Martial Art Hall of Warrior Trainng Logo

Warrior Martial Art Home Page
About BBA
What's New
Site Search
martial art store

Warrior Arts
Martial Arts
Self Defense
Warrior Fitness

Weapon Arts
M.A. Weapons
S.D. Weapons

Dim Mak-Press Pts
Bear Bushido

Martial Art Movies
Martial Arts Books
Martial Art Supply

Warrior Directory
Hale Koa Martial Arts Biography
Mixed Martial Arts News

Korean martial arts

Korean FlagKorean martial arts refer to any and all of the various martial arts that originated or were modified in Korea. There have been many times during my warrior martial art journey that I have had an opportunity to train with other korean martial artists.

During the 1980's the korean martial style of Tae kwon do began to rise in popularity, at that time I reconized some of the similarities to karate which I had trained in as a young boy.

The first time I had intimate contact with a korean art was in the late 80's, when a one of my high school buddies began studying hapkido while he was attending Georgia Tech. Tae kwon do was the first korean martial art that I studied. It was only for a short time when I attended college in Tampa, Fl.

Many Korean martial arts are cousin to japanese martial arts. As such it has never been difficult for me to traverse the korean arts. In most western countries, Tae kwon do and Hapkido are by far the most well known korean martial arts.

Yet, there has been an ever-increasing intrest in the korean warrior arts of old and there have been many schools rising from obscurity. For instance, the Korean martial arts have seen a revival of korean sword arts and korean swordsmanship, which has helped to peak an interest in Korean knives and korean knife fighting.

This intrest in the korean weapon arts has also prompted a small revival of korean archery, both on foot and on horse-back. The complexity of the Korean martial training arts world and its ever-increasing schools rising from obscurity make for very interesting study.

Korean Martial Teaching methods

The Korean martial training arts are often taught in a similar method of Japanese martial arts. For example..

  • training barefoot
  • training with uniforms
  • classes executing techniques simultaneously
  • showing respect to the founder by bowing to their picture
  • Taekwondo - hapkido

    Many Korean martial arts also make use of..

  • colored belts to denote rank
  • tests and testing fees to increase in rank
  • and the use of Korean titles when denoting the teacher

  • These titles include:

    • Sabumnim: teacher
    • Kwanjangnim: training hall owner/master
    • Dojunim: keeper of the way

    Many schools also make use of Korean terminology and numbers during practice.

    Styles of Korean martial arts

    Traditional Korean Warrior Arts

    Only a few martial arts practiced in Korea today can accurately trace their lineage and be considered an unbroken, living traditonal traditional Korean martial style.

    Some claim that, because of neo-confucianism, disinterest in martial training and Japanese occupation of Korea, that many of Korea's traditional arts have disappeared with time, leaving behind only records, names, and sometimes bits and pieces of the old warrior arts themselves.

    A few arts have, however, managed to survive more-or-less complete and are still being practiced today.

    • Taekgyeon - a martial art featuring kicks, sweeps, and strikes
    • Ssireum - Korean wrestling, similar in some ways to Mongolian wrestling.
    • Gongsul - Korean archery, making use of a traditional composite horn bow
    • Sonmudo/Bulmudo - passed down by the Buddhist temples and mostly preserved until today
    • Charyuk - a practice similar to Chinese hard Qigong, but extremely rare (possibly extinct)
    • Subyukchigi - a kung fu-like art that has a prayer-like stance, but extremely rare (possibly extinct)

    Imported Korean martial training arts

    Many martial arts that are currently practiced today in Korea were originally imported during the Japanese Occupation of Korea through Japanese-style schools and by Koreans who studied in mainland Japan.

    These arts were often modified in Korea, adding native techniques or forms, and have often become greatly different from the original Japanese martial arts.

