Jangmookido Yuk Sa        
OLD KOREA   (2333  B.C.)
                 Approximately ten thousand years ago the ancestors of Korean people lived in Central Asia and gradually migrated to east for warmer weather and better hunting. They crossed the Altai Mountains and settled what is know today as northern and eastern China.    This includes Sandong Province, Habuk Province, the coastal area of Bal Hai, the southeastern area of Ha Nam Province,   the northeastern area of Kang Suh Province,  the north central area of An We Province,  the eastern area of Ho Buk Province,   the Yodong Peninsula, and
Chosun (Korea) Peninsula.

                   During the early period of the old-chosun (Dan kun), the people engaged mainly in hunting for a living.    They traveled to the mountains, rivers, and seashores in search of food.   They developed strong bodies, superior fighting skills, and good team work, which aided in their survival  against wild animals and neighboring tribes while hunting food.   They formed a commune system based on bloodline which was called Ssi-jok.   This bloodline  commune become an independent unit for the porpose of gathering food by hunting and fishing and also defending against invasion by neighboring tribes.    They would recreate their motions of kicking, punching, throwing, stabbing and beating with long pole weapons.


                   During the Tribal Commune period, young warriors gradually engaged in more systematic martial art training; thus they could carry out more efficient hunting and defense against neighboring tribes.   The formalization of martial arts included training in Dunjiki (thowing), Jileuki ( punching or striking), Balchagi (kicking)
 The most effective weapons was various species of nature weapons Dolkal (stone knife), Doldunjiki (stone thowing), Moraisul (sand spreading) and pole weapons, Mokbong (long stick) and Dolchang (stone spear).    The invention of Whal (archery) and the employment of horseback riding greatly challenged the lifestyle of early tribes.    This not only stimulated traveling great distances to hunt, but also was responsible for more frequent contact with neighboring tribes.    The young people found it necessary to train martial arts in more systematic and cooperative manner. Gradually, in addition to the archery, sword, pole, and spear techniques that were practiced, they began to embloy the use of horses on the battlefields.
 


The Three Kingdom Period 

                    108 B.C. constantly in war with the Chinese forced the Korean people to gradually unify their villages to larger political units, which eventually led to the formation of three kingdoms: Koguryo, Silla and Paikche. This marked the beginning of the period: The Three Royal Sentences ( 18 B.C. - 668 CE )    During this period Korean art, architrcture, literature, politics and military knowledge flourished when Chinese influences and reinterpreted in a unique Korean way.  Buddhism eventually become state religion in all three kingdoms and was transferred to Japan by Paikche.
 
 In 372 CE, Buddhism was established in Korea and many buddhist-, taoist monks trained martial arts and their ideas and techniques across cultural boundaries. Buddhist monks mainly train martial arts for their healths sake, to get a physical workout to their mental training,  meditation. An excellent combination of training for their lifestyle: To find the meaning of life.
Their favorite exercise equipment was Mokbong (pole weapon), part of monks designed new unique training equipment by the wooden stick. When they were out in the country and preached about buddhism, the monk had martial arts shows to be able to get their ration of food. Through many hours of daily routine of meditation and martial arts, the monks become very talented in Bulgyo Musul. Many Buddhist monks were called by the Royal Military, they formed small monk armies of warrior monks who fought for their mother country.
Even today, Korean Buddhist monks are practicing Bulgyo Musul in the Korean mountains. For decades martial arts interested, instructor and masters from different styles, traveled to Korea and check in on so-called "Temple Stay" to study and train the Korean buddhist monks disciplins and wisdoms.
              About 2000 years ago, Period of The Three Kingdoms,  Generals and warrior conducted historical battles around the Korean Peninsula, to hold back aggressive neighboring countries. The venerable Korean great warriors class,  most  accept martial art training as an essential part of survival of their daily lives.   The winner of the battle become the ruler and the loser of the battle become a slave, if them were not killed before.  In considering tribal structure, the rule was always the best martial art master.

                The second King of Koguryo, Yoo Ri, estabished the Sun Bi system ( intelligent brave) The selecton of Sun Bi was similar to that of the Dan Kun period.    During  the months of March and October, the village people  would go to the Shin Su Du (the Holy place was called Sodo) After performing their ritual to God, they performed sword and long stick dance (ung yong ki) archery (kung sa) empty hand fighting, and brok ice on the river which was followed by fighting in the water. The winner of these contests were called Sunbi. The Sunbi received living expenses from the king and the village.

