In 1789, King Chongjo, ruler of the Yi dynasty, ordered General Yi Duk-moo to compile an official textbook on all martial art forms present in Korea.
The result, the Muye Dobo Tongji, is the only surviving classical text on the Korean arts of war. Based on the earliest known Korean martial arts treatise, the Muye Chebo(1599), the Muye Dobo Tongji clearly shows the influence of neighboring Japanese and Chinese armies.
Book One comprises the arts that were originally published in the Muye Chebo (Martial Arts Illustrations) in 1592. This book establishes the format for the remainder of the work: each weapon is documented with an illustration of the Korean, Chinese and Japanese versions where applicable, followed by a compilation of references to the weapon in historical documents, a discussion of the common uses of the weapon illustrated by line drawings and finally the original manuals and comprehensive illustrations (in Chinese).
Books Two and Three comprise the arts added to the Muye Chebo when it was revised and published as the Muye Shinbo (New Illustrations of Marital Arts) in 1759. The arts added in these two sections reflect the influence of the invading Japanese armies and borrow heavily from the Japanese sword arts.
Organized into 24 disciplines comprised of empty hand fighting, weaponry and horsemanship, this is an accurate historical snapshot of the warrior arts of the late 18th century.
Authors: Park Je-ga, Yi Duk-moo
Translated by: Sang H. Kim
Editions: Kindle, Nook, Android, Softcover