Tae Kwon Do History - The
The original name for Korea was "Choson" meaning "land
of morning calm". Nowadays S.Korea is called "Tae Han"
and N.Korea is called "Choson ". The name Korea itself comes
from the Koryo Dynasty (AD 918-1392) meaning "high and beautiful".
The original peoples are Tungusic ( from Manchuria / Siberia), and are
Mongoloid like the Chinese & Japanese. There is a heavy Chinese influence
in terms of vocabulary & language. There were close links with early
Chinese & Japanese culture, but there were also initial confrontations
between the Chinese & North Korean peoples.
The son of Heaven, Hwanung, descended to Earth and married a bear - turned
- girl who bore a son, TanGun ( Dan Gun), the founder of Choson. Thus
Dan Gun was the grandson of Heaven.
three kingdoms (approx 40 BC - 6th century AD)
Three ancient states - Koguryo, Paekche
and Silla began existence around 40 BC. They were all
at war with each other, and had centralised military and training systems.
Each state had powerful kings, nobles and tribal chiefs. The ordinary
people were taxed and had to provide labour. Buddhism, practised as a
nationalistic religion, was introduced during this period. The culture
was highly advanced. Defensive martial arts called Subak or Takkyeon existed,
and developed as a way of training body and mind. In the kingdom of Koguryo,
these arts were called Sunbae. Silla had a special military & educational
organization called Hwarang, which was the means to survive
territorial conflicts with Koguryo and Paekje.
Hwarang was also a social organization, developed together with martial
arts. Members were selected by the King through a contest; after the selection,
they indulged themselves in learning, and they also enjoyed various games
such as Subak, fencing, horse-riding, Dukgyon, Kkaekumjil and Ssirum(Korean
wrestling). They also learned poetry and music and lived together as a
group. During peace time, they worked on emergency aids and construction
of fortresses and roads. But during times of war, they were ready to sacrifice
their lives on the battle field. With support from China, Silla conquered
Paekche in 660 and Koguryo in 668. The Chinese were driven out in 676.