20,000 BCE to 3000 BCE

 At Seokjang-Ri near Gongju there artifacts are excavated from the Paleolithic (“Old Stone”) Age, a period that began some 2.5 million years ago. However, the Korean peninsula does not show occupation by Humans or Humanoids prior to about 500,000 years ago suggesting that any history of Korea begins about this time----about 500,000 years ago in the Paleolithic Period. However, sites carbon-dated to about 20,000 years and moving forward for the next 16,000 years indicate that the Neolithic inhabitants of the Korean peninsula experienced not one but three unique incursions from fellow Neolithics before giving way to late-comers from Central Asia about 3,800 years BCE. The original occupants are still closely related to the AINU of Japan and the INUIT of Sakhalin Island as well as the eastern coast of Siberia. The modern people of Korea, though, are very much descendents of the late-comers of the 3rd. Millennium BCE as evidenced by their language and genetic comparisons. One can therefore state that Korean history can be said to have begun some 500 millennia ago, and the History of the Korean people is easily identified as starting about the 3rd  Millennium BCE or about 6,000 years ago.


Beginning with these Neolithic people, we know that they were totemic and lived in clans. They had a firm founding in Animism and participated in rituals commonly guided by a female shaman. They followed an agrarian lifestyle, wove cloth and wore tailored clothing. Tools for skilled work including hunting, farming, domestic labors such as cooking , weaving and sewing were all of an organic or otherwise non-metallic source such as stone, wood or animal. We can further break this period into three distinct incursions as evidenced by the artifacts found especially the pottery. The earliest migrations onto the peninsula are marked by flat-bottomed, smooth-surfaced pottery and quantities of fish  bones suggesting that most individuals held close to the coast for transport and fishing.  Latter pottery of a second migration is accompanied by "combed" pottery with straight parallel lines excised into the surface. These later give way to a third pottery bearing excised curved lines indicating yet a third migration into the peninsula. This last group was the condition of the inhabitants when Bronze Age people from Central Asia came to this local.

Source: Handbook of Korea; Korean Overseas Information Service; Ed 2003; pgs 37-39, 47-49


3898 BCE   to  2333BC

Bronze Age comes to Korea: An Examination in Three Parts 

Part One: Bronze Age People of the 3rd Millennium.


The Bronze Age, identified as extending from about the 4thrd Millennium BCE to about the 3rd Century BCE, was most recently affirmed by the discovery of  5,477-year-old  Neolithic human remains found in the glacier between Austria and Italy in September 1991. Identified as “Otzi”, after the Otztal Valley in Italy, examination of his body, equipment and environment provide welcome insights into a life lived at this European location at this time in history and may shed light on the nature of the people who came to Korea in the 3rd Millennia BCE. A rather complete examination can be easily found at WIKIPEDIA on the INTERNET. For the purposes of this discussion of martial traditions, however, the following comments are germane.


1.) Analysis of Ötzi's intestinal contents showed two meals (the last one about eight hours before his death), one of chamois meat and the other of Red Deer meat. Both were eaten with some grain as well as some roots and fruits. The grain from both meals was a highly processed einkorn wheat bran,[10] quite possibly eaten in the form of bread. In the proximity of the body, and thus possibly originating from the Iceman's provisions, chaff and grains of einkorn and barley, and seeds of flax and poppy were discovered, as well as kernels of sloes (small plum like fruits of the blackthorn tree) and various seeds of berries growing in the wild. Hair analysis was used to examine his diet from several months before.


2.)High levels of both copper particles and arsenic were found in Ötzi's hair. This, along with Ötzi's copper axe which is 99.7% pure copper, has led scientists to speculate that Ötzi was involved in copper smelting.


3.)By examining the proportions of Ötzi's tibia, femur and pelvis, Christopher Ruff has determined that Ötzi's lifestyle included long walks over hilly terrain. This degree of mobility is not characteristic of other Copper Age Europeans. Ruff proposes that this may indicate Ötzi was a high-altitude shepherd.


4.)Ötzi had approximately 57 carbon tattoos consisting of simple dots and lines on his lower spine, behind his left knee, and on his right ankle. Using X-rays, it was determined that the Iceman may have had arthritis in these joints. It has been speculated that they may be related to acupuncture.


5.)Ötzi's clothes were sophisticated. He wore a cloak made of woven grass and a coat, a belt, a pair of leggings, a loincloth and shoes, all made of leather of different skins. He also wore a bearskin cap with a leather chin strap. The shoes were waterproof and wide, seemingly designed for walking across the snow; they were constructed using bearskin for the soles, deer hide for the top panels, and a netting made of tree bark. Soft grass went around the foot and in the shoe and functioned like modern socks. The coat, belt, leggings, and loincloth were constructed of vertical strips of leather sewn together with sinew. His belt had a pouch sewn to it that contained a cache of useful items: a scraper, drill, flint flake, bone awl, and a dried fungus to be used as tinder.


6.) items found with the Iceman were a copper axe with a yew handle, a flint knife with an ash handle, a quiver of 14 arrows with viburnum and dogwood shafts. Two of the arrows, which were broken, were tipped with flint and had fletching (stabilizing fins), while the other 12 were unfinished and untipped. The arrows were found in a quiver with what is presumed to be a bow string, a tool of some sort, and some antler which might have been used for making arrow points. There was also an unfinished yew longbow that was 1.82 meters (72 in) long. ……The copper axe could not have been made by him alone. It would have required a concerted group tribal effort to mine, smelt and cast the copper axe head.


In addition, among Ötzi's possessions were berries, two birch bark baskets, and two species of polypore mushrooms with leather strings through them. One of these, the birch fungus, is known to have antibacterial properties, and was likely used for medicinal purposes. The other was a type of tinder fungus, included with part of what appeared to be a complex fire starting kit. The kit featured pieces of over a dozen different plants, in addition to flint and pyrite for creating sparks.


DNA analysis revealed traces of blood from four other people on his gear: one from his knife, two from the same arrowhead, and a fourth from his coat. Interpretations of the findings were that Ötzi killed two people with the same arrow, and was able to retrieve it on both occasions, and the blood on his coat was from a wounded comrade he may have carried over his back. Ötzi's unnatural posture in death (frozen body, face down, left arm bent across the chest) suggests that the theory of a solitary death from blood loss, hunger, cold and weakness is untenable. Rather, before death occurred and rigor mortis set in, the Iceman was turned on to his stomach in the effort to remove the arrow shaft.


The DNA evidence suggests that he was assisted by companions who were also wounded; pollen and food analysis suggests that he was out of his home territory. This may indicate that Ötzi was actually part of an armed raiding party involved in a skirmish, perhaps with a neighboring tribe, and this skirmish had gone badly.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96tzi_the_Iceman


The dates identifying the Bronze Age are a convenience and a contrivance for and by historians. It would be a mistake to believe that the discovery and use of Bronze tools occurred simultaneously all over the globe. It is reasonable to consider that until the time when widespread use of bronze weapons is documented, the people of the early Bronze Age were closer in appearance and comportment to the above description. 


3898 BCE to 2333 BCE

 The earliest known kingdom, BAEDAL-GUK  comes into being, extending out from the capital city, Shinshi, at, or close to, Baek-Du Mountain (Baekdusan), also known as Changbai Mountain to the Chinese, and the Amur River - on the border between North Korea and the Manchuria. This site would have been an extraordinarily fine selection as the gentle volcanic slopes, intricate stone features and a natural fresh water lake would have made this a natural stronghold in times of conflict. Though the empire was formerly thought to be mythical, an ancient text of some question (HWANDANGOGI) indicates that the empire was established by Geo Bahl Hwan (3898 B.C.E.-3804 B.C.E.), who was most likely a general of the HWAN-GUK, that it covered a large area  and was ruled by a succession of 18 emperors. Of its origins, the HWANDANGOGI reports that a leader descended from Heaven with 3,000 followers. Its is reasonable that these individuals were of a pastoral and migratory nature as the leader found it necessary to order them to plant crops. Various comparisons of linguistic and cultural patterns have caused individuals of this area to be categorized as "Ural-Altaic" which has fallen into some disrepute in the 20th Century as identifying a distinction without any real difference if only for political reasons.


Baedal, also known as Guri,  reached its greatest extent under the rule of Emperor Chi-Woo (aka: 14th Emperor JaoJi-Hwanwoong - 2707 BCE - 2598 BCE), and its borders were said to have reached the Shandong Peninsula in modern-day China.  The greatest and most renowned of the Baedal Emperors, Chi-woo is described as a brilliant military leader and strategist. His reign was said to have advanced the technology of his empire and that  Baedal possessed catapults, flaming arrows, and bronze swords, armor and helmets, and that Chi-Woo dealt in both copper and iron. In addition, he united 12 feudal states, and was not defeated for about 70 wars. Fortunes for the empire are reversed when incursions by Chi-Woo come to the attention of the Chinese emperor Huang-Di of Xia (2697 BC to 2597 BC). Baedal's borders were pushed back, after Emperor Chi-Woo's defeat by Huang-di. Border conflicts with neighboring barbaric tribes may have completed the fall during the reign of Emperor Geobuldan (2381 B.C.E.-2333 B.C.E.) the eighteenth and final ruler.



2333 BCE to 108BC

 GOJOSEON  (lit: "Old Choson") is said to have been founded by Dangun in 2333BC. 


"The Lord of Heaven Hwanin (환인, 桓因, had a son, Hwanung who yearned to live on the earth among the people. Hwanin permitted his son to descend to Mt. Taebaek with 3,000 helpers, where the son founded a city called Shinshi (신시, 神市, "City of God" or "Holy City"). Along with his ministers of clouds, rain, and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught the people various arts, medicine, and agriculture."


The story of this founding is a duplication of the myth surrounding the finding of BAEDAL at Baek-Du mountain including the matter of the 3,000 fellows and the descent from Heaven. The possibility of refugees from the sundered BAEDAL empire emigrating to the land south of the Amur River, may support the idea of a leader coming from BAEK-DU mountain to "live among Humans". The Chinese record the people of the GOJOSEON Kingdom as DONG-I or "eastern barbarians" or "eastern bowmen". During this period, Bronze working reaches the Korean peninsula, perhaps about the 8th Century BCE. The introduction of bronze weapons to Korea may also reinforce the idea that émigré from the fall of BAEDAL may have brought their metallurgy as a closely held secret. However, more likely, the skill-set necessary to produce Bronze did not come with the "new arrivals". An alternate view may lay with the arrival of both Bronze and Iron metallurgy with the expansion of SHANG Chinese (1766 BCE - 1040 BCE) territories. Korean legend has one Prince Jizi of Yin refusing to pledge fealty to the Zhou upon their overthrow of the Shang. The legend holds that Prince Jizi and his retains migrated north and started what was to become known as "Gija-Wiman". If this legend is true the time frame for this prince to bring Bronze metalurgy technology with him to the Korean area figures favorably with the time frame designated for the Korean development of this skill set. Lastly, commerce with Scythian peoples across northern Asia is a distant but viable explanation. In any case, the great numbers of Bronze spear blades unearthed in tombs, suggest that the spear not the sword was the primary weapon in battle. Rather, at this time land warfare consisted most often of spears and bowmen on foot, and mounted archers on horseback using a two-handed bow. Indeed, there is a strong possibility that the sword itself may have developed from the habit of keeping a spare spear point in ones’ belt.  Mentions by Chinese sources in the 7th Century BC affirm that GOJOSEON flourished in what is now North Korea and southern Manchuria. The line of some 40 or so kings took the title TANJE or "Birch Emperor" for themselves. The "Annals of the Danguns" are recorded in the GYUWON SAHWA (1675) described by its author as a collection of nationalist legends. 


In the 3rd Century BCE GOJOSEON lost holdings west of the Liao river. The period of Warring States in China pushed refugees eastward, among which was Wiman who entered service of GOJOSEON as a military commander with his base on the Yalu River. Wiman drove out the GOJOSEON king, Jun, which attracted the attention of the Han Chinese. Instability in the northeastern region of the Chinese border jeopardized trade and trade routes in that area. In 109 BCE the Han Emperor, Wu-Ti , in an overwhelming invasion of GOJOSEON by both land and sea overthrew GOJOSEON, and established four bases or "commanderies" in the region.                                                                  

Source: Handbook of Korea; Korean Overseas Information Service; Ed 2003; pgs 49-50


1766BC to 1040BC

 Shang Dynasty in China: 


Recognized for its many achievements in Bronze work, writing and governmental administration the Shang Dynasty was clearly a class structure in which burials indicate that military skills were valued. The Shang Army consisted of two main corps; one of infantry and one of chariots. The use of chariots suggests a strong proof of direct contacts between eastern and western Asia with the domesticated horse being used in Mesopotamia about 1500 BC, and evidence of its use in China approximately 250 years later. Below the aristocracy were the craftsmen, especially bronze-workers. (Indeed, the key to the Shang strength may have been built around their ability to produce massive amounts of  Bronze alloys as excavation of the Lushang mining ruins in Hubei Province attest.) Peasants comprised the bottom tier of the society as a population of serfs that supported the upper strata of Shang society. The Shang Dynasty was overtaken by the Zhou. Both Korean and Chinese legends state that a disgruntled Yin prince named Jizi (箕子), who had refused to yield power to the Zhou, and left China with his garrison to found Gija-Choson. The state would become one of the early Korean states (Go-, Gija-, and Wiman-Joseon).

 Source: History of China; J.A.G. Roberts; St Martins Press, 1996


1122 to 771 BC

 Zhou Dynasty: Western Zhou Period in China - King Wen, identified as a "western barbarian" by Mencius, dies and his son, King Wu, a martial hero leads an army of 50,000 against the Shang host of 700,000. The Shang Army revolts against their tyrannical king and go over to the Zhou. The chariot makes its debut (Battle of Muye) on the battlefield, less as a weapon and more as a platform from which aristocrats could direct their troops.   

The Duke of Zhou establishes a new capital at Luoyang while the old capital at Xian remained the administrative center. Wherein the Shang had legitimized their rule by invoking their ancestors, the Zhou modified this belief to invoke the "Mandate of Heaven" as a way of identifying the divine right to rule. The mandate of heaven was based on rules of good governance and the emperor was granted the right to rule by heaven as long as those rules of good governance were obeyed. The scattered rule of many semi-autonomous holdings are increasingly brought under the rule of a central government as a ZONGFA or "kinship network" though as time goes on the territory that is ruled is far too large for all vassals to be actual blood relatives. Vassals to the king enjoy hereditary titles and were expected to provide labor forces and fighting forces as circumstances merited. Each lord meets battle with his four-horse chariot and 100 infantrymen in support. The uniform requirements of providing manpower in relationship to the size of one's holdings may have formed the basis for the much-copied "well-field" system used by subsequent dynasties.


The Western Zhou period ends with a series of natural disasters, decline of the ruling administration and failure to master the pressures of encroaching non-Chinese tribes from the north. 

Source: History of China; J.A.G. Roberts; St Martins Press, 1996


771 to 481 BC

 Eastern Zhou Period ("Spring & Autumn Period")  in China 

With the decline of the Western Zhou, the "kinship network" also declines and control of many feudal holdings fall to feudal lords and knights or "fighting gentlemen" (C. SHI). Unbound by family relationships, these men are free to aggress against their neighbors and accrue holdings. In addition, the first emergence of Landlord/tenant relationships are reported for the state of Lu (594 BC). The use of bronze is widespread for coins, utensils, and  weapons. However, beginning about the 5th Century BC, the use of iron is becoming increasingly frequent. First noted in the Shang Dynasty through the use of meteoric iron, by the end of this period the cast-iron process will be widely known, as is the earliest use of metal coins for currency. As reported by YANG Hong : "A steel double-edged sword of 38.4 cm long ( note: approx 16 inches) was unearthed in the excavation of Tomb No. 65 at YangJiashan, Changsha, Hunan in 1976... The cross section of the blade reveals the different strata formed as a result of repeated forging. Examination of the sample taken at a spot about 3 cm from the tip revealed rather uniform metal-longraphical structure of ferrites containing globules of iron carbide, the average diameter of the ferrite crystals being about 0.003 mm. This indicates that it is a steel with about 0.5% carbon content. The discovery of this steel sword of the Late Spring and Autumn Period testifies to the fact that the ancient Chinese began to make steel weapons as early as 600 BC."


The origins of Chinese philosophy develop with the initial stages beginning in the 6th century BC. Among  those who had the greatest influence are Kong Fuzi (Confucius - 551-479 BC) of the state of Lu, founder of Confucianism and Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism. At this time Sun Tsu, native of the State of Wei becomes Chief of Staff and writes the "Art of War" which continues as a classic on the subject of military strategy. 

 Sources: History of China; J.A.G. Roberts; St Martins Press, 1996

 Weapons in Ancient China";YANG Hong; Science Press, 1992


403 to 221 BC

 Zhou Dynasty - Warring States Period  in China - Increasing conflicts among the various states born of the disintegrating Zhou dynasty produce a period dominated by professional military leaders rather than simple vassals. Armies are massed formations of men and conscription rather than land-holdings determines the size of the army. Along with the crossbow, used widely for its greater force and shorter learning curve, the 5th Century BC also see the introduction of iron weapons. By the 3rd Century, Cavalry which was formerly an adjunct for scouting, now becomes a standard military arm.  

The DAYE Mine in China functions to produce 400,000 tons of slag of which 50% is iron and an estimated 40,000 tons of copper and bronze are produced. Using a shaft furnace method of smelting, the Chinese produce an estimated 800,000 tons of iron. This method of using streams of air to smelt metal may have served as the source for Japanese "TATARA" (bellows) furnaces in the production of high-grade steel by transferring to Japan through Korea with the use of the pit and the box furnaces.  

 Source: History of China; J.A.G. Roberts; St Martins Press, 1996


221 to 207 BC

 Qin Dynasty in China - Though only lasting 14 years, the tomb of its single ruler, Shi Huangdi, at Lintong is guarded by some 7,000 terracotta warriors which provide a representation of the state of military art at that point in time. The order of battle, rank occupation are readily discerned by dress, hair treatment and laminar armor. Among the 300,000 weapons identified are bows and arrows, four-horse war chariots, crossbows, spears, dagger-axes and iron swords whose general use may have given the Qin army technical  superiority over the bronze swords of its neighbors. However, metallurgy of the bronze weapons indicates an alloy of 74% copper/ 22% Tin (along with approximately 10 other elements) resulting in a sword whose cutting edge would have rivaled tempered carbon steel. Arrowheads were found to have a lead content of 7.7% increasing their effectiveness.  

Having completed his war of unification among the various small states, Shi Huangdi, begins a large building project to improve roads within the kingdom, while constructing a chain of walls to prevent invasion from the north by non-Chinese tribes.  

 Source: The Qin Terracotta Army; Zhang Wenli; Scala Books, 1996


206BC to 220AD

 Han Dynasty in China - Economic development of the agrarian culture result in 3 significant changes in Chinese culture including advances in agricultural science and technique, interrelations among producers, retailers and consumers, and greater freedom of movement allowing populations to locate where conditions for success were optimal. Focus on economic progress furthers manufacturing including iron production, and causes Han forces to push back the borders enhancing trade along the Silk Road into Central Asia. In 108 BC, about the time that Rome is enjoying arguably the best part of its existence, the Han send an expedition to the area of Korea to establish  four Chinese commandries, in an effort to quell violence in that area and encourage trade. These colonies are gradually expelled from Korea  over the course of the next 200 years as the many tribal groups begin to pull together into larger multi-clan and multi-family administrations. These "confederated kingdoms" such as PUYO and KAYA are the precursors to the larger better organized entities that will become known as the Three Kingdoms Period. 

Confucian beliefs become increasingly influential raising these traditions and principles to the level of cult-like status transforming the former ethical treatise to the basis for a state religion. In 124 BC an Imperial Academy is established which focuses on the study of the Confucian classics followed by an examination. Successful scholars are eligible for placement in government resulting in the start of Civil Service exams. 

 Source: History of China; J.A.G. Roberts; St Martins Press, 1996 


108BCE to 18 BCE

 Confederation Period in Korea: While not strictly an occupied nation, the various clans and tribes of the Korean peninsula, and areas immediately north of the Yulu River, are closely monitored by the presence of Chinese forces and the four Chinese communities established in the wake of the Han Chinese incursions of 108 BCE. From changes in laws and administration down to the adoption of Chinese eating implements, the presence of a Chinese population had a sizable influence on many aspects of Korean culture, As in the case of the Afghan forces, faced with the invasion of Greek forces under Alexander the Great, the Koreans were probably quickly educated as to the great advances made by the Chinese over the centuries and the folly of facing such overwhelming numbers and technology on an open battlefield. With rare exceptions, Korean strategy developed into withdrawing into SANSONG, or "mountain castles" during trouble times. Rather than fortified towns as one might find in other cultures, these fortresses were essentially enhancements of the mountainous terrain with low walls and embankments. During times of attack, local inhabitants would bury their valuables and come to the fortified areas for their relative safety. With the presence of Chinese troops in their country and repeated antagonisms between the Chinese and the Korean populations, it is reasonable to conclude that inter-related populations of clans and tribes began to coalesce around and near these strong-points producing small allied groups which gradually developed into small but autonomous "city states". Two such kingdoms were PUYO, in the area of the Sungari River in Manchuria and the three kingdoms of MAHAN, CHIN HAN and PYO HAN down in the southern half of the peninsula. As time progressed, certain kingdoms developed a viable class system and a ruling elite allowing authority to flow to those locations. PAEKSHE will develop from a small city-state of the same name, while SILLA will develop out of the city-state of SARO.   all of these kingdoms established learning centers where martial, cultural and administrative skills were taught. The general curriculums of these institutions can be found in the SAMKUK SHIH (Veritable record of the Three Kingdoms) so we have some sense of what skills were taught. There is, however, there is no elaboration on how the training was conducted, no manual of what the curriculum was comprised of, or how techniques were executed. Of their weapons, however, quite a bit is known. Perhaps best recognized from this period are the straight-bladed swords bearing a single sharp edge and easily recognized by the metal Ring-shaped pommel, and the Korean flail, a long-handled weapon surmounted with a chain and large weight that could be used to fearsome effect from horseback.  


Summary of  Chinese Influences on Korean Development (1766BCE - 108 BCE)


With the fall of GOJOSEON, then, a period of consolidation comes to the peninsula which may reflect the impact of a line of Chinese dynasties and their development. Here is a brief summary of the developments in China that occurred during the same time frame in Korea as presented above - 1766 BCE to 108 BCE.  People will debate which way the technology moved with the more nationalistic advocates of Korea suggesting that Korea invented everything. I share these developments in China by way of offering some national and international context to the discussion.

The Shang Dynasty (1766BCE – 1040 BCE) is recognized for its many achievements in Bronze work, writing and governmental administration. The Shang Dynasty was clearly a class structure in which burials indicate that military skills were valued. The Shang Army consisted of two main corps; one of infantry and one of chariots. The use of chariots suggests a strong proof of direct contacts between eastern and western Asia with the domesticated horse being used in Mesopotamia about 1500 BC, and evidence of its use in China approximately 250 years later. Below the aristocracy were the craftsmen, especially bronze-workers. (Indeed, the key to the Shang strength may have been built around their ability to produce massive amounts of Bronze alloys as excavation of the Lushang mining ruins in Hubei Province attest.) Peasants comprised the bottom tier of the society as a population of serfs that supported the upper strata of Shang society. The Korean DANGUN legend indicates that Law, medicine and agriculture came to GOJOSEON at this time and excavation of gravesites support the development of an early military science and organization.

The Shang Dynasty was overtaken by the Western Zhou (1122 BCE – 771 BCE). As observers to this event, the GOJOSEON administration would have benefitted from the following developments. The Duke of Zhou established a new capital at Luoyang while the old capital at Xian remained the administrative center. Wherein the Shang had legitimized their rule by invoking their ancestors, the Zhou modified this belief to invoke the "Mandate of Heaven" as a way of identifying the divine right to rule. The Mandate of Heaven was based on rules of good governance and the emperor was granted the right to rule by heaven as long as those rules of good governance were obeyed. The scattered rule of many semi-autonomous holdings are increasingly brought under the rule of a central government as a ZONGFA or "kinship network" though as time goes on the territory that is ruled is far too large for all vassals to be actual blood relatives. Vassals to the king enjoy hereditary titles and were expected to provide labor forces and fighting forces as circumstances merited. Each lord meets battle with his four-horse chariot and 100 infantrymen in support. The uniform requirements of providing manpower in relationship to the size of one's holdings may have formed the basis for the much-copied "well-field" system used by subsequent dynasties. In these many ways, the GOJOSEON kingdom would have been “validated” by their “big brother” to the south, and while the GOJOSEON king would still rule, the “Mandate of Heaven” lays obligations on him to rule justly and fairly and for the benefit of his people and not just his favorites or relatives.

As the Western Zhou decline, China enters into a period known as the “Spring and Autumn Period” (771 BCE – 471BCE) and the "kinship network" also declines. Control of many feudal holdings fall to feudal lords and knights, or "fighting gentlemen", (C. SHI). Unbound by family relationships, these men are free to aggress against their neighbors and accrue holdings. In addition, the first emergence of landlord/tenant relationships are reported for the state of Lu (594 BC). The use of bronze is widespread for coins, utensils, and weapons. However, beginning about the 5th Century BC, the use of iron is becoming increasingly frequent. First noted in the Shang Dynasty through the use of meteoric iron, by the end of this period the cast-iron process will be widely known, as is the earliest use of metal coins for currency.

The origins of Chinese philosophy develop with the initial stages beginning in the 6th century BC. Among those who had the greatest influence are Kong Fuzi (Confucius - 551-479 BC) of the state of Lu, founder of Confucianism and Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism. At this time Sun Tsu, native of the State of Wei becomes Chief of Staff and writes the "Art of War" which continues as a classic on the subject of military strategy. The impact of Confucian and Neo-Confucian thought will shape Korean thinking and structure down to the modern day.

Following the “Spring and Autumn Period”, the “Warring States Period” (403BCE – 221 BCE) in China sees increasing conflicts among the various states born of the disintegrating Zhou dynasty, and produce a period dominated by professional military leaders rather than simple vassals. Armies are massed formations of men and conscription, rather than land-holdings, determines the size of the army. Along with the crossbow, used widely for its greater force and shorter learning curve, the 5th Century BC also sees the introduction of iron weapons. By the 3rd Century, Cavalry, formerly an adjunct for scouting, now becomes a standard military arm.

The DAYE Mine in China functions to produce 400,000 tons of slag of which 50% is iron and an estimated 40,000 tons of copper and bronze are produced. Using a shaft furnace method of smelting, the Chinese produce an estimated 800,000 tons of iron. This method of using streams of air to smelt metal may have served as the source for Japanese "TATARA" (bellows) furnaces in the production of high-grade steel by transferring to Japan through Korea with the use of the pit and the box furnaces. In this area of development, Korea is no match for the greater numbers and sheer volume of production.

The previous progression of development will reach its highest point during the Qin Dynasty in China (221 BCE – 207 BCE).Though only lasting 14 years, the tomb of its single ruler, Shi Huangdi, at Lintong, is guarded by some 7,000 terracotta warriors which provide a representation of the state of military art at that point in time. The order-of- battle, rank and occupation of the troops are readily discerned by dress, hair treatment and laminar armor. Among the 300,000 weapons identified are bows and arrows, four-horse war chariots, crossbows, spears, dagger-axes and iron swords whose general use may have given the Qin army technical superiority over the bronze swords of its neighbors. However, the greater portion of these advances is used in a years-long campaign to unite the various states of northeastern China under the single rule of the first true emperor of China, SHI HUANG DI of Chin, “The Yellow Emperor”. It is the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 AD) that seeks to turn the might of Chinese culture outward to its neighbors.

In Han China, economic development of the agrarian culture resulted in 3 significant changes in Chinese culture including advances in agricultural science and technique, interrelations among producers, retailers and consumers, and greater freedom of movement allowing populations to locate where conditions for success were optimal. Focus on economic progress furthers manufacturing including iron production, and causes Han forces to push back the borders enhancing trade along the Silk Road into Central Asia. The Han have come to appreciate the power of trade and the wide world outside of their domain. Confucian beliefs become increasingly influential raising these traditions and principles to the level of cult-like status transforming the former ethical treatise to the basis for a state religion. In 124 BC an Imperial Academy is established which focuses on the study of the Confucian classics followed by an examination. Successful scholars are eligible for placement in government resulting in the start of Civil Service exams. Fostered by Confucian thought and supported by a highly sophisticated military structure the Han seek to enhance trade by cultivating stability and order. Instability among the neighbors to the northeast is especially noisome as trade by sea is the most economical and these avenues of trade are harried by the predations of neighbors just outside of Han rule. In 108 BC, about the time that Rome is enjoying arguably the best part of its existence, the Han send an expedition to the area of Korea to establish four Chinese Commandries, in an effort to quell violence in that area and encourage trade.

While imposed from outside, the Four Commandries may well have provided the “seed crystals” from which the various Korean clans and tribes begin to consolidate, reflecting the administrations and technologies of their Chinese counterparts.

 Source: A New History of Korea; LEE Ki-baik; Harvard University Press, 1984; pgs 19 - 35


18BC to 660AD

 Three Kingdoms Period in Korea: Tiny Kaya was quickly swallowed by its neighbors, leaving the Korean Peninsula neatly divided among the remaining three kingdoms. And all of these kingdoms established learning centers where martial, cultural and administrative skills were taught.   The general curriculums of these institutions can be found in the SAMKUK SHIH (Veritable record of the Three Kingdoms) so we have some sense of what skills were taught. There is, however, there is no elaboration on how the training was conducted, no manual of what the curriculum was comprised of, or how techniques were executed. Of their weapons, however, quite a bit is known. Perhaps best recognized from this period are the straight-bladed swords bearing a single sharp edge and easily recognized by the metal Ring-shaped pommel.  


37 BC to 660AD

 Kingdom of Koguryo:  (37 BCE to 660 AD)  

Founded in 37 BC, this kingdom would last through 28 "Great King"-s or TAEWANG, as identified in the SAMKUK SAGI, until 668AD. Having limited distinct geographic features, the role of the PUYO kingdom for the Chinese Commandries rapidly developed into one of a “buffer nation”, offering an island of relative stability in an ocean of shifting boundaries and authorities. According to legend, a confederation of tribes grew around a disaffected PUYO leader, Chumong, and his followers. The area they claimed, in the Yalu and Tung-chia river basins, is already held by an established YEMAEK culture. The subsequent struggle for dominion includes the attempt by the Chinese Han to stabilize the area with the establishment of a commanderie in 107 BCE. Failing to stem the conflicts, the commanderie is withdrawn westward and the PUYO émigrés blend with the YEMAEK to produce the start of the KOGURYO kingdom. With its origins firmly founded in a direct conflict with China, and topography where uncertain borders required constant attention, the strong military character of the Koguryo kingdom is established. The ruling elite of the KOGURYO nation, even in times of peace, seem to have devoted themselves entirely to military training and held a marked pre-occupation with accruing land, population, domestic animals and other spoils of war. As a result, the Chinese come to regard KOGURYO as belligerent and fond of attacking their neighbors. 

With the importance of military prowess established, KOGURYO develops a PYONG-DANG (lit: “educational institute”) where selected unmarried males could be taught not only military science but classical literature as well. This blending of military skill with the shaping of intellectual ability marks the beginning of Korean martial development and tradition. Cadets at this institute were required to train in the following methods. 

