Five years in the making, "The Martial Arts Sourcebook," written by renowned author John Corcoran, was published by HarperCollins in 1994 as a 434-page trade paperback with 175 photos. This unique reference book was distinguished by its impressive size (over 1-million facts), scope (global), and rare nonpartisan substance (the contents appeal to readers of virtually all martial arts, styles, political affiliations, and rank status from beginners to black belts).
The book was originally released in late 1994 during the Christmas-shopping season, perennially the biggest book-buying time of year. It sold some 12,500 copies in just six weeks through mainstream bookstores alone, a remarkable short-term sell-through for a genre book. It drove the book into an instant second printing. After HarperCollins terminated "The Martial Arts Sourcebook" and returned all publishing and licensing rights to Corcoran, he began updating the book's contents for a revised CD-Rom version. This project was still a work-in-progress when in 2002 Corcoran granted martialinfo the rights to publish the following chapter, "Martial Arts and Styles of the World."
The following is the most comprehensive list of global martial arts and styles ever published in one book, a total of 1037 styles in 29 countries. No attempt was made to provide literal translations, definitions or other types of support information since this is to some extent available in other published sources. The arts and styles appearing here can serve as a checklist for correct spellings and countries of origin. It's also a quick reference source for historians and researchers. If you have current and up to date information about any of these styles, please let us know ...
This list includes traditional, nontraditional and contemporary eclectic systems. The author makes no claims, even by mere inclusion, of an art or style's legitimacy. What appears here is simply a list of what once existed and what exists today.
Given its 2,000-year martial heritage, there is understandably a mind-boggling number of Chinese kung-fu styles. According to eminent martial scholars Donn F. Draeger and Robert W. Smith, there were over 400 types of Chinese boxing extent in China's history. However, by 1969, when their masterwork, Asian Fighting Arts, was published, the authors pointed out that: 1) Some of those systems "had died out due to obsessive secrecy; 2) some were derivative; and 3) some contemporary styles had duplicated the names of earlier ones."
Further, since 1969 untold masters have created their own styles while other systems have faded into obscurity. Even current experts are unsure of the exact number. In a 1992 magazine article, Sifu Adam Hsu wrote, "The number of kung-fu styles we have in China can go as high as four hundred or as low as two hundred. Thus it may be safe to place the total at about three hundred."
All of which makes it impossible to know at any given time precisely how many kung-fu styles exist in the world. The same, in fact, could be said about all the other martial arts as well. What appears in this chapter is a large sampling of past and present systems, the most, to my knowledge, ever published in one book. Several other factors add to the difficulty of tracing all the old and new systems. For one, Chinese martial arts were practiced in secrecy for many centuries and, to some extent, still are today. Only recently, particularly in the excellent publication Inside Kung Fu, has a vast amount of information been made public. As an result, more and better data is coming to the forefront of martial arts literature. We're also learning that the names of Chinese arts and styles have often been misspelled in the past.
Then there's the serious problem of the Chinese language and its numerous methods of translation. Many styles carry two names, one in Cantonese and another in Mandarin. There are also different systems of what's called "romanization" (Wade-Giles, Yale, Meyer-Wempe) for translating both, each of which allows the Western reader to convert Chinese language to something familiar.
However, by the 1980s, China had developed its own system of romanization known as Hanyu pinyan. This is the system that, for example, changed "Peking" into "Beijing." This new method also combines words that earlier would have appeared separately, i.e., t'ai-chi ch'uan becomes taijiquan. To simplify an extremely complex situation, I have included any and all versions of art and style names. This assures that nothing is omitted. In a further simplification, I have omitted all use of apostrophies, which tended to complicate spellings and translations. Thus, t'ai-chi ch'uan becomes simply tai-chi chuan.
Below are listed some of the common arts in pinyin and other forms for those wanting to cross-reference: Pinyin Other
Taijiquan Tai-Chi Chuan
Baguazhang Pa-Kua Chang
Xingyiquan Hsing-Yi Chuan
Sanshou San Shou, San-Shou
Literal translations appear for only the most popular systems, usually when the style is better known in the Western world by its English translation. This will allow neophytes to identify the style about which they might have read or heard and immediately draw the relationship to its authentic Chinese name.
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Shaolin Kempo As a martial art, Kempo is referred to as a Do or a Way. A way of being and a path towards enlightenment. "Mastering others requires force, mastering the self requires enlightenment." This phrase sums the full circle of what Kempo strives towards. Although on its surface Kempo can be seen as a unique form of self-defense, hidden beneath its physical exterior are levels where characteristic centralization of mind and body form. At this level, Kempo's practitioners elevate from a simple form of fighting to a higher level of ability and enlightenment. Ying Kuchan, a Shaolin monk and master of Kempo, after a lengthy period of meditation in a Zen rock garden, spoke of Kempo saying "Kempo is the power of adaptability and yielding, the harmonyof all things working together."
