Portal:Korean martial arts

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Students from a Korean martial arts school in Calgary do a demonstration

Korean martial arts (Hangul: 무술, Hanja: 武術, musul or Hangul: 무예, Hanja: 武藝, muye) are military practices and methods which have their place in the history of Korea but have been adapted for use by both military and non-military personnel as a method of personal growth or recreation. The history of Korean martial arts can be traced as far back as the prehistoric era. The ancestors of modern Korean people migrated and settled in the Korean Peninsula as early as the 28th century BC, a geopolitical region besieged by thousands of known documented instances of foreign invasions. Consequently, the Korean people developed unique martial arts and military strategies in order to defend themselves and their territory.

Traditional Korean martial arts gradually fell into three main groups or branches:

  • Sado Musul (tribal martial arts)
  • Bulgyo Musul (Buddhist martial arts)
  • Gungjung Musul (royal court martial arts)

In 1958, these branches of traditional Korean martial arts were organized to form a single modern hybrid-system known as Kuk Sool Won. Today, Korean martial arts are being practiced worldwide; more than one in a hundred of the world's population practices some form of taekwondo. Among the best recognized Korean practices using weapons are traditional Korean archery and Kumdo, the Korean adaptation of the Japanese Kendo. The best known unarmed Korean Martial Arts Taekwondo and Hapkido though such traditional practices such as ssireum - Korean Wrestling - and taekkyeon - Korean Foot Fighting - are rapidly gaining in popularity both inside and outside the country. In November 2011, Taekkyeon was recognized by UNESCO and placed on its Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity List. There has also been a revival of traditional Korean swordsmanship arts as well as knife fighting and archery.

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