1.)    Politics and the Chinese Classics (Jung Chi Wa Ko Jun) 

2.)    Musical Methods (Poong You Bop)

3.)    Hunting and Fishing (Soo Ryub)

4.)    Swimming Methods (Soo Young Bop)\

5.)    Striking & Kicking Techniques (Ji Leu Ki Bop)

6.)    Archery  (Kung Sa)

7.)    Horsemanship (Ki Sa Bop)

8.)    Swordsmanship (Kum Sul Bop)

9.)    Knife Throwing (Dan Kum Sool)

The actual content of these methods and studies is not known to us, however, the cadets were thoroughly tested on their skills and successful candidates were held in high regard by the populace. Termed “SUN BI” or “intelligent and brave warriors” successful cadets carried a brace of five knives and a sharpening stone at their waists. 

Reflecting on the nature of the studies required by their culture, it is plain that KOGURYO military strategy focused on mobility rather than securing and defending fixed points. Absent is the use of such war engines as catapults and training in constructing or assaulting fortifications. Instead, training is clearly focused on the individual competence of each warrior to perform his duties to the best of his abilities for the successful attainment of the cavalry unit’s intended goal. 

An attack by PAEKSHE deals a severe blow to KOGURYO during the reign of King KOGUGWON and reveals the need for greater sophistication in its institutions. King SOSURIM (371 – 384) adopts Buddhism for his people to provide spiritual unity while establishing a National Confucian Academy, or “TAEHAK” to upgrade the governmental structure and laws. What follows is a succession of military expeditions and successes that broadly expand the KOGURYO boundaries. In 427 the KOGURYO capital city is shifted to PYONG-YANG, probably for expedience of trade, communication and politics and military concerns. This presents KOGURYO as a distinct threat to the growing Kingdoms of Paekshe and Silla on the Korean peninsula. 

Sources: A New History of Korea; LEE Ki-baik; Harvard University Press, 1984; pgs 19-35                

Hapkido; KIMM He-young; Andrew Jackson College Press, 2001 pgs 52-53


18 BC to 660 AD

 Kingdom of Paekshe:  (18 BCE to 663 AD)  

Kingdom of Paekshe was founded by ONJO, the 3rd son of JUMONG—founder of KOGURYO—near the present location of Seoul, South Korea in 18 BCE and would last through the reign of some 31 kings (“Wang”). By prevailing over other MAHAN tribes in the area and through a series of shifting conflicts and alliances with the other two Korean Kingdoms---SILLA and GOKURYO--- PAEKSHE came to control the western half of the Korean peninsula. Its control over the coast nearest to Chinese waters set the stage for its successes as a power oriented towards trade with both China and the Japanese islands. At its height, PAEKSHE could boast of established colonies both in northeastern China as well as the western half of Honshu in the Japanese islands. Such a position allowed PAEKSHE to benefit from developments in Chinese technology and culture as well as to act as a conduit for such developments to the Japanese islands. During this same time, China was experiencing a range of conflicts among small kingdoms, a dynamic which commonly encourages growth in military science and technologies. Arguably one of the greatest developments was the adoption of Buddhism as PAEKSHE’s state religion in 384, and later to be transmitted to Japan. However, other contributions included, but are not limited to Chinese writing, mounted warfare, ceramics, advanced weapons metallurgy, and ceremonial burial. In 320 AD, King Bi-Ryu had ordered the formation of an institution for training the cadre around which the army of PAEKSHE could be formed and had mandated that archery would be practiced on the first and 15th of each month. Instruction at the institute also included 

1.)    Ko Jun (classical literature)  

2.)    Bool Su ( Buddhist Sutra) 

3.)    Jung Dai Beop  (Defense Against Multiple Attacks) 

4.)    Soo Sool (Emptyhand Fighting) 

5.)    Kum Sool Beop (Swordsmanship) 

6.)    Mok Bong (Wooden Pole Fighting) 

7.)    Ki Sa (Horsemanship) 

In the 5th century, PAEKSHE retreated under the military threat of KOGURYO, and with the loss of the Seoul region to KOGURYO in 475, PAEKSHE lost its ready access to the sea and regular communication with China and Japan. 

PAEKSHE fell to an alliance between SILLA and TANG China during the years 660 to 663. 

Sources: A New History of Korea; LEE Ki-baik; Harvard University Press, 1984; pgs 19-35                 

Hapkido; KIMM He-young; Andrew Jackson College Press, 2001 pgs 52-53   


57 BC to  660 AD

 Kingdom of Silla: (57 BCE to 668 AD) 

Beginning in 57BC the Silla Kingdom is ruled variously be the PAK, SEOK and KIM families and likewise had a variety of titles for the kingship position including ISAGUEM, MARIPGAN, WANG and YEOWANG. A succession of 56 Kings would head this state, though, like Paekshe, some of the kings would take the title of "emperor". Probably the best known of the Korean military learning centers was that of the Silla Kingdom which produced the well-known HwaRang warriors whose reputation has come down to us today. Like their brethren in KOGURYO and PAEKSHE, the HWARANG and their followers, the RANG DO, were highly schooled in both martial and scholarly pursuits including, 

1.) Kung sa (Archery)

2.) Too Ho (Throwing)

3.) Chil Kuk (Kicking)

4.) Kak Choo (Throwing)

5.) Soo Bahk (Punching and Kicking) 

6.) Ki Sa (Horsemanship including mounted archery)

7.) Taik Kyon (Kicks) 

8.) Soo Ryup (Hunting and Fishing) 

9.) Cho Chum (Swinging) 

10.) Kum sool Bup (Swordsmanship)

Despite earnest research by modern scholars the precise nature of the HWARANG continues to be debated. However, documented history identifies a clear relationship between Tang China and Silla which would have certainly included the exchange of military science and technology allowing Silla to develop a trained cadre. 

In 668 AD, the Silla Kingdom, both through skill and the assistance of the Chinese Tang Dynasty will overcome its other two neighbors and unite the Korean peninsula. Subsequent attempts by Tang China, in turn, to overcome Silla fail. As a result the kingdom known as "Unified Silla" is established.

Sources: A New History of Korea; LEE Ki-baik; Harvard University Press, 1984; pgs 19-35                

Hapkido; KIMM He-young; Andrew Jackson College Press, 2001 pgs 52-53



 Buddhism comes to Korea from India, and to a lesser degree through China, in 338 AD through Paekche and from there, spreads to its neighboring kingdoms. Shamanism, by comparison, has been an integral part of Korean culture extending all the way back to the earliest tales of the origins of the Korean people.  



 According to one of the oldest Chinese books, "Deng Feng County Recording" (Deng Feng Xian Zhi), a Buddhist monk name Batuo comes to China to preach Buddhism. The Shaolin Temple is built by the order of Wei XiaoWen emperor (471-500 A.D.) of the Northern Wei Dynasty in 477AD for Batuo, the first abbot, in Deng Feng County. However, there is no record regarding how he taught or what Batuo passed down by way of religious or CHI KUNG practice. There is also no record of how or when Batuo died.  



 Bodhidahrma (Pu Ti Ta Mo) arrives in Canton, China.  

Once the prince of a small tribe in southern India, his last name was Sardili.. He was of the Mahayana school of Buddhism, and is considered by many to have been a bodhisattva, or an enlightened being who had renounced nirvana in order to save others. He is considered the 28th patriarch of Buddhism from India, and the 1st patriarch of Buddhism in China. 

Da Mo was invited to China to preach by the Liang Wu emperor, and arrived  during the reign of either the Wei Xiao Ming emperor(516-528 A.D.) or the Liang Wu emperor (502-550 A.D.). When the emperor decided he did not like DaMo’s Buddhist theory, the monk withdrew to the Shaolin Temple. DaMo observed that the priests were weak and sickly, and shut himself away to ponder the problem. When he emerged after nine years of seclusion, he wrote two classics: Yi Jin Jing (Muscle/Tendon Changing Classic) and Xi Sui Jin (Marrow/Brain Washing Classic).

The Yi Jin Jing taught the priests how to build their Ki to an abundant level and use it to improve health and change their physical bodies from weak to strong. When this training was integrated into the martial arts forms, it increased the effectiveness of their martial techniques. The Xi Sui Jing taught the priests how to use Ki to clean their bone marrow and strengthen their immune system, as well as how to nourish and energize the brain, helping them to attain Buddha hood. Because the Xi Sui Jing was hard to understand and practice, the training methods were passed down secretly to only a very few disciples in each generation.

DaMo dies in the Shaolin Temple in 536 A.D. and is buried on Xiong Er mountain. 


589 AD

 SUI Dynasty (589 - 618). 



 The O-Gae or "Five Tenets" is established. 


"In the thirty-fifth year (613 ad.) an Assembly of the One Hundred Seats was held in Hwangnyong Monastery to expound the scriptures and harvest the fruits of the blessing. The master headed the entire assembly. He used to spend days at Kach’ wi Monastery discoursing on the true path. Kwisan and Ch’uhang from Saryang district came to the master’s door and, lifting up their robes, respectfully said, “We are ignorant and without knowledge. Please give us a maxim which will serve to instruct us the rest of our lives”. The Won-gwang replied, “There are ten commandments in the bodhisattva ordination. But since you are subjects, and sons, I fear you cannot practice all of them. Now, here are five commandments for laymen: 


Serve your sovereign with loyalty; 


Attend your parents with filial piety; 


Treat your friends with sincerity; 


Do not retreat from a battlefield; 


Be discriminating in the taking of life. 


Exercise care in the performance of them.” Kwisan said, “We respect your wishes with regard to the first four. But what is the meaning of being discriminating about the taking of life?” The master answered, “not to kill during the months of Spring and Summer, nor during the 6 meatless feast days, is to choose the time. Not to kill domestic animals such as cows, horses, chickens, dogs and tiny creatures whose meat is less than a mouthful is to choose the creatures. Though you may have need you should not kill often. These are good rules for laymen.” Kwisan and his friend adhered to them without ever breaking them….”


 (from Haedong Kosung Chon)


618 AD

 Tang Dynasty comes to China and will hold sway over Asian culture until it ends in 907AD.  


621 AD

 In the 4th year of Tang Gao Zu Wu De (621 AD), Qin King Li Shi-Ming had a serious battle with Zheng King Wang Shi-Chong ( ). With the situation urgent for Qin King, 13 Shaolin monks assisted him against Zheng. Later, Li Shi-Ming became the first emperor of the Tang dynasty (618-907 A.D.), and he rewards the Shaolin Temple with 40 Qing (about 600 acres) of land donated to the temple. He also permits the Temple to own and train its own soldiers. in order to protect the wealthy property of the Shaolin Temple from bandits. The priest martial artists in the temple were called “monk soldiers” (Seng Bing). Their responsibility, other than studying Buddhism, was training martial arts to protect the property of the Shaolin Temple. 


661 to 935AD

 In 668 AD, the Silla Kingdom, both through skill and the assistance of the Chinese Tang Dynasty will overcome its other two neighbors and unite the Korean peninsula. Subsequent attempts by Tang China, in turn, to overcome Silla fail. As a result the kingdom known as "Unified Silla" is established.Unified Silla 



 The KOJiKI is written. Later the NIHONGI follows in 720AD. Both Japanese histories relate the account of how the Japanese Empress Jingu came to the aid of the Kingdom of Paekshe in its conflicts with the kingdoms of Silla and Koguryo and reportedly conquered the entire Korean peninsula. Later documentation, combined with limited excavation of dolmens in both Korea and western Japan reveal that émigrés from the continent to the Japanese islands may, in fact, been responsible for precipitating the establishment of the foundations of the YAMOTO culture of today including equestrian warfare, and a structured government. Among the artifacts uncovered were large numbers of spear-tips, mirrors (badges of rank), armor, saddles and bridles, and straight-bladed swords with the characteristic pommel ring of Korean derivation.  

Japan will develop a governmental system centered on an Emperor  at the capital and administered by generalissimo or SHOGUN. The government is supported by a network of fiefdoms which collect taxes from the general populace. The retainers charged with the collection of these taxes are SAMURAI (lit: "those who serve") and will develop into a separate socio-economic Warrior class.



 Following the fall of the Uyghur Empire in 850AD, and during the Chinese  Song Dynasty (960 to 1279AD) the HUI, emigrated from Central Asia and eventually made permanent settlements, intermingling with the various Chinese peoples. As a result Islam to spread to various parts of China. By the 13th Century, the HUI were widely scattered throughout China, but primarily in the northern regions, especially Henan ,  Hebei , Shangtung, and  Shaanxi provinces. 

The HUI quickly absorbed Chinese WU WEI (such as Shuai Chiao or Chinese Grappling, Pao Quan, Tong Bei Quan, Liu Ho Quan, Taizu Chang Quan, Ba Ji Quan, Pi Qua Quan, etc.). Eventually they developed their own unique styles of WU WEI such as  Cha Quan, Hua Quan, 10 Routine Tan Tui, Liu Lu Duan Quan, Toi Quan, and Yong Chan Quan. The HUI chiefs called upon their people to learn wu shu as a "holy practice" in order to help foster discipline and bravery during their struggle for survival. Many of the HUI joined the Chinese military and had illustrious careers in it, often rising to the rank of General. Also, many HUI were fiercely loyal about supporting the various Chinese Emperors, even though the HUI were of foreign origin. After the Mongolians had taken over China, forming the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368), many Chinese loyalists schemed to bring back the throne to China. A peasant uprising finally succeeded in uniting the Chinese people against their Mongol invaders. The rebellion was led by Zhu Yuan Zhang, who toppled the Mongolian imperial court and founded the much beloved Ming Dynasty, becoming its first emperor. Fighting with him were some of China's most famous generals (i.e., Chang Yu Chun, Hu Da Hai, Mu Ying, Lan Yu, Feng Sheng, and Ding De Xing), who were all HUI Moslem wu shu experts. Chang Yu Chan became famous for founding a spear fighting method that is still taught today, the famous "kai ping qiang fa".



 Aguda of the Jurchen (b. 1068) becomes the first emperor of the JiN Dynasty. He expands and standardizes the MOUKE System. The MOUKE System is the primary organizational structure in which a village community is assessed as 100 households. Each household provides one fighter, sword, armor and two to four horses. Ten MOUKE are taken as  MENGAN  (lit: "one thousand"). Aguda enlarges the MOUKE to 300 households, though the military numbers stay the same.  As the Jurchen give way to the Manchu, this organizational system will become the model for the Manchu "Banner System" organized along decimal lines of 100 - 1,000 - 10,000. 

Source: Imperial China: 900 to 1800; F.W. Mote; Harvard University Press, 1999; pp 787 - 789


918 to 1170

 KORYO Dynasty: arises from the fragments of the Silla kingdom, the influence of Chinas' "Five Dynasties" and the influx of refugees from Pohai (713-926), a Manchurian state overrun by the Khitan. Issues with the KHITAN and the JURCHEN across the northern border will set the military nature of the dynasty from the start. The first of three eras for this dynasty is characterized by a strong monarchy and the growth of governmental structure and attempts to separate the inter-relationships between scholar and military man with the introduction of the KWA KUH or national civil exam (958). The attempts by Kwanjong (949-975) to reform government away from the influence of the head-rank six lineages initially fail, but, when continued by Songjong (981-997), do introduce new clan influences to the monarchy such as the (Ansan) Kim and (Inchon) Yi families. Centered at its capital in KAESONG, the dynasty is characterized by a highly structured series of "orders" each with its population who inherit into each set strata and governed at the top by the "Three Chancelleries or SAMSONG.  Under Songjong, the military is also revamped and re-structured (919AD) to be comprised of two "Guard" units (Eung-Yang ; lit: "hawks on the wing" and Yong-ho lit: "dragons and tigers") and six "Divisions" (Jwa, Uwi, Sin-ho-wi, Hung-wi-wi, Kum-o-wi and Kam-mun-wi) each composed of a regiment of about 1000 men each and manned by professional soldiers, with allocation of land allotments used for compensation for service. Enlistments are maintained by recruitment, usually among the peasantry, and while examinations are held for civil positions, examinations for military positions will not be established until closer to the end of the dynasty under King Kongyang.  Failings of the primarily infantry-focused Six Divisions against the cavalry-strong Jurchen, will cause King Sukchong (1095-1105) to create the Extraordinary Military Corps or PYOLMUBAN, as a special military force separate from the Six Divisions, and along with cavalry and infantry,  a unit is heavily manned by Buddhist warrior monks, and named the "Subdue Demons Corps" or HANGMAGUN. The steady growth of landownership and commercial ventures by Buddhist monasteries as well as their places as landlords and slave-owners requires that the monasteries train their monks in military arts as well as the Buddhist faith to maintain security for their holdings. Use of these warrior-monks for the campaigns by the government reinforces the relationships between the monarchy and the Buddhist faith. King Ye Jong will establish the KUK CHA GAM (national university) in 1109 which includes a course in MOO HAK or martial studies, but contention between scholar and military factions allows this course of studies to decline with time.  

Source: Korea: The Mongol Invasions; W.E. Henthorne; EJ Brill, Leiden; 1963


1170 to 1270 

 Growing internecine struggles among powerful families vying for hereditary posts increasingly take on the character of armed insurrections. As the power and number of civil positions grow the military becomes increasingly derelict and a foil for abuse by civil officials. Fueled by the worsening plight of the professional soldier, military commanders CHONG Chung-Bu, YI Ui-bang and YI Ko among others depose King Ui-jong and put his brother King Myongjong (1170-1197) on the throne as a figurehead while the actual power of the government resides with the Supreme Military Council or CHUNGBANG.  Chong will later be overthrown in a succession of conflicts among nobles in which the deciding factor in each case was the strength of each noble's "house army" or personal armed force made up of household retainers. The clan CHOI under CHOI Chung-hon (1149-1219), despite a succession of 6 kings and a host of popular up-risings, revolts and insurrections, will come to represent these "personal armies" which are larger, better armed and better trained than that of the central government, and are often the final determining factor in outcomes. Included in growing Choi "house army" are the "Three Elite Patrols" or SAMBYOLCHO. Comprised of a "Night Patrol" or YABYOLCHO against marauding gangs among the military, that was later split into two contingents. The third portion of this force was the "Army of Transcendent Righteousness" or SINUIGUN comprised of fighters who had escaped after being captured during the struggles along the northern borders. The "Three Patrols" will continue throughout the balance of the KORYO dynasty as an accomplished and effective force. 

Source: Korea: The Mongol Invasions; W.E. Henthorne; EJ Brill, Leiden; 1963


1270 to 1392 

 Power is restored to the monarchy albeit under the sway of the Yuan Dynasty (Mongols). The first contact with the Mongols is recorded for the year 1211, following the death of a KORYO envoy to the Chin Dynasty. The next meaningful encounter occurred in 1218 with the Mongols violating KORYO borders in pursuit of Khitan forces. This results in an attempt to placate the Mongols by the elements within the KORYO administration while resisting Mongol dominance by other KORYO elements. In 1225, relations between Mongol and KORYO administrations were severed following the murder of Chu-kyu-yu, a Mongol envoy. This "relationship" would be re-established in 1231 under force of arms when the Mongols launch the first of 6 invasions of the Korean peninsula. The Korean ruling class will relocate from KAESANG  in 1232, to KANGHWA island abandoning the Korean populace to their struggles against the predations of the Mongols for the next 30 years. The last military dictator, CHOI Ui is assassinated in 1258, and King Wonjong (1259-1274) is enthroned by the Mongol's in response to his peace overtures. The last of the "Three Patrols" continue to fight against the Mongols, first from their stronghold on CHINDO Island (1271) and lastly at CHEJU Island (1273) after some four years of insurrection and having established a "maritime kingdom of some 30 islands off the coast of Korea before being destroyed by the Mongols. The KORYO dynasty will continue as a subject administration of the larger Mongol or YUAN dynasty until the start of the CHOSON dynasty in 1392. 

Source: Korea: The Mongol Invasions; W.E. Henthorne; EJ Brill, Leiden; 1963 



 During the Yuan dynasty, in the year 1312 A.D., the monk Da Zhi comes to the Shaolin Temple from Japan. After he studies Shaolin martial arts (bare hands and staff) for nearly 13 years (1324 A.D.), he returns to Japan and spreads Shaolin Chuan Fa to Japanese martial arts society. 



 Buddhist monk named Shao Yuan comes to the Shaolin Temple from Japan. He masters calligraphy, painting, Chan theory (Zen), and Shaolin Chuan Fa during his stay. He returns to Japan in 1347 A.D., and is regarded as a “Country Spirit” by the Japanese people.  



 Lizasa Choisai Ienao (1387 - 1488) originator of the Tesshin Katori Shodan Shinto Ryu the single oldest structured martial strategy in Japan. His tradition will produce some of the most famous names in Japanese swordsmanship over the next 4 centuries.  

Source: Deity and the Sword; OTAKE Risuke; Minato Research and Publishing Co.; 1977



 YI Song Gye establishes the Choson Dynasty and takes the name "Taejo" as he mounts the Korean throne as the first king in that dynasty. King Taejo will move the location of the capital from Kaesang to Hanyang (present-day Seoul). The annals for the Choson Dynasty ("Veritable Record of the YI") will extend from the reign of King Taejo (1392) to that of King Cheoljong (1863) and comprise 1,893 books with the first three reigns of the dynasty accomplished by handwritten manuscripts. Beginning with King Sejong (1418-1450) the annals will be printed using moveable type.  


 36 Chinese Families are dispatched to the Okinawan Islands by the Ming Dynasty. The object of this exercise is to establish an administration  which will reduce the number of violations to Ming trade restrictions. A result of this effort is that Chinese Boxing material is introduced to the Okinawan natives. At the time the fighting method is identified as "Kumiaijutsu" rather than "Tode", a term more commonly used to refer to the indigenous fighting material of the island inhabitants.  



 July, 1405: Admiral Zheng, a Muslim who began life as a prisoner of war in 1382 and trained as an eunuch in the serve of the Ming Emperor, Zhu Di, rises to command the great Ming Armada as it begins the first of 6 voyages. As many as 300 ships, manned by nearly 30,000 sailors and marines, navigate through Southeast Asia, around India and as far as Africa's Swahili coast. Changes in political fortunes would end the series of ventures with a movement towards isolationism for Ming China. But, a final  7th voyage in 1432 allows the admiral one last trip across the Indian Ocean, where, as an observant Muslim, he waits in Calcutta  while a HAJ is made for him by his proxy. He is thought to have died at sea on the return voyage to China.  



 SHO Hashi, King of Chuzan suceeds in uniting the three kingdoms of Okinawa. In 1477 SHO Shin the grandsom of SHO Hashi will issue a decree requiring the stockpiling of weapons under governmental supervision. A misreading of this edict by later scholars will result in the belief that all weapons were banned in Okinawa resulting in the development of TE, the Okinawan fighting system resulting from a combining of Chinese Boxing material with indigenous fighting techniques called "TO-DE." It is this TE which will become the precursor of "Karate".  



 QI Ji-guang is born, January 10, 1528 in Shantung Province, into the house of a professional military man and rises to become one of the best known personages in Chinese military traditions. His success is due as much to his successes against the predations of coastal pirates called "WA-KO", as for the innovations and reorganization he brought to the forces under his command. His training manual, JIN XIAO SHIN SHU  (lit: "New Treatise on Disciplined Service"; 1562), focused on strict discipline and small unit order of battle. The organizational key of General Qi’s manual, stressed small (12- man; 1 leader, 2 shield-men, 2 with bamboo lances, 4 with long lances, two fork-men and a cook) units, called YUAN YANG CHEN (lit:"mandarin duck formation"),  whose tight coordination was coupled with use of pole weapons, the mainstay of which was the 12-foot lance. Having reflected on the tactics of the pirates, General Qi determined that the most favorable response was to allow the enemy to attack and expend their energy, and then to be quickly repulsed by a well-coordinated response. In this response pole arms kept the enemy at bay, or ensnared them, so to be finished off by specific individuals armed with shorter hand weapons. Later, during his 15 years in charge of defenses along the Great Wall, QI Ji-guang will also pen a later military work, LIAN BING SHI JI (lit: "A Practical Account of Troop Training") as well. Owing to political wrangling Qi's career will be checkered with dismissals and reassignments, but his contributions remain one of the high-points in Chinese  military traditions. Qi dies on  January 17, 1588,  in  Teng-shou not long after his retirement in 1585, and is posthumously honored as a patriot and hero. 

Source: Dictionary of Ming Biography; Vol 2 



 Hayashizaki Junsuke Shigenobu (1545 - 1618) is born. Among other, he will develop a method of simultaneously drawing and cutting with a sword. This method, originally identified as BATTO-JUTSU will serve as the foundation for the modern study called IAIDO.  



 May 23, 1592 - In the "Year of the Dragon"--1592-- Toyotomi Hideyoshi puts into motion his plans to conquer China, and later India, by first subduing the Korean peninsula as an avenue of advance. The struggle, to be known as the IMJIN WAERUM, begins with three divisions, under Konishi Yukinaga, Kato Kiyomasa and Kuroda Nagamasa ,respectively, landing at Pusan. In three weeks these forces will have made their way the length of the peninsula to capture Seoul. Ruthless, battle-hardened slaughter on the part of the Japanese conspires with military ineptitude and political denial on the part of the Korean government, condemning town after city after garrison to slaughter. King Sonjo flees Seoul for Pyongyang, but must flee again when the Japanese forces take this city on July 24, 1592. 


 Shortly after the fall of Seoul, Korean survivors ---some 22,000 irregulars and 84,000 regular soldiers---- and civilians begin to mount a guerilla war against the Japanese forces as UIBYONG or "Righteous armies". In the southeast, Kwak Chae-u leads a guerilla campaign, while in the north and eastern areas of the country Chong Mun-bu leads the attacks. Around Suwon, KIM Chin-il preys on Japanese forces until he is killed at the Second Battle of Chin-ju.  


 In response to a manifesto published by Hyujong, some 8,000 Buddhist monks join  in support of the guerilla actions by the Korean people in the three months that follow. Skillful fighters, the monks, steeled by their religious fervor are fearsome fighters. Led by Samyoung Taesa (1544-1610) the monks join with Korean guerilla forces under Kwak Chae-u. The monks assist in  providing Korea with its first land victory at the Battle of Uiryong and will continue to contribute to the military effort throughout the war. 


 September, 1592 - Japanese forces under Kato Kiyomasa cross briefly into Manchuria to engage the Jurchen forces. This engagement will represent the farthest extent of the Japanese efforts of the war.  


 The "Five Guard" System, in place since the early years of the Choson Dynasty is replaced by the "Five Military Divisions" System. With the new system comes additional consideration of firearms, cannon, gunpowder ammunition and fortifications as interfaced with the traditional hand weapons and polearms. However, as will become a pattern for the balance of the dynasty, increased considerations results in increased political and financial pressures on the government.


 Admiral YI Sun-sin (1545-1598) provides the Korean nation with its first true victories of the war by repeatedly overcoming Japanese naval forces at Okpo, Sachon, Tangpo, Tanghangpo and Hansando. Admiral Yi's use of cannon, armored ships ("turtle boats") and innovative strategy results in a telling disruption of the Japanese supplies and the Japanese war effort.  



 In August,1592, the first of the Ming Army, some 3,000 troops cross the Yalu River and move against Pyongyang. Though initially successful, this force is defeated soundly by the Japanese defenders. Five months later, the next Ming expedition of 43,000 crosses into Korea to arrive outside of Pyongyang in February, 1593. With the addition of some 10,000 Korean troops and 5,000 warrior monks, fighting continues fiercely for three days, until the Japanese defenders burn their supplies and retreat from the city under cover of dark. On February 6, 1593, monks led by their leader, Hyujong, write a significant page of Korean military history when they storm Moranbong hill, six times, over the course of two days and two nights of fighting. Despite withering Japanese arabusque fire, and horrendous losses, the monks and Chinese finally take the hill.


 Following a bitter defeat at Pyokje, Korean forces win a heroic victory against Japanese forces bent on taking back lost ground. Used in this engagement is the Korean HWACHA, or "fire wagons", each capable of firing some 100 rockets in a single volley at the tight Japanese formations.  


 Seoul is abandoned by the Japanese and is officially liberated by the Chinese May 19, 1593. Bitter cold, snow blindness, typhus, malnutrition and tuberculosis have taken their toll as relief from supplies and reinforcements have been interdicted by unrelenting guerilla activities. The Japanese begin to withdraw from the interior of the peninsula to a line of fortified strong-points---WAJO or WAESONG--- along the coast where they can be re-supplied by sea while the Chinese and Japanese governments enter into negotiations. From these locations, the Japanese forces will maintain a presence on the peninsula until 1597 as deliberations drag on, though the deteriorating nature of this occupation continues with increases in sickness, desertions and lackluster military activity. Despite the immediate effect of such negotiations on their country, the Koreans are effectively shut-out of the negotiations. 


 September, 1593, King Sunjo (1567-1608) establishes the HUNLYUN DOKAM ( Royal Military Training Agency). At the encouragement of the Ming General Liu, T’ing, the Korean Prime Minister under King Sunjo (1567-1608), one Yu Song-Nyong, sought to reorganize the Korean army into a highly structured and versatile organization. His manual for this effort was the Jin Xiao Shin Shu or “Manual of New Military Tactics” written by General Qi, Ji Huang (1528-1588) and published in 1567.  At the heart of this approach is a SOGO system, or "order of battle" in which 11-man squads under a TAE-CHONG or "squad leader" are grouped, three at a time, to form a KI ("platoon" or "banner") of 33 men under the leadership of a KI-CHONG. Three platoons come together to form a CHO (company of 99 under the leadership of a CHOGWAN, while five companies form the standard large unit---the SA or "battalion"----of 495 men under a PA-CHONG or battalion commander. This organizational approach continued to include specific responsibilities for each of the three squads of each platoon with one squad of 11 concerned with close-in fighting using edged weapons (SALSU), a second squad using archery for intermediate distances (SASU) and  the third squad for gunners using muskets for long ranges (POSU).  


Successes at sea by Admiral Yi and his use of cannons cause a rethinking in the placement and use of artillery pieces and interlocking fields of fire as an integral part of fortifications. 


Along with reorganization of its forces, changes in policy mean that neither slave nor ruling elite (YANG BAN) are any longer exempt from military service.  However, continual resistance by hereditary officials, as well as constant wrangling by governmental factions, begins almost immediately to undercut attempts to raise the quality of military performance.  



 April, 1597 - Admiral YI Sun-sin, despite his record of victories, is removed from his position in charge of Korean naval forces and is sent to serve as a common soldier. He is recalled only after the Korean navy experiences its only defeat, and Japan's only naval victory of the war, at the Battle of CHILCHONNYANG (August 28, 1597). 


 On the heels of the Battle of CHILCHONNYANG, the Japanese land a force which combines with elements still in Korea to a total of 141,000 men. Divided into "the Army of the Right" and "the Army of the Left" this force will advance, not with a goal of moving through Korea, but rather in a campaign of organized and vengeful mayhem on the country itself. Following months of marching, in which the Korean population and cities are subjected to an organized campaign of abject cruelty and barbarism of every description the Japanese forces withdraw to their WAJO-- or chain of fortified strong-points along the coast. In response, rather than the derelict experience of the previous years, these Japanese forts are now systematically assaulted in succession by the combined Chinese and Korean forces with a ferocity that almost matches the earlier butchery by Japanese forces. 



 June, 1598 - Hideyoshi Toyotomi orders the return to Japan of approximately half of the Japanese forces leaving some 64,700 men to man what is left of the WAJO in Korea.  


 September 18, 1598 - Hideyoshi Toyotomi dies in his sleep at Fushimi Castle. Struggles for the leadership of the country begin almost immediately but the report of his death is kept from the Japanese forces remaining in Korea. 


