Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by Van Zandt, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Taekkyeon (The art of kicking and tripping) Together with Taekwondo, Taekkyeon is a well-known traditional martial art in Korea. This method of self-defense includes numerous foot motions and fluid arm movements with the hands unclenched. Unlike other martial arts forms, there is no abrupt kicking or punching. There is more emphasis on low kicks and leg sweeps to make the opponent lose balance and knock him/her to the ground.

    While some people see certain similarities between Taekkyeon and the motions of Taekwondo and Chinese Kung Fu, the techniques and principles clearly differ. While Taekwondo movements are rather rigid, straight, and restrained, those of Taekkyeon are curved; and while Kung Fu movements are long and stretched, those of Taekkyeon are short and springy. Also, Taekkyeon relies on the pushing strength in the palm of the hand as compared to the use of the fist in Kung Fu. Beneath light and gentle movements reminiscent of a masked dance, lies tremendous strength which can deliver a debilitating blow or even death to an opponent.

    Nowadays, Taekkyeon is widely used in gymnastics and fitness sports, especially because of the flexibility and spontaneity of the movements. Recently, it has become popular with women because it is less intense than other martial arts.

    History of Taekkyon

    The history of Taekkyeon can be traced back to the ancient tombs of Muyongchong and Samsilchong of the Goguryeo Dynasty. Tomb wall paintings believed to portray Taekkyeon, show figures paired in a combative stance with hands reaching forward. Evidence has been found dating back to the Goguryeo era, when martial art techniques were highly advanced. At that time, a large number of military men practiced Taekkyeon. During the Joseon era, Taekkyeon matches were quite popular, even among the common people. Recently, however, most Taekkyeon masters have died or retired, and there are few left to carry on the tradition. Thus, in 1983, the government designated the martial art as an Important Intangible Cultural Property for its preservation and popularization.

    Techniques and Principles of Taekkyon

    Taekkyeon relies more on defense than on offense. Fluid, spontaneous movements of the hands, feet, and body move consistently with the muscles. Another notable characteristic is its lyrical, dance-like rhythm, which characterizes it as a highly artistic martial art.

    A few of the major Taekkyeon techniques include the basic pose wonpum (standing with feet at shoulder width) and its variation pumbalgi, which is a stepping sequence in a triangular motion. The movement involves taking a step and shifting the weight to that step, and then to the previous step; this is done back and forth, side to side. Foot techniques include the following: front kicks with the top of the foot; spinning the body and kicking with the arch of the foot; kicking outside in; jumping and kicking; spinning the body and kicking with both hands on the floor; and slapping the opponent’s face with the sole of the foot. Some hand techniques are: pushing the opponent by the neck; jabbing the opponent with the wrist on his/her chest or neck; pulling the opponent by the leg after getting him/her down on the floor by a kick; striking the opponent's neck using the heel of the hand; and thrusting one’s fingers into the opponent’s eyes. The hwalgaejeotgi technique, which consists of waving both arms to confuse the opponent's vision or pre-empt an attack, and the yelling of ikkeu, eikkeu are also Taekkyeon techniques.

    Taekkyon Competition Rules

    Following amendments in 1991, 1997, and 1998, Taekkyeon match regulations were settled. After paying their respects in the center of the competition area, both contestants must maintain one of his/her feet forward within attacking distance of the opponent. A contestant wins the match if any part of the opponent's body (from the knee up) touches the floor as a result of a legal attack; if he/she kicks the opponent in the face; and if, as a result of his/her kick (both legs must be in the air and higher than knee-length), the opponent loses balance or retreats by more than two steps.

    The competition area is an 8x8m mat with a circle measuring 2.5m in diameter in the centre. There is one centre referee, 2 corner judges, 1 jury and 1 timekeeper. Contestants must wear white summer uniform pants, cotton-padded socks, and one contestant a blue and the other a white (sometimes red) upper garment.

    There are individual, team, adult, student and children competitions. The competitions are similar to those found in Tae Kwon Do, i.e. split into gender and weight. Each contest last 3 x 3-minute rounds, with 1 minute of rest between rounds. For team competitions, there is 1 round of 3 minutes. There is no time limit in competitions like Cheonha Myeongin (World Masters Competition). Competitions may be a tournament or league system, a combined tournament and league system, or a round-robin system.

