The History of Tae Kwon Do

tae kwon doeThe history of Tae Kwon Do can be traced back to around 50 . At this time the most common martial art was called Taek Kyon.

Many agree that proof of this can be found in ancient Korean cave paintings, although other dispute this, claiming that the subjects of the painting are simply dancing.

At the time there were three rival kingdoms vying for power in Korea, the Koguryo, Paekje and Silla kingdoms.

The Silla kingdom defeated the other two kingdoms in war around 660. This victory is due in large part to the Hwa Rang Do.

The Hwa Rang Do was an elite group of Silla youth, who focused on both mental and physical strength, and who lived by a strong code of honor. A rough translation of Hwa Rang Do would be “flowering youth” and their honor code forms the basic philosophical grounding for modern Tae Kwon Do.

As time went on, the HwaRang developed from a military organization into a group focused on art and society.

In 936 A.D. The Koryu dynasty was founded by Wang Kon.

The name Koryu is where the modern name for the country, Korea, was derived. Under the Koryu Dynasty, Soo Bakh Do, which was a sport used for military training, became very popular. However, the Joseon, or Yi dynasty, which was founded in 1392, erased this emphasis on military training.

Confucianism taught that martial arts was for the lower class, and as such there was a lack of emphasis on military training.

The 1910 invasion of Korea by Japan is what led to modern Tae Kwon Do. Many Koreans received training influenced by or in Japanese martial arts, and after the end of Japanese occupation there were several different types of common martial arts.

These disciplines agreed upon the name Tae Kwon Do in 1955, and joined under that name, to create the martial art commonly practiced today. Finally, in 2000, Tae Kwon Do became and olympic sport, securing it’s place among the world’s great martial arts.

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