Korean traditional martial arts were created during the period of Kojoson, the first ancient country founded in the early 30th century B.C by Tangun. Koguryo dynasty (277B.C~A.D.668) was the strongest country in the middle Korean history which encouraged traditional martial arts like horse riding and archery inherited from the olden times. Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji, printed on April, 1790, is a comprehensive martial arts book that explains, with respective illustrations, the Korean traditional martial arts which became the origin of Taekwon-do, the international martial arts of today. Its name “Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji’’ means a manual of martial arts with illustrations. The books were compiled by the order of King Jongjo (1777-1800), the 22nd King of Korean Feudal dynasty and were also prefaced by him. They explain various kinds of military arts such as fencing, spearmanship, cudgelling, horse riding and boxing with respective illustrations. Most of the fighting methods in the books are based on the Korean traditional martial arts but they are also combined with Chinese and Japanese which constitutes the basis of the East Asian martial arts.
Name and identification details of the items being nominated
Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial arts
“Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji” preserved in the Grand People’s Study House is a collection of comprehensive martial arts books which summarizes precious traditional military art inherited in Korea and in East Asia. The books were designated as a national treasure when they were first printed in 1790 since it was compiled by the order of the King who personally prefaced it. This wood block printed book has 4 volumes altogether where comprehensive martial arts movements such as fencing, boxing, spearmanship and cudgelling are described. It has clear illustrations of every movement of not only Korean traditional martial arts but also those of neighbouring countries.