The Historical and Cultural Identity of Taekwondo as a Traditional Korean Martial Art

Date: 11/14/2017 4:41:25 PM

Taekwondo's cultural identity is considered in the light of the controversy over its historical origins. After reviewing several existing theories, the meaning and development of taekwondo as a Korean martial art is explored. There are two conclusions: first, taekwondo is a fusion of several different sources; second, taekwondo is essentially a martial art that focuses on foot skills, and this distinguishes it from Japan's karate and China's wushu, which are primarily based on hand skills. The fact that all terms are rendered into pure Korean words shows the essence of Korean localization. Thus taekwondo incorporates a distinct identity as a Korean martial art.


Jeong Deok Ahn, Suk ho Hong, Yeong Kil Park


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