Taekkyon is a traditional bare-hand martial arts developed by the Korean people and is recognized as the original form of bare-hand martial arts in Korea.
Before the 6th century, Taekkyon was practiced by the ruling classes and from the 9th to 12th century, became very popular, even among the common people. According to the Koryusa, a Korean history book written in the 15th century, Taekkyon was widely encouraged and practiced by everyone from the king himself to farmers. This trend continued until the early Chosun Dynasty.
But as the society moved toward a system that encouraged education and literary pursuits and discouraged military pursuits, the practice of Taekkyon declined. By the 13 century, Taekkyon was considered a folk custom rather than an actively practiced martial art.
During the Japanese colonial period, Taekkyon was banned and nearly vanished. Fortunately Song Duk-ki (1893-1987) preserved the art and handed it down to modern day Koreans. After the independence of Korea, the practice of Taekkyon became considerably less popular than the practice of Japanese based arts. The establishment of Taekwondo after the Korean War and its subsequent popularity served to further overshadow the practice of Taekkyon.Read More