History of Korean MA

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

  1. Hyung

    Hyung Valued Member

    The interpretation of what (why) happened, is the "truth" I mean about a "human artificial construct", and this view is shared by many historians as well.
    At the present post 2000 year era, as you had already post with your videos and links, it just seems a plain and full lie. But everything is according the glass and the eye of the beholder.
    After a genocidal and cultural assimilation... a devastated country after WWII, trying to resume their own identity and culture just as many nations had done it before... you are no body to judge.
    Even today, the Republic of Korea wouldn't be the same without Japan (past and present) influence.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  2. antilie

    antilie Valued Member

    After a genocidal and cultural assimilation...

    I see.
    By a massacre by Japan, the Korean population of the Korean Peninsura increased to double in 36 years.
  3. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    People have been fighting each other LONG before their was a notion of Japan, Nippon, Korea, Hanguk, Wa, Silla, China or whatever name people have given to the area they live in.
    And trust me ... they will still be fighting long after the notion of Korea and Japan has disappeared.

    These days armies happily buy weapons developed in other countries for several reasons. The quality is good, they are better than what can developed at home, they are cheap, etc. etc.
    In the old days it wasn't much different. Hey, those Chinese guys have a very good way to drill their soldiers, lets do that as well. Hey those Portuguese people have nice guns, lets purchase a couple. The list goes on and on.
    Their has been cross influencing for ages and it will be here for ages. Lucky us.

    And yes, the people of the Joseon dynasty were not very militaristic, which influenced the way they practiced their army. The Joseon dynasty could survive for such a long period, not because it had a strong military but because it was a deep and very layered society. Maybe we can learn a lesson from that as well! Just has there are lesson we can learn from feudal Japan! Both good and bad, but lessons worth learning none the less.
  4. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    So is it the intention of participants here that we allow this discussion to degrade into judgements and fault-finding? Am I to understand that this is the best use we can make of this thread? For myself, I'd really rather get back to tracking the progression of military traditions through Korean history.

    Best Wishes,

  5. Hyung

    Hyung Valued Member

    Come on... relax. That asseveration is completely unfair. Maybe America should still be an english colony.
    I am not trying to do this a personal matter debate... but trying to label all koreans as plain and simple liars, as if it was a condition sine qua non or a neccesary feature of their ethnicity... hey, maybe you got some issues inside against korean people. What is it? Don't you like kimchi? I don't know what happened in Korea before WWII, I wasn't even born... but I DO know, what my grandparents (RIP both) told me and how they were in real life.

    Hermann Hesse once said, that we don't like in others, something we don't like in ourselves... what is not inside us, we are indifferent.

    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  6. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    IMHO, the Korean people share a great many qualities with my own people from Eastern Europe. Oddly enough, Rusyns (AKA: Ruthenians) live in the more mountainous areas between Poland and Slovakia and down into the Ukraine. They tend not to accept outsiders easily, and very much keep to themselves. They have been over-run a great many times and at regular intervals beginning with the Romans and all the way down to the Soviets after WW II. Though the folks in the cities have prospered modestly, the rural population has led a hard-scrabble existence for centuries. Even during the great immigration between 1870 and 1930, these people found little relief when they came to North America, and clustered in tightly knit communities.

    No real point other than to suggest that the Koreans are not unique in their behaviors.

    Best Wishes,

  7. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Therefore, is the general concensus with said info agree that most Korean arts are either Chinese or Japanese influenced?
  8. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Oh...I don't think there has ever been any doubt of that, 47. I think where things become extremely interesting is how the attitudes and values of the Korean people interfaced with the weapon (system) at hand. Let me offer an example of what I mean.

    During the IMJIN WAERUM (1592-1598) the "official" Korean military got their bottom beat. The Bureacrats who had been given military postings because it was thought that they could do a better job were completely outclassed by the Japanese invader. However, it is amazing what the Korean people were able to do once they were rallied. The "righteous armies" may not have had fancy fighting skills nor pages of lineage but it astounding what they were able to accomplish against the Japanese once they got rolling. Sometimes I think we put an awful lot of emphasis on this or that practice, or this or that weapon and we forget that battles are won and lost in the mind.

