the blood on his coat was from a wounded comrade he may have carried over his back.
    Ötzi's unnatural posture in death (frozen body, face down, left arm bent across the chest) suggests that the theory of a solitary death from blood loss, hunger, cold and weakness is untenable. Rather, before death occurred and rigor mortis set in, the Iceman was turned on to his stomach in the effort to remove the arrow shaft.
    The DNA evidence suggests that he was assisted by companions who were also wounded; pollen and food analysis suggests that he was out of his home territory. This may indicate that Ötzi was actually part of an armed raiding party involved in a skirmish, perhaps with a neighboring tribe, and this skirmish had gone badly.

    OK, so, hopefully we have put a "human face" on a Bronze Age man and his lifestyle. We can reasonably consider that the people who came to Korea, say, about 3,000 BCE reflected the sorts of information we uncovered from this person found in the glacial ice.
    We also know that the Korean culture of today is a branch of the linguistic patterns of the Ural-Altaic region so that will be our next stop in this "three parter" on the Bronze Age.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ötzi_the_Iceman

    Best Wishes,

    Last edited: Mar 30, 2010
  16. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Part Two: Bronze Age People of the Baedal Kingdom - 3898 BCE to 2333 BCE

    The earliest known kingdom, BAEDAL-GUK* comes into being, extending out from the capital city, Shinshi, at, or close to, Baek-Du Mountain (Baekdusan), also known as Changbai Mountain to the Chinese,,and the Amur River - on the border between North Korea and the Manchuria. This site would have been an extraordinarily fine selection as the gentle volcanic slopes, intricate stone features and a natural fresh water lake would have made this a natural stronghold in times of conflict. Though the empire was formerly thought to be mythical, an ancient text of some question (HWANDANGOGI) indicates that the empire was established by Geo Bahl Hwan (3898 B.C.E.-3804 B.C.E.), who was most likely a general of the HWAN-GUK, that it covered a large area and was ruled by a succession of 18 emperors. Of its origins, the HWANDANGOGI reports that a leader descended from Heaven with 3,000 followers. Its is reasonable that these individuals were of a pastoral and migratory nature as the leader found it necessary to order them to plant crops. Various comparisons of linguistic and cultural patterns have caused individuals of this area to be categorized as "Ural-Altaic" which has fallen into some disrepute in the 20th Century as identifying a distinction without any real difference if only for political reasons.
    Baedal, also known as Guri, reached its greatest extent under the rule of Emperor Chi-Woo (aka: 14th Emperor Jaoji-Hwanwoong - 2707 BCE - 2598 BCE), and its borders were said to have reached the Shandong Peninsula in modern-day China. The greatest and most renowned of the Baedal Emperors, Chi-woo is described as a brilliant military leader and strategist. His reign was said to have advanced the technology of his empire and that Baedal possessed catapults, flaming arrows, and bronze swords, armor and helmets, and that Chi-Woo dealt in both copper and iron. In addition, he united 12 feudal states, and was not defeated for about 70 wars. Fortunes for the empire are reversed when incursions by Chi-Woo come to the attention of the Chinese emperor Huang-Di of Xia (2697 BC to 2597 BC). Baedal's borders were pushed back, after Emperor Chi-Woo's defeat by Huang-di. Border conflicts with neighboring barbaric tribes may have completed the fall during the reign of Emperor Geobuldan (2381 B.C.E.-2333 B.C.E.) the eighteenth and final ruler.
    Source: http://en.allexperts.com/e/b/ba/baedalguk.htm
  17. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Part Three: Bronze Age People of the Gojoseon Kingdom - 2333 BCE to 108 BCE

    GOJOSEON* (lit: "Old Choson") is said to have been founded by Dangun in 2333BC.*
    "The Lord of Heaven Hwanin (환인, 桓因, had a son, Hwanung who yearned to live on the earth among the people. Hwanin permitted his son to descend to Mt. Taebaek with 3,000 helpers, where the son founded a city called Shinshi (신시, 神市, "City of God" or "Holy City"). Along with his ministers of clouds, rain, and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught the people various arts, medicine, and agriculture."
    The story of this founding is a duplication of the myth surrounding the finding of BAEDAL at Baek-Du mountain including the matter of the 3,000 fellows and the descent from Heaven. The possibility of refugees from the sundered BAEDAL empire emigrating to the land south of the Amur River, may support the idea of a leader coming from BAEK-DU mountain to "live among Humans". The Chinese record the people of the GOJOSEON Kingdom as DONG-I or "eastern barbarians" or "eastern bowmen". During this period, Bronze working reaches the Korean peninsula, perhaps about the 8th Century BCE. The introduction of bronze weapons to Korea may also reinforce the idea that émigré from the fall of BAEDAL may have brought their metallurgy as a closely held secret. However, more likely, the skill-set necessary to produce Bronze did not come with the "new arrivals". An alternate view may lay with the arrival of both Bronze and Iron metallurgy with the expansion of SHANG Chinese (1766 BCE - 1040 BCE) territories. Korean legend has one Prince Jizi of Yin refusing to pledge fealty to the Zhou upon their overthrow of the Shang. The legend holds that Prince Jizi and his retains migrated north and started what was to become known as "Gija-Wiman". If this legend is true the time frame for this prince to bring Bronze metalurgy technology with him to the Korean area figures favorably with the time frame designated for the Korean development of this skill set. Lastly, commerce with Scythian peoples across northern Asia is a distant but viable explanation. In any case, the great numbers of Bronze spear blades unearthed in tombs, suggest that the spear not the sword was the primary weapon in battle. Rather, at this time land warfare consisted most often of spears and bowmen on foot, and mounted archers on horseback using a two-handed bow. Indeed, there is a strong possibility that the sword itself may have developed from the habit of keeping a spare spear point in ones’ belt. Mentions by Chinese sources in the 7th Century BC affirm that GOJOSEON flourished in what is now North Korea and southern Manchuria. The line of some 40 or so kings took the title TANJE or "Birch Emperor" for themselves. The "Annals of the Danguns" are recorded in the GYUWON SAHWA (1675) described by its author as a collection of nationalist legends.*
    In the 3rd Century BCE GOJOSEON lost holdings west of the Liao river. The period of Warring States in China pushed refugees eastward, among which was Wiman who entered service of GOJOSEON as a military commander with his base on the Yalu River. Wiman drove out the GOJOSEON king, Jun, which attracted the attention of the Han Chinese. Instability in the northeastern region of the Chinese border jeopardized trade and trade routes in that area. In 109 BCE the Han Emperor, Wu-Ti , in an overwhelming invasion of GOJOSEON by both land and sea overthrew GOJOSEON, and established four bases or "comanderies" in the region.
    Source: Handbook of Korea; Korean Overseas Information Service; Ed 2003; pgs 49-50
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  18. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned


    Guess its time to shoot up a flare. (tap:bang: tap:bang: tap:bang:)
    Hello? Is this thing on? :rolleyes:

    Anybody have any thoughts about my inclusion of the Baedal Kingdom?

    Anybody have any thoughts about my downplaying the WIMAN portions of the GOJOSEON material?

    Anybody read Barry Hamon's book and care to comment?

    Anybody there?

    Best Wishes,

  19. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    I'm here. TKD is centuries old and the Three Kingdoms prove it.
  20. benkei

    benkei Valued Member

    and let me guess, the flying kicks in it were designed to dismount riders on horseback? :rolleyes:

Share This Page