Song Deok-gi

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Song deok-gi (Hangul송덕기(宋德基); 1893 ? -1987 ?), was an Ingan-munhwage of Taekkyeon, which is the 76th Important Intangible Cultural Properties of Korea. He was known as the master for Taekkyeon and was designated for Korean traditional martial arts when Korean national team introduced Korean culture at the 17th Rome Olympics in 1960. He used Hyeonam (Hangul현암(玄庵); as a pseudonym.


Song deok-gi was born in 1893 in Seoul. He met Taekkyeon master Lim Ho (Hangul임호(林虎);) when he was 12 years old and began training with other boys about 10 years. At that time, Taekkyeon was known as a kind of folk game and many people around Seoul played it. He trained at empty lot, which was located under the top Inwangsan mountain hwanghakjeong (黄鹤亭), upper side of Sajik Park. People called Witdaepae (Hangul윗대패;) who lived inside of Seoul town walls and Ahratdaepae (Hangul아랫대패;) who lived outside of Seoul town walls. Song deok-gi was Witdaepae (Hangul윗대패;) so he had competition with Ahratdaepae (Hangul아랫대패;) people around Samcheong-dong, Aeohgae and the like. After compromise of national sovereignty of Joseon, Taekkyeon was prohibited by Japan's Ethnic extermination policy, he trained Gungdo near his house and he just practiced Taekkyeon skills, which he learned. He also was good at Gungdo and Undertook the first official referee for Gungdo. In 1958, he showed demonstration in front of the former president Lee Seung-man at president's birthday with Kim Sung-hwan who was also a pupil of Lim Ho. The event caused him to start a research, systematic study and dissemination activities of Taekkyeon with other Taekkyeon masters. Lee Seung-man ordered to his Head of security to learn Taekkyeon by securities.


He taught horizontal bar in Artillery Unit, which was a military force at the end of the Joseon Dynasty and served as a soccer player in professional soccer team.

In 1983, he was designated Ingan-munhwage as Taekkyeon was appointed to the 76th Important Intangible Cultural Properties of Korea. He opened Taekkyeon inheritance committee and the Taekkyeon class for students but it closed after one year for immature operation.


In 1981, he won martial arts prize in the 1st Republic of Korea of the traditional martial arts contest.


Korean Curtural Heritage Association

The academy of Korean Studies