    Taekkyon Ranking System

    Originally, there was no ranking system. The current ranking system, which ranges from pum to dan according to the level of expertise, was first introduced in the 1970s in an effort to more systematically preserve and popularize Taekkyeon. There are 18 ranks, starting with beginner (no pum), then 8th-pum to 1st-pum, and afterwards, from 1st-dan to 9th-dan. Generally, it would take almost 40 years of practice for a beginner to move up to 9th-dan. The time is sometimes shortened for practitioners who have contributed to the popularization or development of Taekkyeon by winning competitions, publishing a related book or thesis, receiving awards, or opening an institute.


    Korea Traditional Taekkyon Association: www.ktta.co.kr
    Korea Taekkyon Association: www.taekkyon.or.kr
    National Taekkyon Association: http://taekkyon.sportal.or.kr

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2010
  2. iketheman

    iketheman New Member

    yes like the article and like the tripping which could help you on the streets or on the mma style comps so thanks for that
  3. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    Sees that the Korean people would have put more energy into preserving and promoting this more traditional sort of practice rather than inventing "new" traditions. From what I have seen of this material from old clips, there was a lot of very challenging bits to master. Personally, I think its a better activity than TKD. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

  4. Toki_Nakayama

    Toki_Nakayama Valued Member

    2 of the guys on our team are from Traditional Taekkyon Assos and Kyunlun ( i might be spelling that wrong) Taekkyon Assos. its fun crosstraining with them.

    Kyunlun guys like to use alot of sweeps, throws, and takedowns. Traditional guys emphasize alot of leg strikes.

    anyone of the 4 you speak to and mention "Dong Yi" taekkyon, the expressions on thier faces and reactions is priceless. cause Dong Yi has a questionable

    lineage and practices and claims to have originated in North Korea
  5. Mevans

    Mevans Valued Member

    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  6. LawOfEye

    LawOfEye Valued Member

    can anyone help me out ?. i think i learned Kyunlun because i remember a lot of sweeps like Toki described but my teacher didn't speak a lot of english and i don't think the assistant translated very well . anyone an ' expert ' on this ?.
  7. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Oh wow, so TKD got popular, than shamed outside of Korea, so Koreans look to re-invent a dead art.
  8. Bruce W Sims

    Bruce W Sims Banned Banned

    From what I can tell its a bit different than that. For myself, I would characterize it more as seeking to commercialize a marginal practice that has a greater claim to Korean culture and tradition than something imported from Japan and reshaped.

    The problem that I have with either the TK or KWON BEOP material currently being worked with in Korea is that people are looking to gussy it up to make it more saleable. The message that seems to send is a very American approach to things, meaning that if something can't been eaten or make money then it has no intrinsic worth. I think there are a number of folks who take exception to this approach but are too often shouted-down or ignored. Currently the SIB PAL KI people have at least two splinter groups that have spun off in more commercial directions. In like manner there are at least two groups that are working to make the SON Monastery traditions more marketable. If a person looks at the current mix of material for the TK community it is immediately apparent that someone has been trying to make the material more acrobatic than was ever intended.

    I wish that folks---especially the Koreans themselves---- would stop dicking around with their traditions in an attempt to get the best sound out of their cash registers.

    Best Wishes,

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2011
  9. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    To any gentle neophyte readers-

    ".... while Kung Fu movements are long and stretched, those of Taekkyeon are short and springy. Also, Taekkyeon relies on the pushing strength in the palm of the hand as compared to the use of the fist in Kung Fu....."

    Not sure where VZ gets this idea-Chinese systems are so variable and so numerous that such blanket statements are grossly innacurate.As VZ is a high kicking specialist perhaps his only knowledge of CMAs is limited to Northern long hand systems as they are the CMAs w/an emphasis on kicking,esp high kicking.OTOH, Southern Mantis is the epitome of short and springy.

    On a technical note,is this above to imply that TK doesn't employ palm strikes,but only pushes? Seems unlikely,but "pushing strength" = not a strike,regardless of effect or what it looks like to an onlooker.

