Kwan (martial arts)

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For other uses, see Guan.
This article is about martial arts. For the Finnish music band see Kwan.

Kwan (Hanja: 館; Hangul) in Korean literally means building or hall, but when used in martial arts it can also refer to a school or clan of martial artists who follow the same style and/or leader. This article is about the different taekwondo kwans.

The five original Taekwondo kwans[edit]

  • Song Moo Kwan(송무관) - founded March 11, 1944 by Ro Byung Jick(노병직), who had studied karate along with Chung Do Kwan founder Lee Won Kuk under Gichin Funakoshi in Japan. In the 1960s Ro's son and eventual successor, Ro Hee Sang(노희상) began studying Hapkido in 1963 and Northern Shaolin Kung fu in 1967. He (Ro Hee Sang) subsequently became an instructor to the Korean Army and one of Korea's Taekwondo champions. He trained Karate, Hapkido, Kendo and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu.[2]
  • Moo Duk Kwan(무덕관) - founded after 1946 by Hwang Kee(황기). Hwang studied Taekkyon, T'ai chi and some types of Kung Fu with Yang Kuk Jin in China. Hwang claims he learned the philosophy of Okinawan Karate from Gichin Funakoshi's books. His first two attempts at running a school of Hwa Soo Do were unsuccessful. He then trained with Won Kuk Lee at the Chung Do Kwan, gaining the equivalent of a green belt. Lee claims Hwang was his student, but Hwang disputes Lee's claim, and acknowledges only Yang Kuk Jin as his teacher. In 1957, Hwang made a discovery of Soo Bahk, a true Korean martial art, from Muyedobotongji(무예도보통지). Hwang developed the Soo Bahk system to be studied through the Moo Duk Kwan. He chose the name Soo Bahk Do, a derivative of Soo Bahk Ki, hand striking technique, and Soo Bahk Hee, hand striking dance, which were detailed in the Muyedobotongji. In 1960, the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association was incorporated and officially registered with the Korean government as the traditional Korean martial art. The following year, the Moo Duk Kwan discipline was recognized internationally for the first time.[3] By 1953 and onward until 1960, the Moo Duk Kwan had risen to become biggest Moo Do organization in Korea, with close to 75% of all martial artists in Korea practicing Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan.
  • Yun Mu Kwan Gwonbeop Club (연무관 권법부)/Jidokwan(지도관) - founded March 3, 1946 by Chun Sang Sup(전상섭), who had studied Shotokan karate with Gichin Funakoshi in Japan, and later called his art 'Kong Soo Do(공수도)'. he had a very close relationship with Yoon Byung-In, founder of Kwon Bop Bu. Chun and Yoon would travel to train with other martial artists, sometimes traveling to Manchuria. They trained with each other so much that they became known as brothers. The full name of this kwan was "Chosun Yun Moo Kwan Kong Soo Do Bu(조선연무관 공수도부)" (the Chosun Yun Moo Kwan had been the original Japanese Judo school in Korea for over 30 years previously). Chun went missing during the Korean War; subsequently, this kwan voted to change its name to Jidokwan. After Chun disappeared in Korean War, the original students of Chun voted Master Yoon who Trained in Chuan Fa in Manchuria as Jidokwan 1st President.[4]
  • YMCA Gwonbeop Club(YMCA 권법부)/Chang Moo Kwan(창무관) - founded in 1946 by Yoon Byung-in(윤병인), who had studied Chinese Kung Fu (Quan fa) under the guidance of a Mongolian instructor in Manchuria. Later, Yoon trained karate at university karate club in Japan with Kanken Tōyama. When he trained Karate in Japan, Japanese karate students pursued the Korean student and beat them up. Yoon angered from the Japanese karate students, Yoon sprung into action using Quan fa. He skillfully deflected and evaded the karate students' strikes and kicks to the point that they gave up and ran back to tell their teacher about what happened. Teacher Kanken Tōyama invited Yoon to tell him about the skillful non-karate martial art he used against his students. Yoon explained to Toyama about his Quan fa education in Manchuria. Toyama appreciated the Quan-fa background since he had studied Quan-fa in Taiwan for 7 years, previously. They decided to exchange knowledge; Yoon would teach Toyama Quan-fa and Toyama would teach Yoon his Shudokan karate.[5] Yoon later created his art and called as Gwonbeop Kong Soo Do. Unlike other taekwondo kwans, early Chang Moo Kwan was mainly based on Chinese Kung Fu (Quan-fa). The early Chang Moo Kwan taught Palgi kwon(팔기권) (which influenced by Bajiquan).[6] Yoon went missing during the Korean War. His teachings were carried on by his top student Lee Nam Suk, who changed the name of the school to Chang Moo Kwan. 10th Dan Grandmaster Soon Bae Kim is currently the President of Song Moo Kwan and is one of two Kukkiwon 10th Dans in charge of Kukkiwon testing.

Later important Taekwondo kwans (post Korean War)[edit]

  • Han Moo Kwan(한무관) - founded in August 1954 by Lee Kyo Yoon as an offshoot of the Yun Moo Kwan/Jidokwan.
  • Oh Do Kwan(오도관) - founded in 1955 by Choi Hong Hi, Nam Tae Hi, and Han Cha Kyo as an offshoot of the Chung Do Kwan.
  • Kang Duk Won(강덕원) - founded in 1956 by Park Chul Hee and Hong Jong Pyo as an offshoot of the Kwon Bop Bu/Chang Moo Kwan.
  • Jung Do Kwan(정도관) - founded in 1956 by Lee Yong Woo (died August, 2006) as an offshoot of the Chung Do Kwan.

The four later Kwans are considered annex kwans, since they all are lines from one of the 5 earlier kwans.

See also[edit]