Black Tiger: See Sil Lum (Northern)
Bok Fu Pai ("White Tiger")
Bok Mei Pai; Pat Mei Pai ("White Eyebrow")
Chang Chuan; Changquan ("Long Fist")
Fu-Jow Pai; Fu-Chiao Pai ("Tiger Claw")
Fut-Gar; Fut-Ga; Fu-Jya ("Buddha Palm")
Ta Sheng Pek Kwar; Ta-Sheng-Men; Tai Shing Pekwar Monkey Kung Fu
Tai-I Chuan ("Great Mind Boxing")
Grand Ultimate Fist
The hundreds of Japanese martial arts and styles fall into two categories, the ancient Bujutsu and its 20th-century counterpart, the Budo. Styles deriving from these two classifications are distinguished, in literary terms, by the suffixes jutsu and do, respectively.
A virtual explosion of arts and styles occurred during Japan's feudal era, when warriorship and militarism was at an all-time zenith. More emphasis was placed on the sword at that time than any other means of combat. Consequently, kenjutsu developed far more ryu (schools) than any other art.
Notably, some feudal martial systems, like the Katori Shinto-ryu, for one example, were of a composite nature and taught the techniques of more than one armed and/or unarmed method. Consequently, as you pour over the Japanese systems in this chapter you will occasionally find a single style listed under several arts. It is possible, too, that kenjutsu and iaijutsu grew simultaneously and perhaps enhanced each other's development, which explains why some kenjutsu ryu share the same name as iaijutsu ryu.
According to martial scholars Draeger and Smith, "During the height of the Japanese feudal era some 725 jujutsu systems were officially documented in Japan, as were 1,700 schools of kenjutsu, 412 iaijutsu schools, and 460 yarijutsu ryu." Most have not survived the march of time and have fallen into oblivion. By 1867, in fact, kenjutsu decreased to just over 200 active styles, with only a few of them extant today; and iaijutsu presently has but a handful of sects.
But according to two other martial scholars, Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook, there were far more. In their comprehensive Secrets of the Samurai, the authors claim "at least 10,000 ryu existed when Emperor Meiji came to power." They, too, emphasize that that number dwindled magnificently to the present day.
By 1960, according to Draeger and Smith, there were an estimated "75 karate-do and 30 karate-jutsu styles, 14 sects of aikido, and pure yarijutsu was virtually nonexistent." In a February 1987 Black Belt magazine article, one aikido expert claimed there were over 40 styles of aikido alone; if accurate, this means more than 26 new styles of aikido were created between 1960 and 1986! This example, in itself, demonstrates the enormous difficulty the author encountered in compiling this chapter alone.
Almost all of the major Okinawan karate styles were founded between 1915-1940, although many were actually only given their names in post-World War II. This includes many of the earliest Japanese karate-do systems founded in Japan by transplanted Okinawan masters and their Japanese disciples. The relatively small number of the Okinawan karate systems, together with their subsequent thorough documentation by Western karate students and historians, leaves very little question about Okinawan karate's 20th-century origins and development.
As with Japan's samurai and China's kung-fu, Arnis or Escrima was originally used to protect one's family, property and/or barangay (barrio or rural district within a town). According to an article written by Grandmaster Nes Fernandez for Kung Fu magazine, "It appears that many barangays, and there are thousands in the Philippines, have ownership of specific fighting styles. This leads one to hypothesize that, like kung-fu, Arnis has more styles than have currently been identified. Like the Chinese art of kung-fu, many of the differences are subtle, but some are vast and break from the traditional teachings of Arnis."
The author's research has led to a list of 52 such styles that appear here. Remarkably, a whopping 43 of them were identified in Dan Inosanto's excellent book, The Filipino Martial Arts.
Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [1/4]
Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [2/4]
Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [3/4]
Way of the Warrior - Eskrima, the Philippino Way [4/4]
Kajukenbo and Kenpo (Kara-ho) were originated in Hawaii before the islands became an official part of the United States. The author has listed these two styles under both headings (United States and Hawaii).
Note, too, the number of awkward and even corny style names composed in American karate and kung-fu. Some mixed-style experts, in naming their own new system, combined parts of the Chinese, Korean, English and/or Japanese languages. Once again, the author makes no representations whatsoever concerning the validity of any martial art or style appearing in this section, or, for that matter, this entire chapter.
The Development in Korea.