 Admiral YI  Sun-sin, having ordered a vigorous pursuit of the enemy in the final naval battle at  of the war  near NAMHAE is struck in the arm-pit by a musket-ball and dies within minutes. Of the 500 Japanese ships, only 50 will escape, bringing to a conclusion an uneven attempt by Japanese forces to withdraw  the last of their forces from the line of coastal fortifications and return to Japan, ending the war. 



 The Shimazu Clan of the Satsuma invade the Okinawan Kingdom and quickly take control of the islands. By decree weapons continue to be stockpiled at central locations rather than to be kept by the populace.  



 The MU YE JEBO (“Martial Arts Illustrations”) is published. Ordered by King Sunjo (1567-1608), the work is compiled by one of the king’s military officers, HAN Kyo, and consists of 6 fighting systems. These included the KON BANG (long stick), DUNG PAE (shield), NANG SUN (multi-tipped spear), JANG CHANG (long spear), DANG PA (triple-tip spear) and the SSANG SOO DO (two-handed saber). 



 CHEN Yuanbin (Jap. CHEN Genpei) a Chinese scholar, came to Japan somewhere between 1619 and 1621. Born 1587 in ZheJiang Province, China, Chen had failed to pass the Civil Service examination at the age of 18 and retired to Shaolin Temple, Henan Province for some 3 years. During that time he was exposed to the combat material of that place and became proficient enough that when he left the monastery, passed his Civil Service exam and found himself in Japan following the responsibilities of a translator. Chen secured service in  Nagasaki, Japan and lived in Japan. In about 1626 Chen took residence in a Buddhist Temple and in April of that year, Chen began to instruct three master less warriors----Fukuno Shichiroemon, Miura YoJiemon, Isogai Jirozaemon--- in the fundamentals of the Chuan Fa which Chen had learned during his short time as a monk. The exact nature of the material taught may never be known but speculation supports that the material was probably related to the Chin Na skills of subduing and restraining characteristic of most styles of Chinese Boxing. In comparison to the “yawara” of Japan which relied on brute force between individuals through striking, kicking, twisting and immobilization  this series of new skills would have refocused the use of striking, kicking, twisting and immobilization to exploiting anatomical weaknesses. While still applicable as an optional extension of weapons use, these practices lent themselves to being promoted as a civil art in their own right for self-defense.   

Life of CHEN Yuanbin; McKenna, Mario; Dragon Times vol. 19; pgs. 16-17 



 Chinese scholar, MAO Yuan-i publishes an encyclopedic work of 240 volumes, WU BEI ZHI, following a study of some 2000 Chinese military sources. Among the chapters are works on BON KUK GEOM BEOP and CHOSON SE-BEOP, which the author claims are methods brought from Korea to China during a period in which swordsmanship had all but been lost in China.  



 King Injo (1623-1649) established HOWICHUNG (office of the guards).  



 The Yi Kwal Rebellion in Korea results in the establishment of the Royal Division with a membership of 4000 volunteers examined for musketry, archery and physical strength. On active duty only during those four months when the northern border rivers were frozen, the unit was open to slave and commoner alike. Unlike the militia drawn from the general population, whose conscripts were assigned "support households" to subsidize them, the Royal Division was supported directly through the offices of the Korean government. In time this would be modified such that support households would contribute to the support of the Royal Division, but through contributions to the soldiers duty station. Yet later on, a portion was paid directly to the soldier as part of his compensation.  



 King Injo (1623-1649) established SUOCHUNG (office of royal defense). 



 First Manchu Invasion (“Chungmyo Horan”) 


 Having been placed on a privately-owned Chinese Junk on July 16, 1627, Jan Janse Weltevree, and 15 other Dutch sailors, were ordered to sail to Formosa, but were overwhelmed by the remaining Chinese and were turned over to Korean authorities. In time Weltevree learned the Korean language and earned a place with the Korean Military training Command by using his knowledge of cannon casting to raise the quality of the Korean methods. Weltevree would later assimilate into the Korean culture and is reported to have married and had a daughter and a son. In 1653 Weltevree would be joined by another Dutchman, Hendrick Hamel who was shipwrecked on Cheju-do, Korea. Weltevree never returned to the Netherlands and his experiences and contributions are known only through Hamel's writings following Hamel's escape to Japan in 1666. 



 King Injo (1623-1649) established MUYECHUNG (office of martial arts). 



 Second Manchu Invasion (“Byungja Horan”). Following this invasion King Injo (1623-1649) surrendered to the Manchus and his sons were given over as hostages to the Manchu.  



 Following the Christian-led rebellion in 1636, TOKUGAWA Ieaysu institutes a policy of SAKOKU (national isolation) for his entire country. This "Closed Door Policy" forbid the building of ocean-going vessels, deported all Europeans, and closed the ports and borders of Japan to all but a small colony administered by the Dutch in the harbor at Nagasaki.   


 Taira Shigesuke (1639 - 1730) is born. His work, BUSHIDO SHOSHINSHU, is one of the few actual works stipulating parameters for and characterizing the Code of Bushido. Little more than a synthesis of suppositions and conclusions from various 17th and 18th Century sources, his work will be amplified by the ultra-right-wing military culture of the 20th Century in support of Japanese aggression in the Pacific Rim countries.  



 GOTO Taumauemon Tadayoshi (1644 - 1736) is born and will go on to found DAIDO-RYU the martial curriculum of the AIZU clan. This system will include TOJUTSU (kenjutsu), KYUBA (mounted archery), SOJUTSU (spear), and KAJUTSU (gunnery and explosives). Also practiced at this time were the batto-jutsu (quick sword drawing) of the MIZUNO SHINTO RYU along with a JUJUTSU-like secondary art of the same discipline. These secondary hand-to-hand systems were all subsumed under a generic term, OSHIKIUCHI and were based on the Neo-Confucian dualisms propounded in the AIZU han. In 1871 the clan will be dissolved and the sword arts will fall into decline, but the unarmed combat material will remain relevant to the country and its citizenry during this tumultuous time.  

Modern Bujutsu and Budo; Draeger, Donn F.; Weatherhill, 1996


 The MING Dynasty falls to Manchu tribes who had been hired by the Ming rulers to help extinguish a revolt against the Chinese government. The Manchu turned on the Ming when they realized that the entire country of China could be theirs for the taking.  

Among the fortunes reversed by this take-over is the career of CHEN Wangting (1600 - 1680) a son of a well-educated and highly placed government official. Commander of the garrison force of Wen County, CHEN Wangting is well regarded in the Henan and Shantong area for his successes against bandits. Chen retires from his position with the fall of the Ming, and spends his years compiling a martial art. From authors of the time such as CHANG Nai-Chou, practices of the nearby Shaolin Temple and a Boxing tradition known to the Chen clan for several generations previous CHEN Wangting fashions a highly sophisticated art. The result is system of five sets of forms, including one set of 13 postures, one set of CHANG CHUAN (lit: "Long Fist Boxing") Boxing of 108 forms and one set of PAO CUI (lit: "Cannonfist"), for a total of seven sets. Also incorporated in the system were skills from Shaolin Red Fist and Shaolin Staff as well as materials from well-known martial artists of the time. CHEN Wangting's "Song of the Canon of Boxing" exhorts the practitioner to use every part of the body in combat.

 Source:Chen Style Taijiquan-the Source of Taiji Boxing; Sim & Gaffney; North Atlantic Books 2002



 King Hyojong (1649-1659) attempts to reconstruct the Korean military without detection by the Manchu authorities. Over the course of his reign he is pre-occupied with rebuilding his military and increasing their proficiency 



 YU Hyongwon (1622-1673) begins PANGYE SUROK (lit: "Pangye's Occasional Notes") an examination of the troubles facing the Choson Dynasty including "well-field" system of Land Reform and the Korean military. Historically identified with the Chinese as far back as the Chou Dynasty, the well-field is a system for structuring land ownership across all levels of society and support a the system of a population-based militia instead of a standing professional army. In time this approach would evolve into the FU-PING (K. PUBYONG) of the Chinese Tang Dynasty and be adopted by the Korean government. As part of the reconstruction effort following the IMJIN WAERUM, the well-field system of landownership holds significant implications for the military system of the Korean nation. With a nationalized system of land-ownership, military units, formerly militias drawn from a particular village or geographic area, would now be formed on the basis of registers (HOJEOK) and tallies (HOP'AE) called KYEJEONG CHULBYONG (lit: "furnishing soldiers by measuring the land"). In addition, scholars and administrative officials were exempted from military service and slaves were pressed into service owing to the reluctance of YANBANG and commoners to honor their responsibilities.  SOGO or "special" units were established to avoid causing commoners to mix with slaves in the same unit.  Lastly, in support of individuals in military service, those remaining on the land will be designated to provide support in the form of a surtax on the land paid in rice or cloth. In time this surtax generalized to payments made by conscripts to avoid service and became a lucrative source of additional revenues even if it corrupted the quality of the military. By 1708, with the introduction of a cash system, this surtax would be modified by the TAEDONG or "Tribute Replacement Surtax System" which also stimulated Korea's market economy. Corruption in the government as well as the military and chronic poor training, poor supplies and desertion continued to plague the Korean military up to the end of the Choson Period.  



 KIM Ik attempts a coup d'état against Korean King Hyojong in an attempt to purge the government of anti-Manchu elements in keeping with the feelings of his father, KIM Chajeom's "Fallen Party" (NAKTANG). The failure of the coup results in the execution of both son and father as well as an excuse to purge pro-Manchu influences in the government and the military. Fear of Qing discovery continues to sorely hamper reconstruction and modernization of the Korean Armed Forces.  



 The performance of 100 Korean musketeers loaned to the Manchu in their conflict with the Russians earns the gratitude of the Manchu and eases the military reconstruction concerns of King Hyojong. In 1655 King Hyojong establishes a military academy (NUNGMAACHONG) for the education of young military officers with an eye towards taking the high command of military units out of the hands of Civil Service appointees. 



 October 22, 1667: Hendrick Hamel, a 36 year-old bookkeeper for a Dutch trading firm leaves the Dutch colony at Nagasaki, Japan. This is the final entry in a tale that began August 15, 1653 when Hamel is cast ashore in Korea following the wreck of his ship during a storm. During the next thirteen years, Hamel will be held prisoner in the Korean kingdom with other wreck survivors finally effecting his escape with 8 others to Japan in 1666. The inquiry into his time in Korea and later, his journal regarding the experience becomes the first insights by Europeans into the Korean kingdom. ".....The male population is, until a certain age, enlisted 6 months a year as a soldier; 3 months in Spring and 3 months in Fall. During these periods they are drilled three times a month and practice shooting three times a month as well. Weltevree (another Dutchman shipwrecked years earlier) is assigned as a drillmaster to us, and besides him, a Chinese. There are a lot of Chinese enlisted in the King's bodyguard.....For the defense of the country there are several thousand soldiers in the capital, both cavalry and infantry. They are maintained by the king. Their duty is to protect the king and protect him if he goes out. Each province is obliged to send its free men, once every seven years, to the capital, to guard the palace of the king for two months; every two months another group and each year another province. Each province has a general with three or four colonels below him. Below each colonel are a number of captains who are the commanders of a city or stronghold. Each ward has a sergeant, each village a corporal, and at the head of each group of ten men is a private first class. All officers and non-commissioned officers have to keep records with the names of all of the men who fall under their command. These records are handed over to their superiors once a year. In this way the king knows how many soldiers are at his disposal. The horsemen always wear a suit of armor and helmet. They carry a sword, a bow and arrows and a kind of flail with sharp points. The soldiers wear suits of armor and helmets, have muskets, swords and short pikes and carry 50 shots...Each city appoints a number of monks from the monasteries in its surroundings to maintain the fortresses and strongholds in the mountains. In times of great need these monks are used as soldiers. They are armed with sword, bow and arrows. " 

Source: Hamel's Journal And A Description Of The Kingdom Of Korea 1653-1666;Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch,2005;ISBN 8972250864 


Disciples Faction Rebellion against Korean King Yongjo 



 Takeda Takumi no Kami Soemon (1758-1853), Confucian scholar is born. A lesser known influence on the development of  Japanese martial tradition involves the acceptance of Confucian (“Chu Hsu”) philosophy as a set of guiding principles. Propounded by Takeda Takumi no Kami Soemon (1758-1853), a Neo-Confucian scholar of the Aizu clan these teachings were known as “aiki-in-yo-ho” or “doctrine of harmony and spirit based on yin and yang". As a government-approved philosophy, Neo-Confucianism held the offensive use of force as unseemly and a threat to the harmony of society. The use of force, then, could only be used as a response to aggression by another. This “sen-sen” (lit: "after the act”) became accepted as a premise of combat known as “ai-ki”. This concept stood in stark contrast to the more long-standing and pro-active “ki-ai” whose foundation had been “go-no-sen” (lit: “before it starts”). Later proponents of Japanese tradition would make much of the relationship between “ai-ki” and “ki-ai”. Draeger cites the “Textbook on Jujutsu – Volume on Ryu” published in 1899, as having what appears to be the best definition of “ai-ki”. 


“…Aiki is an impassive state of mind without a blindside, slackness, evil intention or fear. There is no difference between ai-ki and ki-ai; however, if compared, when expressed dynamically ai-ki is called ki-ai, and when expressed statically it is ai-ki…”


The adoption of this discrimination between intentions as to how the Yawara methods would be utilized provided the final piece in shaping the nature of the grappling arts in Japan to what we would know today. 



 During the reign of King Youngjo (1724-1776) the MU YE JEBO is revised and supplemented with 12 additional fighting methods by Prince Sado who originated the term  SIP PAL KI (“Eighteen Fighting Methods”), a shortened term from BONJO MUYE SIP PAL BAN ("18 Martial Arts Classes of the Yi Dynasty") to identify this collection of skills. These additional 12 skills include the JUK JANG CHANG (long bamboo spear), KEE CHANG (flag spear), YE DO (short sword), WAE GOM (Japanese sword), KYO JUN (combat engagement with the sword), WOL DO (crescent sword), HYUP DO (spear sword), SSANG GOM (twin swords), JE DOK GOM (Admiral’s Sword), BON KUK GOM (native sword), KWON BUP (fist method), and PYON KON (flail) for a total of 18 methods. This revised publication was titled the MU YE SHINBO (“Martial Arts New Illustrations”) and published in 1759.  



 During this period an obscure scholar from the Chinese gentry, CHANG Nai-chou, authors a treatise on the nature of Internal Boxing. Many of its tenets are later found in the writings of the CHEN clan concerning the nature of CHEN Tai Chi Chuan. Though pre-dating YANG Tai Chi, a cohesive curriculum for the Chen art does not materialize until well after the recognition of YANG Tai Chi Chuan practice among the gentry of Beijing.  


For its part, the Chen practice is attributed to CHEN Wang Xing (17.. - 17..) who seems to have compiled his art from his experiences as a military commander as well as from the writings of General QI Ji-guang, the practices of Shaolin Temple Long Fist and a limited number of Chen Family practices.  



 Catholic Christianity begins in Korea with LEE Seung-hoon who is baptized in China under the Christian name "Peter" and returns to Korea with various religious texts to baptize other Koreans. After nearly 15 years clergy from China and France arrive to minister to the fledgling Church.  



 Miao Revolt (1795-1806)  in China. Aboriginal tribes scattered throughout the Central and Western regions of the country revolt against the growing numbers of Han Chinese whose immigration into their areas inevitably follows the introduction of Manchu governmental oversight to the traditional Miao leadership. Building on simmering ill-feelings from an earlier brutal and bloody response to a rebellion (1735-35), and ignited by  particularly large numbers of Han moving into their area, the greater amount of fighting takes place in mountainous Hunan province between the Rebels and Qing Banner troops. Walls and Watchtowers are built to keep the Miao and Han separated, and policies initiated to suppress Miao religious practices while introducing Chinese (Han) education into Miao schools.  

(Source: Modern Chinese Warfare; Bruce A. Elleman; Routledge, 2001 


 During the reign of King Cheongjo (1776-1800) the MU YE SHINBO is revised by PARK Je-ga and LEE Duk-moo, and supplemented with 6 additional fighting skills beginning in 1790. These methods included KI CHANG (flag spear on horseback), MASANG WOL DO (crescent sword on horseback), MASANG SSANG GOM (twin swords on horseback), MASANG PYON KON (flail on horseback), KYUK KOO (ball play on horseback) and MASANG JAE (horsemanship). This revised publication is titled the MU YE TOBO TONG Ji (“Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts”) and is published in 1795.  



 White Lotus Rebellion (1796-1805) in China. Indirectly sparked by the Miao Revolt, the White Lotus Society, a popular religious society combining Taoist, Buddhist and Manichean beliefs, rise in revolt in Hubei, Sichuan and Shaanxi provinces. Building on the remaining ill-feelings of an earlier revolt in 1622 in Shandong Province, and fueled by a mixture of religion and anti-Manchu fervor, White Lotus leaders quickly build a large support base. However, only about 10% of the fighting forces are religious believers, with the rest of the fighting forces made up of bandits practiced in various martial arts seeking to exploit the circumstances for their own gain. Using mainly guerilla tactics in the mountainous region, the White Lotus are sought by Qing Troops whose failure to distinguish between White Lotus guerillas and the civilian populations results in grave brutality, causing the troops to be dubbed the "Red Lotus" Society.  


The White Lotus are finally driven from their strongholds by a combination of 7000 Banner troops brought from Manchuria, Green Standard troops of the Qing Army and  the assistance of thousands of local mercenaries. As a result, over 100,000 White Lotus followers will die, with survivors undoubtedly contributing to the later Eight Trigram Revolt.  

(Source: Modern Chinese Warfare; Bruce A. Elleman; Routledge, 2001 



 With death of King Cheongjo, 10 year old King Sunjo (1800-1834) ascends the Korean throne resulting in the true power of the throne now residing with "in-law" relatives as represented by the Andong KIM Clan. This introduces the period of  SEDO CHEONGJI (lit "in-law government) and whose disarray and blatant corruption in the Korean government particularly in the three main areas of revenues---land tax, military service and the state granary system--- heap additional hardship on the peasantry. Of special note is the corruption of the local functionaries (HYANGNI) who could purchase an appointment as administrators and so cloak their predations on the farmers with a aura of officialdom. Western merchant ships and men-of-war begin appearing off the Korean coast in greater numbers.  Fearing the fate of China following the Opium War (1839-42),  Korea continuously rejects Western demands for trade and diplomatic opening.



 The Korean government abolishes slavery and the slave records are burned. 



 Increasing numbers of peasants and farmers become involved in KYE or "mutual assistance associations". Faced with increasing corruption in the government, brigandage of the disenfranchised (such as the mounted fire brigands or "HWAJOK" and the boat-borne water brigands or SUJOK ) and abuse by the military, many poor village folk sought to pool their resources such as land, tools and production in order to survive. 



 Hong Kyeongnae Rebellion 



 Revolt of the Eight Trigrams Sect in China. Motivated by droughts' and floods as well as the sharp increase in the price of rice, conspirators under LI Wencheng from Shandong and Zhili provinces gain access to the Forbidden City in Beijing. Armed with swords and iron bars they plan to overwhelm the Emperor in his palace and reinstate the Ming Dynasty. In the ensuing fight, Prince Mianning uses his musket to wound one rebel and kill another, becoming the first to use a firearm within the precincts of the palace. The rebels are defeated with 31 killed and 44 captured having, themselves killed more than 100 palace personnel. Before the revolt is entirely suppressed over 20,000 Eight Trigram members in the countryside will die.  

(Source: Modern Chinese Warfare; Bruce A. Elleman; Routledge, 2001) 



 September 1, 1816: The British frigate, Alceste and the sloop of war, Lyra, find themselves accompanying the British embassy to China and are subsequently relieved of their duties. Making use of their free time, Captain Murray Maxwell and Captain Basil Hall elect to examine the Korean coast. Unfortunately, as this was a purely impulsive decision no provision was made to locate an interpreter and anyone with knowledge of the Korean people of their culture. As a result the entire 10 day trip was little more than a series of repeated intrusions into a number of village located on islands along the western Korean coast and providing very little practical information. 

Source: Capt. Basil Hall's Account of his voyage to the West coast of Korea in 1816; Transactions of the R. A. S. - Korean Branch; 1920.



 ITOSU Yatsune is born. Itosu will become a student of MATSUMURA Sokon,  along with AZATO Yatsune (1827 - 1906), and both students will be teachers to FUNAKOSHI Gichin of SHOTOKAN Karate fame. 

Source: SHOTOKAN Karate: Its History and Evolution; Randall G Hassell; Empire Books, 2007



 Catholic Persecution of 1839. Though generally tolerated, Catholic influence undergoes persecution with the momentary shift in governmental "in-law" politics. With the shift back to control by the Andong KIM Clan attitudes once again relax but not before the persecution sees the deaths of three foreign priests and a large number of Korean converts. Catholicism is popular in a number of levels of Korean society though mainly among the peasants and farmers adjacent to urban areas such as Seoul. In the rural areas, the religious preaching of CHOI Che-u (1824-1864) called TONGHAK or "Eastern Learning" takes hold. An admixture of Catholicism and Korean Shamanistic beliefs, the movement shifts from a religious belief system to an increasing social movement advocating improved livelihood for the people and reform of the corruption-ridden government. YANGBAN families, formerly well-respected for their status as a noble class, are increasingly seen as little more than commoners unwilling to meet their responsibilities to their communities. 


 August 23, 1839 – British seize Hong Kong as a base from which to engage the Chinese in the First Opium War. Actual fighting begins on November 3, 1839 between Qing forces and European ships.  

The trade in luxury items between China and Great Britain creates a trade imbalance motivating the British to seek a commodity of high demand to the Chinese. Beginning in 1781 the British begin to traffic in opium grown in India. Though known to the Qing Dynasty, the Chinese do little or nothing until a sizable portion of the Chinese population has been addicted by the British monopoly through its Tong Society distribution network.  In 1839, the Qing Emperor seeks to reducing or eliminate the Opium trade with a ban on its sale and the confiscation of its stocks. Initially some 20,000 120-pound chests are surrendered and destroyed. Circumstances rapidly deteriorated over the authority of the Chinese government to hold legal jurisdiction over non-Chinese individuals who would not comply with trade prohibitions.



 On 14 January 1840, the Qing Emperor asks all foreigners in China to stop helping British in China.  In June 1840, a European expeditionary force of 15 barracks ships, 4 steam-powered gunboats and 25 smaller boats with 4000 marines reach Canton from Singapore. In 1840, the British capture the Bogue forts guarding access to Hong Kong and Canton and inflict defeats on the Chinese at Ningbo and Chinghai. Effective use of naval artillery in coordination with marine landings by the British armed with superior percussion-cap Brunswick muskets repeatedly overwhelm the Chinese forces armed with antique muzzle-loading matchlocks, spears, bows, swords, pikes, helmets and chain-mail. Though possessing muzzle-loading cannon, the quality of the Chinese gun-powder is course and markedly inferior to that of the Europeans. The Chinese will also develop the false belief that British forces are only a threat when supported by naval fire-power. Leadership of the Chinese forces is likewise below standards as most of the officers have purchased their rank on the basis of scholarship, bureaucratic connections or inherited positions, having little or no practical training in military science. In as much as the leadership is primarily Manchu and the fighting forces are predominantly Han, there is a clear reluctance for the Han fighters to follow orders and die for their Manchu emperor. Elite Manchu forces are highly capable, but are only a small portion of the Chinese forces, and are typically dedicated to the security of the capital and the emperor. By the middle of 1842 the British control the mouth of the Yangtze and have occupied Shanghai. In capable of dealing with Western military technology and tactics and the war ends in August 29, 1842 with the 13-article Treaty of Nanking allowing the British to resume the Opium trade in China.  

(Source: Modern Chinese Warfare; Bruce A. Elleman; Routledge, 2001



 YMCA first founded in London by George Williams.



 The Taiping Rebellion breaks out in China. Led by HONG Xiuquan, a Hakka Chinese from Guangdong Province, the "Taiping Heavenly Kingdom" is an exotic interpretation of Christian and Biblical beliefs resulting in Hong being identified as the "younger brother of Jesus". The defeat of the Chinese in the Opium War eight years earlier instills the suspicion in the Chinese people that the Qing Dynasty has lost the "Mandate of Heaven", the Divine Right of the Qing emperor to rule. With its capital at NanJing, the Taiping Rebellion will spread across China promoting a parallel culture intent on overthrowing the Qing administration and reinstating Han rule. Though heavily governed by conservative Christian thought, the Taiping administration allows for sexual equality. As a result a significant portion of the Taiping forces are women. Hong's cousin, Feng Yushan, organizes the Taiping forces based on armies of 13,155 men  and are subdivided into an order of battle including divisions, brigades, companies, platoons and squads. Taiping troops are regulated by a strict code of 62 rules enforced by corporal punishment, shaming or loss of rank. It will take eleven years, until 1864,  before the governmental Chinese troops, with much help from European advisors and troops will quell the revolt, partially owing to the need to fight the "Arrow War" (1856-1860) with the British and French. However, with the end of the Arrow War, foreigners feared for the loss of their property and fell to supporting the Imperial government.  Most notable among the European advisors to assist the Qing forces is General Charles George Gordon (Jan 28, 1833 - Jan 26, 1885) who will earn the name "Chinese Gordon" for his efforts, by which he is identified with a heroic death years later in Sudan.  


Despite numerous sieges, victories and defeats, neither the Taiping rebels nor the Qing government is able to secure an upper-hand, until the European forces side with the Qing and against the Taiping rebels. The introduction of modern weaponry and tactics result in an Imperial fighting force identified as the "Ever-Victorious Army" which provides the first representation of a modern Chinese fighting force and its capabilities. The death of HONG Xiuquan in 1864 along with the defeat of the last few Taiping forces ends the rebellion but also is considered the beginning of the modern Chinese military. 

(Source: Modern Chinese Warfare; Bruce A. Elleman; Routledge, 2001



 CHEN Changxing dies. Born in 1771, CHEN Changxing becomes a 14th generation practitioner of the Chen family Boxing tradition. In course of his practice the Chen Boxing tradition is reworked to produce the two LIA JIA (lit:"Old Frame") Boxing forms: YI LU (lit: "First Form") and ER LU (lit:"Second Form").  Various acrobatic and exotic movements which limit practice to all but the youngest, most athletic and most dedicated practitioners are eliminated. CHEN Changxing is also the first to teach an individual from outside of the Chen family. YANG Luchan (1799-1871) of Yongnien in Hebei Province, will take the Boxing tradition to Beijing where it becomes well-accepted among the influential and upper-class.Enjoined by the Chen family not to teach the Chen tradition to outsiders, YANG Luchan developes his own style of Boxing based on the first Chen form and the label "Tai Chi Chuan" is first used.

 Source:Chen Style Taijiquan-the Source of Taiji Boxing; Sim & Gaffney; North Atlantic Books 2002 


 Commodore Matthew C. Perry, US Navy, sails into Tokyo Bay and demands the opening of trade and diplomatic relations between US and Japan.  Japan signs treaties with the United States and other Western powers beginning with the Friendship Treaty of 1854.



 World Alliance of YMCAs created.



 The Second Opium War (1856 - 1860) begins. A resurgence of trade disputes  between the Qing Dynasty of China and the French and British administrations follow an incident concerning the taking of individuals from the ship Arrow, a Chinese owned ship whose crew was accused of piracy and smuggling. As a result, the conflicts is identified as "The Arrow War" and, as in the case of the First Opium War, at issue was the right of the Qing Dynasty to impose its authority over individuals in Chinese ports. "Operations were commenced against the Barrier Forts on the Canton River. From the 23rd of October to the 13th of November, these naval and military operations were continuous. The Barrier Forts, the Bogue Forts, the Blenheim Forts, and the Dutch Folly Forts, and twenty-three Chinese junks, were all taken or destroyed. The suburbs of Canton were pulled, burnt, or battered down, that the ships might fire upon the walls of the town." 

A rough agreement among the British, French, Russians and Americans allows the French and British to capture Canton in 1857, and in June, 1858 the first part of the war ends with the Treaty of TianJin to which France, Russia and the United States are parties. On May 28, 1858, a an additional treaty, the Treaty of Aigun will grant particular concessions to the Russians in Manchuria. Despite the treaties, hostilities resume in June, 1859. Though initially defeated  by Chinese defenders at the "Dagu Repulse" ---the single worst defeat of the European Forces with 519 killed and 456 wounded---, Anglo-French forces return and march on BeiJing.  As a result some 10,000 elite Mongolian cavalry forces intended to protect the city are slaughtered by Anglo-French artillery at the Battle of Palikao (Sept 21, 1860). 



With the Qing army devastated, Emperor Xianfeng flees the capital. Anglo-French troops in BeiJing begin looting the Summer Palace (Yihe Yuan) and the Old Summer Palace and these are destroyed by burning and artillery fire. The Convention of Peking  (Oct 18, 1860) brings The Second Opium War to an end. China's defeat in both Opium Wars forces the Chinese government to legalize the opium trade, open eleven more ports to Western trade, grant Freedom of Religion, pay huge indemnities to France and Britain and cede 300,000 to 400,000 square miles of Manchurian land, called "Outer Manchuria", to the Russians. The defeat of the Chinese Imperial army by a small Anglo-French military force (outnumbered at least 10 to 1 by the Manchu army) coupled with the flight (and subsequent death) of the Emperor and the burning of the Summer Palace leaves the once powerful Qing Dynasty thoroughly defeated and humiliated by the West. This humiliation at the hand of foreign powers contributed to the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864), the Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901), and the downfall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911.


 CHOI Che-u, (최제우, 崔濟愚, 1824–1864) established the ideology of Donghak (Eastern Learning) in April 1860 with the intention of helping farmers suffering from poverty, unrest and of restoring political and social stability. The Donghak ideology was a mixture of elements from Korean Confucianism, Buddhism and teachings of ancient Silla Kingdom's Songyo (teachings of the ancient Hwarang Warriors), and modern humanistic, class-struggle ideas that today may be considered Marxist.  It resembled a religion as well as a political ideology. A rhetoric of exclusionism (from foreign influences) and an early form of nationalism were also incorporated. Donghak themes were set to music so that illiterate farmers could understand and accept them more readily, and systematized as a message of salvation to farmers in distress. His ideas rapidly gained acceptance among the peasantry. Choe, as well as many Koreans, was also alarmed by the intrusion of Christianity and the Anglo-French occupation of Beijing during the 2nd Opium War. He believed that the best way to counter foreign influence in Korea was to introduce democratic and human rights reforms internally. Nationalism and social reform struck a chord among the peasant guerrillas, and Donghak spread all across Korea. Progressive revolutionaries organized the peasants into a cohesive structure.


Arrested in 1863 for "misleading the people and sowing discord in society" his execution in 1864 sends many of his followers  into hiding in the mountains. Along with their beliefs and belongings the TONGHAK refugees take a range of skills and abilities so as to protect Korean culture from the corruptions of Western influences. 



 CHINJU Uprising; single largest rebellion in Korea. Armed with bamboo spears the populace of the province, led by YU Kye-cheun rebel against the corruptions of the military commander, PAEK Nak-sin and the local government by burning buildings and killing local functionaries. 



 King Kojong, enthroned at the age of twelve, succeeds King Cheolchong.  King Kojong's father,  HEUNGSEON  TAEWEON-GUN (Yi Ha-Ung; 1801-1898), rules as the de facto regent until 1873 inaugurates a far-ranging reform program to strengthen the central administration. Of special note was the decision to rebuild palace buildings and finance it through additional levies on the population. In addition SOWON or private academies which threatened to develop a parallel system to the corrupt government and enjoyed special privileges and large land-holdings were repressed despite bitter opposition from Confucian scholars. Opposed to any concessions to Japan or the West, Taewŏn-gun, though out of power after 1873, helped organize the anti-Japanese outbreak in 1882. During his regency he has curried favor with the POBUSANG or "Guild of Peddlers", a tightly knit connected to the trade fairs throughout Korea. Numbering some 125,000 and bound to mutually aid each other, the group can produce a respectable force on short notice. During his regency, the POBUSANG are given the responsibility to collect taxes and can be readily identified by their straw hats. As various nations vie for control of Korea, the POBUSANG will play an important role as a private force. 




