The Wisdom School of taekwondo - - JIDOKWAN
|Yun Byung-in and Chun Song-sup|
Supreme Grandmaster Chun Song-sup as a youth traveled a great deal and studied Judo and Karate-do. He attended college in Japan and studied at Takushoku University studying KarateDo (Kongsudo, in Korean) Shotokan under it's founder Gichin Funakoshi's son Gigo Funakoshi. In 1946 Supreme Grandmaster Chun Song-sup began teaching Kongsoodo in a large gym in Seoul, Korea called Choson YunMoo Kwan Judo DoJang. The President of the YunMoo Kwan gym at that time was Mister Lee Kyung-suk.
Teaching at the same gym was another instructor, Yun Byung-in. Master Yun had trained in Japan with Master Toyama Kanken. Master Yun had also trained in Manchuria learning KwonBup (Chuan Fa or Kenpo). Master Yun stayed at the YunMooKwan for only a short time, until September of 1947 when he established himself at the YMCA in Seoul.
The two masters Chun and Yun were often called brothers because they trained so much together. There was definitely a lot of sharing that went on between these two great martial artists and they often traveled to Manchuria to train with different people and at different schools.
Master Yun eventually left the Choson Yun Moo Kwan and went to the YMCA where he taught YMCA KwonBup Boo which would later become Changmookwan.
In 1948 Shihan Yun Kwae-byung returned to Korea and soon began teaching Yunmookwan Kongsoodo-bu for Chun Song-sup who's schools were expanding in every direction. Chun Song-sup continued to teach himself at the Yunmookwan for another five years until the outbreak of the Korean war in 1950.
At that time Seoul, Korea's capitol, was overrun by the North Koreans and both of these great martial artist Grandmasters Chun Song-sup and Yun Byung-in disappeared. Master Yun was taken to North Korea where he lived out his days working in a mine. He still has family in South Korea. It is feared that Master Chun did not fare as well.
Though the doors of the Yunmookwan were closed during the war, classes were still being taught elsewhere and training continued for Master Chun Song-sup's students. Grandmaster Chun Song-sup brother Chun Il-sup and some of his senior students including Kim Hyuk-nae opened a dojung in Kunsan, Korea in the vicinity of where the front line were established during the war, and another element of students trained in Pusan.
NOTE: My instructor Chun Kae-bae (pictured below with his instructor) was a student of Chun Il-sup and was mentored by Kim Hyuk-nae. "The boys from Kunsan were all about sparing, sometimes 2-3 hours a day, nonstop."
|Chun Kae-bae and Chun Il-sup|
|Kim Hyuk-nae with Ernie Lieb|
“Ignorance is the cause of suffering. Eliminate Ignorance and you eliminate suffering or attain freedom.” "The way to eliminate suffering was The Way of Wisdom” ~~ Guatama Buddha
THE SCHOOL OF WISDOM . . .
. . . is the translation of Ji (wisdom) do (the way or path as in Taoism) kwan (association).
|Dalma: the symbol of the monk Bodhidaruma, the internationally Jidokwan emblem.|
In 1950 Yunmookwan Kongsoodo Bu is in turmoil, their leader missing and presumed dead. The seniors of the school decided that with there was only one man to take over leadership, the only Shihan in Korea, Grandmasters Yun Kwae-byung who had trained with Toyama Kanken and had reached a 4th degree Shihan level in Karate-do ShudoKan, Kanken’s school. At the insistence of the seniors Yun accepted the Kwanjung [leader of the kwan (association or school)] position. Out of respect to Chun, Yun changed the name to Jidokwan, which was the Korean translation of Yun's first style, ShitoRyu.
Note: At that time in karate the highest rank, the rank of the founder of a system was 5th dan. They did not have 9 degrees of black belt as we do now.
When the Korean War ended and the New South Korean Government controlled Seoul the group of students established by Master Chun Song-sup and now under the leadership of Yun Kwae-byung surfaced again in Seoul under the name of Taekuk ChaRyuk Kwan. Besides Master Yun Kwae-byung and Lee Chong-woo other senior instructors were Lee Kyo-yun, Kim Hyuk-nae, and Chun Il-sup. These instructors were teaching Kongsoodo Jidowan.
NOTE: Taekuk Charyuk kwan was the name of the school, not the name of the style. For example if a club was opened in the City Hall, it might be called the City Hall Taekwondo Club, but the style would still be Jidokwan.
Master Yun, Kwae Byung's martial arts lineage is traced backwards to Master Toyama Kanken, 1888-1966. Master Kanken taught not only Yun, Byung In, but also Taekwondo Moodukkwan Grandmaster and “The Godfather of Taekwondo in America, Grandmaster Ki Whang Kim (Kim Ki-whang), late of Washington, D.C.