                In the training hall was called Kyung Dang,    all Sunbi ate together, studied classical books and trained in martial arts day and night. Their martial arts practice included Kung Sa (archery), Kum Sul Bub (swordsmanship), Young Bub (swimming and fighting in water) Jang Mugi Sul Bub (Long weapons), Ki Ma Sa Bub (archery on horseback),  Subak (punching and kicking), Pung Yu Bub (playing music).    

               The King used the Sunbi to construct forts and roads, to teach martial arts to village warriors, and to fight against enemies.     On the battlefield, the Sunbi were brave and courageous and always expected to win.    If they suffered a defeat, they preferred to return home with an enemys dead body.     The people of their village treated those who returned in defeat with the body of an enemy equal to those who returned in victory.  

        The Shilla Kingdom ( 57 B.C. - 937 A.D. ) begin in the Kyung Ju area which is located in the southheastern part of Korea and surrounded by the Sobaik Mountains which formed a natural defense line from enemy attacks.   Even though the Kingdom was establihed 57 B.C., it was powerful enough to consolidate neighboring tribes during the King Nai Mul period (356 - 402 )    The military system was based on six chung (tribes).    The orginal families of the tribes of the Silla Kingdom become the royal families called Jin Kol, who monopolized the military and political powers.     It was a great honor to be a warrior under these royal commanders.     Beside the elite warriors of the six royal families, foot soldiers, called Hwa Rang Do (youthful flower), were drafted.    The purpose of the Hwa Rang Do was to supply young warriors to the elite warriors under the six military units.
           The Hwa Rang Do except that they were warriors, they are said to have established a high moral code of conduct and were trained in the intellectual and cultural arts of the time. They also trained in intuitive wisdom though mental training.     There Korean elite Hwa Rang warriors, who were trained in well organized combat methods to become very great warriors, with special dynamic strategy from a unique spirit of Gungjung Musul.

             Paikche ( 17 B.C. - 660 A.D. ) was established in the southwestern part of Korea.    The founder of this kingdom, King On Jo, was the son of King Dong Myung, the founder of Koguryo.    The followed his father`s footsteps to establish the new kingdom.    He, like his father, was an expert in archery and brought his followers to the south in order to establish Paikche Kingdom.    Subsequet kings of Paikche gradually consolidated neighboring tribes by force. The Nang Do (warriors) trained under the light of the full moon, give they power and strengh in the training.   
The training Included  Dynamic  archery,  and archery  from horseback, Mok bong (wooden pole techniques) Kum Sul Bub (sword figthing techniques) Jung Dai Bub (bar hand defense) Bool Suh (buddhist martial arts) and Ko Jun (classical literature)



 
1759 was produced four official textbooks on all ancient military warfare in Korea, Results:
Muye Dobo Tongji is the ever-surviving classic text about the Korean art of war, based on the earliest known Korean writing Muye Jebo 1598. Muye Dobo Tongji contains the 24 combat methods, which include unarmed techniques, different kinds of sword and spears weapons, battle with horse and water combat tactics and more... Further more a documentation of the armaments used.  This battle manual reflects the true Korean warrior species, which is immateriel, cultural asset. The weather is highly historical and artistic and is for atlhetic training.It also shows the spirit of practical science for a rich and strong kingdom during the end of the 1700. 

 
In 1945 ended the Second World War and Korea regained its independence from Japan. After the wartime period was a thuiving time for Korean martial arts. Many traditional styles were re-discovered, blended and converted into new eclectic styles. Now in  the modern time there are new styles that have been re-discoveredand re-organize traditional fiqhting skills into new systems, which will preserve its national character and prevent them from falling into oblivion.


In order to understad Korean martial arts history, you most first understand Korean cultural history,
since Korean martial arts reflects Korean culture.

For example, 

Korean culture is that it is a part of the oriental culture.    Geographically, Korea is located between China and Japan and has served as a bridge between the two nations for thousands of years.    Japanese culture could be transmitted to China through Korea,    Chinese culture could be transmitted to Japan through Korea, and Korean culture could be transmitted to Japan and China.   These cultural exchanges were transmitted by peaceful means as well as through war.   Deu to these types of contacts,   Korea´s orginal culture was influenced by Chinese and/or Japanese culture and become the second stage of  a new Korean culture.    Generations later, other influences formed a third Korean culture.    With repetition of these types of influences and processes, new Korean cultures were developed throughout history. Martial art  history was affected in the same way.

The second aspect to understand concerning Korean martial arts is the scope of the martial arts.    Korean martial arts are divided into three distince categories which are emty hand fighting, emty hand versus weapon fighting, and weapon versus weapon fighting.