History of Tae Kwon Do.
The name Tae Kwon Do is derived from the Korean word "Tae" meaning foot, "Kwon" meaning fist and "Do" meaning way of. So, literally Tae Kwon Do means "the way of the foot and fist". The name Tae Kwon Do, however, has only been used since 1955 while the arts' roots began 2,300 years ago in Korea. Known as a martial art and way of life, the evolution of Tae Kwon Do was a direct result of the happenings in Korea long ago, and knowledge of the history is an important step in understanding Tae Kwon Do.
Korean history began when in 2333 B.C. the legendary national founder, Tangun, founded "Old Korea" at Asadal. As in the histories of other nations, communal life was gradually transformed into tribal communities, and then tribal leagues and finally took the form of a state. Although no written history of the fighting systems of this time remains it is known that the people of this time were hunters and had some means of protection as well as livelihood.
The Three Kingdoms:
During the 6th century A.D. what we now call the Korean peninsula was divided into three kingdoms; Koguryo, Paekje and Silla.
Koguryo (37 B.C.- 668 A.D.)- Koguryo was the largest kingdom. It occupied the southern section of Manchuria and the northern section of the Korean peninsula. Paekje (18 B.C. - 600 A.D.)- Paekje was situated along the Han River and in southwestern Korea. Silla (57 B.C.- 936 A.D.)- Silla was the last, and smallest of the kingdoms and located on the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. Archeological findings during these times such as the mural paintings on the royal tombs during the Koguryo period, stone sculptures at pagodas during the Silla period and documents written in the Paekje period, show techniques and fighting stances that were probably the first forms of Tae Kwon Do.
The three kingdoms were at war with each other and constantly fought for new ground on the peninsula. Silla, being the smallest and weakest...