Korean Hapkido History

Thirteen centuries ago, the people of Korea were unified under the sovereignty of Queen Chin-Heung.  But in the years to follow, their country was torn apart by wars and insurrections.  During the Silla Dynasty, it was felt that the security of many lay in the strength, physical and mental endurance of a select few.  Each king gathered about him an elite group of young noblemen-knights who were highly disciplined, adhered to a strict code of ethics and were extremely proficient in the act of killing with their bare hands.

 

The martial art of these men, who called themselves Hwarangdo, reigned for two hundred years.

 

During the Yi Dynasty, the kings initiated various cultural arts.  As the arts began to flourish, violence decreased.  Painting, sculpturing, and writing replaced the art of fighting.  Those who followed the old ways were banished and forced to retreat into monastic orders secluded high in the mountains of Korea.  Thereafter, the martial arts were to be practiced only in secret.

 

For 500 years, these secret art forms were practiced and refined by devoted monks.  Many of them developed their own styles of fighting.  The most effective and devastating of which was the form called Tae-kyon. This is primarily the martial art of kicking.  So fantastic and so powerful were its techniques that even today, only a handful of men have mastered it.

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