    Lastly,old drawings/paintings are often used as "proof" that such-and-such system was being practiced centuries ago. Generally these are claims w/no facts to back them but simply to claim/justify a questionable antiquity.Such "proofs" are usually unfounded speculation at best. If we find a painting from 1200 of someone in Northern China kicking someone upside the head it doesn't show they were practicing Shaolin-it just shows they were kicking someone,but we don't know what their training system was.

    Not to sound harsh as otherwise it's a nice write up,but VZ needs to spend some time and separate the wheat from the chaff-esp if historical info about a system is coming from places dedicated to the propogation of said system,even more so if the system is one w/out a lot of documentation re its history.Just read the Wiki page on Shaolin Temple-HUGELY fictional,reads like something from the PRC tourism bureau.

    And what the heck does "abrupt" kicking and punching mean?
  10. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member


    This is the long version of what I was looking to say in my previous post
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2011
  11. mastertae2000

    mastertae2000 New Member

    One thing though about taekkyon is that interesting there actually are photos from the late 1800s of people performing TK that have survived. I think there's a book that talks about it from the 1920s written with chinese characters too. I find it interesting to see these thing. It's really a part of history.
  12. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    I respectfully disagree. Photos from the 1800's cannot depict of people are actually performing TK

    Thinking there is a book talking about it from the 1920's, especially in Chinese, could be a scant detail. Especially something Chinese in perception to something Korean

    No offense
  13. Dave76

    Dave76 Valued Member

    Why not?
  14. mastertae2000

    mastertae2000 New Member

    I have to disagree, most the photos i think are pretty clear that I saw, and it looked pretty similar to what I have seen in some videos of it being performed, and the book at least proves that TK was still known into the 1920s during Japanese occupation. Also, most historians also believe the pictures pretty clearly depicts what is probably TK, at least that is according to my college text book. If anything this would support that TK could have survived at least in part, which supports Song Dukki saying that he forgot alot of the TK techniques. So in my opinion, I would say that evidence supports that TK at least survived in part, but how much of it has actually survived I would think is unknown, but that is just a theory.
  15. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    "Pretty Similar" is not the same as definitive. Crocodiles are "pretty similar to alligators

    During the Japanese invasion all Asian countries under its rule was culturally scared. China, being so vast, survived culturally. Korea, had lost more than it could regain.

    TK, is a cultural attempt by Korea to regain something lost, but it does not have actual conclusive-definitive data to support it
  16. mastertae2000

    mastertae2000 New Member

    I agree it's not definitive, but you have to base your observations on the evidence presented to you. That is why I say it is a theory, For example, you state "TK, is a cultural attempt by Korea to regain something lost," but you fail to mention any evidence to support your answer. Sure you can say well due to gambling a lot of martial arts were suppressed in Korea , including TK due to gambling associated with it and Japanese occupation eventually caused it's demise, which isn't conclusive either. Ssireum is another Korean game/ martial art that people claim that Koreans say use evidence on obscured painting, but at least with Ssireum we know that there was a Ssireum competition in Seoul in 1912. With TK though we don't know with that type of certainty in either direction.
  17. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    But the evidence has it to be, dare I say-tainted. It has it to be sparse almost having people to choose if such evidence is accurate.

    There isnt anything wrong with a country trying to regain cultural losses. As long as these are not propaganda vehicles with a dash of exaggeration or lack of evidence

    Interesting reading some of the post within this thread
  18. mastertae2000

    mastertae2000 New Member

    I agree it shouldn't be attached to propaganda, but the reality is every country makes claims on history that is probably tainted and we will never get 100% of the picture. That is what make history interesting. I don't think the evidence is so tainted that it changes anything about TK, but rather that it has become tainted in that Korea has their reputation that even when there is evidence to support their argument, they have made it hard to believe, due to many exaggerations or maybe being over-zealous with their research that they failed to spot something that may change a finding.
  19. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Totally agree. Just like US history. There are findings which had changed what many Americans had perceived as incorrect over generations taught from a cultural propaganda. For example; George Washington chopping down a cherry tree and not lying about it
  20. Mugen Zero

    Mugen Zero Infinite zero

    Umm what is abrupt kicking?

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