 August, 1866 - The USS General Sherman, a US merchant ship under the command of a Captain W.B. Preston, arrives near Pyongyang to “establish trade relations with the ‘hermit kingdom.’” Despite messages from the provincial governor rebuffing their solicitation, the ship continues up the Ta Tong River towards Pyongyang.  With agitation among the populace growing, the ship’s crew of 19 seizes a local Korean official precipitating an intermittent fire-fight between the crew and the populace for four days. In the end the ship was set afire and the crew was hacked to death as they fled the burning hull. Their remains were later cremated. This incident will precipitate a string of confrontational events between Korea and the US. including a military action by US. forces on Korean forts guarding the approaches to Seoul in June, 1871. 

Source: Sinking of the General Sherman; LEE Wha Rang; March 19,2000


Korea launches an anti-foreign campaign focused on the growing Catholic missionary activity and the growing number of incidents arising from foreign ships appearing off their coasts seeking to trade. The full-scale persecution of Catholics, including 9 French missionaries, heralds the policy of the Korean government to isolate from influences of the Western countries. In response, however are the Disturbances of 1866  which, though reportedly in response to Catholic persecution were, in the larger picture, little more than "gun-boat diplomacy" by the French under Admiral Roze and the French Asiatic Squadron, to force-open the isolated nation. Despite the drama such an attack invoked, its impact on the resolutions of the Korean government was nil.  



 Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan ends with the restoration of the emperor (“MeiJi Restoration”).  Japan begins to implement internal political and economic reforms, partly designed to strengthen Japan against foreign incursions.  Legal class distinctions abolished (1869).  Universal male military conscription established (1873).

Japan becomes increasingly militaristic towards Korea for numerous reasons, including (a) the “political necessity of finding an outlet for the energies” of the samurais affected by the MeiJi Restoration, (b) to acquire a captive market for Japanese consumer goods, (c) to preempt Russian encroachment in Korea, and (d) chauvinistic impulse of the Restoration leaders to expand the Japanese Empire.


“Mutsuhito”, Emperor MeiJi, “heaven-descended, divine and sacred”, ruler of Japan, born in 1852, succeeded to the throne at the age of fifteen. He  is restored to the throne of Japan as the ruling sovereign of the Japanese people. 


The MeiJi Restoration of 1868 was a final act in a process of decline for the warrior class of Japan that began with the introduction of European firearms and cannon in the 16th century. Such firepower superannuated years of training, individual combat and power that resided with an elite class. At a slow but steady rate the samurai warrior class, and the carrying of swords, were totally abolished following the Restoration in 1876. By extension, such practices as Ken jutsu (also known as “gekken”) fell into disrepute for their impotence against modern firearms and as undesirable relics of an oppressive military past. 


  The Heigakko (Officer Academy) is established in 1868 at Kyoto to graduate leaders for the new MeiJi Restoration army. It will later become the parent school of the Rikugun Toyama Gakko, Both the French, and later the Prussian military model is used to train the new Japanese officers in the methods of fighting a modern technological war.


  FUNAKOSHI Gichin is born  to the privileged (SHIZOKU) class in Okinawa. Despite frail health as a child, Funakoshi will become an accomplished master of OKINAWA-TE under AZATO Yatsune and ITOSU Yatsune and will establish a career as an accomplished teacher  in the Okinawan school system with his certification in 1888. 

Source: SHOTOKAN Karate: Its History and Evolution; Randall G Hassell; Empire Books, 2007



 May 1871 - "Foreign Disturbance of 1871" - An American Expeditionary Force is sent to Korea under US Admiral John Rodgers on the flagship frigate USS Colorado, and in the company of the USS Alaska, USS Benica, USS Palos and USS Monocracy brings Frederick F Low, its foreign minister in China to Korea. Low is empowered to establish a trade treaty with Korea and investigate the loss of the USS General Sherman.  Negotiations are unproductive and hostilities breakout as the US ships attempt to take soundings in the KANGHWA Strait  350 Korean soldiers are killed during the fight, as a landing force of 651 US Marines capture Ch’oJiJin Fortress on  Kanghwa Island (June 10, 1871). Weapons found in the fort included some  30 or more smaller guns destroyed, along with half a dozen 18-pounders and two 32-pounders. ("Their guns are very rude, seemed to be lashed to logs, and cannot be trained except on a point beforehand, which, when the vessel nears, they touch them off! The vessels were not struck at all, by large shot, and only by one or two rude balls from a small-arm called "Jing-galls" which two men carry on their shoulders & touch off with a match!" - McLane Tilton) The Marines spiked the larger guns and tossed the smaller ones over the walls and into the mud beds below. Stores of enemy powder, provisions, and clothing were burned, and the walls were torn down. The US warships then depart to  China. As with the French event of the previous year, there was no impact on the policies of the Korean government and the doors to the Korean nation remained closed to Western influences and trade. 

(Source: Marine Amphibious Landing in Korea, 1871 -  DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY – NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER, WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060)



 Japan begins to debate the policy of "Subdue Korea" in the Japanese government. Ultra-nationalist elements in the Japanese government are keen to establish a "sphere of influence" in the Pacific Rim nations after the fashion of the legations established by various European nations in China. Pressures mount to modernize the Korean army and police after the fashion of changes occurring in the Japanese military and police as Western technology is absorbed. With Western nations momentarily distracted by events elsewhere the Japanese take a pro-active role in forcing the Koreans to open their country to outside influences.


In Korea, King Kojong has come into his majority and his regent--- his father,  HEUNGSEON  TAEWEON-GUN (Yi Ha-Ung; 1801-1898), though no longer a figure in the government remain politically active. Opposed to any concessions to Japan or the West, Taewŏn-gun, though out of power after 1873, helped organize the anti-Japanese outbreak in 1882. During his regency he has curried favor with the POBUSANG or "Guild of Peddlers", a tightly knit connected to the trade fairs throughout Korea. Numbering some 125,000 and bound to mutually aid each other, the group can produce a respectable force on short notice. During his regency, the POBUSANG are given the responsibility to collect taxes and can be readily identified by their straw hats. As various nations vie for control of Korea, the POBUSANG will play an important role as a private force. 



 In the Toyama district of Tokyo, the Rikugun Toyama Gakko, or Toyama Military Academy, is established to train the officers and non-commissioned officers of Japan's modern, western-style army. The students would study tactics drawn from French and later Prussian models, marksmanship, calisthenics, French and Prussian swordsmanship using the European saber, military music, and other normal military subjects. Moreover, research and experiments were conducted with fire teams who performed tests with machine guns. 

Source: Guy Power; http://www.webdiva4hire.com/kenshinkan/toyama02.html



 Syngman Rhee or Yi Seungman is born March 26, 1875 and will grow-up to become the first president of South Korea following World War Two.



 Japan takes advantage of internal political turmoil in Korea to provoke a military incident off the Korean coast (September 20, 1875). The incursion of the Japanese navel vessel, "Un'yo" clearly points up the deficiencies of the Korean muskets against the modern Japanese rifles.  Following Western “gunboat diplomacy” tactics, Gen. Kuroda Kiyotaka is dispatched to  Korea with three warships and 800 troops. Japan forces Korea to sign the Kanghwa Treaty (Korea-Japan Friendship Treaty of 1876) which, among other things, requires Korea to open Pusan and two other ports to Japan, allows Japanese vessels to survey Korean coastal waters at will, and establishes (in Korea) Japanese settlements where Japanese residents are subject to Japanese, and not Korean, laws.



 Satsuma Rebellion of 1877


After the Restoration of 1868, one of the top priorities of the new Imperial government was the formation of a national army under its control. On October 2, 1870, one month after the French defeat at Sedan, the government announced that its army would be modeled after the French Army (the announcement also stated that the new navy would be modeled after that of Britain). One of the major considerations in choosing the French system over that of Prussia was that more Japanese military men spoke French than German. By the time of the Satsuma Rebellion, the Imperial Japanese Army numbered over 34,000 men and consisted of both line and imperial guard troops. The line infantry was divided into 14 regiments of 3 battalions each. Each battalion consisted of 4 companies. In peace time, each company had approximately 160 privates and 32 officers and non-commissioned officers. During war time a company's strength was to be increased to 240 privates. A battalion had 640 men in peace time and was supposed to have 960 men in war time. There were two "regiments" of line cavalry and one "regiment" of imperial guard cavalry. The two line regiments each contained 120 men in peace time and were to be increased to 150 men each during war time. Contemporary illustrations show the cavalry armed with lances. The Imperial Artillery consisted of 18 batteries divided into 9 battalions, with 120 men per battery during peace time. During war time, the mountain artillery was supposed to have 160 men per battery and the field artillery was supposed to have 130 men per battery. Due to the suddenness of events in Satsuma, the line units of the Imperial Army seem to have taken the field at their peace time strength. The Imperial Guard (most of whom were ex-samurai) was always maintained at war time strength. The guard infantry was divided into 2 regiments of 2 battalions each. A battalion was 672 men strong and was organized as per the line battalions. The cavalry regiment consisted of 150 men. The artillery battalion was divided into 2 batteries with 130 men per battery. The Japanese Army did not have a brigade or corps system like the French or many other European armies. Japan was divided into six military districts: Tokyo (Yedo), Sendai, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima and Kumamoto. There were usually two or three regiments of infantry, plus artillery and other auxiliary troops, assigned to each district. The Imperial guard was assigned to the Tokyo district. The uniforms of the Japanese Imperial Army resembled those of the French Garde Mobile in appearance. Japanese infantrymen wore a dark blue kepi, a short jacket with French style field pack, and dark blue pants (in summer, the uniform was white). They were armed with breech-loading Snider rifles and could fire approximately six rounds per minute. The cavalry wore red kepis with a small white plume in the front, dark blue jackets, red pants with a yellow stripe, and black boots. At least one illustration shows their saddle blankets as being red with yellow trim and their lance pennants were red over white. Artillery consisted of over 100 artillery pieces, including 5.28 pound mountain guns, Krupp field guns of various calibers, and mortars. In addition to the army, the central government also used marines and Tokyo policemen in its struggle against the Satsuma samurai. The police were primarily comprised of ex-samurai (many of whom were from Satsuma) and were armed only with wooden batons and swords (Japanese police did not carry firearms until the Rice Riots of 1918). The police were mobilized in units ranging from 300 to 600 men. The Satsuma samurai army was initially organized into six battalions (or regiments) of 2,000 men each. Each battalion was divided into ten companies of 200 men, which were further divided into four platoons of 50 men. On its march to Kumamoto Castle, the army was divided into three divisions; an advance guard of 4,000 men, another division of 4,000 men, and a rearguard of 2,000 men. There were 200 artillerymen and 1,200 laborers in the army. In April 1877, Saigo reorganized the army into nine infantry units of 350 to 800 men each.


The samurai attempted to dress in a similar manner to give the appearance of uniformity. Their dress consisted of their own clothes and armor was not worn, except by a few officers who wore a breastplate. Saigo and some of his officers wore their military uniforms. Each samurai wore a white cloth on his upper arm so that they could identify themselves. The samurai were armed with Enfield muzzle loading rifles and could fire approximately one round per minute. Their artillery consisted of 28 mountain guns, 2 field guns (15.84 pounders), and 30 assorted mortars. When the students raided the Kagoshima armories a large number of sword blades were seized. Many of these blades were of inferior quality and were fitted with blackened iron hilts. The hilts were bound with rough braid or canvas. Some samurai who later joined the Satsuma army may have carried yaris (spears). Although the Satsuma Army did not contain any cavalry, a few officers such as Saigo were mounted.

Copyright © by Robert W. Burke, Jr. May 21, 1991



 Tung Sung Nee born in Wu Pei Province, China.  Having earned his living as security for caravans and as a body guard, he will join the Chinese military in 1910 and be appointed chief of Scouts for the First Chinese Combat Division. Following an stellar career, he will retire in 1934 and will dedicate the balance of his life, until his death in 1971, to refining the Chinese art of Seizing and Holding (CHIN NA) from a simple collect of disparate techniques to a cohesive curriculum of 72 techniques to produce the Modern art of CHIN NA known today. 


 Korea sends KIM Koeng-Jip mission to Japan. Unlike the mission sent after the signing of the Kangwha Treaty in 1876, Kim returns from Japan having witnessed startling changes in the Japanese culture and desirous of having like changes made in the Korean culture. The following year, a mission will leave Korea for Japan on a 70 day tour of governmental, military and industrial locations. Not to be out-done, the CHING government of China, accepts a large mission of Koreans for a tour of their governmental and military facilities where they study the methods of modern weapon manufacture and modern military science. Back in Korea, discussions regarding internal reform heat up.  There is a growing perception that Korea needs Western technology and greater contact with foreign powers.



 HIRAOKA Kitaro born. Along with TOYAMA Mitsuru (1882-1944) founded the BLACK OCEAN Society an ultra-nationalist Japanese organization which will express its fervor by dedication to espionage and clandestine operations on behalf of the Japanese government.


 King Kojong initiates reform of the Korean military by reorganizing the "Five Garrisons" of the traditional Korean army into two; the MUWIYEONG ("Palace Guards Garrison") and the CHANGEOYEONG ("Capital Guards Garrison") 


May, 1881 - King Kojong hires Japanese Lt. Horimoto Reizo to train the PYOLGIGUM, or "Special Skills Force" to march and shoot in European fashion. 



 Military Mutiny of 1882 - Neo-Confucian scholars fearing the growing influence of Western thought, especially Catholic Christianity, reject tolerance for foreign thinking and encourage WIJEONG CHEOKSA (lit: "defend orthodoxy; reject heterodoxy"). Fueled by this belief, and incensed by fresh abuses to their pay and rations, the Royal Bodyguards rebel at the preferential treatment accorded the Special Unit under Lt. Horimoto Reizo. The Royal Bodyguards revolt in  July, 1882,  and Lt. Horimoto Reizo is killed. Further the Bodyguard storms the Japanese Legation narrowly missing the Japanese minister and his staff but burning the building. The Guard likewise attacks the palace seeking to kill Queen Min but is unable to locate the Queen in hiding.  Chinese military advisors under a cadre of Chinese officers led by Wu Chang Ching are sent to Korea (August 1882) to help stabilize the situation and institute a training program for the Korean army. Included in this effort are 1,000 rifles, 2 cannon and 10,000 rounds of ammunition. 


  Korea signs a series of treaties with Western powers, beginning with the US.  (Korean-American Treaty, 1882).  The United States officially establishes diplomatic relations with Korea on May 22, 1882, when commodore Robert W. Schufeldt negotiates and signs the Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation at Chemulpo (present-day Incheon) (Ratified May 19, 1883). This was the second such treaty Korea signed with any country, first with Japan, and the first treaty Korea signed with a Western country. This treaty would set in motion a chain of events that eventually led to the first wave of Korean immigration to Hawaii in 1903. Korea dispatches envoys to US, with the general aim of cementing US-Korean ties and to obtain American advisers, teachers, and loans.  Korean delegates meet the US president in New York and tour manufacturing facilities in major  New England cities (1883).  Treaties with  Britain ,  Germany,  Italy,  Russia,  France, and  Austria-Hungary follow. In response to the Korean government’s policies of enlightenment, anti-foreign opposition by some members of the ruling elite increases. Opponents of greater openness urge Korea to “reject heterodoxy in defense of orthodoxy”:  Koreans must accept neo-Confucianism as the sole value system of belief, and keep all other civilizations or values based on any other ideology off the Korean soil.  Having stepped aside in deference to his son in 1873, the TAEWON-GUN plots to return to power by capitalizing on isolationist, anti-foreign sentiments.


Taking advantage of the growing anti-foreign backlash of the Neo-Confucians, and the growing unpopularity with Queen Min pro-Chinese attitudes, the TAEWON-GUN  displaces his son, King Kojong and returns to power not as a regent but as the head of State, following the Military Mutiny. The Special Force is disbanded and the original "Five Garrison" system was reinstated. Using the riots and the political disturbances in Korea as an excuse, Japan dispatches troops and warships to Korea to offset the Chinese presence. However, Chinese troops are able to seize the men responsible for the Military Mutiny and abduct the TAEWON-GUN.  King Kojong returns to power.  Japan signs the Chemulpo Treaty with Korea, allowing Japanese troops to be stationed in  Seoul  to “protect” the Japanese legation there.  China and Japan will continue to jockey for control of Korean politics both as nations and through their factions in the Korean government.



 Japan accepts 40 Korean candidates for enrollment in various Japanese schools of commerce and technology. Half of this number are also enrolled in the Toyama Military Academy to be trained as officers for duty in the future Korean army. 


 In May 1883, Lucius H. Foote arrived in Seoul as the first United States Minister to the Kingdom of Korea, the Choson dynasty. At the urging of Minister Foote, King Kojong (1852-1919) dispatched the first diplomatic mission to the United States in 1883, headed by MIN Yeong-Ik, who was generously received by President Chester A. Arthur and toured the United States for three months, observing the modern institutions and installations. Diplomatic Dispatches  to the Secretary of State dating from March 13, 1883 to December 6, 1905 are archived in  22 volumes designated as Record Group 59; General Records of the Department of State.



 In September 1884, Dr. Horace N. Allen arrives in Korea as the first Protestant missionary and was allowed to stay in Seoul under the pretense of being a physician to the American Legation.


 July - 14 Korean candidates from the Toyama Military Academy return to Korea and demonstrate their new military skills for the Korean King in July 1884. In June the Chinese influence had been reduced to 1500 men from its original 3,000 and the United States is approached regarding the sending of Admiral Shufeldt as an advisor to the Korean army "where 4,000 stand at arms". MIN Yong-Ik resigns his position in the Korean Foreign Office to become General of the Right Palace Guard Battalion and bringing in 5 new Chinese instructors. 


 December 4, 1884, an unsuccessful coup, known as KAPSHIN JEONGBYEO, was attempted by a group of 20 aristocratic reformers (the “Progressives”, members of the “Enlightenment Party”) advocating “enlightenment thought” (“kaehwa sasang”), in part, aimed at driving the Chinese out of Korea.  The young reformers, all graduates of the Toyama Military Academy, advocate rapid political, legal, and social change patterned after the Meiji Restoration, in contrast to the gradualist approach advocated by those who wanted to preserve traditional Korean values while mastering foreign technology (“Eastern ways, western machines”). When the coup attempt fails, its leaders, such as Kim Okkyun, Pak Yeonghyo, and Seo Jaepil (later Philip Jaisohn), seek refuge in Japan. By miraculously saving the life of Min Young-Ik, a nephew of Queen Min, who is seriously wounded during the coup attempt, Horace Allen begins to gain confidence and trust of King Kojong and Queen Min. China and Japan come close to starting a war in Korea.  Fighting is averted, and each side agrees not to introduce troops into Korea without notifying the other side (Tientsin Treaty, April 18,1885).

(Source: Lucius H. Foote to Secretary of State; September 3, 1884; #105)



 HISA TAKUMA - 1885 1979, was the senior student of Sokaku Takeda ! He is one of only two people to receive the full "Menkyo Kaiden" directly from Sokaku Takeda, and he went-on to establish the very popular Takumakai with several thousand students. ( His experience as the uki of Sokaku Takeda allowed him to travel throughout Japan and being exposed to most of the Daito-Ryu techniques.) 



 Cholera Epidemic breaks out in Seoul with as many as 400 people dead each day. 



 First electrical lighting system is installed at the Kyongbok Palace (Seoul), through the Edison Lamp Company.


 The Japanese Police Revolt of 1887 was due in no small part to the abreaction of the former military elite resisting reform suggested by the influence of Western culture. The police had established the Batto-tai (“Drawn-sword Unit”) during the 1877 Satsuma Rebellion, though their established style, Keishicho Ryu (“Police Department Style”). This style was codified in 1886 from the efforts of outstanding Kenshi, representing Jikishin Kage-Ryu, Kurama-Ryu, Tsutsumi Hozan-Ryu, Tatsumi-Ryu, Hokushin Itto-Ryu, Asayama Ichiden-Ryu, Jigen-Ryu, Shindo Munen-Ryu Yagyu-Ryu and Kyoshin Meichi-Ryu  who had been hired by the department in 1880. A set of ten unique kata, or sword forms (Keishicho Gekkan Kata), from six different existing styles of the day , were each named for one of the ten original contributing Ryu and were later the inspiration for the Dai Nippon Butokukai Kendo Kata in 1906.

Keishi-Ryu Kidachi Kata; Hellsten, Pasi; listserv.uoguelph.ca; Apr 26, 2000



 TOYAMA Kanken (1888-1966)  (also known as Oyadomari Kanken) was born on September 24th in Shuri, Okinawa, into a noble family. His development of SHUDOKAN Karate will produce one of the two greatest influences on the origins of modern Korean TAEKWONDO. TOYAMA Kanken began his train in 1897 under Master Itarashiki. In 1907 Toyama was named SHIDANHAI ("assistant") to ITOSU Yasutsune at the Okinawa Teacher's College in Shuri, and in 1914 attained a high office at the Shuri First Elementary School. The only other person to attain the position of SHIDANSHI will be FUNAKOSHI Gichin of SHOTOKAN Karate fame. 



 YMCA language education started with Tokyo YMCA's English night school.


 Inner Manchuria comes under strong Russian influence in the 1890s with the building of the Chinese Eastern Railway through Harbin to Vladivostok. 


 In the 1890-s, with increasing Chinese influence, pro-Chinese members of Queen Min’s clan strengthen their power.  Korea ’s financial problems worsen, and wide-ranging reforms can no longer be carried out.  There is perception that the government is growing increasingly incompetent and corrupt -- Government offices are often for sale, tax levies increase, and the civil service examination system is corrupted, in some cases to benefit the Min clan. Japanese businesses (operating from open ports in   Korea  ) increase in number and influence.  Korean traders are squeezed out, while peasants face increasing tax burden.


 Augustine Heard, U.S. Consul General to Korea  (1890-93). 



 In 1892 the small groups of the Donghak movement unite into a single Peasant Guerrilla Army (Donghak Peasant Army) who arm themselves, raid government offices and killed rich landlords, traders and foreigners. They confiscate their victims' properties and distribute the proceeds to the poor. Organized in a mass protest in Cholla province in December 1892, to protest abuses from local officials, leader CHOE Si-hyeong petitions King Kojong but gets no response.  


First Phase


The Donghak Peasant Revolution, or the 1894 Peasant War (Nongmin Jeonjaeng), witnessed large numbers of poor farmers rise up against the landlords and the ruling elite. The rebellion's immediate cause was the conduct of JO Byong-gap (1844–1911), a government official, whose rule was viewed by some as tyrannical and corrupt. The peasants demand land redistribution, tax reduction, democracy and human rights as Taxes are so high that most farmers are forced to sell their ancestral homesteads to rich landowners at bargain prices. Landlords sell rice to the Japanese and send their children to Japan to study. As a result, the peasant class developes intense anti-Japanese and anti-Yangban sentiments. Progressive-minded Yangbans, scholars and nationalists also join the movement. On January 11, 1894, the rebels, led by JEON bong-jun (전봉준, 全琫準, 1854–1895), defeat the government forces at the battle of Go-Bu and distribute Jo's properties to the peasants. The revolution expands quickly until March 13, 1894. Its army is eventually crushed by government troops led by YI Yong-tae, who captures and kills peasant guerrillas, burns villages and confiscatee the peasants' properties in Go-bu. The peasant army regroups and begins a new rebellion, as news of the government's actions in Go-bu help increase support among the peasants. With new impetus, the peasant army defeats one government garrison after another and closes on Seoul. The peasants' objectives were institutional land reform, social reform, the overthrow of the Joseon Government  (or at least the removal of corrupt officials) and the expulsion of foreign influence from Korea.


The peasants' marching orders were the following:


 "Do not kill or take the peasants' properties" 

 "Protect the peasants' rights" 

 "Drive out the Japanese and Western people and purify our sacred land" 

 "March to Seoul and purge the government" 


At the beginning of May, the peasant army occupied a palace in Jeonju and the Korean government asks for Chinese assistance in ending the rebellion. The Chinese troops into Korea, but fail to notify the Japanese in accordance with the Convention of Tientsin. Though China initially did not wish to go to war with Japan, Japan viewed the China's action as a threat to its national security and sent its own troops to Korea. With the presence of some 3,000 Chinese troops, the government authorities proposed a negotiated truce with the rebels. With the end of the rebellion would come increasing tensions between Qing and Japan as neither wanted to evacuate Korea earlier than the other. The resulting tensions would lead to the First Sino-Japanese War


Second Phase


While hostilities between China and Japan were beginning, a second uprising erupted in the Korean countryside against a new pro-Japanese government established in Seoul. In late June 1894 the pro-Japanese forces hatched a plan to wipe out the peasant army in co-operation with the Japanese troops stationed in Incheon and Seoul.  On October 16 the peasant army moved toward Gongju for the final battle, where, unknown to them, the  Japanese and the pro-Japanese government troops were waiting for them .


The Donghak Army is defeated in the Battle of Ugeumchi. The vigorous battle started on October 22, 1894, and lasted until November 10, 1894. The peasant army, armed only with bows and arrows, spears, swords and some flintlock muskets storm the well-entrenched Japanese who are armed with modern rifles and cannon. The peasants are beaten back and suffer heavy losses. The remnants flee to various bases. The Japanese pursue the army and eventually wiped it out. Jeon Bong-jun, the Donghak commander, is captured in March 1895. The execution of Choe Si-hyeong followes in 1898.


The rebellion fails, but many grievances of the peasants would later be addressed through the Kabo Reforms.e Korean Empire is established in 1897 as a result of the First Sino-Japanese War. Foreign influence would still be a major aspect, with Japan and Russia later competing over exclusive rights in Korea. In the coming years Korea would fall increasingly under exclusive Japanese influence, and after the Russo-Japanese War, Russian influence would no longer be a factor in Korea. The Korean Empire will be a Japanese autonomous protectorate until annexed by Japan in 1910. 


Although the revolution failed, it made a significant contribution to Korean modernization that resulted from the peasants' demands for democracy. The ideas of the movement live on in the Cheondogyo religious movement.



 Chinese and Japanese troops stationed in   Korea  clash.  Japanese troops seize the Korean royal palace and spark the Sino-Japanese War.  Korean soldiers are mobilized to carry supplies for Japanese troops. Tosan [Chang-ho Ahn] was almost sixteen (16) at that time and saw with his own eyes the Japanese and Chinese troops fighting hand to hand in  Pyongyang .  More importantly, he saw the devastating effects of the struggle, the deserted city . . . the houses and even historical remains destroyed.  The question loomed in his mind, as it did in the minds of almost all thinking Koreans, how was it that insular Japan could check and turn back the armies of [China] . . . and what was wrong with Korea that its government could do nothing but stand by helplessly and watch these two nations fight their battle on Korean soil . . . ." 


 King Kojong is presented with 106 reform measures (Kabo Reforms) in September 1894. Among these are the establishment of a royal guard (CHINWIGUM) staffed by Japanese-trained non-commissioned officers. 



In April, 1895 the Dai Nippon Butokukai, or “All Japan  Martial Virtue Society” had been established in Kyoto by civilian enthusiasts of various traditional Japanese arts such as Archery, Ju-jutsu and Ken-jutsu. The  kata or methods of some 200 ken-jutsu schools  of the Tokugawa period united under this one approach.  At that time, three Kamae (postures) were established including “gedan no kamae”, “chudan no kamae” and “jodan no kamae.” Among the styles of sword recognized at the time was Shinto Munen Ryu under various masters such as Watanabe Noburo, Shibae Umpachiro, and Negishi Shigoro, Jikishin Kage Ryu under Abe Morie and Tokuno Kansiro, Musashi Ryu under Mihashi Kanichiro and Kyoshin Mechi Ryu under Sakabe Daisaku.  


In Kyoto Prefecture, Mr. Chiaki Watanabe, at that time the governor, was made chairman of the organization, a placement which came to be customary for the governors of other prefectures to which the organization spread and opened branches. As might be expected, then, when expanded to Korea in 1896, the Dai Nippon Butokukai (DNBK), Choson-bu (Korean Branch) under Nakamura, Tokichi, probably, likewise, was intended to provide cultural underpinnings to the increasing number of Japanese nationals who were entering Korea at the behest of their government.

An Apologetic for the DNBK, 1947; Svinth, Joseph R.; Nov 22, 2002


 Japan defeats  China and drives out Chinese troops from Korea. Japan and China sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki (April 1895) which affirms Korea’s “independent sovereign state” status (i.e., officially repudiating  Korea ’s historical role as a tributary state of  China).  The Korean government begins to institute reform measures (“Kabo Reforms of 1894”) under the Japanese “guidance.” Pro-Japanese and pro-Russian factions battle to control the Korean government. Korean hires Japanese officers as instructors. They train about 800 Korean officers and men who were then assigned to the royal palace as guards. 

(Source: Handbook of Korea; 11th Ed; C.2003 pg 86


 Pro-Japanese reformers control the Korean royal palace.


Queen Min supports closer ties to Russia, the remaining rival power to Japan in the Far East. Japanese agents assassinate Queen Min on the palace grounds in an attempt to weaken Russian influence in  Korea . Japanese agents break into the Gyeongbok Palace through the Geoncheong-gung north of the Hyangwon-jeong pavilion, where the king and queen are sleeping. The Japanese enter through Gwanghwa-mun -- the front gate of the palace -- passing to the left of Gyeonghoe-ru pavilion and enter the Geoncheong-gung. The King Gojong resides in the Geoncheong-gung's CHANGan-dang hall, while Empress Myeongseong lives in the Gol-lyeong-hap hall. Having found the empress in one of these rooms, the killers then drag her to the palace courtyard between the two halls and kill her with their swords. The killers then move her body to a room east of the Gol-lyeong-hap hall and put it briefly on display. The agents then take the body to an artificial hill, south of what is now the National Folk Museum, and burn it.

As reported by Horace N Allen, US Minister in his dispatch (#363) dated June 11, 1901: 

"After the China-Japan war, (General William Dye; resides in Korea 1888 to 1899) was placed in charge of the palace guard, with two foreign assistants and he remaining in this charge during and for a few months after, the murder of the Queen on Oct. 8, 1895." 



 Pro-Russian and Pro-American Korean government officials smuggle King Kojong and the crown prince out of the palace to the Russian legation in Seoul.  Pro-Japanese officers and cabinet members are murdered or flee to  Japan. Russian military and financial advisors assume an important role. Russia and US gain special business and trade concessions. 


 Philip Jaisohn, on of the leaders of the failed coup of 1884, returns to Korea from the United States. He starts a newspaper Dongnip Shinmun with an English title of The Independence.

Philip Jaisohn organizes the Independence Club (Tongnip Hyeophoe; 1897), a civic organization for reforms, to which many young reform-minded people (including Syngman Rhee) joined. It promotes the ideas of popular democracy, freedom, and nationalism, which Jaisohn learned while attending college in the United States. He is the main mover of the Independence Arch (Tongnipmun) project that was erected in Seoul to promote the idea of Korean independence.


