korean martial arts

The martial art of "hwalssogi" or traditional Korean archery, has been designated as an intangible cultural heritage by the Cultural Heritage Administration in South Korea. Citing it's frequent appearance in historical literature and culture, the administration said hwalssogi has played a significant role in Korean traditional martial arts.

Though archery became a formal sport known as "gungdo" under the Japanese occupation during the early 20th century, unlike taekwondo which is primarily based on Japanese karate, hwalssogi does appear to have legitimate roots in a traditional Korean art of archery. The bow used is much shorter than the Japanese bow and closer to that used by Mongolian archers.

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The masters who voice their views on the virtues of the Korean martial arts in this post are Philip Ameris, Rudy Timmerman, Herb Perez, Michele "Mouse" Krasnoo, John Graden, Chuck Vaughn, Steve Petermann, H.C. Hwang, Michael De Alba and Marshall Gagne.

Recap: While exact figures are hard to come by, most experts in the martial arts industry would agree that Korea has won the race. Taekwondo is by far the most popular style in America, and once you figure in tang soo do, hapkido, kuk sool won, hwa rang do, soo bahk do, kumdo and the like, Korea's dominance becomes even more apparent. Despite what some critics claim, Korea rules for one simple reason: Its arts teach Americans a host of skills and attitudes that, year in and year out, are improving the lives of their students. The following is a list of some of those benefits as identified by 20 movers and shakers in the martial arts.
—Editor

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Among the martial artists who divulge their opinions on what the Korean arts do best are Hee-Il Cho, Dr. Jerry Beasley, Dana Hee, Taejoon Lee, Jhoon Rhee, Tom Callos, Barry Harmon, Aaron Banks, Doug Cook and Alain Burrese.

While exact figures are hard to come by, most experts in the martial arts industry would agree that Korea has won the race. Taekwondo is by far the most popular style in America, and once you figure in tang soo do, hapkido, kuk sool won, hwa rang do, soo bahk do, kumdo and the like, Korea's dominance becomes even more apparent. Despite what some critics claim, Korea rules for one simple reason: Its arts teach Americans a host of skills and attitudes that, year in and year out, are improving the lives of their students. The following is a list of some of those benefits as identified by 20 movers and shakers in the martial arts.
— Editor

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Eager to learn the advanced components of your martial art? Taekwondo master Jhoon Rhee says you're better off focusing on doing the basics better.

It would be tough to come up with a bigger name in the taekwondo world than Jhoon Rhee. A pioneer in the Korean martial arts and a two-time Black Belt Hall of Fame inductee, the taekwondo master was one of the first to spread the kicking art in America, and he promoted it tirelessly until he died on April 30, 2018. All martial artists would do well to heed Jhoon Rhee's advice, especially if they're interested in developing power, speed and accuracy at the advanced levels of training. — Editor One of the most common mistakes all martial artists make — not just taekwondo students — is assuming that the positions and techniques they learn as a white belt are for beginners and the positions and techniques they will learn as a black belt are somehow more effective. So says taekwondo legend Jhoon Rhee. He claims there is little, if any, difference between the moves a newcomer learns during his first few months and the self-defense moves a 20-year veteran would use on the street.

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In this Korean martial arts video, International Tang Soo Do Federation founder C.S. Kim and his son, Y.D. Kim, take you through a self-defense sequence that could inflict significant injury upon an opponent.


C.S. Kim wasn't particularly tough when he was young. Like millions of other kids around the world and plenty in Songtan, South Korea, he had problems with coordination and self-esteem. What made C.S. Kim different from his peers is he found a simple solution to his problems: the martial arts. He started judo and boxing when he was 10. Then he visited a tang soo do school run by Song Ki Kim and joined the next day. "I loved it," C.S. Kim said. "We trained two or three hours a day for five days a week." When C.S. Kim received his green belt, he thought he knew everything and stopped attending class. Three months later, he started up again because he missed it. He worried that his master would be angry about his absence, but the old man welcomed the lost sheep back into the fold. "I never quit again," C.S. Kim said

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