Korean martial arts is one of the oldest in the world, and has had a colourful and rich history. The ancestry of Korean Martial arts can be traced back to the period of the three kingdoms founded more than two thousand years ago. Not long after its development in China, the early version of the art showed up in the Korean peninsula. This process of change started early in ancient times in what is now Korea. At that time Korea was divided into three separate kingdoms, and each of them developed Soo Bahk or Kwon Bop on their own. The kingdom of Koguryo ruled in the north, Silla in the southeast and Paickche in the southwest. After a long series of wars, Silla emerged victorious over it's neighbours in 668 AD.
The age of Koguryo Dynasty.
Buddhism was introduced into the northern kingdom of Koguryo in the fourth century as part of a general Chinese cultural invasion of the Korean peninsula. The buddhist monks were quick to adopt Kwon Bop fighting styles. As in China, the art flourished on temple grounds. The monks saw in Koguryo at the time a turbulent area, infested with bandits and wild beasts. The monks did a great deal of travelling, and to protect themselves they practised Kwon Bop. They had time to train in the art and did refine many techniques. Living by themselves in the mountains, they could train quietly and with the intense concentration demanded by Buddhism. We know and recognise that Soo Bahk, Tae Kyun and Kwon Bop were the most popular martial arts in the Koguryo regime. There is documentary evidence of the existence of specialised hand and foot fighting even this far back. Ruins of royal tombs built during this period contain murals depicting scenes of unarmed combat practice. In 1934 a group of Japanese archaeologists discovered Muyong Chong and Kakchu Chong, two royal tombs dating back to the Koguryo dynasty. The tombs were located in Tungku, China, in the Tung-hun providence of Manchurin where Koguryo had its capital. The ceiling of the Muyong Chong carried a painting portraying two unarmed men confronting each other. The mural painting of the Kakchu Chong shows two men wrestling. Since the construction of the two tombs mentioned took place between the years 300 and 427 AD. one may be surprised how old the art of Tang Soo Do is. The art was taught not only to the most powerful army at the time, but also to all civilians, like our manners and folk customs, becoming part of public games and fairs. Therefore Moo Duk Kwan decided to wear the same coloured training clothes (Toe Bohk) as ancient warriors. Especially, the black belt coat of Toe Bahk was derived from ancient warriors clothing.
The age of Silla Dynasty.
Approximately 2,000 years ago in the southern part of the Korean peninsula, there was a small kingdom constantly under invasion and harassment from its two more powerful northern neighbours. To preserve themselves, the young aristocrat of the country formed a young officers' warriors corp, called Hwa Rang Dan. This was in the reign of Chin Heung, 24th king of the Silla Dynasty. The warriors corps trained themselves by practising mental and physical discipline throughout the years in the wild mountains and along the rugged seashore. They trained and drove themselves unmercifully to prepare themselves for their task; to guide themselves and give purpose to their knighthood. they incorporated a five point code of conduct set forth by their country's greatest monk, Won Kwang, and the code became our Tang Soo Do's basic principles even today.
1. Loyalty to Country.
2. Obedience to parents and elders.
3. Honour friendship.
4. No retreat in battle.
5. In fighting, choose with sense and honour.
The Hwa Rang Dan became known for their courage and skill in battle, gaining respect from even their bitterest foes. They derived strength from their respect for the code enabling them to attain feats of valour that became legendary. Through their feats, however, they inspired the people of Silla to rise and unite and eventually conquer the other two kingdoms. From the victory of Sille, the Korean peninsula became united for the first time in its history. During the time of the Hwa Rang Dan, the original primitive art of self defence called Soo Bahk Ki (foot and body fighting) was popular among the people as well as the military. The people had a high regard for Soo Bahk and through the inspiration of the Hwa Rang Dan, warriors began to train themselves and develop their art. Soo Bahk was combined with the Hwa Rang Dan principles to become Soo Bahk Do and formed the traditional martial art of Korea. During this Silla dynasty, Soo Bahk Do became combined with different self defence techniques and fused and developed into Tae Dyun in the next kingdom. After World War II, these were the techniques that the art of Tang Soo Do could borrow.
The vestiges of that age.
Two sculptures assuming postures of early Tang Soo Do stand guard outside a temple, named Sok Kul Am, at Toham mountain in Kyungju, this was the capital of Silla dynasty. The two sculptures are called Kum Kang Ryuk Sa, and the forms they are demonstrating could be considered the same as those of the Plasek and Sipsu form of today. The Suk Kul Am temple is a small Buddhist cavern temple going back to 751 AD. From this we know that the present method of Korean Fighting, known as Tang Soo Do, traces its lineage back to those early and troubled times. Also we see, the most important part of this training was to develop a fighting spirit to supplement the rigorous technical training.
