[ English ]
- Country :
- Republic of Korea
Taekkyeon is a traditional Korean martial art that makes use of fluid, rhythmic dance-like movements to strike or trip up an opponent. The graceful movements of a well-trained Taekkyeon performer are gentle and circular rather than straight and rigid but can explode with enormous flexibility and strength. The feet play as important a role as the hands. In spite of its gentle impression, Taekkyeon is an effective martial art highlighting a broad variety of offensive and defensive skills employing all available fighting methods. It also teaches consideration: a skilled Taekkyeon practitioner can rapidly dominate an opponent, but a true master knows how to make an opponent withdraw without incurring damage. As a part of seasonal farming-related traditions, Taekkyeon serves to facilitate community integration, and as a sport accessible to all plays a major role in promoting public health. Taekkyeon is also practiced by a great number of people as a daily activity. There are approximately fifty recognized practitioners of Taekkyeon at present, and the Korea Taekkyeon Association plays a significant role in the transmission and promotion of this traditional martial art.
Transmission method :
Taekkyeon is believed to have been practiced in Korea since before the Three Kingdoms period (57 B.C.-A.D. 676). Though it seems the origin of Taekkyeon is Subak, but unfortunately, little is known about what exactly Subak was. Besides this, the accurate origin of Taekkyeon is not known. The earliest record known of it is the wall paintings from the Goguryeo era that dates back over 1,000 years and those from the Goryeo era around the 10th century. And it had been recorded well in the form of painting and descriptive writing in the Joseon era(14th century to 1910). However, the first half of the 20th century was a hard time for Taekkyeon because it had been deliberately neglected by the colonial authorities of Japan almost endangering its survival. After 1945, when Korea was reclaimed, a systematic campaign was launched to revive the Taekkyeon as an important cultural heritage of the nation. Led by the two prominent masters, Song Deok-ki and Shin Han-seung, Taekkyeon has made a successful come-back and grew both in popularization and dissemination.
Inscribed year in UNESCO List :