 Following the escape of King Kojong and the Crown Prince from Gyoungbok Palace to the Russian legation in February 1896,. In the summer of that year, the Russian government began to train the Korean Royal Body Guard and part of the army, first through the efforts of Lieutenant S.L. Hmeleff, a Russian naval officer attached to the Russian legation, and then in October with the arrival of Colonel Potiata, three lower officers, and 10 enlisted men. The following year in August, 13 more Russian soldiers augmented the previous advisors.

Three months later, after the cadets and officers had completed their training; they were utilized to assist the Russians advisors to train the first regiment of body guards. A reporter for The Independent proudly boasted:

"The new regiment is composed of 800 men who were picked from the different regiments after a thorough physical examination by Dr. Chervinsky of the Russian Army. They are drilled every day from 9 to 12 o'clock in the morning, and 2 to 5 in the afternoon at the 4th and 5th regiment barracks. They carry the Berdan rifles and the commands are given in Russian. It is really remarkable that the men understand the Russian commands so readily having been instructed for so short a time under the foreign teachers."

Not only were the soldiers taught standard D & C (Drill and Ceremony), marksmanship, and proper military courtesy, but also the fundamentals of signaling with bugles and drums. When the cadets marched to their barracks they did so with the "national colors headed by a band of buglers and drummers presenting altogether a very military-like appearance."

The original barracks for the 33 cadets and their seven officers who later formed the nucleus of the Royal Body Guard were located just behind the Russian legation. They were described as being neat little tile-roofed Korean buildings with new wall papering and very clean. Everything in the rooms was orderly and systematically arranged. The cadets were well fed by their own kitchen and drilled on a parade field that "was remarkably clean and fresh in its appearance. "Later, when the new barracks were built just inside the Little West Gate, the soldiers were housed in 16x16 foot rooms that were heated by Russian stoves. Twenty-five soldiers were expected to live in each room. There was a kitchen in the rear of each barracks that had some 30 boilers for the soldiers to cook their food. Their fare consisted of "boiled rice of liberal quantity, a large bowl of vegetable soup mixed with beef and a generous supply of Kimchi or pickles."

One of the problems facing the Korean military was the abnormal variety of weapons that the soldiers were equipped with. This often made it difficult to supply them with ammunition and to properly train them. The earlier weapons were, depending on the instructor, obtained from various countries and were often outdated. The Russian advisors sought to standardize the Korean army's weapons. The cadets, and later the body guard, were all equipped with Berdan rifles bought from Russia. Most of the men were equipped with old triangular bayonets but a few were armed with short sword bayonets. The soldiers' uniforms were blue serge frock trousers, low shoes, white gaiters, and blue felt hats with narrow red bands for ornamentation. They had old brown leather belts and pouches but these would eventually be replaced with newer equipment. The officers wore blue-braided patrol jackets with blue trousers and Wellington boots, worn outside the trousers. Their hats were French kepi with a lot o gold lace and scarlet cloth for ornamentation. Both officers and enlisted wore white coats and trousers during the summer time. At first the Korean soldiers were allowed to keep their long hair, but after a number of them developed sores and infections, the Russians persuaded them to keep their hair cut short and to wash it frequently. Nearly all of the soldiers with the exception of one, the commander, kept their hair short.

At first there was some concern about discipline and punishment by the Russian officers. The Russian army was notorious for its use of beatings to maintain good discipline. Rumors spread that the Russian instructors beat their Korean charges and there were rumors that a Russian officer had struck a Korean colonel in the head with his sword for a minor offense. When the Russian instructors built gymnastic apparatus to be used as part of the Korean soldiers' physical training, many of the Korean soldiers thought the apparatus were devices to torture them.

One Russian advisor, S. Grudzinskii, claimed: "In the process of selection it was evident that the soldiers had been inspired to try in every way not to be chosen [as members for the new Russian trained units]. Many made pitiful grimaces, many claimed to be ill or old, many simply fled from their ranks and had to be chased out of the barracks. "The usual method of punishment was imprisonment for short periods of time or corporal punishment with a piece of bamboo. According to an article in The Independent, "The charges against the men are investigated by the Russian officers who decide upon the punishment, which is then carried out with the approval of the Korean Commander of the regiment, who is nothing more than a figure head." This was highly fortunate for the Korean soldiers considering some of their Korean commanders had other ideas. Colonel Chang Ki-rem, commander of the Royal Body Guard, had his own way of meting out punishment. He confided to a reporter for The Independent that the secret of maintaining discipline among the soldiers was to decapitate them whenever they did not follow the orders of their superiors. Unsurprisingly, he acknowledged that he was "not versed in modern military tactics and the science and art of foreign warfare," but was "the best scholar in the old fashioned Korean military matters." 


In early 1898, sentiment by the Korean public towards the Russians began to worsen  and the decision was made by the Korean government that Korean cadre would assume the responsibilities for training the Korean army. On March 18, 1898 the Russian government officially announced its intent to remove its military advisors to Korea. “The military instructors  have…vacated their quarters in the Palace, which is now exclusively guarded by native soldiers."

Source: Korea's First Russian Military Advisors; Robert Neff


 As part of the reform of the national Korean police indicated by the Kabo Reforms of 1894,  cadets at the KYONGMUCHONG or Police Academy are required to learn "kyok gom" (J. "gekki ken"; aka "kenjutsu") or "combat swordsmanship as one of its training subjects.


 April 17, 1896 - James R Morse is granted a concession by the Korean Imperial Household to mine gold in Korea making the United States the first foreign country to develop a successful venture of this kind. The US will be followed by Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Japan and Italy in the years that follow. 



 Korean is proclaimed as the "Empire of the Great Han" on October 12, 1897, with Kojong as the Emperor.


 TOYAMA Kanken began his formal training in karate-do under Master Itarashiki in 1897. Later, he apprenticed himself to ITOSU Anko, who then became his primary teacher and inspirational guide.



 From 1898 to 1910 TAKEDA Sokaku centers his instruction in Tohoku region of Japan occupying the northeastern portion of Honshu, the largest island of Japan and consisting of the perfectures of Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi and Yamagata. 

Source: Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu; Katsuyuki Kondo; Aikinews, 2000


 Independence Association members assume prominent role in the Korean Privy Council, Korea’s first modern legislative assembly.  King Kojong, fearing a coup, arrests the members of the Club and bans political meetings.



 1899(July 21-Lunar Calendar)- CHOI Yong Sul  is born in a small mountain village in Hwan Gan District of Young Dong County or Chung-Buk Province, South Korea. His year of birth is recorded as 1904. Two years later his mother will pass away, and his father will die a few years later leaving the orphan dependent on the charity of his aunt's family. 



 Boxer Rebellion. Years of interference by both Catholic and Protestant organizations as well as repeated injuries by European powers in carving territories from China proper, cause esoteric groups to unit with Chuan Fa practitioners in an effort to intimidate the Western powers to negotiate better treatment. Despite initial successes, lack of support from the government and its military dooms the rebellion to a short-lived campaign of murder and chaos centered in the northeast of the country and resulting in a 3 month siege of the European legations in BeiJing. With the victory of the European powers in breaking the siege comes retribution and punishing reparations. Failure of the Chinese government to do anything other than submit reveals its impotence for what it is and seals the fate of the Qing Dynasty. 



 Student Christian Movement in Japan not only played a vital role in the formation of student movement but also helped in the formation of World Student Christian Federation. As early as 1870, there were attempts to form student movement, "Believers in Jesus" was one of such attempts. In 1888 Student YMCA movement was founded. In 1901, the  Japan city YMCA alliance was set up and was merged with the student YMCA alliance in 1903 to become the National Council of YMCAs of Japan. 


 UCHIDA Royhei born: He will organize the AMUR RIVER Society (aka: Black Dragon Society), a subsidiary of the larger BLACK OCEAN Society.


The Amur River Society, commonly known as the "Black Dragon Society" is formed by one of the former leaders of the Black Ocean Society, Ryohei Uchida, in collaboration with Mitsuru Toyama.  Toyama never officially joined the Black Dragons but remained as an advisor and patron until his death in 1944 (Toyama did join the Taisei Yokusankai- Imperial Rule Assistance Association- another powerful ultranationalist group with a hand in World War Two). From their training camps in Hokkaido, the Black Dragons spread out to follow in the footsteps of the Black Ocean Society and began to seriously penetrate the region with its agents, placing a large number in Manchuria and Siberia. The Black Dragons also formed close contact and even alliances with Buddhist sects throughout Asia.  



 The first demonstration of OKINAWA-TE skills by FUNAKOSHI Gichin is performed before the OGAWA Shitaro, the commissioner of schools of Kagoshima perfecture in Okinawa. As a result of this exposure the practice of Okinawa-Te is introduced to the Okinawan School system as a Physical Education program. ITOSU Yatsune oversaw the development of the program and even attempted to introduce a competitive aspect to the training. Funakoshi's standing in the Okinawan School system will continue to grow and a formal demonstration in 1906 will present him with a host of offers to teach. In 1913, Funakoshi organizes a demostration "team" comprised of such notables as MOTOBU Choki, KYAN Chotoku and Kenwa Mabuni. which will tour constantly through the Okinawan perfectures and ultimately caught the attention of the Japanese Ministry of Education resulting in the first demonstration of Okinawan material in Japan in 1917.  

Source: SHOTOKAN Karate: Its History and Evolution; Randall G Hassell; Empire Books, 2007



 YMCA Started in Korea

Established in 1903, YMCA of Korea served as a center of the independence movement under the Japanese Occupation period, and was a pivot for educational and cultural activities. True to the spirit of community on which it was founded, YMCA is as actively involved in community actions and relief efforts today as ever, and leads civic movements of contemporary Korea. The purposes of YMCA, as set forth in the Charter established in 1975 are:

1) Follow Christ by learning and training together;

2) Come to the understanding of historical responsibility befalling each of us;

3) Work to make love and justice prevail;

4) Contribute to public welfare; and

5) Work toward creating a new culture.


 On January 13, 102 Koreans (56 men, 21 women, 13 children, and 12 infants) arrived at Honolulu aboard the S.S. Gaelic and were assigned to Waialua Sugar Plantation on the island of Oahu, marking the beginning of  Korean immigration to the United States. King Kojong approved the measure to recruit Korean laborers to work in Hawaii sugar plantations. The approval came largely through the efforts by Horace N. Allen. With the fund provided by the Hawaii Sugar Planters Association, David W. Deshler set up the East-West Development Company (Tongseo Kaebal Hoesa) at Incheon to recruit Korean laborers. Their arrival ends a journey which begins on  December 22, when  97 Koreans (54 men, 21 women, and 22 children) leave Incheon aboard a Japanese ship, Genkai-maru, for Japan. At Nagasaki, they along with other Koreans arriving from other parts of Korea, go through physical examinations, and 102 who pass physical checks board a United States ship, GAELIC.



 February 8, 1904 - The Russo-Japanese War begins. 


Japan and Russia have been competing for dominance in the Far East, mainly in China. In 1898 Russia pressures China into granting it a lease for the strategically important port of Port Arthur (now Lü-shun), at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula, in southern Manchuria. Russia thereby occupies the peninsula. Moreover, in 1896 Russia, concluding an alliance with China against Japan, wins rights to extend the Trans-Siberian Railroad across Chinese-held Manchuria to the Russian seaport of Vladivostok, gaining control of an important strip of Manchurian territory. Despite building  the Trans-Siberian Railroad (1891-1904), Russia lacks the transportation facilities necessary to support its limited armed forces in Manchuria. Japan, by contrast, has steadily expanded its army since its war with China in 1894 and has gained a marked superiority over Russia in the number of ground troops in the Far East. After Russia reneges in 1903 on an agreement to withdraw its troops from Manchuria, Japan attacks.


The war begins with a Japanese naval attack on the Russian squadron at Port Arthur and a long siege after several very costly general assaults on it fail. However, and on Jan. 2, 1905, in a gross act of incompetence and corruption, Port Arthur's Russian commander surrendered the port to the Japanese without consulting his officers and with three months' provisions and adequate supplies of ammunition still in the fortress.

 (Source: http://www.russojapanesewar.com/intro.html)


 The Chinese administration directs that military drill would be taught in all Chinese academies in an effort to raise the standard of Physical Education and to raise the level of national consciousness for the Chinese nation.


 October, 1904 - The Anglo-Japanese Gazette lists 25 reforms to be introduced to Korea including "...#11. For financial necessity, the Korean Army shall be reduced by decreasing numbers through the country, at present put at 20,000 to 1,000 and by disbanding all the garrisons in the provinces, keeping only one in Seoul.  #12. A union of military arms shall be effected between Japan and Korea with the object of adjusting the existing military system in the latter country....." 


Training in Japanese military sword ("kyok gom") is included in the curriculum of the Yonsong Army Academy.


 In 1904 Syngman Rhee (1875-1965) came to the U.S. to study and became another leader for Korea's independence. He received a Ph.D. in international affairs from Princeton University in 1910.



 January 6, 1905 - In a letter to John Jay, Secretary of State, Horace Allen of the American Legation in Seoul advises that "the Japanese Military authorities have informed the Korean Government that hereafter the police matters of Seoul will be controlled by the Japanese gendarmerie (sic) because of the apparent inability of the Korean police to preserve order. I also learn that a Japanese police inspector will be placed in each prefecture, and a Japanese advisor, or chief inspector has been sent for to take charge of the Seoul Police Department."

Source: Horace N. Allen; Dispatches to the Secretary of State


 The final land battle of the Russo-Japanese War is fought at Mukden in late February and early March 1905, between Russian forces totaling 330,000 men and Japanese totaling 270,000. After long and stubborn fighting and heavy casualties on both sides, the Russian commander, General A.N. Kuropatkin, broke off the fighting and withdrew his forces northward from Mukden, which fell into the hands of the Japanese. Losses in this battle were exceptionally heavy, with approximately 89,000 Russian and 71,000 Japanese casualties. 

Battle of Tsushima (May 27-29, 1905) - In a battle in the Tsushima Straits, Admiral Togo Heihachiro's main Japanese fleet destroyed the Russian Baltic Fleet, commanded by Admiral Z.P. Rozhestvensky gave the Japanese the upper hand in the conflict by dealing the final defeat of the war. 


President Theodore Roosevelt of the United States serves as mediator at the peace conference, held at Portsmouth, N.H., U.S. (Aug. 9-Sept. 5, 1905). In the resulting Treaty of Portsmouth, Japan gained control of the Liaotung Peninsula (and Port Arthur) and the South Manchurian railroad (which led to Port Arthur), as well as half of Sakhalin Island. Russia agreed to evacuate southern Manchuria, which was restored to China, and Japan's control of Korea was recognized. Japan also reaches an "understanding" with the  United State (Taft-Katsura Agreement), which recognizes  Japan ’s “special interest” in  Korea .  US views the agreements as a means of blocking Russian expansion in the Eastern Pacific and as an implicit recognition by Japan of the American "special interest" in the Philippines. (United States unofficially agrees not to contest Japanese designs on Korea for comparable considerations by Japan of the Philippines as a coaling station for the US. Pacific Fleet.)  Russia and  England also recognize  Japan’s interests in  Korea 


Japan forces Korea to enter into an understanding appointing Japanese advisors to the ministries of finance, foreign affairs, and eventually to the ministries of defense, police, imperial household, and education. Japanese troops move through  Korea .


 July 31, 1905 - In a communication to the Secretary of State, Edwin V. Morgan provides "for your information a copy of the regulations recently published by the Japanese military Administration in Korea with penalties for their violation....". 


November 28, 1905 - Edwin V. Morgan advises PAK Che Soon that "as a result of the convention recently concluded between the Imperial governments of Korea and Japan" the Japanese Foreign Office in Tokyo will "control and direct the foreign relations and affairs of Korea....diplomatic matters affecting the persons and property rights of American citizens in Korea.... will be dealt with  hereafter by the American Legation in Tokyo."


The United States withdraws its minister and legation in November, 1905 from Korea.  

Source: Department of State Archives; Washington DC. 



 Japan lays the South Manchurian Railway to Port Arthur. 


 The BUTOKUKAI-CHOSON is established bringing Japanese Kendo to Korea. In this same year, Osong Private School becomes one of the first private institutions to teach Kumdo. 


 Mr. Cillette, general secretary of the Hwangsung YMCA, investigated the realities of the Korean students in  Japan . The Hwangsung YMCA dispatched associate general secretary, Kim Jung-shik to  Tokyo . Tokyo Choson YMCA was activated in a rented room on the second floor of Tokyo YMCA. After the Korean YMCA was established, it began providing the Korean students in  Japan not only with the Japanese language education but also with living conveniences such as the arrangement of lodgings and counseling on the selection of colleges and admissions. The record shows that about 80 percent of the Korean students coming to Japan for study took lessons on the Japanese language for one year in 1907.



King Kojong sends a secret delegation to the Second Hague Peace Conference in the Netherlands (June 15, 1907), in an attempt to publicize the plight of  Korea and to seek international assistance. Upon learning of this secret mission, ITO Hirobumi forces King Kojong to abdicate in favor of his son.  ITO Hirobumi, the Japanese Resident General in Korea, dissolves the Korean army on August 1st.  PAK Song-hwan, the commander of the First Korean Infantry Guards Regiment, commits suicide in protest to the dissolution order.  Scattered Korean army elements battle Japanese occupation forces in the streets of Seoul and join guerilla forces operating in the countryside. Members of the Royal Bodyguards are captured after some street fighting and come into the custody of Japanese troops.  King Kojong's son, Sujong, becomes a puppet emperor (August 27, 1907). Japan tightens its grip over Korea by increasing its control over administrative and governmental agencies and bureaucracies. The "Firearms and Explosives Control" Law is enacted that same month. Japanese troops patrol the streets of Seoul to quell demonstrations against King Kojong's forced abdication. Korean resisters engage in guerilla warfare. Uprisings led by leading Confucian scholars flare in the provinces of Chungcheong-do, Jeolla-do, Gyeongsang-do and Gangwon-do. Many pitched battles are fought between 1907 and 1909, but the resistance fighters are more active in guerrilla tactics, rescuing Koreans from Japanese captivity and destroying Japanese transportation and communications facilities.   Japanese troops are used to combat the Korean resistance. There are summary executions of captured Korean resistance fighters. Japanese occupation troops frequently engage in terror tactics, executing anyone suspected of being involved with the resistance.  


 Moved to the building at #2,2 Jeongmok Nishiogawamachi Kanda-gu in August, Tokyo Choson YMCA was formed as the organization of YMCA. Cho Man-shik was appointed chairman of Board of Directors and Kim Jung-shik was named general secretary. 


 In February, immigration to the United States by Korean and Japanese workers has reached levels that cause unrest in the U.S. In an attempt to ease international tension over race issue, the "Gentlemen's Agreement" is reached between the United States and Japan to prevent Japanese and Koreans immigrations to the United States. Korean migration to the mainland United States from Hawaii is effectively ended.


 Toyama was named Shihandai (assistant) to Itosu at the Okinawa Teacher's College in Shuri City.


Chung Do Kwan's founder, LEE Won Kuk born; moved to  Japan when he was 19 years old, in 1926. While in Japan he first attended high school and then entered the law school of Chuo University. Then he joined  Japan 's Karate-do headquarters, the Song Do Kwan (Shotokan). He received Karate instruction from Karate's father, FUNAKOSHI Gichin. There he learned Karate with the Song Moo Kwan's founder, RO Byung Jick.



 TAKEDA Sokaku goes to  Hokkaido in far northern  Japan . Over the coming months he will organize techniques into a viable combat system based on material he has gather during his life.


 Kendo is mandated in the Korean School system. Presented as "KUMDO", the practice will spread to the Junior High Schools in 1927.


In 1908, the first ever Korea-Japan police KYOKGOM contest was held. In September of the same year, an organization named Mudo Kigye Chaeyukbu or the "Armed Martial Arts Athletics Department" was formed and promoted physical training amongst civilians, including KYOKGOM. By this time, the KYOKGOM training equipment and techniques developed to something that closely resembles those of modern kumdo. 


1908 In March, Durham White Stevens, an American employed by Japan as an advisor to Korea's Foreign Ministry, is shot to death by Chang Inhwan (1875-1930) at the San Francisco Ferry Station. Jeon Myeongun also fired at him but his gun malfunctioned. Stevens was embarking on a trip in the United States to advocate Japanese control over Korea.



 CHOI Yong Sul  is reportedly abducted by 'Morimoto' or Gumamoto Eachiro and brought to Japan. Alternate reports indicate that CHOI is taken to Japan in the hopes of finding greater opportunities than as one of a large rural farming family in  Korea. With his mother having died in 1906 and his father a few years later, Choi is about 10 years old and is difficult to control both at home and at school. Choi reports that due to his acting-out, his sponsor later abandoned him and that he roamed the Osaka-Yokohama area for the rest of the year until coming to the attention of the local police. Alternately, Choi's daughter will later recall that in mid-January, 1909: CHOI Yong Sul was taken to Japan by YAMADA Ogichi and his wife. Traveling from BUSAN to Shiminoseki, they travel towards Yamada' hometown of Yahata City. Struck by a bout of homesickness, Choi leaves the Yamada household and begins to live on the by-ways. He will later be picked-up by the police and be taken to a local Buddhist Temple for shelter. 


 August 26, 1909: Chung-kun AHN (1879-1910),  a Korean independence activist, assassinates Prince ITO Hirobumi (the Japanese governor-general) in Harbin, China.  Japanese security forces arrest political activists throughout Korea.


 YOON Young-hyun, a member of the Yangban (noble) class in South Korea, is the government-appointed Country Chief of the Tong-young and Gojae Island Districts. When Imperial Japan invades Korea in 1909, Grandfather Yoon Young-hyun is pushed out of his government position. To avoid any trouble with the Japanese forces he takes his family to Manchuria. His grandson, who will later be the founder of the YMCA Kwon Bop Bu, YOON Byung-in, is born on May 18, 1920 in Mu-sun, Bong-Chon, Manchuria. 



In June 1910, Japan  institute a military police system by appointing the commander of the Japanese military police to the concurrent post of superintendent for police administration. 

1910 TAKEDA Sokaku relocates to HOKKAIDO and begins to circulate in the area teaching his martial arts skills to the local population. HOKKAIDO will remain Takeda's official residence for the balance of his life.  

Source: Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu; Katsuyuki Kondo; Aikinews, 2000


 Japan annexes Korea  to the Japanese Empire and install Terauchi Masatake as the first governor-general (1910-1916).  Korea ceases to be an independent sovereign state (August 29, 1910). Korean nationalists continue to resist the Japanese occupation.  Within few months after August 1910, “thousands” of Korean insurgents are killed by the Japanese. The Korean armed resistance gradually grew weaker, and Japan reported that the Korean volunteer army had ceased to exist in November 1910 or in March 1912 with its last operation in Hwanghae-do province. On December 11, 1910, 700 Koreans, including 123 religious leaders, are arrested. Resistance may have continued, however, well into 1915. Within Korea resistance becomes an underground movement, while others cross the Amnokgang and Dumangang rivers into Manchuria, where they organize the Korean Independence Army with its stronghold in Gando under Hong Beomdo. This army became the main force in all subsequent struggles against the Japanese.


The Resident-General, in order to destroy the Korean independence movement in Gando, set up a branch office and stationed an army plus military and civilian police forces there.


 CHOI Yong Sul reports that he was picked-up by the Japanese police and was taken to a Buddhist Temple where he resided from 1910 to1912 with Otanabe Kintaro, a samurai monk with an 8th degree black belt in Kangdo-Gwan Judo, in Kyoto, Japan.  


  Shanghai’s “Pure  Martial  Calisthenics  School  (“Jingwu Ticao Xuexiao”) is opened as the first modern organization to emphasize training in indigenous Chinese martial arts. Martial Arts, having been disregarded by both governmental and private agencies as a non-viable option for Physical Education, is promoted by this organization and its founder, the champion Chinese boxer, HUO YuanJi. Having left Tientsin in 1907 for  Shanghai, this MIZONGQUAN or "Lost Track Fist" stylist is well-known for having taken up the cause of Chinese nationalism by participating in very public challenge matches with foreigners. Trading on this reputation and securing funding from well-connected Chinese businesses, he founded the JINGWU Association in  March, 1909. The organization spread rapidly through the urban areas of China, where once disparaged itinerant teachers from the rural areas were now much sought after for their boxing and wrestling instruction. For his part, HUO YuanJi would not live to know the great success of his organization, having died in August of that same year, reputedly from poison. 


 Sheltered from any overt prosecution by the colonial master, the YMCA deploys its (sporting) activities during the better part of the colonial period (1910–45), making it an important player in the development of sport in  Korea and an important producer of discourses on sport. 


 The term "ghi-guck gom" will be changed to Kumdo in 1910 although Japanese records state this as happening on August 1, 1919. This change helps promote Kendo as a popular sport in Korea with Kendo being included in the 16th National Choson Sports Festival in 1935.  


  Among the soldiers returning to their homes when the Korean military is dissolved, is SUH Myeong Duk who has been involved with the palace security forces. He will write a series of five notebooks and these will form the basis of what he will teach his grandson, SUH In Hyuk. 

Source: KUK SOOL WON Textbook Vol 1; SUH In Hyuk; C. 1993; pg 30  



 The last Chinese Emperor is deposed.  Republic of China is established.


 The DAI NIHON BUTOKUKAI  starts the BUTOKU GAKKOU in 1911 to increase the growth of Kendo and MOMBUSHO, and the Japanese Ministry of Education, requests a committee to establish uniform Kendo kata for use in the educational system. In 1912, a committee of 23 is formed from various Ryu and reorganize the Dai Nippon Butokukai Kendo Kata, of 1906 to the  Dai Nippon Teikoku Kendo Kata, consisting of 7 long sword and three short sword kata. Additional material will be added in 1917 by Naito TakaJi, Takana Sasaburo, Kadona Tadashi, Nakayama Hakudo and Minatobe Kuniharu. With a few modifications the final form for the standard Kendo kata would be established in 1933.



 Rhee Seung-man inculcates patriotism in the Korean students during his 8-day stay in Tokyo. Born in Hwanghae Province, Korea, to Rhee Kyong-sun, a member of an aristocratic YANGBAN family. Rhee is said to be descended from Prince Hyo-nyong, the second son of King Taejong of Choson.  


 In-Mok JANG  born in  Korea . The only Korean documented as having received the first certificate of proficiency in DAITO-RYU Aikijujutsu, Jang Im Mok was a student of Machida Hosaku who was a student of TAKEDA Sokaku. Chang returned to Taegu City in 1945 where he taught Daito-Ryu Aiki-ju-jutsu for a time. His primary work was as a doctor of oriental medicine and massage, and he did not produce many students. Dr. Mok does, however, still have his documentation. 



 First World War (1914-1917) begins as Serbian insurgents, incensed over the predations of Austro-Hungarian troops kill Arch-duke Ferdinand during his visit to Sarejevo. A network of alliances and agreements quickly cause the major powers of Europe to align. Unappreciated in the political wrangling are the great adscroll listing his training record in Daito-Ryu.vances made by military technology resulting in one of the greatest losses of life in mankind's history.  


 Korean groups organize overseas. Hungsadan group (1917) (California), Korean residents in Hawaii.  Korean  National Army Corps is founded in June 1914 in Hawaii and Volunteer Korean-American youth engaged in paramilitary training at the University of Hastings Nebraska) Kukminhoe and National Army Corps members. These are the results of Yongman Park, who believes that independence for Korea will only come by force of arms. The National Army Corps eventually dissolved, due to bitter disagreements between Yongman  Park ) and Syngman Rhee. Park will later die in China, under obscure circumstances, as he continues his organizing efforts.


   Funakoshi Ginchin pens an article for RYUKYU SHINPO newspaper in which he divides Karate practice into two general styles aligned with the body type of the practitioner. Traditionally variants of Karate practice, known as TO-DE in Okinawa were associated with geographic locations or towns. Funakoshi's position reflects an earlier view of his main teacher, Anko Asato, who also identified two main lines of Karate--- Shorin-Ryu and Shorei-Ryu---in 1908. Unpopular with other Okinawan Karate teachers of the time, such academic distinctions, however, were attractive to the Ministry of Education by suggesting a level of specificity that would recommend Karate as an addition to the Okinawan Educational System. 


Toyama holds a high office at the Shuri First Elementary School. Toyama was one of only two students to be granted the title of Shihanshi (protege); Funakoshi Ginchin was the other to receive this title from Itosu. Aside from learning Shorin-Ryu from Itosu,  Toyama studied and mastered other styles of karate from other notable masters of Naha-te and Tomari-te which also included Okinawan Kobu-do. A few of his other teachers were Aragaki, Azato, Chibana, Oshiro, Tana, and Yabu. as well as those NAHA-Te kataof HIGAONNA Kanryo.



 Okinawa-te Master ITOSU, Yasutsune, mentor to Karate greats TOYAMA Kanken (SHUDOKAN Karate) and FUNAKOSHI Gichin (SHOTOKAN Karate) dies in  Okinawa.


 CHOI Yong Sul reports encountering Ueyshiba in Akahikawa,  Hokkaido, Japan.TAKEDA Sokaku first encounters 32 year-old UESHIBA Morihei and teaches Ueshiba until late 1919. 

Source: Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu; Katsuyuki Kondo; Aikinews, 2000



 CHOI Yong Sul reports going into a "Wilderness Discipline" in  Mt. Mizkaki, Akeda, Japan with Yamamoto, Morimoto, Miyamoto, and Hiyashi encountering Ueyshiba in Akahikawa ,  Hokkaido, Japan. The training will include sword and stick work as well as meditation and physical conditioning. Choi reports that the training was so challenging that only he and Takeda remained after a period of years. (1916-1922). At this time Choi is about 17 years old.



 World War One ends in Europe November 11, 1917. 



  League Of Nations established.  


  Japan 's first gymnasium and indoor swimming pool build at Tokyo YMCA. 


 Choson Young Men's Independence Corps meeting in the hall of YMCA on February 8 and proclaimed the Independence Declaration under the pretext of electing the association staffers. Many members of the Korean students in  Japan emigrated to  China to join the Korean provisional government set up in  Shanghai in November.   


1919 Korean resistance to the Japanese occupation was manifested in the massive, non-violent March 1st Movement 1919 which produced the SAMIL Uprising (March 1, 1919 - April 30, 1919. The Japanese side reinforced its police by throwing six infantry battalions and 400 military police troops into the suppression campaign. According to Japanese numbers about 587,641 individuals were involved resulting in 26,713 arrests,  553 killed and 1,409 injured. Estimates made by the Independence Movement placed the number killed at closer to 7,500 Koreans killed and wounded nearly 16,000. At the height of the independence movement, provisional governments of Korea were established in Vladivostok, on March 21, in Shanghai on April 13, and in Seoul on April 21. The reason for such action in three different places almost simultaneously can be explained by the fact that the need for leadership was felt to be most urgent in the independence struggle. The Provisional Korean Government, established in  Shanghai, is recognized as the government of the Korean people between the period 1919 and 1948. In 1920,Syngman Rhee moves to Shanghai, China to assume the Presidency of the Korean Provisional Government, the hub of independence movement by overseas Koreans.  

Source: Korea -A Century of Change; Juegen Kleiner; pp32-41)


 The Japanese occupation of Korea after annexation contested by the numerically smaller, poor armed and poorly trained Korean army. Many former soldiers and other volunteers leave the Korean peninsula for Manchuria and Primorsky Krai, Russia.  Koreans in Manchuria form resistance groups known as DONGNIP GUN (lit: "Liberation Army") which travel in and out of the Korean-Chinese boundary, guerilla warfare against the Japanese forces. 



