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About Kwans 관

The original Taekwondo Kwans. In Korean literally means building or hall, but when used in martial arts it can also refer to a school or clan of martial artists who follow the same style and/or leader.

In Korean literally means building or hall, but when used in martial arts it can also refer to a school or clan of martial artists who follow the same style and/or leader. This article is about the different taekwondo kwans.

The five original Taekwondo Kwans

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  • Song Moo Kwan » - founded March 11, 1944 by Ro, Byung Jick, who had studied Shotokan (Song Do Kwan) karate along with Chung Do Kwan founder Lee, Won Kyuk under Gichin Funakoshi in Japan. In the 1960s Ro's son and eventual successor, Ro Hee Sang began studying Hapkido in 1963 and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu in 1967. He (Ro, Hee Sang) subsequently became an instructor to the Korean Army and one of Korea's Taekwondo champions. He trained Karate, Hapkido, Kumdo and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu.
  • Chung Do Kwan » - founded in 1944 by Lee, Won Kyuk. He had studied Taekkyon in An Gup Dong (Seoul), He also studied Karate in Okinawa, Kung Fu centers in Henan and Shanghai in China, and other. After liberation of Korea, the Chung Do Kwan had risen to become 2nd biggest Taekwondo organization in Korea.
  • Moo Duk Kwan » - founded after 1946 by Hwang Kee. Kee studied Taekkyon, T'ai chi and some types of Kung Fu with Yang Kuk Jin in China. Kee claims he learned the philosophy of Okinawan Karate from Gichin Funakoshi's books. His first two attempts at running a school of Hwa Soo Do were unsuccessful. He then trained with Won Kyuk Lee at the Chung Do Kwan, gaining the equivalent of a green belt. Lee claims Kee was his student, but Kee disputes Lee's claim, and acknowledges only Yang Kuk Jin as his teacher. In 1957, Kee made a discovery of Soo Bahk, a true Korean martial art, from Muye Dobo Tongji. Kee developed the Soo Bahk system to be studied through the Moo Duk Kwan. He chose the name Soo Bahk Do, a derivative of Soo Bahk Ki, hand striking technique, and Soo Bahk Hee, hand striking dance, which were detailed in the Muye Dobo Tongji. In 1960, the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association was incorporated and officially registered with the Korean government as the traditional Korean martial art. The following year, the Moo Duk Kwan discipline was recognized internationally for the first time. By 1953 and onward until 1960, the Moo Duk Kwan had risen to become biggest Moo Do organization in Korea, with close to 75% of all martial artists in Korea practicing Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan.
  • Kwon Bop Bu / Chang Moo Kwan » - founded in 1946 by Yoon, Byung-In, who had studied Chinese Kung Fu (ch'uan-fa) under the guidance of a Mongolian instructor in Manchuria. Later, Yoon trained karate at university karate club in Japan with Kanken Tōyama. When he trained Karate in Japan, Japanese karate students pursued the Korean student and beat them up. Yoon Byung-in angered from the Japanese karate students, Yoon Byung-in sprung into action using Chuan-fa. He skillfully deflected and evaded the karate students’ strikes and kicks to the point that they gave up and ran back to tell their teacher about what happened. Teacher Kanken Tōyama invited Yoon Byung-in to tell him about the skillful non-karate martial art he used against his students. Yoon Byung-in explained to Toyama about his Chuan-fa education in Manchuria. Toyama appreciated the Chuan-fa background since he (Toyama) had studied Chuan-fa in Taiwan for 7 years, previously. They decided to exchange knowledge; Yoon Byung-in would teach Toyama Kanken Chuan-fa and Toyama Kanken would teach Yoon Byung-in his Shudo-Ryu karate. Yoon later created his art and called as Kwon Bop Kong Soo Do. Unlike other taekwondo kwans, early Chang Moo Kwan was mainly based on Chinese Kung Fu (ch'uan-fa). The early Chang Moo Kwan taught Palgi kwon (which influenced by Bājíquán). Yoon went missing during the Korean War. His teachings were carried on by his top student Lee Nam Suk, who changed the name of the school to Chang Moo Kwan. 10th Dan Grandmaster Soon Bae Kim is currently the President of Song Moo Kwan and is one of two Kukkiwon 10th Dans in charge of Kukkiwon testing.
  • Yun Moo Kwan / Jidokwan » - founded March 3, 1946 by Chun, Sang Sup, who had studied Shotokan karate with Gichin Funakoshi in Japan, and later called his art Kong Soo Do. he had a very close relationship with Yoon, Byung-In, founder of Kwon Bop Bu. Chun and Yoon would travel to train with other martial artists, sometimes traveling to Manchuria. They trained with each other so much that they became known as brothers. The full name of this kwan was "Chosun Yun Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Bu" (the Chosun Yun Moo Kwan had been the original Japanese Judo school in Korea for over 30 years previously). Chun went missing during the Korean War; subsequently, this kwan voted to change its name to Jidokwan. After Chun disappeared in Korean War, the original students of Chun voted Master Yon who Trained in Chuan Fa in Manchuria as Jidokwan 1st President.

Later important Taekwondo kwans (post Korean War)

  • Han Moo Kwan » - founded in August 1954 by Lee Kyo Yoon as an offshoot of the Yun Moo Kwan/Jidokwan.
  • Oh Do Kwan » - founded in 1955 by Choi Hong Hi, Nam Tae Hi, and Han Cha Kyo as an offshoot of the Chung Do Kwan.
  • Kang Duk Won » - founded in 1956 by Park Chul Hee and Hong Jong Pyo as an offshoot of the Kwon Bop Bu/Chang Moo Kwan.
  • Jung Do Kwan » - founded in 1956 by Lee Yong Woo (died August, 2006) as an offshoot of the Chung Do Kwan.

The four later Kwans are considered annex kwans, since they all are lines from one of the 5 earlier kwans.






Question. What is the korean terminology for High Block?

A high block deflects a downward strike such as a hammer fist, a stick or a face punch from a taller opponent. The blocking arm starts low with the hand in a relaxed fist across the abdomen(over the belt) with the palm facing upward.


Question. What is the korean terminology for Palm Heel Pressing Block?

A standard block used to deflect incoming kicks and punches. Open the hand and use the "bottom of the palm" to block the trunk area. The bottom of the palm is called batangson ( 바탕손 ). The open hand is raised up to shoulder height and thrust directly down to meet the attackers hand or limb.


Question. What is the korean terminology for Front Stance?

Front stance is used when mobility is important. It is also a precursor of the fighting stance according to some authors. Body should be relaxed. From the attention stance with feet together, one foot is placed straight ahead of the other. Some style teaches to step side way slightly. The distance between the inside edges of both feet should be between one to two fists apart and is about 4 to 4 one-half foot-length from origin.


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There are five tenets defined in the International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) and several more in World Taekwondo (WT).

Courtesy ( Ye Ui / 예의 ): "Showing courtesy to all, respecting others, having manners as well as maintaining the appropriate etiquette at all times, both within and outside the dojang (도장) (designated training area)." View Taekwondo Tenets »

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kwans", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.






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