The times of Koryo Dynasty
The greatest period of Soo Bahk came after the establishment of the Koryo kingdom. In 935 AD the Silla kingdom was overthrown and the kingdom of Koryo founded. From Koryo comes the western name Korea. Founded by a warlord, the soldiers of the Koryo dynasty were among the finest the country has ever produced and their martial spirit and bravery has been an inspiration ever since. The kingdom was strictly militaristic in spirit, a fact necessitated by the need to defend the country against foreign enemies on many occasions. According to an old authoritative history book Koryosa, every may, the king of Koryo held a match for unarmed government posts. King Uijong, 16th of the Koryo dynasty, admired the excellence of Yi Ui Moon in Soo Bahk and he was promoted to Dae Jung (General). Also, Jang Jung Boo, Sa Kang Sung were recorded as excellent Soo Bahk Ki winners. Thus the art, having its inception in religious discipline, received royal patronage, and became a permanent segment of national life.
The age of Yi dynasty.
After 475 years of rule, Koryo dynasty was defeated by Yi Sung Kye, who was the founder of the Yi dynasty. The Yi dynasty was started by him in 1392 AD. During the first part of the Yi dynasty the feudal lords put more emphasis on literature and this fighting art remained merely among the younger people. A small group of people continued to practice this technique and even to improve upon it. In earlier dynasties of the Korean peninsula, this fighting art was called Soo Bahk Ki and Taek Kyun. However, the people used both words without discrimination. A period of civil enlightenment set in during which time anything related to military training was frowned upon. In spite of its unpopularity in the Yi dynasty a most important record was made in this period. It is a fully illustrated martial arts record book called Muye Dobo Tong Ji written in 1790 which contains illustrations that substantiate the theory that Soo Bahk Ki quickly developed into a sophisticated form of combat techniques art. Even the pictures and statues mentioned earlier reveal expressions and postures quite advanced relative to similar arts at that time. There is no exact record but there are many legendary stories flowing from generation to generation among the people. Soo Bahk Ki or Tuck Kyun, Sippal Ki or Sansin Yuk Ki were well spread to the common people as very frightening arts. Still the people of Korea say Sansin Yuk Kyo Jul Hang Rang, which means run away as soon as possible.
HAN (High) - Hanmudo practitioners set short term, intermediate term and long term goals. The long term goal is to achieve their Black Belt. After goals are set, the practitioner then works diligently to achieve the goal.
han-bigwhleHAN (Wide or Open) - A Hanmudo practitioner trains to have and keep an open mind. They work to help others understand different people and cultures so we may all live in harmony and happiness.
han-brightness HAN (Bright or Optimistic) - A Hanmudo practitioner trains with a strong positive attitude. They strive to face all of their challenges with confidence. They understand that their challenges build strength.
The way of coordinated power.
The way of flowering manhood ...
Do means path or way. Tae indicates kicking and Kwon fist or punch. Thus the way of kicking and punching is the English translation.
Established on April 11 1955.
Chung Do Kwan The Chung Do Kwan (靑濤館; "Blue Wave School") name was first used by Won Kuk Lee. Lee had studied Taekkyon in An Gup Dong (a neighborhood in Seoul), karate with Sensei Gichin Funakoshi in Okinawa, and kung fu at centers in Henan and Shanghai in China. Lee earned dan ranking in Shotokan karate. According to Grandmaster Yong Taek Chung (a student of Lee) "it is probable that he did practice in secret as a teenager because he told this author that when he first started training he and his first teachers would not exchange names due to possible consequences if someone got caught." Chung Do Kwan was the oldest of the martial arts schools, or "kwans", that were established following the Japanese Occupation of Korea.
Lee trained under Gichin Funakoshi Sensei at Chuo University in Japan. Lee also traveled to China and Okinawa, studying martial arts technique, history, and philosophy. According to Won Kuk Lee interview, the main differences among Korean style Tang Soo Do, Karate, and Kung Fu were in how pressure points were used and attacked.
The belt system of the Chung Do Kwan under Lee was as follows: White (8th-5th Guep), Red (4th-1st Guep)and Black (1st to 7th Dan). Testing occurred every six months and students would jump two guep levels per test (8th to 6th guep for example). The reason for this was that many Koreans at that time were poor and could not afford frequent testings.
Taekkyeon is the traditional military Korean martial art from the Joseon Dynasty. Taekkyeon is also frequently romanized informally as Taekgyeon, Taekkyon, or Taekyun.
Tang Soo Do (Hangul: 당수도, pronounced [taŋsʰudo]) is a Korean martial art incorporating fighting principles from subak (as described in the Kwon Bup Chong Do), as well as northern Chinese kung fu. The techniques of what is commonly known as Tang Soo Do combine elements of shotokan karate, subak, taekkyon, and kung fu.
Special Attack Military Art
Chung Tong Yudo Original Style of Judo
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