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Taekkyun is a truly traditional martial art in Korea. Unlike Taekwondo, which was developed last century, during the Japanese occupation, Taekkyun has been around on the peninsula for hundreds and hundreds of years. In fact Taekkyun was seen as being so essential to Korean character that during the Japanese occupation the practice of Taekkyun was banned (as was the speaking of Korean in school!). Taekkyun appears in folk paintings which are nearly a thousand years old. The first photographers to arrive in the Hermit Kingdom took photos of long haired boys, wearing the same white peasant clothes still worn by Taekkyun folks today. Taekkyun almost died out, because by the time the Japanese occupation was over, it was the warm up for the Korean war, and after that, reconstruction. No one had time in Korea for many years for pursuing dying cultural practices. Fortunately in the 80s two old men were discovered, still practicing Taekkyun (which is so gentle on joints and good for you that old people find it possible to continue long after they may have had to quit other physical pastimes). There was quickly a move to videotape the motions and record the stories of the octogenarians before they passed on, which they shortly did. Mostly from the ranks of Taekwondo instructors emerged a group who trained in Taekkyun and a Taekkyun Federation was created. Now, about 18 years after people started to remember Taekkyun existed, it's gaining popularity. Families practice it together, college students seeking to claim their roots form clubs on campus, and there are studios in most cities in Korea.
Taekkyun is a gentle art, sort of akin to Chinese Tai'chi. In Taekkyun one focuses on pushing the opponent, knocking them to the ground. Injuries are seen as unnecessary and definitely in bad form. In a Taekkyun fight a striking (as opposed to pushing) kick is an illegal move. If an opponent so much as brushes anything but their feet on the ground, a point is made. So there are a lot of tripping moves, sweeping action with the feet often combined with pressure from a hand or arm.
As with all sports, it's difficult to photograph Taekkyun. These photos aren't very good... it was bright and the background is highly distracting. But, I have been practicing Taekkyun for nearly three years, and wanted to add a Taekkyun page on here.