    Here in the US I often think of the Civil War General, U. S. Grant who graduated West Point at the bottom of his class and was, by all measures a failure in his life. Amazingly his one saving quality was his plodding, dogged persistence, which, in the end, un-did some of the finest officers the South had to offer. Personally I think the Koreans could make the same boast. And, I'm not talking about the effete YANGBAN but "Mr & Mrs Joe Average" who stuck it out when the government gave up. Just some odd thoughts.

    Best Wishes,

  9. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    Just a few points I want to add.

    1. China (not called 'land in the middle' for nothing) has always been the centre of Asia. Surrounding countries had to pay tribute to the Chinese emperor. In exchange they could share in the cultural richness of China.
    The Korean peninsula being in between China and Japan got the best of both this way.

    2. One reason for Joseon's military weakness is the fact that the second Joseon king, Jeongjong of Joseon, forbade private armies. From then on nobles were no longer allowed to have private armies. This is one of the reasons why the Joseon dynasty could exist for so long. There were no strong military elements in the country that could oppose the king. (Note that Henry VII of Tudor did something similar in England!)

    The kings saw no need to poor a lot of money in maintaining an army now that peace within the borders was taken care for. With mountains in the north and water surrounding the rest of the peninsula there really was no need.

    3. When the Japanese adopted Western-style military equipment after 1853 everybody agrees that is was the start of Japanese modernization. Why is it so strange that the Koreans adopted Chinese and Japanese strategy and weaponry centuries earlier? The Japanese saw that the Portuguese muskets were better than what they had and started using it.
    When 17th century Dutchmen washed ashore in Korea, the king saw that he could use their knowledge about firearms and used it.
    OF COURSE THEY DID! They would have been stupid if they hadn’t. Their safety depended on it.

    Cultural exchange is not a crime it is a blessing!
  10. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Thank you for your post. (The thanks button is not working for me at this moment)

    If by your post you are statting that anyone leading a force, or revolution could previal with persistance, I agree upon this to an extent.

    It is not that I am saying, that Korea had to "solely" rely on Chinese or Japanese training influences
  11. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    For me its a bit more than that. For instance the Japanese warrior was known to carry his pair of swords, but it was his approach to things that made him a nasty adversary. In like manner, when one goes around the world there are plenty of weapons systems, but the folks who make a real impression are the ones with a mental toughness, regardless of what they have in their hands.

    The Korean people can be a pretty tough bunch, but we often get distracted from the common man by what the idiots running the country were doing. While the bums at the top were jerking each other around playing "king of the mountain" the common Korean person spent a lot of his time just trying to do the right thing. FWIW

    Best Wishes,

  12. Hyung

    Hyung Valued Member

    Thanks for this post.
    Is there any country in this Earth, without cultural exchange with other countries? Any one, completely 100% original...???
    Sorry if I had sounded odd... but maybe is because I am a little tired to read so many posts in the many MA sites on the net about KTMAs as ineffective, useless, fake BS... because all "their martial tradition is based on a lie".
    If Korea, is geographically placed between Japan and China... voilá!!! From whom is it going to be influenced by? yes indeed... Japan and China :)
    As tkd was originated from Shotokan karate... but it evolved in something very different from it. As modern hkd from DRAJJ. As another example, BJJ was originated from pre WWII Kodokan judo... it evolved in something very different.
    That "korean" difference in their approach to MAs, is what we should focus on.
    Now, what's that "korean touch" in MAs? Can you describe it? Take it if like it, leave it if not.
    Best regards.

    PS: sorry for my bad english... not a native speaker.
  13. Obewan

    Obewan "Hillbilly Jedi"

    Speaking of that Bruce, I came across this gem while "doing my homework" as it were. http://www.koreanhistoryproject.org/author.htm Check it out.
  14. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    Most Japanese arts MA were influenced by Chinese styles as well and certainly influenced by Chinese writing about MA. Japanese culture has been influenced heavily by Korea. The raids of Japanese pirates on Chinese shores forced the Chinese to rethink their defense strategies .... the list goes on and on.

    Korean writing about martial arts tend to be reflections on earlier works and cataloguing earlier works. Much as you would expect from a Confucian culture.
    Japanese writing on MA very much is about reflecting on ones deep self, as you would expect from a Zen Buddhists.