    Here are some korean martial arts with their influencing styles:

    • Yudo - the Korean system of Judo, is a combination of the Japanese emphasis on technique and the European style of power fighting
    • Kumdo (also called Gumdo) - Imported Kendo, with an additional form, not to be confused with Haidong Gumdo which is a Korean sword fighting style.
      I recently found a few dvd's that featuring Korean Sword Arts of Kumdo, as well as other Korean sword arts.
    • Kongsoodo/Tangsoodo - Imported Tang Dynasty Martial art literally meaning the Tang fighting way. Also related to Japanese Karatedo which was Japanese version of Tang Martial art.
      Learn the forms of Tangsoodo from colored belt to black belt with these informative DVD's
    • Taekwondo - Originally imported karate as well, but many kicks were added, and other techniques and forms were changed
      In the Beginner Taekwondo DVD, Master Sang H. Kim takes the new student step by step through the essential information that all beginning taekwondo students should know
    • Taekwondo

      Watch a preview of this Taekwondo video FREE and access other Tae kwon do videos from Amazon's Video on Demand, your can even download for a low fee. Individual downloads are available for $1.99-$3.99 for a 7-day viewing period.

    • Moodukkwan Soobahkdo - Originally similar to imported Tang dynasty Martial art, but influenced by the Korean martial arts book Mooyedobotongji and other influences

    • Hapkido - Imported Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu, but many kicks, acrobatics, and traditional Korean techniques and weapons were added
      Looking for Hopkido DVD's? Well click the Hapkido Dvd link and check 2 full pages of choices
    • Kwonbup - Imported Chinese martial arts of unknown origin, probably no longer practiced on its own

    Korean martial training arts with more than one influence

    Other Korean arts have been influenced by both traditional and imported Korean martial arts, while some have also relied on the Mooyedobotongji or other old manuals to recreate lost arts, much like in European martial arts.

    There are also many Korean martial arts that are recompilizations or reorganizations of techniques from traditional or imported arts.

    Many of the arts here visually appear to have more of a Chinese influence than other Korean martial arts (except for Taekgyeon). Others have been influenced by boxing and other Western martial artsl.

    • Shippalgi - Chinese-like style with many weapons
    • Kuk Sool Won - similar to Hapkido and Kung Fu, with a lot of weapons training
    • Hwa Rang Do - similar to Hapkido
    • Han Mu Do - similar to Hapkido
    • Choson Sebup - a sword style
    • Haedong Gumdo - similar to Kendo, w/different methods and longer swords
    • Gwongyukdo - Korean kickboxing

    Lost traditional Korean arts

    Other arts have not survived to the present age, but survive in name through different korean documents.

    • Soobak - an old word for martial arts also used in China
    • Yusul - an old word for certains arts that may have been the origins for Japanese jujutsu (Alternatively, this word is sometimes used to refer to Japanese jujutsu.)

    Newly formed Korean martial training arts

    Aside from the newer imported martial arts there are also martial arts that have been created from these, without any discernable outside influence (at least as far as martial arts are concerned).

    In a way, these can be considered a 'new' original Korean style, though their roots can be traced to foreign imports via their forefathers.

    • Choi Kwang-Do - Though formally created within the United States, Choi Kwang Do considers itself a Korean martial art through its founder. It also uses Korean symbols, traditions, and terms.

    Other Korean Martial Arts Resources

      The Learn Korean Language website teaches the history, philosophy, benefits, and language of Korean taekwondo. Without this knowledge, a true understanding of the art could not be attained.

    Return to Martial Art Warrior Training Hall Home Page

    some material from the Wikipedia article "Korean Martial Arts"

    Come Train with the Bear and
    you may find the Tiger along the Way

    Subscribe to Our
    Warrior Training Newsletter
    Your First Name

    Your Email

    Your e-mail address
    is keep Private

    Follow our
    Martial Art Blog
    Follow the
    Big Bear Academy
    Warrior Training

    Follow BigBearAcademy on Twitter

    [?] Subscribe To This Site

    follow us in feedly
    Add to My Yahoo!


    [?] Subscribe To
    This Site

    Add to Google
    Add to My Yahoo!
    Add to My MSN
    Add to Newsgator
    Subscribe with Bloglines

    Okii Kuma Ryu

    Privacy Policy   |   Contact BBA   |   Free Email Account   |   Site Map   |   Guest Map   |
      Sign up for Our Warrior Training Newsletter

    footer for martial art page


    Okii Kuma Ryu