Most of the Korean's that were in Japan for education learned either Shoto kan, Gichin Funakoshi's art, or Toyama Kanken's Shudo Kan, with the exception of Yun-Kwae Byung who studied ShitoRyu Karatedo and Yun Byung-in who had studied KwonBup, Chinese boxing in Manchuria during the 40 years that Japan occupied Korea and during the time of the Second World War.
NOTE: Masters Funakoshi Gichin, Mabuni Kenwa and Toyama Kanken were from the Ryukyu Islands or Okinawa, they were NOT Japanese. Master Funakoshi took a troop of Okinawan Master's on a tour of Japan to demonstrate and teach Tote Jitsu their indigenous system based upon Shaolin, Shorei and White Crane Chinese Boxing. Kenwa Mabuni, Toyama Kanken and Choki Mitobu were part of this tour. These masters decided to stay in Japan to teach their arts to the Japanese and eventually Funakoshi changed the name to Karate-do. There was much prejudice against the Koreans by the Japanese, but these masters were NOT JAPANESE, the Okinawans, like the Koreans were a people subjugated by the Japanese.
BACK TO THE FUTUREIn the 1950’s Jidokwan and the many other Kwan’s tried several times to unify, never really accomplishing this feat. First there was the DaeHan (Korean) Kongsoodo (Karate) Association. Which included the Great Grandmasters Ro Byong-jik of Sungmookwan, Yoon Kwae-byung of Jidokwan, Son Duk-sung of Chongdokwan, Lee Nam-suk of Changmookwan, Lee Chong Woo of Jidokwan, Hyun Jong Myun, Jo Young Joo, and Kim In Hwa. Soon after the founding of the Korean Kongsoodo Association, Supreme Grandmaster Whang Kee of Moodukkwan dropped out because he was not on the testing committee. Soon after that Sun Duk-sung the president of Chongdokwan also dropped out for the same reason.
Whang Kee proceeded to found the Korean Tangsoodo Association. The Korean Kongsoodo Association began to crumble. The Korean Tangsoodo Association made an attempt to get government approval but by pulling some political strings this was blocked by Jidokwan’s Yun Kwae-byung and Sungmookwan’s Ro Byong-jik.
Under the Presidency of Park Chung-hee the entire country of Korea began to thrive and there was a major effort do to the atrocities of the Japanese during the occupation to distance the new art of Taekwondo from the Japanese. With government support and resources and putting Dr. Kim Un-yong in charge of taekwondo, he created the World Taekwondo Federation to act as a leadership body for the sport and Lee Chong-woo was put in charge of the Kukkiwon and creating a distinctly Korean art. There was major effort to change the uniforms, the poomsae/forms and everything else about the art. Because the legs are longer and stronger, a major effort was put into developing a kicking art much like the historical Korean art of Taekyun.
Under Lee Chong-woo’s lead, "officially," Jido Kwan in Korea was absorbed by the Kukkiwon. The new generation of Korean martial artists who worked their way through the Kukkiwon system had instructors from many of the different martial arts including those of Jido Kwan. Dr. Kim Un-yong officially dissolved the kwans, some of them like Songmookwan (shotokan) and Jidokwan (shitoryu) had references to Japanese systems. No Kwans are "offically" allowed to exist in Korea at this time except as fraternal organizations, and all ranking and testing is done through the Kukkiwon.
Until a few years ago Lee Chung-woo was president of Taekwondo Jidokwan. The current president is Mu Han-kim. To use the name Taekwondo in Korea today you must be part of the Kukkiwon and the art is officially called Kukki Taekwondo. Supreme Grandmaster Hwang Kee of Moodukkwan still calls his organization Subakdo and for a long time he and Dr. Yun Kwae-byung co-ran it. Dr. Yun calls his school Karate-Do Jidokwan. They are NOT part of the Kukkiwon.
Jidokwan as it exists in the United States today consists of two groups. The traditional art which is taught by Korean Masters who came to this country still teaching it as it was taught in the kwans, with Japanese influence and their students, the first generation American Taekwondo masters, including myself. Also by young Masters who trained in Korea under the Kukkiwon system, but in an effort to have an identity claim their chief instructor in Korea was a product originally of Jidokwan.
Those instructors trained in the Kukki Taekwondo in Korea teach only the poomsae/forms authorized by the Kukkiwon: taeguk 1-8, koryo, kumgang, taebaek, pyongwon, shipjin, jitae, chonkwon, hansoo, ilyo and they concentrate mostly on full--contact, sport sparring with body armor.
The Jidokwan instructors in traditional Jidokwan teach what their individual instructors offered them including the use of hands, sweeping, throwing and selfdefense. Since Grandmaster Lee Chong-woo in his tenure as president of Jidokwan was also the head of Kukkiwon his focus was on Kukki Taekwondo much to the neglect of Jidokwan. In countries outside of Korea, there is no unified system of Jidokwan.