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Yun Moo Kwan

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Jidokwan 1948 small

Jidokwan in 1948

Yun Mu Kwan - the "Hall (or Institute) for Martial Study" - is the name of a now all but forgotten Korean martial art style. Yun Mu Kwan was one of the original five schools ("kwans") that arose in Korea after Japanese occupation ended after World War II.

Yun Mu Kwan was originally a judo school started by Kyung Suk Lee; during the Japanese occupation of Korea, instruction in judo was allowed. Meanwhile, Chun Sang Sup was a college student in Japan where he studied both karate and judo. It is generally believed that Chun studied Shotokan karate under the tutelage of that system's founder, Sensei Gichin Funakoshi (though other sources suggest that Chun may have studied under Toyama).

When Chun returned to Seoul after college, Chun began teaching karate to the judo students at Yun My Kwan. Eventually he began to recruit new members to the school who wanted to study his Korean version of karate (at that time called Gwon Beop). After the conclusion of the Japanease occupation of Korea, the Yun Moo Kwan moved to So Gong Dong, where the Japanese Gang Duk Kwan used to be located, and officially announced the opening of the Cho Sun Yun Moo Kwan as branch of what came to be known as Korean Taekwondo. The first trainees of the new Yun Moo Kwan were:

  • Chun, Ill Sup, brother of Master Chun, Sang Sup
  • Pae, Young Ki
  • Kim, Bok Nam
  • Lee, Chong Woo
  • Pak, Hyun Jong
  • Lee, Byung Lo
  • Chung, Jin Dong
  • Kim, Chun Sun

These students later became members of the Jidokwan (see below). Chun was remembered by his students as having a slender physique and was said to be very intellectual. He is remembered for always wearing suits.

Chun taught at the Yun Mu Kwan for only a few years before disappearing during the dislocations of the Korean War, which began in 1950. His former students eventually began training again at a different location under different teachers and under a new name: Ji Do Kwan (meaning the "Hall or Institute for Wisdom's Way"). The Ji Do Kwan (or Jidokwan) was subsequently rolled up, along with most of the other Korean "kwans" into the newly systematized Korean national combat sport of "taekwondo" in the mid 1950s. When Taekwondo tournaments became active from the beginning of the 1960's to the 1970's, Jidokwan distinguished itself with its sparring results.

Unlike the other early kwans, the Yun Mu Kwan name disappeared very early in the history of Korean martial arts and so was never formally consolidated into the new Korean national sport of taekwondo — although some practitioners of Korean martial arts today still make use of the name. Most, but not all, have adopted the techniques, training methods and competitive rules which characterize modern taekwondo.

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