Gwonbeop


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Description

Tim

Gwonbeop means fist fighting method. The earliest surviving written reference to gwonbeop is found in the Muyedobotongji, which has extensive documentation on the techniques and history of gwonbeop. According to this text, gwonbeop was impractical for large scale combat on the battlefield, but was taught as an introduction to the martial arts. Soldiers learned gwonbeop prior to learning more complex weapons arts to master footwork and body control. It was also taught as a method of personal self-defense for Joseon warriors.

Quan fa is a generic term used for open handed Chinese martial arts. Gwonbeop was developed based on the methods of the Shaolin Temple and the techniques of Jang Song Gye (장송계 hanja: 張松溪). The hanja for quan fa and gwonbeop are the same. The chapter in the muyedobotongji dealing with gwonbeop was inspired by Chinese writings describing quan fa-techniques. It was the Chinese general Qi Jiguang who said that empty-handed fighting methods were impractical on the battlefield.

These days the term gwonbeop is used in many Korean martial arts as a reference to their empty-handed curriculum.

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