    I think the bigger problem is that we Westerners have a certain expectation of what a martial art should be. These expectations are heavily influenced by the way the Japanese martial arts tradition. Judo and Karate came to the West much earlier than their Korean and Chinese counterparts.
    The notion that the other cultures treat their martial arts traditions differently than what we considered to be the golden rule (ie. Japanese traditions) only seems to settle in very very slowly.

    On top of that, the Korean martial arts tradition that existed before the Japanese occupation was completely vanished after WWII and had to be reinvented.
    If you would ever start a study in cultural anthropology and would look up 'reinvented culture' it would say: see Korea. It is the school example.

    Another thing that I would like to touch up on, is the fact that within a culture several martial art traditions might co-exist. You would have the MA tradition of the army, family traditions, clan traditions, buddhist temple traditions etc. etc. in some cultures all of these traditions might exist in other cultures just a few.
  15. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    Except for the first ape who took up a stick to beat somebody else with, probably not ;-)

    I am not a native English speaker either, so don't worry ;-)
  16. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Absolutely, positively!! I think that in reflecting on the Korean martial traditions there are two main stumbling-blocks that repeatedly sabotage anyone's efforts. You have named one of them.

    I wish I had a penny everytime someone uses Japanese or Chinese nomenclature to identify Korean practices. I wish I had a penny every time someone characterizes a Korean approach in terms of attitudes, institutions or constructs of the Japanese or Chinese. The thing that makes something "Korean" is not what they do but the way that they do it and their reasons for doing it that way. You have to take the Korean approach for what it is. For instance it makes no sense to talk about lineage as in the case of the Japanese RYU-HA system because the Korean do not have, nor have they ever had such an approach. Its not part of their thinking. The same goes for the "warrior-class" thinking as in the case of the Japanese warrior and his Code of BUSHIDO. Once again the Korean not only didn't have this, but had Neo-Confucianism which labored against it!

    The other major stumbling block is the avoidance of dealing with Korean practices without a veneer of emotion.

    Since so much of what is thrown around in KMA is based on oral tradition there is a good deal of faith involved. This sets the stage for judgements and abreactions. A person who takes an intellectual approach is immediately taken as disrespecting his teacher and art. Stark comments about Korean culture are judged "xenophobic" or even racist. For myself I have a deep and abiding respect for the Korean people who I think have raised "survival" to an artform. Unfortunately that love does not often generalize to the government or many of the Korean institutions. Putting that to one side, though, it is still important to examine things such as history and behaviors with clear-eyed objectivity and I just don't think there are many ---quite frankly---who are up to it.

    Anyhow...these are my thoughts.... as always YMMV. :)

    Best Wishes,

  17. antilie

    antilie Valued Member

    The Korea government teaches children only political thought of the Korea government.

    With the Korean school textbook of 70's, I seem to have written it in this way.
    "Korea modernized by Japan"


    "Japan took all away from Korea"

    The current Korean uses facilities and the building which Japan left in Korea.
    (The European destroyed all the things which they prepared into the Asian colony)

    Korea was not a battlefield in WW2.

    After WW2, Korea began the genocide that a Korean murdered a Korean.
    The Korean textbook seems to write the Korean War that many foreign soldiers died for Korea only in only one line.

    There "was war"

    Korean most think Korean War to be Japan and a Korean fight by the investigation of the Korea daily newspaper.

    The picture of the times when a Korean was ruled cruelly by Japan.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5GegF6XcgE"]YouTube - 1931å¹´ã®äº¬åŸŽï¼ˆã‚½ã‚¦ãƒ«ï¼‰ã®æ˜ åƒ[/ame]

    In addition, there were plural Korean generals in the former Japanese armed forces.

    With former colonel of Korea Air Force, the officer of the Korea economic world says by a Korean TV interview five years ago.

    In the Japanese armed forces, a Japanese senior officer recommended me to the Japanese military academy.
    For me who was the son of the poor farmer, Japan did not discriminate.
  18. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    I'm not getting your point. Of what are you working to convince people?

    The clip has no credits so I have no idea who produced it or why?

    What is the point you are working to make?

    Best Wishes,

  19. klaasb

    klaasb ....

    We wants us to believe that the time of the Japanese colonization of Korea was a good time for Korea. Something like that.
  20. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Well..... he has his work cut-out for him. And if that truly is his agenda I'm afraid I'm a lost cause in his book.

    Best Wishes,


Share This Page