A group of Korean educational leaders passed a resolution on June 22,1920, calling for approval of their plan to establish a private university. The Japanese rejected the resolution, however, under provisions of the Korean Education Ordinance, and reacted with renewed oppression. Instead, established Keijo Imperial University as a colonial institute in 1924-1926 utilizing the new name given the city of Seoul - "Keijo". Admission of Korean students to that university was limited to one-third to one-fourth of the total number of students. Extreme limitation of fundamental education for Koreans was the most important basic "Cultural Policy" of Governor-General Saito Makoto.  

Founder of the YMCA Kwon Bop Bu, YOON Byung-in, is born on May 18, 1920 in Mu-sun, Bong-Chon, Manchuria. 

Choson Chaeyukhoe (Choson Athletics Association) was established, and a year later, Mr. Kang Nak-won opened Choson Mudogwan, the country's first private school to teach Kumdo exclusively. 


 The Battle of Cheongsanri (Chingshanli in Chinese) was fought between the Korean armed groups and the Japanese YANJi HELONG (Azuma Detachment) with support of the Joseon Army 19th Division  in a densely-wooded region of eastern Manchuria called QINGSHANLI  (青山里, 청산리) in October 1920.The Azuma Detachment engaged in combats with Korean guerrillas from October 21 to 26, and as a result, Koreans retreated from the area of operation. The 19th Division of the Joseon Army continued the sweeping operation until the end of 1920. Accomplishing their goals, most of the division withdrew from eastern Manchuria in early 1921 and the withdrawal was completed in May. Surviving Korean guerrillas went to Siberia to join pro-Soviet revolutionary forces. This battle is generally considered a victory for the Independence Army. For the casualties of the Japanese army, Chosun Doknip UndongJi Hyulsa by Bak Inseok (1920) states "900-1,600 including Regimental Commander Kano," Daehan Minguk jeongdangsa compiled by the National Election Commission (1964) "over 1,000," Hanguk jeonjaengsa by the Military History Compilation Committee of the Ministry of National Defense (1967) "3,300 dead and wounded," and Hanguk Minjok Undongsa by Jo Jihun (1975) "3,300 including Regimental Commander Kano." 



 May 6, 1921: Crown Prince Hirohito, later to be the Japanese emperor, is feted to a demonstration of Okinawa-Te by FUNAKOSHI Gichin in the Great Hall at Shuri Castle. The overwhelming impact of the demonstration on the Crown Prince paved the way for a formal presentation of Okinawan-Te to the Japanese people which took place at the Women's Higher Normal School, in Tokyo, on April 1, 1922. This demonstration will open the door for Funakoshi to spread his teaching throughout Japanese society and at the behest of the Okinawan Royal House, Funakoshi elects to remain in Japan and establishes MEISEI JUKU, a dormitory and school for newly arriving Okinawans arriving in Japan and the first  formal Japanese Karate club. In this same year, Funakoshi also writes RYUKYU KEMPO: KARATE, the first book on Karate. At this time the syllabus for his form of Karate contains 15 KATA: Pinan 1-5;  Naihanchi 1-3; Kushaku; Passai; Seisan; Wanshu; Chinto; Jitte; Jion. 

Source: SHOTOKAN Karate: Its History and Evolution; Randall G Hassell; Empire Books, 2007



 Funakoshi Gichin comes to Japan.


 Takeda Sokaku awards Ueshiba Morihei the Representative Instructor (kyoju dairi) certificate, which entitles him to teach Daito-ryu on Sokaku's behalf. Subsequently, Morihei received the kaishaku sodensho, the highest Daito-ryu certificate at the time. In addition Takeda also awards a certificate in "Shinkage-Ryu" generally taken to be a reference to Shinkage Ju-Jutsu.



 September 21, 1923. The Great Kanto Earthquake.  


a.) CHOI Yong Sul reports rescuing a Korean girl during a major earthquake in Kanto. Anti-Korean fervor had broken-out causing Japanese nationals to attack and kill Koreans. Choi reports saving two women from a mob using a DAN BONG. Though successful in driving-off the attackers Choi is wounded by a bamboo spear.  


b.) The plates for the printing of FUNAKOSHI Gichin's first book on Karate are destroyed. The book will later be renamed RETAN GOSHIN KARATE-JUTSU and be published by KOBUNDO in 1926. Funakoshi identifies an additional 16 KATA in this book bringing the total number of KATA for his approach to Karate to 31. 


c.) Funakoshi is invited to relocate his dojo to the Kendo Dojo of the Kendo master NAKAYAMA Hakudo. With the support of such notables as Nakayama, Funakoshi was able to reassert the popularity of Karate in Japan with a demonstration in Ueno, Japan in 1924. 

Source: SHOTOKAN Karate: Its History and Evolution; Randall G Hassell; Empire Books, 2007



 Beginning in 1924 and leading well into the 1930-s, Funakoshi establishes a series of University clubs across Japan beginning with KEIO University and including Tokyo University, Takushoku, Chuo, Gakushuin, Hosei, Nihon, Meiji. 


 TOYAMA Kanken moved his family to  Taiwan where he taught elementary school and studied related systems of Chinese Ch'uan Fa ( Jap. kempo; K. kwon-beop ), which included Taku (Jap.Hakuda ), Makaitan, Rutaobai, and Ubo. Taku is one of central  China 's Hotsupu (northern school) Ch'uan Fa and is further classified as Neikung Ch'uan Fa (Jap. Shorei Kempo), that is, an internal method. Makaitan and Rutaobai, from which the techniques of nukite (spear hand) came, and Ubo, all belong to the  Nampa (southern school) Ch'uan Fa and are external methods or Waikung Ch'uan Fa (Shorei Kempo). These later three styles hail primarily from Taiwan and  Fukuden, China.  Toyama  Sensei was also known to have studied and taught TAI CHI CHUAN.  


 The Oriental Exclusion Act is legislated in the United States Congress. With the exception of Filipinos and Asian college students admitted to American colleges and universities, this Act would prohibit all immigration from Asia.  Immigration of Korean picture brides that continued in small numbers even after the Japanese authorities discouraged in 1910 comes to a complete halt. No Korean immigrants are allowed into the United States after 1924. This prohibition continues until 1952 when the McCarran-Walter Act repeals it and replacing it with the strict nationality quota system. 



 Japan moves into Outer Manchuria as a result of the chaos following the Russian Revolution of 1917.  A combination of Soviet military successes and American economic pressure force the Japanese to withdraw from the area, however, and Outer Manchuria returns to Soviet  control by 1925.   


  A 1941 Toyama Military Academy fencing manual  dates the birth of Toyama Ryu as 1925 indicating a probable re-evaluation of the then-current techniques. Reports of inadequate performance of the European-style saber work in the Russo-Japanese War continue to haunt the curriculum. On-going concern for preserving the Japanese sword as a martial icon is supported by the need for a heavier weapon capable of dealing with bayonet techniques in close-quarters fighting. The 1941 manual provides only a written description of the five Toyama Ryu iai kata, as well as describing Omori Ryu and Eishin ryu kata for a total of seven. NAKAYAMA Hakudo is reported to have instructed in Omori Ryu at the Academy, and another famous master, Takano Sasaburo, was the Academy's chief fencing master during this time period.  "The 1944 copy of Gunto no Soho11, published by the academy, shows a photograph sequence for seven kata. When compared against the 1941 manual, we see an addition of two kata, a section on tameshigiri (test cutting), and the incorporation of kesagiri (kesagiri, the diagonal cut was not used in the 1925 description)."  

Source: Guy Power; http://www.webdiva4hire.com/kenshinkan/toyama02.html



 Hirohito ascends the throne of  Japan . 


 Chung Do Kwan's founder, Lee Won Kuk, moved to  Japan when he was 19 years old, in 1926. While in  Japan he first attended high school and then entered the law school of Chuo University. Then he joined  Japan 's Karate-do headquarters, the Song Do Kwan (Shotokan). He received Karate instruction from Karate's father, Funakoshi Sensei. There he learned Karate with the Song Moo Kwan's founder, RO Byung Jick.


 1926-1930- Takeda Sokaku resides in Tokyo with his family.



 Though a success by most measures, the Jing-wu Athletic Association falls on hard times. Though it has spread to most Chinese urban areas and across large parts of  Southeast Asia, including  Vietnam,  Indonesia and  Malaysia , the association loses its financial support and falls prey to the changes in political climate in  China . The following year the Chinese nationalist government under the GUOMINDANG will take over their role and eclipse the JingWu Association


 Prime minister Tanaka calls for the domination of Asia by Japan .


Founded on February 15, 1927 in Korea under the Japanese rule, SINGAN HOE (New Stem Association) was a unified national organization. The association attempted to form a joint front by combining leaders of the nationalist and Communist camps. The plan to organize SINGAN HOE was first proposed by nationalist leaders keenly realizing the necessity of combining leaders of the Nationalists and Communists into one of the various independence organizations. The Communist camp, under a directive from the Comintern, also felt the need for forming a joint front in cooperation with the nationalist camp. At the time of its founding, SINGAN HOE was headed by YI Sangjae, president, AN Jaehong, secretary-general, and with HONG Myeonghui in charge of organization. YI Seungbok distinguished himself in raising operational funds. From the beginning, the association was subjected to extreme oppression by the Japanese police. 



 March 20, 1928: Funakoshi gives a Karate demonstration with 15 of his students at the Imperial palace for the Japanese royal family. 


 A battle in the area of the Shaolin Temple results in the burning of the temple complex by Warlord Shi You-San’s military. The fire lasts for more than 40 days, and all the major buildings were destroyed. The most priceless books and records on martial arts are also burned and lost.


 The Chinese nationalist state under the GUOMINDANG takes control of the Chinese martial arts realm. Though of unclear origins, the term GUOSHU, or “national skills”, becomes the label of choice to identify the product of the governments efforts to unify and standardize the Chinese arts. Centered at the  Nanking Central Guoshu Academy in  NanJing , this institution is the product of the Guoshu Research academy decreed in March of 1928 by national decree #174. Among the masters invited to participate were GU Zhou-Chang, Won Lai-shen, FU Chang-song, WONG Shao-Chou and LI Shan-Wu. They specialized in Northern Shaolin Nature Division, Pa Qua Division, Li Far Spear, and TAN TWE Division respectively. Also influencing the Central Kuo Shu Institute were Geer Dar Hai (Ta Chan Division), Don Ien-Gieh (Yang's Tai Chi Chuan) and Shun Yu-Fan (Lo Han Division).........This diverse style has popularly come to be known as "Long Fist" an entity of modern construction that shares its name with the older well-spring of some many Chinese Boxing traditions. When initial attempts to reconcile Wudang and Shaolin traditions fail, such efforts are abandoned in July, 1928. Responsibilities are then placed with MA Liang and TANG Hao to reconcile some 161 known types of Chinese martial arts.  

Source: Shaolin Long Fist Kung-fu; YANG Jwing-ming & Jeffery Bolt pgs 7-8 


 MATSUDA Toshimi receives his teaching certificate from TAKEDA Sokaku. Matsuda will go on to teach a number of students both Japanese and non-Japanese including the Korean practitioner CHANG Im Mok.


 Between World War One and World War Two Manchuria is a political and military battleground between  Russia ,  Japan , and  China . During the warlord period in China , the warlord Zhang Zuolin had established himself in Inner Manchuria with Japanese backing. Later the Japanese Kanto Army find him too independent and, in 1929, assassinate him.



 Nationwide anti-Japanese uprising of students in Korea,  November 1929


 CHOI Yong Sul marries a woman from Chung-Do District of Kyung San Province in Korea. Choi's first child, a daughter (Bok Sun) will be born in the Summer of 1931. By 1938 Choi will have three daughters.


 CHEN Xin (b.1849) dies. A sixteenth generation practitioner of the Chen Family Boxing tradition, CHEN Xin is the first to author a book on the principles and practices of the Chen Family tradition. Taking 12 years to hand-write his volume, the "Illustrated Explanations of Chen Family Taijiquan" hopes to reinstate the Chen Family practices as the original Internal Boxing tradition, a position which has been taken by YANG Taijiquan among the intellectuals of the Chinese public. The four-volume book explains the principles and theories of TAIJIQUAN, the applications and guidelines for beginners.   

Source:Chen Style Taijiquan-the Source of Taiji Boxing; Sim & Gaffney; North Atlantic Books 2002


 February, 1929: MA Liang and TANG Hao, in cooperation with a number of martial arts individuals, produce a series of “Organizational Outlines” which will be used at various administrative levels including school, village, county and district for GUOSHU schools. With this level of organization, branch schools reached thirty by 1930,  and over 300 by 1934. As success builds, the efforts are fueled by contributions by regional martial arts masters who add their support to the national effort and find a satisfying venue for representing their skills and knowledge.


In  Nanjing the central school continued to operate two programs;  a 3-year program providing instruction in several martial arts styles and 44 hours of course each week, and a training program providing free training and academic instruction to those not accepted to the Instructors program. A southern institute is opened in Canton and includes southern traditions such as White Brow, Hung Gar, and White Crane Divisions. This newer institute allows for the combining of Northern and Southern fighting skills providing for the development of new and effective techniques. Unfortunately, after only three generations, World War II starts in 1937 A.D., and all training is discontinued due to the war.  

Source: Shaolin Long Fist Kung-fu; YANG Jwing-ming & Jeffery Bolt pgs 7-8 



 TOYAMA Kanken moves from  Taiwan to mainland  Japan and on 20 March 1930 he opened his first dojo in  Tokyo . He called his dojo Shu Do Kan meaning "The Hall for the Study of the Way" (in this case the karate-way). Toyama Sensei did not claim to originate a new style, system or school of thought, nor did he combine the different styles he had learned. Those who studied under him basically learned basically Itosu's Shorin Ryu and the related Ch'uan fa.

 CHOI Yong Sul resides in Otaru,  Kitami City,  Japan and then resides in  Asahikawa , Japan 1930-1935



 The Japanese Army invades  Manchuria . The Japanese military argues that it needs to control  Manchuria as security against a possible attack from the Communist Army. Considered by some historians to be the beginning of WW II, The "Mukden Incident" of September 18, 1931, also called the Manchurian Incident, occurred in southern Manchuria when a section of railroad, owned by Japan's Southern Manchuria Railway near Mukden (today's Shenyang) was blown up by Japanese junior offices and is blamed on Chinese dissidents thus providing an excuse for the Japanese annexation of Manchuria. 


 Hapkido teacher, HAN Bong Soo is born. 



 In March 1932 the "Pacification of Manchuria" results in the country being renamed Manchukuo ("land of the Manchus"). The Japanese initially install Puyi, the former last emperor of China, as “chief executive” in 1932 but two years later he is declared Emperor of Manchukuo with the era name of "Kang De" or "Tranquility and Virtue".  Manchukuo thus became the "Great Manchu Empire". Although the Chinese government did not recognize  Manchukuo , the two countries established official ties for trade, communications and transportation. Koreans fighting the Japanese Occupation of Korea are forced to either flee the area or join the Communist forces in the area. 


Yingkow (119,000 or 180,871 in 1940)

Mukden (339,000 or 1,135,801 in 1940)

Hsinking or Changchung (126,000 or 544,202 in 1940)

Harbin (405,000 or 661,948 in 1940)

Dairen (400,000 or 555,562 in 1939)

Antung (92,000 or 315,242 in 1940)

Kirin (119,000 or 173,624 in 1940)

Tsitsihar (75,000 in 1940)


 Following the invasion of Manchuria, Araki Sadao. Japanese Minister of War urges the military to return to the traditional Japanese sword after the Manchurian campaign. Until 1932 the military service sword was of European design. However, the poor performance of Infantry sword material during the Russo-Japanese War and during the Manchurian incursion results in a re-evaluation and will induce an official change back to the two-handed sabre in 1939 based on techniques identified by a committee in 1925. It was this combination of techniques as adopted by the army that will become the foundation of the Toyama School of Swordsmanship. ("Toyama Ryu", as the sword art would later come to be called, is not an ancient koryu martial art. It is a modern bujutsu created specifically to be used in combat and was taught as such until the Military Academy doors are closed in 1945).

Source: Guy Power; http://www.webdiva4hire.com/kenshinkan/toyama02.html


 Choi reports that Takeda led an exhibition tour to Hawaii  around 1932, the same year his second wife died. Ueshiba was not part of the exhibition team but Takeda took Choi, Jintaro “Abida,” and two others whose names Choi could not recall. While the trip was satisfactory it did little to relieve the grief Takeda felt at the passing of his wife. Following the trip and from 1933 to 1938 Choi will see little of Takeda and will invest himself in a series attempts to establish a business and support his family. 



 Japan invades Chinese  province of  Jehol. Japan withdraws from the  League of Nations .  


 With the establishment of the DAI NIPPON BUTOKUKAI - Okinawa, Karate is listed as an official Japanese martial art.  


 HAN Bong Soo is born in 1933 and personally trained by CHOI Yong Sul and JI Han Jae in the art of Hap Ki do. Master Han relocated to  United States in 1969 and officially began his practice. Master Han Bong Soo took on the role as a martial arts director for the FBI and founded International Hapkido Federation.  


 With a few modifications, the final form for the standard Kendo kata is established.



 In 1934, KenJi Tomiki resigns his teaching position and returns to Tokyo where he set up home one minute away from Ueshiba's Kobukan Dojo and continues to study aikido seriously. In that year he becomes an army officer and, with Ueshiba's permission, went to Manchukuo to teach as an instructor of Ueshiba-ryu AikijuJitsu. His techniques were praised enthusiastically by the chief of staff Hideki Tojo which promoted the spread of aikido there. In March of 1936 he became a lecturer at the Daido Institute that had been established in Manchukuo. In the spring of 1938 he moved to the newly established Kenkoku University lecturing in budo and was in charge of a new course in aikibudo (the name used by Ueshiba at that time) on the curriculum.


 Citing immoral behavior between male teachers and female students, females are dropped from participation in the Chinese Guoshu  program.



 FUNAKOSHI Gichin publishes KARATE-DO KYOHAN , identified as the master text for Karate instruction. It is at this time that Funakoshi changes the characters for the term "Kara ("China") hand" to "Kara ("empty") hand". Despite the reasoned explanation for this, the change will alienate numbers of Okinawan practitioners who view the change as a kind of "betrayal" of the art's Okinawan roots.  


 JI Han Jae, originator of SIN MU Hapkido born in  Korea .


KIM Kwang Seok is born. Though already familiar with traditional Korean arts from his childhood in rural Korea, Kim began studying SIB PAL KI under YUN Meong Deok in a Taoist community in the Jiri mountains of Korea as well as in Busan during the Korean War. Kim opened his SIB PAL KI school in 1969 and, between 1987 and 2002, Grandmaster Kim authored four books on the history and techniques of traditional Korean martial arts.


 In May 1935 Hwang Kee began working for the Korean railroad company which allowed him to travel. In May 1936 he met a Chinese Kung Fu master named YANG Kuk Jin. Kee trained with Yang until 1946. At that time China was experiencing a communist revolution. The training consisted of Seh Bop (postures), Bo Bop (steps), Ryun Bop (conditioning) and Hyung (Forms) with their applications.


 The military academy established in 1874 at the Rikugun Shikan Gakko in  Ichigaya, Tokyo, is moved in 1936 to the vicinity of Zama city, 37 miles southwest of Tokyo, and given the name Sobudai by Emperor Hirohito. The Army Officers Academy, Sobudai has a total of six kendo dojo and one jukenjutsu (bayonet) dojo. The buildings are each about 200 feet long and 40 feet wide, with three separate entrances. Sobudai is divided into two sections: north, for the Japanese; and south, for the foreign students from China, Korea, Indochina, etc. Three kendo dojo and one smaller dojo (about 60' x 40', possibly for instructors) are on the south side. Two kendo dojo and one juken-jutsu dojo were on the north side. 

Source: Guy Power; http://www.webdiva4hire.com/kenshinkan/toyama02.html



 Second Sino-Japanese War begins (1937-1945)

Japanese seize Peking, Nanking and  Shanghai . 


 The Japanese begin to suppress freedom of religion in Korea, substituting compulsory worship at Japanese Shinto shrines. 



 Japanese proclaim Co-Prosperity Sphere.


 The Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria began accepting pro-Japanese Korean volunteers into the army of Manchukuo, and forming the "Gando Special Force". Koreans in this unit specialized in counter-insurgency operations against communist guerillas in the region of Jindao. The size of the unit grew considerably at an annual rate of 700 men, and included such notable Koreans as General Paik Sun-yup.Officer Training centers for the Japanese Army are established in Mukden and Hsinking in the puppet state of Manchukuo. The Singyong Manchukuo Military Academy trains Koreans to fight in the Japanese forces and who will help establish the armies of both North and South Korea.. The Japanese Imperial Army manuals are used at the Manchukuo Military Academy and the military physical training manual is a direct translation of the Imperial Japanese manual. Other  manuals are based almost entirely on Japanese Imperial Army manuals with some Soviet military theory. The North Korean uniforms become a mixture of Japanese Jackets, French trousers, belt and cap and Soviet boots after the style  uniform designed by Manchukou Military Academy graduates.

Manchukuo officers develop Korean words needed in modern warfare such as commands, names of weapons and equipment. Koreans accepted include the later Korean President PARK Chung Hee. Other notable Koreans who serve in the Japanese Army include but is not limited to Crown Prince Euimin, Chung Il-kwan later to be a Korean Prime Minister, and the first 10 Chiefs of Staff to the Korean army following the War. 

(Source: http://forum.axishistory.com


 Korean-language teaching is banned from secondary school curricula. 


 Japanese and Russian armies clash in two battles along the border of Manchuko.(1938-9).


 LEE Joo Bang is born in Manchuria though his family moves to northern Korea in 1942.



 KIMM He-young is born, January 17, 1939 in Dan Tan County near Seoul and is registered in 1940.


 SUH In Hyuk is born, March 5, 1939. He will begin instruction in the Korean Martial Arts under his grandfather, SUH Myung-deuk, a former member of the Korean Royal Court Army. SUH will study meditation, breathing, and Ki techniques under Buddhist Monk, Hae Dong Seu Nim, and Southern Praying Mantis Chuan Fa under Tae-eui Wang. 


 In the summer of 1939 a border dispute between Manchukuo and Mongolia results in the Battle of Khalkhin Gol when a combined Soviet-Mongolian force defeats the Japanese Kanto Army.  


 In 1938, Master Yoon graduates from high school and is chosen by his family to study Colonial Agriculture at Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. During his academic career at Nihon University, he has the opportunity to meet karate Master Toyama Kanken (student of Yasutsune “Anko” Itosu) who is an instructor in the Shudokan.  Yoon trains at the Shudokan during his college days (1939-1945).


Under the National General Mobilization Act of Japan, Korean labor was subjected to forcible removal from the peninsula. The drafting f laborers began in 1939 and many were sent to Japan, Sakhalin or Southeast Asia. Statistics up to August 15, 1945, show that 4,146,098 workers were assigned inside Korea and 1,259,933 in Japan. Many Korean workers were sent to coal mines in Japan; some of them remain in Japan and Sakhalin even to this day. 



 3-Power Pact of  Germany ,  Italy and  Japan to reorder Europe and the  Far East .


 MYUNG Kwang Sik is born in  Korea. Myung will begin his martial arts career learning Korean KUMDO in his family and will move on to KONG SOO DO before investing himself in Hapkido. 


 Hwang In Shik (also Whang Ing-Sik ) is born in Suncheon, north of Pyongyang in present day North Korea. Hwang In-Shik and his family will move to Seoul while he is still a young child and will be exposed to Korean martial arts through TANGSOODO before experiencing Hapkido at the age of 13. His work in the Hong Kong cinema will provide the Hapkido arts with world-wide exposure. 



 Between 1940 and 1942 Ueshiba visited Manchukuo and took great pleasure demonstrating aikibudo. In 1940 he established a grading system and made Tomiki his first 8th dan. Through his favorite pupil, Ueshiba's Aikibudo became established as a form of educational budo. 



 Germany signs Non-aggression Pact with the USSR .


 April, 1941: The curricula of Japanese schools is imposed upon Korean schools.


 Occupation of French Indo-China in July, 1941.


 TOJO Hideki  becomes prime minister in October 1941.


 An attack on  Pearl Harbor , December 7, 1941 brings the  United States into the world conflict.



 SEO In Sun  born:  August 1, 1942. He will collaborate with his older brother to develop material contained in the KUK SOOL material and provide significant input following the start of his training of Hapkido under CHOI Yong Sul in 1958. 


 Bowing to strong pressure from the Japanese Military, the BUTOKUKAI alters its original goals of using Japanese Martial traditions as a venue for developing Mind and Body. With the Reform of 1942 the BUTOKUKAI now nominally handles Bayonet Training as well as Shooting in addition to its more traditional Archery, Judo and Kenjutsu. In practice, actual training was conducted by members of the Japanese Veterans Association and the Japanese Shooting Association, though the BUTOKUKAI would provide examination for prowess in Bayonet on request. 

An Apologetic for the DNBK, 1947; Svinth, Joseph R.; Nov 22, 2002


 Brothers LEE, Joo Bang and LEE Joo Sang begin their formal MA training under Soahm Dosa  at Suk Wang Sa Temple in  North Korea . They are 5 and 6 years old, respectively. According to Lee this will continue until Suahm Dosa dies in 1969.



 TAKEDA Sogaku, head of Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu dies from a stroke in  Aomori, Northern Japan as he journeyed north on a return from teaching in the South. April 25, 1943.

Source: Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu; Katsuyuki Kondo; Aikinews, 2000


Education of Koreans under the Education Decree of March,1943 is increasingly geared to the Japanese war establishment. Korean language is no longer taught in primary schools. From 1943, Korean youths are drafted into the Japanese army. 


After receiving the obituary of Sogaku Takeda, CHOI Yong Sul goes to bid farewell to Sogaku Takeda immediately. That same year CHOI is drafted by the Japanese "Special Forces". He is elected to teach other soldiers but deserts after 6 months, hiding in Tokyo where his age belies his status as a military deserter until the war ends in 1945. 

(Testimony given by the daughter of CHOI Yong Sul )



 Chung Do Kwan's founder, Lee Won Kuk moved back to  Korea and teaches Tang Soo Do in the Yong Shin school hall in SUH Dae Moon Gu's Ochun Dong,  Seoul because he had a good relationship with Japan 's Choson Governor General Abe. This led to the rumor that he was pro-Japanese. Right after the independence day he seemed to offset his pro-Japanese deeds by developing a good relationship with people of the National Police Headquarters. He led the efforts to get rid of  Seoul gangsters. The Chung Do Kwan was once called the " National Police Headquarters Dojang"


 While in stationed in Manchuria, sword master NAKAMURA Taisoburo has an inspiration while practicing Chinese calligraphy. Drawing on the calligrapher's repeated practice of the character "EI" with its eight basic strokes, Nakamura develops "EI-Ji Happo" (lit: "8 Laws of the Character EI ") as a drill for practicing the basic cuts and thrusts of of his sword material. This will later be formalized into "Happo-giri" (lit: "Eight Directions of Cutting") and become an integral part of his style, Nakamura-Ryu Batto-jutsu. 

Source: Guy Power; http://www.webdiva4hire.com/kenshinkan/toyama02.html


Volunteer Ordinance of January 20, 1944, forced all Korean males including college students were forced to either join the Imperial Japanese Army, as of April 1944, or work in the military industrial sector, as of September 1944. Before 1944, 18,000 Koreans passed the examination for induction into the army. From 1944, about 200,000 Korean males were inducted into the army. The number of Korean military personnel was 242,341, and 22,182 of them died during World War II.  Some had been accepted to the officer training schools in Japan and in Mukden (now Shenyang) and Hsinking in the puppet state of Manchukuo including the later Korean President PARK Chung Hee.  



 Syngman Rhee returns to Seoul before the other independence leaders and is chosen as head of a provisional government. With the tacit consent of the occupation authorities, Rhee conducted a campaign to "remove Communism" that was actually a veiled drive to remove all potential opposition.


 Manchukuo invaded by the Soviet Army following a declaration of war by the Soviet government on Japan, August 8, 1945 and soon afterwards handing Manchuria over to China. Soviet tanks enter northern Korea from Siberia on August 9, 1945, meeting little or no resistance. During the Soviet offensive the Army of Manchukuo, theoretically a two hundred-thousand-man force, well armed and trained along Japanese lines, performed poorly and whole units surrendered to the Soviets without firing a single shot; there were even cases of armed riots and mutinies against the Japanese forces. 


 Korea liberated August 15, 1945 (Liberation Day) 


 LIM Hyung Su (Jung Ki Kwan ) born September 7, 1945. 


 The division of Korea into two occupation zones starts on September 8, 1945 with the United States administering the southern half of the peninsula and the Soviet Union taking over the area north of the 38th Parallel. 


 In November 1945 Hwang Kee incorporated as Moo Duk Kwan Hwa Soo Do, establishing his training hall near YONG SAN railroad station. By 1947 he is routinely identifying his practice as TANG SOO DO which is the name "Karate" written in the pre-1936 Chinese characters. 



 TOYAMA Kanken, now a Dai Shihan, founded the All Japan Karate-Do Federation (AJKF) in 1946. There is some evidence that the AJKF actually got its start in 1930's, however the federation did not evolve into full fledged organization until it was officially documented and sanctioned in 1946. By establishing an organization such as the AJKF, Toyama's intention was to unify the karates of Japan and Okinawa into one governing organization, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and technique. The federation became an authority for rank homologation and advancement issuing rank certification, and also created a forum for competition. This competition group later pioneered full contact sparring which used modified ken-do protective equipment (bogu). The AJKF was successful in attracting importantly outside notable people such as Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose, the founder of Chito Ryu Karate-Do. Dr. Chitose served in several senior positions in the federation including president and vice-president. 

 Toyama's specialties in karate-do were strong gripping methods (Useishi No Kata and the Aku Ryoku Ho) of Itosu and Itarashiki and similar Chinese methods of finger and hand strengthening. He was the author of books Karate-do Taihokan and Karate-do. In 1949 Toyama was awarded a special title of honor by the Governor of Okinawa, Mr. Shikioku Koshin. Aside from learning Shorin-Ryu from Itosu, Toyama studied and mastered other styles of karate from other notable masters of Naha-te and Tomari-te which also included Okinawan Kobu-do. A few of his other teachers were Aragaki, Azato, Chibana, Oshiro, Tana, and Yabu.


 It is also thought that when the Korean (Ch'uan fa) master, Yoon Byung-In came to train at his gymnasium, he also studied Northern Manchurian Kwan-bop with him. It is alleged that Toyama Kanken said that he and Yoon Byung-In should share techniques. Later Yoon Byung-In returned to Korea as a shihan of the Shudokan and taught that style there.


