History of Taekkyon
|Taekkyon is a traditional bare-hand martial arts korean people have been developed by their unique character since the primitive ages and are being called the original form of all the bare-hand martial arts currently being practiced in Korea.
Before the 6th century Taekkyon was habitually practiced by ruling classes and from the 9th to 12th century, got very popular even among the common people. By quoting Koryusa (Korean history book written in 15th century) Taekkyon are widely encouraged and practiced from the king himself to farmers. This trend continued until the early stage of Chosun Dynasty.
But as the society moved toward a system that encouraged only literary(pen) and contempting military(sword), after 13th century Taekkyon was more favoured as a folk customs.
During the Japanese colonial period, Taekkyon has been banned and therefore has almost vanished. Fortunately one old-man called Song Duk-Ki(1893∼1987) did survive and could hand it down to us. After independense of Korea, instead of Taekkyon, japanese style martial arts (like Judo and Karate etc.) are more popular as there are many masters who learned them.
Moreover, new martid arts called Taekwondo is established after Korean War and there were confusion between Taekkyon and Taekwondo. But these two martial arts have nothing in common and are compeletly different. Taekkyon was designated by the government "Important Intangible Cultural Asset No. 76" in June 1, 1983 owing to the elaborate efforts by Shin, Han-Seung(1928∼1987) who learned Taekkyon from Song, Duk-Ki and both masters became authorized beholder of Taekkyon skills.
Lee Yong-Bok, who learned Taekkyon from these two masters in 1984 has established "Korea Traditional Taekkyon Institute" to revive Taekkyon.
From this time on, the popularization of Taekkyon began and in June 30, 1985 first Taekkyon game revived after 80 years in Kooduk stadium located in Pusan.
In Jan. 1, 1991 the Korea Taekkyon Association was established and in Nov. 30, 1998 Taekkyon became the official member of "National Sports Council for All".
Very recently in Feb. 2, 2001 the Korea Taekkyon Association entered officially into "Korea Sports Council" and this will certainly be the great turning-point for developing Taekkyon as Taekkyon(lead by Korea Taekkyon Associatin) has been approved as specialty athletics by "Korea Sports Council". Korea Taekkyon Association now has its subdivisions all over the countuy and supports more than 160 institutions, 110 university circles and 120 citizen clubs. It also has total about 10 nation-wide Taekkyon championship game every year.
Principles of Taekkyon Technics
|It is generally known that Taekkyon is the same with Taekwondo. But this is not the truth. The two martial arts are not only different in appearance but also in principles of technics as well as the methods of competition.
Taekkyon powers up the strength with the rhythmical movement from the harmony of knee bends and waist elasticity. And it usually just thrusts the opponents' faces and bodies, or attacks at their legs to bring them down. It also pull or push the opponents' legs to bring them down when attacked with kicks. But during a match, hitting on the vital parts and attacks on purpose of damaging is strictly prohibited.
In Taekkyon matches, it makes it a rule the two fighters should step one of their feet near in front of the others. So a fighter should continue to change his two legs to avoid the leg attacks from the opponent and this makes a unique Taekkyon step. A slight change of Taekkyon could be enough dangerous to wound others and even take their lives. This kind of combatant Taekkyon is separately inherited.
Taekkyon features no defense and active attack. When it is attacked, it does not defend but attacks the opponents in response of it, but it also considers the opponents' safety as well, as written above. This compatibility is accord with the characteristics of the Korean culture, a combined culture of the warlike northern horse-riding people and the cooperative southern agricultural people. Taekkyon contains a philosophy of living and prospering together in harmony, so that it can contribute to the peace and welfare of the human race.
Kyolryon Taekkyon It is also called Kyolryontae, In short. It is a folk play which is played by dividing the villagers in a group of two. Until the end of Chosun Dynasty, the citizens of Seoul divided themselves in a west group, called 'Woodae', and a east group, called 'Araedae', and played it. At 'Tano' day(15th day of the 5th lunar month), the two groups gather in a large field at dusk and begin to play. First, children of an age of about four or five start to play Taekkyon. This is usually called 'Aeki-Taekkyon'. Afterwards, adults begin to play. Of these people, a person with lower skills are the first and those with higher skills begin their play afterwards. Therefore, the Taekkyon match becomes more exciting and interesting as the time goes on. The winner can play with any new challenger. The winner of the final match is called 'Pan-mageum Chang-sa', which means the best player who drew all the game to an end. No award is given to the winner, but he receives the honor of a hero from both parties. 'Kyolryontae' is not played in a day. It usually continues for several days. To win a match. the player has to tumble the opponent down. You can also win by kicking the opponent's head. In this case, the loser has to tap the ground with the plam of his hands to admit that he has lost. The play ground is usually made by laying two straw mats. People also played on sandy grounds or on grass. This game has been banned by the japanese pollce and has vanished. This Kyolryon Taekkyon has been revived by Lee Yong-bok(Chairman of Korea Traditional Taekkyon Institute) in 1995 at Kyongbok palace with large scale and afterwards are being demonstrated regularly at 'Tano' day (15th day of Lunar month May)