 YOON Byung-in returns to  Korea in 1946 and settles in the Chung-yang Rhee area in Seoul.  He has two notable friends from the karate club at Nihon University living nearby: Chun Sang-sup and Yoon Ui-byung (Yoon Kwe- byung). Chun Sang-sup is head of the karate club within the Cho-sun YeonMuKwan Yudo School located in Seoul, Korea. The Cho-sun YeonMuKwan is the Korean main branch and representative of the Japanese Kodo-kan (Lecturing Way School) judo during this time. Chun Sang-sup invites  Yoon to teach kwon bop (chuan-fa) and karate at the Cho-sun YeonMuKwan. Yoon teaches with Chun Sang-sup at the club for 6 months before he (Yoon ) is invited to teach at the Cho-Sun Central YMCA in Seoul, Korea.  The first edition of Toyama Kanken's book, published around 1946,Yoon is listed as Chief Instructor of the Chosun YMCA. The book also lists Yoon Ui-byung (Yoon Kwe-byung) as chief instructor of the Jido-Kwan (Way Of Wisdom School) in Seoul, Korea. Both Yoon (Byung-in) and Yoon Ui-byung (Yoon Kwe-byung) are listed as 4th dan black belt in the directory. In 1959, the 2nd edition of Toyama Kanken’s book, Yoon Byung-in is listed as Chief Instructor of the Seoul, Korea Dojang and Yoon Ui-byung (Yoon Kwe-byung) is listed as Chief Instructor of the Seoul, Korea Hanmoo-Kwan (Korean People’s Martial Art school). Hanmoo-kwan was also the name of the school Yoon Ui-byung (Yoon Kwe-byung) established while living in Japan. In addition to the Cho-Sun YMCA, Yoon becomes faculty at Sung-Kyun Kwan University and Kyoung-Nong Agricultural College, teaching chuan-fa and karate. He has some notable students, LEE Nam Suk founder of the Chung Mu Kwan, 1946, Cho Lee Park founder of the Kang Duk Won, 1956, Jon Pyo Hon founder of the Hung Mu Kwan, 1966, Ki Whang Kim who eventually took over the Mu Duk Kwan. Kim also earned a 3rd dan from Toyama . For form requirements, the YMCA Kwon Bup Bu - Changmoo-Kwan and Kangduk-Won taught both Okinawan karate kata and Chuan-fa Xing. The curriculum was a combination of karate from TOYAMA Kanken and Chuan-fa from the Chang-chun area in  China as taught by Mongolian instructors in the 1920's & 30's.


 January, 1946 - CHOI Yong Sul returns to  Korea from  Japan by ship to Busan .


 November, 1946 -  Judo which had been banned following World War II is resurrected beginning with the All-Japan Judo Yudanshakai. By 1950 Judo will return to the High Schools of Japan identified as a KAKUGI ("combative technique") rather than as a BUDO ("martial art"). 



 All-Japan Karatedo Association (Zen Nihon Karatedo Renmei) founded by Master Toyama Kanken.


 During the 1940-s. Lin Ping Jiang emigrates from Shandong Province in China to South Korea. He is a 9th. Generation Praying Mantis stylist whose teacher is recorded as Gi Zung Ting (K. KEE Chung Chong), whose teacher was Jiang Hua Long'  whose teacher was Liang Xue Xiang, a 6th Generation Praying Mantis Boxing stylist born in about 1810 and reported to have died in 1860. Lin Ping Jiang is said to have taught TANG LANG Quan in the Seoul area and sometimes held classes at the Chinese embassy. This lineage is the first well-documented line of non-military Chuan Fa training in Korea. His students will include but may not be limited to Hong Moon Tak, Sun Shi Gang, Park Chil Sung, Chun Dai Soung and Gok Ga Chin.  


 Hwang Kee calls his art Tang Soo Do .



 Syngman Rhee or Yi Seungman (March 26, 1875 – July 19, 1965) is elected the first president of South Korea on May 10, 1948 by a parliamentary vote, defeating KIM Koo, the last president of the Provisional Government by a count of 180-16 after left-wing parties boycotted the election. On August 15, 1948,  Rhee formally took over power from the  US military and  sovereignty of Korean people from the Provisional Government. He will continue in office until 1960. 


 The TAE HAN KUM SA Association, predecessor to the TAEHAN KUMDOHOE (The Korea Kumdo Association) is organized on  May 20, 1948.  At that time, some 100 masters, including SUH Ching Hac, KIM Yong Dal, HO Ik Yong, CHUNG Tae Min, LEE Chung Ku, DO Ho Mun,  KANG Nak-won, PAK Chong-kyu, and KIM Yong-bae met on the grounds of the Changdok Palace and formed the TAEHAN KUMSA Association.  


 Doshin So ( formerly NAKANO Michiomi) establishes the NIPPON SHORINJi KEMPO system at Tadotsu in Kagawa Perfecture, Japan. While serving as an operative for the Japanese Intelligence community in BeiJing, China, Doshin So studies under Wen-Lanshi and represents that he was made successor to the tradition, IHER MAN THUEN. (In 1972 a Japanese court will rule that the practice is more likely a mixture of WADO-RYU Karate and JU-JUTSU.)

Modern Bujutsu and Budo; Draeger, Donn F.; Weatherhill, 1996


 Following the Communist takeover in northern Korea, LEE Joo Bang and family move to the vicinity of Yang Mi Ahm Temple on O Dae Mountain (in what will become South Korea) where Su-Am-Dosa has relocated. The Lee brothers continue to train until the 1960-s.  


 Myung Kwang Sik begins martial art training in Kumdo at the age of eight.


 February 21, 1948, SUH Bok Sub is in his office at his father’s brewery and observes a scuffle among people waiting to claim the grain refuse from the  brewery. SUH, a 24 y/o Dan rank in Judo under CHOI Yong Ho, admires the martial skills displayed by one of the combatants and makes his acquaintance. CHOI Yong Sul tells SUH that he, Choi, uses Yawara that he learned in  Japan  . The following day, Sunday February 22, 1948, the two begin to train, with Choi teaching SUH the skills that would later develop into Hapkido. SUH is Choi's first student of record and is identified as the person who recommended the use of the DAN/GUEP ranking system as well as naming the art "Hapki Yu Kwon Sul". SUH will later  establish the  Soo Duk Kwan



 End of the Chinese Civil War. From 1945 to 1948,  Manchuria (Inner Manchuria) served as a base area for the People's Liberation Army in the Chinese Civil War against the KUOMINTANG (KMT). With Soviet encouragement, the Chinese Communists used  Manchuria as a staging ground. Many   Manchukuo  army and Japanese Kantogun personnel served with the communist troops during the Chinese Civil War against the Nationalist forces.  


Following the Chinese Civil War, many Chinese to leave mainland China. In Korea, four major figures in the Chinese Boxing community came to teach and work an influence on Korean martial traditions which is still felt today. 


Lim Poom Chang (1912-1982)  master of the Orthodox Praying Mantis Style (Plum Flower Praying Mantis?) taught mostly in the Seoul area.


Kang Kyung Bang (1912-     ) also a master of Praying Mantis teaches in the Pusan area as well as Taiwan.


No Sue Chon, master of the Pae Kwa or Palm Strike method. 


Koo:  Six Harmony Shaolin also known as Long Fist or Chang Chuan. Proceeding from Koo was Lee Duk Kang who raised a number of students to instructor level such that they were able to move all over Korea teaching Long Fist Boxing until nearly 80% of all Chinese Boxing is Long Fist. Of the almost 450 gyms existing in Korea at this time some 80% practice Long Fist,  8% teach Praying Mantis, 5 percent teach Pae Kwa and the rest are a mixed variety of traditions. Currently there are four major Chinese style organizations including the Korean Kung Fu Association, Inc., (approx 100 schools) the Pa Kwa Association (30 gyms) the Korean and Chinese Kung Fu and martial arts Association (20 gyms) and the Tae Han Ship Pal Gi Association (“Eighteen Techniques Style”--- 20 gyms) 


 The Japanese Karate Association is established in Tokyo, Japan with FUNAKOSHI Gichin as its head. Under its chief technical advisor, NAKAYAMA Masotoshi, a professor of Physical Education a structure of fees, testing and advancement is established tightly related to college courses in Physical Education. Majors in Physical Education can graduate University holding a 3rd Dan in Karate and licensed to teach (under supervision). 




 In August 1950, Yoon Byung-in’s older brother Yoon Byung-du appears as a Captain in the North Korean Army. He tells Yoon Byung-in, “I am your older brother and you must come with me.” Yoon Byung-in is then taken to North Korea by his brother. At this time, all YMCA Kwon Bop Bu students lost communication with Master Yoon and many speculations were made about his disappearance. Yoon will resurface in  North Korea  in 1995. Two of his students go on to found two of   Korea 's most important Kwans. Lee Nam-suk founds the Chang Moo Kwan (Hall for the Propagation of Military Training) and Park Chull-hee founds the Kang Duk Won (Training Hall for the Teaching of Virtue).



 SUH Bok Sub and CHOI Yong Sul establish the Korean Yu Kwon Sul Hapki Dojang in Daegu, Korea, Monday, February 12th, 1951. SUH is now a 4th Dan in the art.



 Master Lee Nam-sok had YMCA Kwon Bop Bu students transfer to training space provided by the Postal Administration Department he used for his Cheshin-Bu (Postal Administration Department Club). When the YMCA Kwon Bup Bu students transferred to his club, Master Lee changed the club’s name to “Changmoo-Kwan” (Brighten Martial Art School). Changmoo-Kwan was a name mentioned by Master Yoon Byung-in when he was still in South Korea. Later, Master Lee lost use of the training space at the Postal Administration Department and had to relocate the Changmoo-Kwan. The Changmoo-Kwan first moved to the Mukyo-dong area in Seoul, then to the Kangmoo-Kwan Yudo Dojang in the Kyungwoon-Dong area from 1958-63.


 Myung Kwang Sik attains Cho-Dan in KONG SOO DO at the age of 12.


 In Japan, despite having been banned by Occupation Forces following World War Two, the All-Japan Kendo Federation (JKF) is organized in 1952. This was, to some extent a vindication of the Butokukai. In March, 1942, with the addition of bayonet practice and shooting and over the strong opposition of the Butokukai itself, the Japanese government in the agencies of the Military Affairs Bureau and Ministry of Welfare attempts to subvert the goals and motives of the Butokukai to that of the war effort. Despite initial success at posting individuals to the organization the Japanese government is ultimately unable to overcome the staunch traditional views of the organization itself.  The failure to turn the traditionalist organization to the will of the Japanese war-machine undoubtedly contributes to the successful resurrection of its efforts from under the policies of the Occupying Forces. Later, in 1957, Kendo returned to the Japanese Middle Schools as part of the curriculum.



 The Korean Kumdo Association is founded by Chong Hac SUH in cooperation with Kendo practitioners both in  Korea  and  Japan. GM SUH would later relocate to Bettendorf, Iowa in the United States and establish the World Kumdo Association.


 The Korean War ends on July 24th, 1953.


 CHOI Yong Sul opens a private school at his house and begins to take on students there. KIM Moo Woong begins learning yu sool from Choi, Yong Sul. JI Han Jae, age 17 and  a freshman at the  Taegu City Technical High School begins his training with CHOI Yong Sul . Kim and Ji become Choi’s leading students.



Lee Dong-Gu accepted as a disciple to CHOI Yong Sul.


 The DAI NIPPON BUTOKUKAI  reopens in Kyoto, Japan after voluntarily closing during the early days of the Occupation of Japan by Western powers. 


Established YumMe Dojang in  Dae-gu City . Acceptance of students Ji Han-jae, KANG Mun-Jin, SONG Jung-hi, KIM Guang-ho, CHANG Jung-Pyo and SHIN Sang-chul


 In a demonstration for the South Korean president, RHEE Sygman, NAM Tae Hi, a Korean Army captain, Signal officer and teacher at a Shotokan Karate club--the OH DO KWAN--, breaks 13 tiles with a single blow. The Korean president is so impressed that he causes Nam's commanding officer, Colonel CHOI Hong Hi, an honorary 4th Dan, to begin a training program for the entire Korean Army. 


 WON Kwang-wha becomes personal secretary and body guard for SUH, Dong-Jin, the father of SUH Bok-sub. This work will continue until 1958. Won will learn Yu Kwon Sul from SUH Bok Sub and then from CHOI Yong Sul. When KIM Moo-Woong opens his first school in 1961 with WON Kwang-wha as the instructor.



 On April 11, 1955, 9 KWANS, 

Song Moo Kwan 

Han Moo Kwan 

Chang Moo Kwan 

Moo Duk Kwan 


Kang Duk Kwan 

Jung Do Kwan 

Ji Do Kwan 

Chung Do Kwan 

are ranked in order of seniority by the Korean Government so as to preserve the  sovereign right to dictate technique within their respective groups. Though all are marginally different in their execution, these KWAN came together to produce TAEKWONDO. These styles have influenced the way Tae Kwon Do is practiced for the last 60 years.



 In 1956, Hong Jong-pyo establishes a separate school called “Kangduk-Won” (Institute of Teaching Generosity). Because he was very busy making a living, Master Hong Jong-pyo didn’t have time to operate the school and Master Park Chul-hee became chief instructor of the Kangduk-Won. Master Hong continued instructing several days per week at the Kangduk-Won. The Kangduk-Won had a difficult time finding a permanent location for the school and moved seven times from 1956 to 1964.


 JI Han Jae leaves Choi and moves to his home city of  An Dong where he receives TAEK KYON training under LEE Do Sa, the son of LEE Maeng Ruhl, a well known traditional doctor. Ji opens his first school called “An Mu Kwan and teaches Yu Kwon Sul to YU Yong-woo, OH, Se-lim, SONG Young Ki and KWON Tae-man. At this time kicking tends to be far more grounded, with a growing number of acrobatic kicks added from time to time from among the techniques Ji was learning from TAEK KYON.



September 4, 1957, after some 9 months in his hometown of An Dong, Ji, Han Jae, then a 1st dan in Yu Kwon Sool, relocates to  Seoul where Hwang, Duk-kyu becomes his first disciple at his MaCHANG Dong school called SUNG MOO KWAN. Reportedly it is at this time that Ji is said to have shortened “hapki yu kwon sool” to “hapki sool” and used the suffix “-do” or “way” instead producing the term “Hapki-do” for the first time. Ji is teaching Yu Kwon Sul and reports that he was the  “appointed head of Yu Kwon Sool” for  Seoul . At this time the following notables are Ji’s students: 

Kang, Jong Su

HWANG Duk-kyu

LEE Tae-joon

LEE Dong-koo


Master LEE Nam-sok teaches little at the Changmoo-Kwan and places 3rd Dan KIM Pyung-soo in charge of instructing the majority of the classes. Kim Pyung-soo wanted to continue learning past the 3rd dan level but couldn’t find anyone at the Changmoo-Kwan to instruct him. So, he taught at the Changmoo-Kwan and would take classes as a student at the Kangduk-Won since they both shared the same lineage and curriculum. KIM Soon-bae, an assistant instructor for Master LEE Nam-sok at the Changmoo-Kwan headquarters Dojang, found this out and told KIM Pyung-soo he had to choose only 1 Dojang, not both. KIM Pyung-soo chose to stay at the Kangduk-Won and be a student. Because of KIM Pyung-soo’s reputation as a teacher and martial artist many of the Changmoo-Kwan Black Belts followed him and joined the Kangduk-Won Dojang. 


Shudokan Karate

Kibon Hyung 1-3 (Kibon Hyung 4 & 5 were unique to the Kangduk-Won)

Chulki Hyung 1-3

Pyung Ahn 1-5   (Okin. "Pinan"; Jap."Heian")

No Hai

Ship Soo   (Okin. "Jittie"; Jap."Jutte")

Ahm Hak

Wan Shu

Balsek Dae   (Okin. "Passai"; Jap."Bassai Dai")

Kong Sang Kun   (Okin. "KuShanKu"; Jap."Kan Ku")

Balsek So   (Okin. "Passai"; Jap."Bassai Sho")


Ban Wol

Ship Pal   (Okin. "Sepai"; Jap."Sepai")

Oh Ship Sa Bo   (Okin. "Useishi"; Jap."Gojushiho")

Jin Soo

Ni Jushi Ho

Myong Kyung



Dan Kwon

Chang Kwon

So Ho Yon

Doju San

Palgi Kwon

Tai-jo Kwon

Cheung Yong Kwon

Kum Kang Kwon

Chil-Bo Yaksok Dae-ryon

Han Son Dae Ryon



 FUNAKOSHI Gichin dies April 26, 1957, preceded in death by his wife and his son Giko. The art of SHOTOKAN Karate is left in hands of a strong cadre such as NAKAYAMA Masatoshi and NISHIYAMA Hidetaka who continue to promote the practice and preservation of the art through the Japanese Karate Association which was established in 1947.  


 Seo In Sun  accepted as a student of CHOI Yong Sul.


 In 1957, HWANG Kee added Soo Bahk Do to his organization's name (IE. TANGSOODO SOO BAHK DO) and stopped promoting students to Black Belt. Hwang Kee adopted the dark blue color for his instructor level belt color. This was done to stop the criticism by other schools that HWANG Kee never tested for and passed a Black Belt test himself. In this way, Hwang Kee is able to avoid coming under the control of the government-managed Korea TAESOODO Association. 



 In 1958 HWANG Kee organization published his second book which consisted solely of the form, So Rim CHANG Kwon. When he learned it, or if only his students knew it, is unknown. But his book does have him executing the form.


July 24, 1958 - Ji moves his school to Joong Boo Shi CHANG and the event is sufficient to have CHOI Yong Sul come to Seoul from Daegu to put on an exhibition. Ji receives his 2nd Dan and continues teaching at this location until April of 1960. During this period Ji’s enrolled: 


HAN Bong Soo

JUNG Won-sun\

KIM Yong-Jin

KIM Yong-whan

MYUNG Kwang Sik


MYONG Jae Nam 

It was also during this period that Ji began to piece together the Yoo Sool (Yoo kwan Sool) teachings of Grandmaster Choi, with the methods of meditation, the Taek -Kyun kicking techniques, and the weapons techniques learned from Taoist Lee, along with the spiritual training he received from "grandma", to formulate his own style of martial art, for which he chose the name "Hapkido".


 SUH Bok Sub sells the SUH Brewery and opens a Yu Kwon Sool school at Joong Ang Dong in  Taegu City and hires KIM Moo Woong  as the instructor. KIM Moo Woong is 21 at the time and must be 24 y/o to qualify for the requisite 4th Dan.  SUH Bok Sub confers the 4th Dan certificate nonetheless, and despite Kim's actual age, SUH fills in the required "24". KJN SUH Bok Sub said of Kim: “He trained kicking techniques endlessly. He dug holes in the ground and practiced jumping from one to another.” Kim will teach for SUH about one year before asking SUH to be allowed to take a sabbatical from teaching in order to concentrate on developing his kicking material and SUH permits him. Reportedly Kim feels that SUH is not offering enough techniques and believes introducing more kicking will attract more students. Kim will stay in the temples for one year training and developing his kicks.  


 SEO In Sun receives his CHO-DAN (1st Black Belt) from CHOI Yong Sul.


 KIM Jeong Yun is accepted as a student of CHOI Yong Sul.


 Dok-Ki Song and Hwan Song, the last two recognized teachers of Taek Kyon give a  demonstration  in 1958 at a birthday party for  Republic of  Korea (R.O.K.;  South Korea ) President Sung-Man Yi (aka. "Sung-Man Lee") renewing interest in an all but dead Korean martial tradition.


 After researching and training around  Korea with his brother , Grandmaster SUH In Hyuk develops a systematic, comprehensive, Korean martial art and calls it “Kuk Sool Won”. He begins to teach Kuk Sool in  Pusan .



 The name Hapkido is chosen, and has been in use ever since. The word itself can be translated as the "way of coordinated power." When "hap" means to unify or coordinate, "ki" means mental and/or physical energy, and "do" means a way of life, or the 'path' or 'way' of coordinating your mental and physical energy into one entity.


 While attending  Sung Kyun Kwan University in  Seoul as a Commerce Major, Myung was also designated as an instructor for the general Hapkido organization at that time. It was after graduation that he was awarded the directorship of the Northern Branch Dojang of Hapkido.



 Syngman Rhee, the first and founding president of South Korea is assured his fourth term in office as President with 90% of the vote. The victory comes after the main opposition candidate, CHO Byeong-ok, dies shortly before the March 15 elections. Following charges of a rigged election for LEE Gi-bung in a vice-presidential contest, demonstrations by the Korean populace result in police shootings of demonstrators in Masan. The student-led demonstrations, named The April 19th Movement force Rhee to resign on April 26th. On April 28th, Rhee is flown out of Korean and spends the last years of his life exiled in Hawaii where he dies on July 19,1965 from a stroke.  


 Lee, Joo Bang reports that in April 15, 1960 he founds the first “HwaRangdo” school  (Jong Ro Gu, Jong Ro O Ga,  Seoul Korea .) The school, originally identified as the HWA RANG KWAN, a Hapkido school, becomes the foundation for Lee's claim that he founded the first HWA RANG DO school in Korea. 



 CHOI Yong Sul establishes the headquarters for Korean Hap-ki-sul Mu-do. KIM Jeong Yun assumes management of the school following the departure of MOON Jong Won and through Kim's dilligence the school and its organization become financially stable. Kim will go on to write the first book regarding CHOI Yong Sul's material containing some 90 pictures and 100 pages and identifying Choi's art as "HAPKI SUL". 


May 16, 1961, General PARK Chung-Hee (1917-1979) overthrows the Korean government, an action which ultimately results in his being elected President and the country comes under a military dictatorship. 


 The Korea Tae Kwon Do Association (KTA) is founded on September 14, 1961, with General CHOI Hong Hi  named as its president. The Chi Do Kwan Association does not join the new organization nor does the Chung Do Kwan organization, one of the largest gyms in Korea. During this period, the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association is established by Hwang Kee and rivals the KTA. The Korean Government finally steps into the fray officially in 1961 recognizing black belts certified by the KTA. and causing many martial artists to join the organization. 


KIM Moo-Woong collaborates on kicking material for the art with his friend, Ji, Han Jae who has moved to  Seoul . Kim stays in Ji’s SUNG MOO KWAN school for eight months beginning in the Spring of 1961. During this time the kicks for Hapkido are finalized. In August 10, 1961 - KIM Moo-Woong, a student of CHOI Yong Sul opens his own school which was called the SHIN MOO KWAN in the Jong Myo section. WON Kwang-wha   is  the instructor.  Among Kim’s students were:

LEE Han-chul  - now in  South America

KIM Woo Tak now in  Canada

HUH Il Woong in  Seoul Korea

NA  Han Dong.

LEE Joo Bang: ~late 1961 or 1962 - Kim Woo Tak brings Lee Joo Bang to the Shim Moo Kwan Hapkido School. Lee Joo Bang, age 23, was attending Duk Soo Commercial High School and living in Kwang Na Ru; now in California

SHIN Dong-ki also in  California


 HAN Bong Soo opens a Hapkido school in the Sam Kag Ji District of Seoul and begins teaching US Air Force personnel at Osan Air Base a year later.  


  Kyun-Sun Park opens a school in Taegue and calls his art  BI SOOL LEE Joo Bang reports that the school closed in 1965


 In Sun Seo establishes the Korea Kuk Sool Association with Grandmaster In Hyuk SUH.



 Ji moves to Kwan Chul Dong, in a space in back of the Hwa Shin Department Store. By this time, he had built his SUNG MOO KWAN school up, and it was financially strong. With assistance from Major LEE, Dong-Nam, Ji was given permission to instruct the military Supreme Council in Hapkido techniques. Ji then received a government post teaching Hapkido to the President Security forces. During this time, he moved his school to SUH Dae Mon (West Gate section), which he felt would give him greater exposure to the public.


SUH In Hyuk visits KIM Moo-Woong’s school while Kim has been drafted in the Army and his school is being run by his students. Among the students who travel to Busan for further training in Kuk Sool are:

LEE Han-chul, KIM Woo Tak, HUH Il Woong, LEE Joo Bang.

Other students of this tradition are

KIM  Moo-Jin, LEE Jong-oh, SUH In-suk, SEO In-sun, BYUN Jong-won, PARK Jae-choon, CHO Sung-sam, KIMM He-young, .


In the Winter, 1962 these individuals will form the core of the HAN KUK MU SUL HYUP HWE (aka: KUK SOOL HWE) “Korean Martial Skills Association” to be formalized the following year, and move out from their Pusan location to spread "KUK SOOL" (lit: "national techniques") to other metropolitan centers in South Korea.


 LEE Joo Bang opens his first school in  Seoul called HwaRang Kwan.


 KIM Jeong Yun, later founder of HAN PUL writes "HAPKI SUL", a brief manual of 100 pages which first records the material taught by CHOI Yong Sul. The book is a disappointment and Kim is increasingly interested in developing a more organized approach to Choi's material; a desire not altogether shared by Choi, himself. In 1964 Choi and Kim will part as Kim relocates to Seoul. 


 Colonel NAM Tae Hi and three other instructors go to Vietnam to teach TAEKWONDO. In the following 10 years some 670 instructors will follow. 



The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE) was officially recognized by the Korean Government on September 2, 1963. A public Non-profit foundation registered with the Korean Government, the KIDOHAE was recognized and given official mandate by the ministry of Education and Culture to disseminate Hapkido/Martial Arts. The meeting of the first Yu Sool masters was held  at KIM Jeong-Yuns'   Han Pul  School in  Seoul  . At this meeting it was agreed upon to change the name of "Hapkido" to "Kido." The masters that attended this meeting were: CHOI Yong Sul, SUH Bok-Sup, LEE, Joo-Bang, LEE Joo-Sang, Ji Han-Jae, WON Kwang-Hwa, KIM Woo-Tack, and KIM Jeong Yun. After changing the name of the Hapkido art, SUH Bok-Sup and KIM Du-young registered the organization "DAE HAN KIDOHAE " with the Korean government. 


With the establishment of this association and its first administrative elections,  CHOI, Yong Sul was elected to position of Chairman and KIM Jeong Yun elected as Secretary-general.


The reason behind the formation of KIDOHAE was that after the Japanese Occupation of Korea ended in 1945, there was an explosion of Martial Arts in Korea by all the Martial Artists who had been living in an oppressed society for decades. With such rapid proliferation of Martial Arts styles, the top masters of Korean Martial Arts community felt that there needed to be a governing body to set guidelines and bring unity to the group. This was the second martial art organization in  Korea, however since it was located in a rural area of  Korea. namely Daegu, there were only ten member schools. At this time, most other  Korean martial arts headquarters were located in the capital city of Seoul in order to draw on more public support and opportunities, so this became an "empty" organization. In 1986, In-Hyuk SUH took over this empty organization and gave control to his brother In-Sun Seo.


Note: The reason for the name changes of this art can be found in the meaning of the Chinese characters and the historical context of the period. The occupation of Japan was fresh in Korean's minds, and they did not want to use the Japanese term Yawara (pronounced in Korean Yusool) for their art, so the name Hapkido was created. After learning about the existence of the Japanese art Aikido, which was founded by Morei Ueshiba, the "name of Hapkido" was changed to "Kido" by these first masters because Hapkido and Aikido have identical Chinese characters and meaning. 


WON Kwang Wha moves to Sam Sun Kyo in Seoul and opens the MU SOOL KWAN.  WON will attract KIMM He-young, PARK Lee Hyun, BAI Hyo Geun and WON Hyung Dai to his class. 

KIM Jung Soo goes to Taegu and opens the YUN BI KWAN. 


RA In Dong will take charge of KIM Moo Woong's SHIN MU KWAN until Kim's return. 


November 1, 1963, KIMM He-young arrives in the United States and begins teaching students at Southeast Missouri State University.. A former Yudo student, Kimm is a product of KIM Moo Woongs'  SHIN MOO KWAN and will receive his teaching certificate 6 years later from WON Kwang Wha (Moo Sool Kwan).   


KIM Jeong-ho reports that he begins training in Korean sword under a monk named CHANG Park San. Following his training he will develop the World Hae Dong KumDo Association based on this premise. During legal proceedings in the 1990-s it will be revealed that HAE DONG KumDo is a fabrication of Kim’s own design integrating Gi Cheon esoteric practices and SHINKUMDO a sword art resulting from a nocturnal inspiration to a monk named KIM Chang Sik. 



Yong-Jin Kim opens a school in Seoul and names it the UL Ji KWAN Hapkido. The school will remain open until 1968.


Sometime before 1964, Hong Moon Tak begins studying Praying Mantis Chinese Boxing under Lin Pin Jiang. He also studies SIP PAL GI. Until 1985 he is an influential member of the largest Korean Chuan Fa organization, the Korean Kung Fu Assn. 


CHOI Seh Oh, a student of JI Han Jaes' SUNG MU KWAN,  arrives in the United States.  


 Rim, Jong Bae begins his training in Hapkido with CHOI Yong Sul . He will train with Choi until he emigrates to the  US in 1978.



 July 19, 1965 - Syngman Rhee, the founding president of an independent Korea dies in Hawaii from a stroke.  


 SUH Bok Sub moves to  Seoul and opens a new Yu Kwon Sool school called JOONG Ang Hae and hires KIM, Woo-tak as the instructor.


 With the enactment of the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, racially discriminatory barriers against Asian immigrants are removed, allowing a large number of Asians, including Koreans, to gain admittance into the United States. This marks the beginning of the third wave. Taking advantage of the new immigration law, a new wave of Korean immigrants reach the United States seeking new economic and educational opportunities and better quality of life. They settle largely in such cities as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. Unlike the earlier groups, the new immigrants from Korea enter the United States along with their family members and also in larger numbers, enabling them to form their own neighborhoods—the so-called "Koreatowns"—in some cities.


 Lim Hyun-su accepted as a student of CHOI Yong Sul and begins training in Hapkido, first under Master Kim Yeung Jae, Founder Choi's pupil.


Ji, Han-Jae establishes the Korea Hapkido Association ( Dae Han Hapkido Hyup Hwe) having left the Korea Kido Association. There were several reasons. First, the Korea Kido Association appointed KIM Jung Yoon as secretary –general. Kim, who was a university graduate, dominated the policies of the association, and Ji did not like the situation. Second, the students were trained in SUNG MOO KWAN under the name Hapkido, and Ji did not like the new term "Kido". They continued to call their martial art Hapkido, and continued to teach it the way they learned it. And lastly, Ji, Han-Jae was appointed Chief Hapkido Instructor for the president's Security forces and had become a powerful person. This power translated into the ability to successfully operate his own organization without help from others who Ji deemed were being less then ethical in their lives as martial artists. The Dae Han Hapkido Hyup Hwe or “Korean Hapkido Association (KHA) was founded in 1965.

The central gym was run by Ji.

The north gym was Kwang Sik Myung.

Bong Soo Han was in the south at the Osan Air Force Base.

In the west was Kim Duk In’s gym.


Other masters who left the KIDOHAE continued to work together and from this the KHF evolved. In this way, many of the same GM that founded the KIDOHAE  also founded, and are governors of, the KHF.


 May, 1965 -  After researching the Korean language, KIM Jeong Yun identifies the material he teaches as "HAN PUL" meaning "Korean Energy" or Korean Methods". CHOI Yong Sul chooses to retain the term "KIDO" to identify his art, while KIM continues to use the term "HAN PUL" for  his more structured approach.  



 TOYAMA Kanken dies. TOYAMA Kanken produced many capable instructors trained in his Shudokan style including YOON Byung In who brought SHUDOKAN to Korea in 1946. However, Toyama did not view the SHUDOKAN as a style of karate-do, merely a place for training. Consequently, he did not appoint a successor and as a result the Toyama system fragments. 


 KIM Seong Sik  opens his school in Seoul and calls it the YU SOOL KWAN. It will remain open for two years and then close in 1968


 HAN KUK MU SOOL HYUP HWE of Lee Han-chul, Kim Woo Tak,  Huh Il Woong, Lee, Joo Bang (& Joo Sang Lee) is disbanded. Begun in 1963, the organization is turbulent as various individuals vie for recognition and control. Most individuals who continue to strive for the same goals shift to the KUK SOOL association.



 Hwang Kee's organization publishes his first English book titled Tang Soo Do which has the (Hwang) Kee cho Il Bu, Ee Bu, Sam Bu, the 5 Pinan forms and Bassai from the Okinawan Karate book. His book lists all the Okinawan, Japanese and Chinese forms his organization was aware of and included them in Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do instructor requirements which included So Rim CHANG Kwan and Tae Kuek Kwan. In addition he draws heavily on the YANG Tai Chi tradition, citing WU Yu Xiang's "Song of Secret's for Training in the 13 Techniques" as well as the postures of the "Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Chi Kung" classic.


 The Korea Hapkido Association sends 15 members of demonstration teams to Vietnam, under CHOI Tae Hoon. For two months these 15 will teach Korean, US, and Vietnamese troops and Special Forces and well as demonstrate their skills. (Viet No Vuem is the Vietnamese martial art that came out of it. Viet No Vuem appears to be basic HKD with some TKD mixed in, plus the advanced acrobatic falls and rolls from Hapkido). Among the participants is Myung Kwang Sik, a student of JI Han Jae and CHOI Yong Sul who will form the Korea Hapkido Yon Mu Kwan Association when he returns to Korea.  Having founded this institute for the furtherance of Hapkido as a highly visible martial art and published the 254-page Korean language book, “Hapkido,” at the age of 27, his considerable contribution is recognized when he is appointed a permanent director of the Korea Hapkido Association.. 


 Moon-Jin Kang opens a school in Seoul and calls his art PYUNG MU KWAN Hapkido. The school closes the following year (1968). 


DAE HAN MU DO HWE is organized but lasts only one year. 


Korean Martial Arts Association: In 1967, Korean president Jeong-Hee Park ordered a number of prominent martial art masters to establish one governing organization that would encompass and unify all Korean martial arts and their organizations. The goal of this project was similar to what had happened a few years earlier when Kongsoodo, Tangsoodo, and Taekwondo were unified to create the national sport of Taekwondo. The Korean government attempted to create two governing organizations; one would handle the national sport (Daehan Taekwondo Hyup Hwe) and the other would handle the national martial art (Daehan Mudo Hwe). The creation and organization of this new association was a combined effort of: Hwarangdo founder Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee, Kihapdo founder Dae-Hoon Choi, and Sungmukwan Hapkido founder Han-Jae Ji. The martial arts that were to be unified under the Daehan Mudo Hwe were: Hwarangdo®, Kuksool Hwe, Yusool, Hapkido, Seongmu Kwan, YusoolKwan, Kuksool Kwan, Musool Kwan, Kwangmu Kwan, Pyungmu Kwan, Kihapdo, Kukkido, Kido, Yukwonsool, and Bulmudo. One of the main promotions for this new organization came on May 27, 1968 at the CHANGchung Sports Arena in Seoul for a national martial arts exhibition, which was directed by Hwarangdo founders Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee. However, only one month after this demonstration the Daehan Mudo Hwe was disbanded. All other arts that were a part of this unification attempt were also disbanded except for the division of the two main original martial arts and organizations. One was the martial art of Hwa Rang Do and the Korean Hwa Rang Do Association, which was founded by Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee. The second was Hapkido and the Korean Hapkido Association, which was founded by Dae-Hoon Choi and Han-Jae Ji.


 CHOI Yong-Sul  changes the name of his school to Hapkido and takes the title  "Dojunim" for the art of Hapkido. Choi becomes Chairman of all Hapkido Dojang at a Korean Mudo competition in Chang-chung Stadium where he demonstrates his Mu-do skills


 HAN Bong Soo, a student of JI Han Jaes' SUNG MU KWAN,  arrives in the United States. 



YU SOOL KWAN of Seong Sik Kim closes.


The DAE HAN HWARANGDO HWE is established by Dr. Joo-Bang Lee and Joo-Sang Lee


LEE Joo Sang opens the first “HwaRangDo in Huntington Beach, California in August, 1968.


SONG MU KWAN of JI Han Jae  located in Seoul Closed.


CHANG Gedo is formally recognized as a master of Hapkido. He then opens his school in Korea and called it "Wol Ge Kwan" which means "TheVictor's  Laurel ".


Duk-kyu Hwang opened a school in Seoul and named it BI RYONG KWAN Hapkido and states that it is currently closed.


Yong-Jin Kim opened a school in Seoul and named it UL Ji KWAN Hapkido in 1963 and closed in 1968.


Yong-Hang Kim opened a school in Seoul and named it SAE SHIM KWAN Hapkido and states that it is currently closed.


Tae-Jun Lee opened a school in Seoul and named it CHUNG MU KWAN Hapkido and states that it is currently closed.


Kwang-Sik Myung opens a school in Seoul and named it YON MU KWAN and closes in 1972


Yong-woo Yu opened a school in Taegu and named it AN MU KWAN Hapkido and that it is currently closed.



 PARK Lee Hyun comes to the United States at the invitation of KIMM He-young. Both are products of the SHIN MU KWAN of KIM Moo Woong through the MU SOOL KWAN under WON Kwang Wha, and both Kimm and Park are former Yudo students as well. Together they will organize the American Hapkido Association, receiving technical support from the Korean Moo Sool Kwan Association. PARK Lee Hyun will inherit the Hapkido program at Southeast Missouri State when Kimm relocates to Louisiana State University. 


 KIMM He-Young receives his teaching certificate from WON Kwang Wha, November 1, 1969.


 July 4th. HAN Bong Soo gives a demonstration as part of the Independence Day celebration at Pacific Palisades, outside of Los Angeles, California. His demonstration comes to the attention of Tom Laughlin who is involved in an up-coming movie. As a result Hapkido sequences will be used in four films who central character, Billy Jack, uses Hapkido in his struggle to protect his community from corruption and violence. Because of this, milliions of Americans will be exposed to Hapkido.


 Suahm Dosa dies. ( Yang Mi Ahm Temple on O-Dae Mountain).


KIM Kwang Seok, who  began studying SIB PAL KI under YUN Meong Deok in 1951, opens his SIB PAL KI school in 1969. Between 1987 and 2002, Grandmaster Kim will write four books on the history and techniques of traditional Korean martial arts seeking to preserve the practices. 


CHOI Bok-Kyu is born. Choi will grow-up to become the foremost advocate for traditional Korean practices by becoming a student of SIB PAL KI master KIM Kwang Seok and devoting both his Masters and Doctorate dissertations to the research of Korean martial traditions. 


 HAN-KUK HAPKI HWE (Korea Hapki Assn) is founded by MYONG Jae-Nam, a former student of the JOONG BU SHI CHANG Dojang in Incheon and chartered by the Korean Ministry of Education. He will later be appointed as the Korean representative of the World Aikido Federation on November 15, 1970. 



 KIM Moo Woong returns from the United States to find that Ji has resigned from the Korea Kido Association and formed his own organization, the DAE HAN HAPKIDO HYUB HOE (Korea Hapkido Assn.). Kim’s students encourage Kim to form his own organization.


 In October of this year notices are published by KIM Du Yung, president of the KIDOHAE and by CHOI Yong Sul Dojunim announcing the need for all Hapkido practitioners of Black Belt rank to apply for registration with the KIDOHAE as the single Hapkido authority. The test was held on November 3, 1970 and saw participation by approximately 500 Black Belts from 20 kwans. 



KIM Moo Woong organizes the HAN KUK HAPKIDO HYUB HOE (Korean Hapkido Assn.)


Having separated from CHOI Yong Sul in 1964, KIM Jeong Yun completes his system of HAN PUL  and begins to develop a separate following comprised mostly of university students. His efforts will continue through most of the 1970-s and culminate in the publication of a series of books extolling his system based on the material learned from CHOI Yong Sul but also supplemented with techniques devised by Kim as well. 


 May 3, 1971,  Master LEE, HAN CHUL and 50 other masters and instructors sent to USA, Canada and South America to proliferate Korean Martial Arts.


 The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  holds its 5th election on September 2, 1971. LEE Du Young re-elected as 5th Secretary General.


 KIM Yun Sang accepted as a student to CHOI Yong Sul. He will continue to train until 1984.


 Hong Seung-kil and CHANG Jin-il received 7th degree Black Belts


 KIM Un Yong, president of the unified Taekwondo schools in Korea organizes the KUKKIWON.


 Dr. KIMM He-young translates MYUNG Kwang Sik's  254-page Korean language book, “Hapkido,” into English, and bearing the title "Hapkido - Art of Masters".



 SUH, In Hyuk is elected Senior Vice-president of the  Korea Kido Association.


 LEE Joo Bang arrives in the United States. In August the International Headquarters for the World HwaRangDo Association ( SAEGAE HWARANGDO HWE) is opened in Downey, California.


 Hapkido master and teacher, HWANG In Sik, begins his career in the movie industry. 


Hong Kong film maker Huang Feng brings  Hung Chin-pao (Sammo Hung). Jackie Chan Tang Wei-cheng, Hu Yin-yin, Mao Ying ( Angela Mao) Chang Yi and Chin Hsiang-lin to Seoul for location shooting in 1972. Huang Feng is also looking for impressive new techniques to infuse into the Hong Kong action sequences and has his stars train at the Korea Hapkido Assn. headquarters for about four months under Hwang and KHA leader JI Han Jae. Further efforts include Lady Kung-fu, Fist of the Unicorn, Game of Death, Way of the Dragon, A Wandering Hero, Black Leopard and Black Spider. Later Jackie Chan, a stuntman from Hwang's early films, successfully rose to prominence in the Hong Kong film world and managed to coax Hwang's help to make the most popular Hong Kong film of the day The Young Master which features a 15 minute fight scene between Chan and Hwang in its original version. Hwang will later play Chan's antagonist in Dragon Land. 




 CHANG  Gedo comes to the United States and opens his first school on the outskirts of Chicago, Illinois. The school he leaves behind in Korea is sold to his student, KIM Yun Sang who continues to teach Hapkido but is later drawn to the April 1st demonstration conducted by CHOI Yong Sul. Kim and LEE Yong Soo will later travel to Daegu on December 26, 1973 and seek-out Choi for instruction. This training will continue until 1984 when Choi suffers a stroke. 


 RIM, Jong Bae leaves his position as an instructor with CHOI Yong Sul and  emigrates to the US as a 6th dan to open his first school in Maryland.


 JI Han Jae representing the DAE HAN HAPKIDO HYUB HOE, Myong Jae Nam, representing the HAN KUK HAPKI SUL HYUB HOE and

 KIM Moo Woong, representing the HAN KUK HAPKIDO HYUB HOE, at the behest of CHAE Dae Hun (of the “Blue House”) come together to organize the DAE-HAN MIN-KUK HAPKIDO HYUB HOE (Republic of Korea Hapkido Assn.) Prior to 1973, the Sung Moo Academy line was called the Dae Han Hapkido Association. The Sin Moo Academy line was called the Han Kuk Hapkido Association. Following the unification, ten academies from the Sung Moo line and 10 academies from the Sin Mu Line are chosen to be academies recognized by the new federation. For the Sung Moo line this included the following:

 Bee Yong Kwan (Hwang Duk Kyu)

 Sae Shim Kwan (Kim Young Hwan)

 Ui Gee Kwan (Kim Yuong Jin)

 Han Moo Kwan (Song Young Ki )

 Duk Moo Kwan (Kim Duk In)

 Chung Moo Kwan ( Lee Tae June)

 Jin Jung Kwan (Kim Myung Yong)

 Dae Moo Kwan (Kwon Tae Man)

 Yun Moo Kwan ( Myung Kwang Sik)

 Yong Mu Kwan (Kim Hung Soo)


The SUNG MU typically included better educated in institutions of higher learning and were very well regarded as practitioners. Nearly all bodyguard members in the “Blue House” were SUNG MU KWAN members. The Sin Moo line included:

In Moo Kwan ( La In Dong)

Yuong Moo Kwan ( Lee Dong Woo)

Kae Sung Kwan (Lee Chung)

Kuk Sool Kwan (Kim Woo Tak)

Kuk Sool Won ( Ho Ill Oon)

Moo Sool Kwan (Won Kang Kwa)

Yun Bee Kwan ( Kim Jung Soo)

Kyung Moo Kwan (Kang Jin Yoang)

Yu Sool Kwan ( Kim Moo Jin)

Yang Mu Kwan (Chong Yang Hwan

Also recognized by the new Federation was the Kuk Jae Hapkido Yung Meng (International Hapkido Federation of Myong Jae Nam.


A notice published in the CHOSON IL BO newspaper on November 13, 1973 announces a period of re-registration lasting from November to December 1973 by which members of the individual organizations can transfer their membership to the new organization.This organization lasts 11 years until 1984 when each of the principle again goes their separate ways.


 September 1, 1973 - The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  holds its 6th Election Lee Du Young  re-elected as 6th Secretary General.


 "Chul Sa CHANG" Korea's "Iron Palm" Hand Techniques formerly transmitted in secrecy are developed into an educational sequence format and incorporated into the Kuk Sool Curriculum and introduced to the public for the first time on October 3, 1973


 LIM Hyun-su receives 7th degree Blackbelt.


 Formation of the World Hapkido Association on December 20, 1973.



 Instructor KANG, Ik Jo and 30 others are sent to the USA, Europe and South America April 13, 1974


 August 15, 1974 -  An assassination on President PARK Chung Hee fails to kill the leader but his wife is killed in the struggle that follows. PARK Jong Kyu, in charge of Security, and a staunch advocate for JI Han Jae and Hapkido, resigns.


  September 10, 1974 -  Chief Deputy Secretary General SUH In Hyuk dispatched two 9th dans (HanKuk Moo Sool) to the  Americas . First general meeting of WHA was held in Detroit Michigan, USA, on June 23, 1974 and MYUNG Kwang Sik was elected president.


 SUH, In Hyuk moves to the United States and brings Yong-Il and Park, Yong-kyu as assistants. SUH will spend the next five years with Kimm, He-Young, then president of the American Hapkido Association. During this time, Kimm will learn the KUK SOOL material and in 1977 Kimm will become Secretary General of the World KUK SOOL Association.  


 LIM Hyun Su opens the Jung Ki Kwan on October 24, 1974.



 The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  holds its 7th election on September 1, 1975.Lee Du Young re-elected as 7th Secretary General.


 The Republic of Korea Hapkido Association, founded in 1973, and uniting the three largest Hapkido groups (excepting the KIDOHAE) re-elected CHOI Tae Hoon as President and KIM Moo Woong as Managing  Director.  On June 28th a test for Black Belts was held. 


To produce a unified curriculum, RA In Dong (Shin Moo Kwan) and SONG Young Ki (SUNG MOO KWAN) merged the material of both Kwans and deleted duplication, structuring the resulting 400 techniques in a specific order. Organized for rank advancement the result was a curriculum covering from White Belt to Fourth Dan. 


 SUH moves to San Francisco, California where the World Kuk Sool Won Association of Dae Han KIDOHAE is established September 30, 1975. SUH is the president of the association and Kimm is the secretary-general.


 WON Kwang Wha dies and the MOO SOOL KWAN, first opened in 1963, is assumed by  PARK Lee Hyun.  



 Second Bi-Annual WHA meeting  – MYUNG Kwang Sik publishes the 300-page “Hapkido – Art of Masters” copyrighted in October, 1976 the year of his arrival in the  United States. 


 HWANG In Sik is promoted  to 7th dan by the Republic of Korea Hapkido Association (Dae Han Min Gook Hapkido Hyub Hwe) and is appointed as chief instructor for the association headquarters. Hwang will immigrate to Canada and start a family.  Later he will open a dojang in one location and then moved shortly thereafter to the Greek area of Toronto known as the Danforth, where he still continues to teach and train on a daily basis. Currently his students include but are not limited to  Hwang Young-ho, Eric Sanderson, Matthew Rogers, Courtney Campbell and Jimmy Vlachos. In addition, students who also received black belts are Karl Kriese, Kevin Thistle, George Wong, Keith Stewart and Clement Chan. 




 KIDO member masters introduce and incorporate Korean Martial Arts into National Defense Ministry, Air Force Commando Units and the  Army Academy curriculums May 6, 1977.


 Chun Dai Soung (b. 1944) emigrates to New Orleans in the United States, leaving his Korean Kung Fu schools to his student Ku Young Han having begun training in  Monkey and Long Fist in Korea at the age of 8. 


 Instructor SONG, JEONG SEON and 20 other martial artists sent to other parts of Asia, Africa, S. America and the  USA October 8, 1977


 NAKAMURA Taisoburo founds the All Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation. The first president is MASUDA Hideo, an All Japan Kendo Federation hanshi (master teacher) in both kendo and iaido, and a former Toyama Academy fencing instructor. The senior master is still NAKAMURA  Taizaburo, a Toyama Academy graduate and a Special Battlefield Kenjutsu Instructor. He is also hanshi, 10th dan in battodo, awarded by the Kokusai Budoin.  Nakamura has modified the original seven army forms and added an eight, itto ryodan.. This form is a test-cutting technique, its  Japanese name meaning to "cut in two with one stroke." It is also known as suemono giri, shin choku giri, nuki uchi, makko, karatake wari, and shomen giri. 

      Three separate organizations represent Toyama Ryu iaido in the 1970s: in Hokkaido, Yamaguchi Yuuki sensei's Greater Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation; in the Kansai region (Kyoto-Osaka), the late Morinaga Kiyoshi sensei's Greater Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Association; and Nakamura Taizaburo sensei's All Japan Toyama Ryu Iaido Federation (ATIF). Each organization is autonomous and retains its own set of forms; the Hokkaido branch even included sword versus bayonet exercises.  Attempts to consolidate the three organizations to preserve the Toyama Academy's spirit and sword techniques are unsuccessful.

Source: Guy Power; http://www.webdiva4hire.com/kenshinkan/toyama02.html



 Third Bi-annual WHA Meeting.


 The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  holds its 8th Election on January 26, 1978. CHOI, Byung Gu is appointed Chairman. and CHOI, Byung Rin elected Secretary general.


 LIM Hyun Soo receives his 8th dan from CHOI Byung Lin, president of the Korea KI-DO Association, September 9, 1978.



 HISA TAKUMA dies. - 1885 1979, was the senior student of Sokaku Takeda ! He is one of only two people to receive the full "menkyo Kaiden" directly from Sokaku Takeda, and he went-on to establish the very popular Takumakai with several thousand students. 


 Nine Kuk Sool Won masters sent to perform in martial arts demonstrations across the United States October 16, 1979.


General Park, Chung-Hee (1917-1979) assassinated. GM Ji was the head of the presidential bodyguards when President Chung Hee Park's wife was killed during an attempt on the President's life. GM Ji was out of the country on R&R at the time. GM Ji was not the head of the bodyguards when President Park was killed in 1979. The new head bodyguard was with President Park at that time and was also killed. The assassin was the head of the Korean CIA, i.e. someone within President  Parks inner circle. But Ji resigned after the assassination anyway. When he became  a civilian he joined the Min Jung Dang political party, and got involved with one of two rival groups  inside the party. Ji started training some people from one group to protect President Doo-whan CHUN when he would visit party headquarters, and the leader of the other group reported to the president that secret training was going on to overthrow him. Ji received a 1-year prison term. During the term, he was unable to work out, but meditated a great deal, and when he got out started Sin Moo Hapkido. 



 Master CHO, JAE SOO and six additional masters sent to exhibit Korean Martial Arts in the USA on July 13, 1980


 KIM Yun San, LEE Yong Soo and KIM Jun Bae complete a new school on February 1, 1980, where CHOI Yong Sul will continue to teach his art. The school takes the name of the teacher and is called the YONG SUL KWAN.



 LEE Young-Sik begins training in Kumdo and will transition into the HAE DONG GUMDO organization. With the assistance of another HAE DONG GUMDO person, ROH Tae-rae, Lee will combine Korean Kumdo with elements of Nakamura-Ha Toyama-Ryu from the Japanese traditions of NAKAMURA Taizaburo and form a splinter group from the mainline HAE DONG GUMDO organization. The discipline coins the term "Ssaurabi" through a misrepresentation of the Japanese term "samurai", claiming that the Samurai culture of Japan was derived from the Korean culture. 


 The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  holds its 9th Election on April 5th 1981 PYO, SI CHAN elected as Secretary general.


 Fourth Bi-annual Meeting of the WHA was held in Chicago June 28.



 CHOI Yong Sul comes to the United States to visit in June.


 1982.2.10.  Kuk Sool Won master WON, KWANG JU and three others sent to the USA.



 The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  holds its 10th  Election on June 1, 1983. SUH In Hyuk is appointed Chairman and SEO, In Sun elected as Secretary General.


 1983.6.21. Kuk Sool Won master PARK, JAE CHUN sent to the USA.


 1983.7.1. The supervising authority for martial Art training changed from the Ministry of Education and Culture to the Ministry of Sports.


 1983.10.1. The World Martial Arts Championship and Master's Exhibition held in San Francisco, CA ,  USA . Master LEE, Chun Duk sent with 10 other participants.


 1983.10.26. Master BYON, JONG WON sent to demonstrate Martial Arts in the USA.


 YOON Byung-In dies of lung cancer April 3, 1983 in Cheong-Jin City, Ham-Gyoung, North Province. Master Yoon worked in the cement factory until he died of lung cancer on April 3, 1983. His legacy continues as the Korean Taekwondo Association (now WTF) and the International Taekwondo Federation.


 MYONG Jae-nam originates the International Hapki Federation.


 LIM Hyun-su  ( December 1, 1983) and CHANG Jin-il received 9th degree black belts



 On April 1st., Lee Young-soo and Kim Yun-Sang receive 9th degree black belts. RIM, Jong Bae returns to Korea to receive his 7th Dan. 


 1984.3.31. The World Martial Arts Championship and Master's Demonstration held in San Francisco , five KIDO members sent to represent  Korea .


 1984.5.16. Kuk Sool Won master LEE, JEONG OH sent to the USA.


 June 9, 1984. - The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  holds its 11th Election on June 9, 1984;  KIM Chang Seong and KIM Tae Hwan elected honorary Secretaries General.


 November 21, 1984. SEO, In Sun published a comprehensive textbook for practitioners of KUK SOOL WON.


 The Republic of Korea Hapkido Association ends breaking into three organizations:


a.) International Hapkido Federation of  MYONG Jae Nam;


b.) HAN KUK HAPKIDO HYUB HOE (Korean Hapkido Assn.) of KIM Moo Woong;


c.) The remainder of the Republic of Korea Hapkido Association was taken in tow by one of the officers Oh, See Lim who changed the name from DAE HAN MIN KUK HAPKIDO HYUB HOE (Republic of Korea Hapkido Assn) back to DAE HAN HAPKIDO HYUB HOE (Korea Hapkido Assn) which was the name Ji had used for his organization from 1963 to 1965. 


d.) JI Han Jae moves to the United States and founded the SIN MU Hapkido organization.



  April 15, 1985. Jang Jin-il succeeds Do-ju Nim CHOI Yong Sul as a new Do-ju (foreign regions)


CHOI Bok-Yul, son of CHOI Yong Sul Dojunim , succeeds his father as the Do-ju  for the practitioners in  Korea.


 Sixth Bi-annual Meeting of the WHA was held September 29, 1985. Two months later, on November 16, 1985 at a rally in  San Diego,  California the name of the organization was officially changed to the World Hapkido federation.


 Unification : Dae Han Hapkido Hyup Hwe. is renamed Sae Ma Ui Hapkido Hyup Hwe.


 Unification: Sae Ma Ui Hapkido Hyup Hwe  is renamed Dae Han Hapkido Jung Ang Yun Hyop Hwe


 The establishment of the SAEGAE SIN MU HAPKIDO HYUP HWE ("World Sin Mu Hapkido Association") by JI Han Jae. Since Hapkido had so many organizations Ji Han-Jae  creates a new martial art in 1985, which he named Sin Mu Hapkido and subsequently he founds the World Sin Mu Hapkido Association.



 Unification: Dae Han Hapkido Jung Ang Yun Hyop Hwe  is renamed Dae Han Chae Yuk Jin Yun Hwe; Dae Han Hapkido Hyup Hwe


 Myung Kwang Sik received his 9th dan from JI Han Jae; Certificate # 85-001


 October 11, 1986 The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  In the 12th Election SEO, In Sun is re-elected as Secretary General. DAE HAN KIDO HWE of SUH Bok-sub and KIM Doo-yong  ends. Administration of the organization is entirely under the control of SEO In Sun. On May 31, 1986 SEO In Sun, Chairman of the Korea KIDOHAE establishes the World KIDO Federation in  San Francisco ,  CA ,  USA . The stated goal in the organizations mission statement was to foster a link between the traditional Korean organization and the worldwide Hapkido community.


 October 27, 1986 - CHOI Yong Sul passes away.



 1987.11.28. The 10th Korea Martial Arts Championship held at Gu Duk Auditorium in Pusan. Mu Rim Hae(Martial Artists Unity Society) established. Congressman PARK, JAE HONG elected as one of the Directors of KIDOHAE.



 MYUNG Kwang Sik publishes “Hapkido Weapons – Vol. Two - THE CANE”



 The KIDOHAE Board of Directors pass a resolution to form the World KIDO Federation to serve as the international subsidiary organization to KIDOHAE. World KIDO Federation is to serve as a link to KIDOHAE for all Martial Artists outside of  Korea . Through World KIDO Federation, all legitimate Martial Artists can receive the official recognition for their rank and style and establish their place in the annals of Martial Art history and link themselves back to Korea .


 LEE Joo Bang founds TAE SOO DO as a sport component to HWARANGDO.


 Renamed Sa Dan Bup In Dae Han Hapkido Hyup Hwe which is its current name at this time.



 Significant policy change causes all of the WHF directors to quit, including JI Han Jae, CHANG Gedo, and LEE Jung Bai. Myung decides to add forms ,and also claims Taekwondo rank stating he was ninth Dan founder of Taekwondo YonMuKwan. He had also elects to change the standing of the WHF from a non-profit to a for-profit organization. 



 Hankido is introduced. MYONG Jae Nam's combination of Hapkido and Aikido is meant to be an easy-to-learn martial art. Myong is the head of the International Hapkido Federation which is the administrative organization for this new art.


  In 1992 Shi De Qian finished his two books: "Complete Encyclopedia of Shaolin Martial Arts" and "The Secrets of Shaolin Healing". Master Shi De Qian Shi De Qian was born in Henan, China, at the foothill of the Shaolin Temple. His given name was Sun In Wong. He became a disciple of Shaolin as a child, were he learned martial arts from Master Shaun-Shu Siashi. In the last twenty years Shi De Qian has done an enormous amount of research on martial arts, and has searched over 17 Chinese states and South East countries collecting data. To date Shi De Qian has written over 57 books on martial arts. Now considered a professor of martial arts Shi De Qian writes for the Martial Arts Society, and has been a guest speaker to the United States, Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand. Shi De Qian is also the 31st generation heir of the master.



 October 1, 1994. The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE)  Dae Han Kido Hae holds 13th election and  SEO In Sun is re-elected as Secretary General.



 1995.10.1. World KIDO Federation HQ office relocate to Fremont, CA. (USA) and training facility established at the same location.



 1999.3.27-28. KIDOHAE Seminar in Florida hosted by ICHF


 MYONG Jae Nam dies. The International Hapkido Federation is then led by his son, MYONG Sung Kwang.



Published: Hapkido Textbooks One through Five by Myung Kwang Sik 


KIDOHAE Seminar in Canada hosted by Hoshinkido, Quebec, Canada 



June 15, 2002 - General CHOI Hong Hi dies on June 15, 2002 in Pyongyang, North Korea.  Choi was born on November 9, 1918 in Hwa Dae, Myongchon County, in present day Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. Choi’s father sent him to study calligraphy under Han Il Dong, who was also "a master of Taek Kyon, the ancient Korean art of foot fighting" (Park, 1993, p. 241).  In 1937, Choi travelled to Japan for further study. In Kyoto Choi studied Karate attaining the rank of CHO-DAN in 1939 and his Second Dan soon after.  Choi was compelled to serve in the Japanese army during World War II, but was implicated in a rebellion and imprisoned. Following the war, in January 1946, Choi was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Korean army. From 1946 to 1951, Choi received promotions to first lieutenant, captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel, and then brigadier general, promoted to major general in 1954. Choi stated he combined elements of taekkyeon and karate to develop a martial art that he called "Taekwon-Do" (태권도; 跆拳道), which literally means "to kick, to punch, the art", and it was so named on 11 April 1955.  ITF taekwondo organizations credit Choi with starting the spread of Taekwondo internationally by stationing instructors around the world. He is also the author of the first English Taekwondo syllabus book, entitled "Taekwon-Do" published by Daeha Publication Company in 1965.In 1971, the South Korean government refused Choi permission to teach taekwondo in North Korea; as a result, Choi went into exile in Canada and the South Korean government formed the World Taekwondo Federation.  Choi is listed in the Taekwondo Hall of Fame with various titles: "Founder and First President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation," and "Founder of OH DO KWAN." 


October 30, 2002. The Korea KIDO Association (Dae Han KIDOHAE) LEE Yeong Gun inaugurated as 15th Secretary General. 



Dae Han Kido Hwe and the World Kido Association separate in Fall of 2004. The Kidohae continues to focus on  Korea arts while the World organization of a similar name is presided over by In Sun Seo and seeks to minister to unaffiliated Hapkido practitioners outside of  Korea 


There are still several dominant Hapkido organizations in Korea. These include, the Korea Kido Association, the Korea Hapkido Association (Oh, Se-Lim, Pres.), and the International Hapkido Federation  The Korea Hapkido Association is still the most prominent Hapkido organization in Korea, and graduates of the SUNG MOO KWAN make up the majority of its instructors.



October 31, 2005 - LEE Yeong Gun inaugurated as 16th Secretary General. 



Han Bong Soo, who had a major role in exposing Hap Ki Do arts to the United States dies on January 8th at his home in  Los Angeles .  

Master Han also has been featured in many martial arts movies in  Hollywood . His memorial service was held on January 17th at Westwood memorial park which had more than 300 attendees including Bob Waltz, director of United States Tae Kwon Do Organization and a Hollywood celebrity Tom Laughlin. 

Master Han was scouted by Hollywood celebrity Tom Laughlin while demonstrating his skills at a park near  Malibu . Upon witnessing Master Han's demonstration, Tom Laughlin offered a role in his upcoming movie 'Billy Jack.' Master Han's movie career continued on thereafter. Master Han was featured in several other movies including 'The Fresh Duo'(1988) and Wesley Snipes'  TV documentary series 'Masters of the Martial Arts' (1988).


April 17, 2007 - PAK Gyae Hong inaugarated as 17th Secretary General. 



November 8, 2008 – Hidetaka NISHIYAMA passes away peacefully, at the age of 80, following his struggle with cancer. Born in Tokyo, Japan, on October 10, 1928, Mr. Nishiyama had a long history of Martial Art training beginning at a very early age. He began training in Kendo under the instruction of his father, an accomplished Kendo master, at the age of 5. At the age of 10 he began his training in Judo and in 1943 he joined the Shotokan karate dojo where he achieved his first degree black belt in 1946 under Master Gichin Funakoshi. Named captain of the Takushoku University Karate Team and  co-founder of the All Japan Collegiate Karate Federation, he received a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Takushoku University. In 1951 he co-founded the Japan Karate Association and was elected to its Board of Directors. In 1960 he published his first book: Karate: The Art of Empty-Hand Fighting. In 1961, following his move to the United States, Mr. Nishiyama formed the American Amateur Karate Federation (AAKF). He later formed the JKA-US that set standards for the practice of the JKA style of karate. In 1973, he formed the International Amateur Karate Federation (which later became the International Traditional Karate Federation) and in 1976 submitted the first application to the International Olympic Committee for recognition of Traditional Karate on behalf of its athletes representing different styles of Traditional Karate.In 2000, Mr. Nishiyama was honored by the Emperor of Japan who presented him with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette on the grounds of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. 



MYUNG Kwang Sik, author, teacher, Kwanjang for the YON MU KWAN and originator of the World Hapkido Federation passed away on Sunday July 19, 2009 at the age 69. Having been in declining health for the last few years, Myung was sorely challenged by the complications of diabetes and injuries sustained in an automobile accident years earlier.