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A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do, Updated and Revised

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do, Updated and Revised.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Alex Gillis(Author)

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The eagerly anticipated updated return of a bestselling martial arts classic

The leaders of Tae Kwon Do, an Olympic sport and one of the world’s most popular martial arts, are fond of saying that their art is ancient and filled with old dynasties and superhuman feats. In fact, Tae Kwon Do is as full of lies as it is powerful techniques. Since its rough beginnings in the Korean military 60 years ago, the art empowered individuals and nations, but its leaders too often hid the painful truths that led to that empowerment — the gangsters, secret-service agents, and dictators who encouraged cheating, corruption, and murder. A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do takes you into the cults, geisha houses, and crime syndicates that made Tae Kwon Do. It shows how, in the end, a few key leaders kept the art clean and turned it into an empowering art for tens of millions of people in more than 150 countries. A Killing Art is part history and part biography — and a wild ride to enlightenment.

This new and revised edition of the bestselling book contains previously unnamed sources and updated chapters.

The eagerly anticipated updated return of a bestselling martial arts classicThe leaders of Tae Kwon Do, an Olympic sport and one of the world’s most popular martial arts, are fond of saying that their art is ancient and filled with old dynasties and superhuman feats. In fact, Tae Kwon Do is as full of lies as it is powerful techniques. Since its rough beginnings in the Korean military 60 years ago, the art empowered individuals and nations, but its leaders too often hid the painful truths that led to that empowerment — the gangsters, secret-service agents, and dictators who encouraged cheating, corruption, and murder. A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do takes you into the cults, geisha houses, and crime syndicates that made Tae Kwon Do. It shows how, in the end, a few key leaders kept the art clean and turned it into an empowering art for tens of millions of people in more than 150 countries. A Killing Art is part history and part biography — and a wild ride to enlightenment.This new and revised edition of the bestselling book contains previously unnamed sources and updated chapters.

3.4 (12485)
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Book details

  • PDF | 264 pages
  • Alex Gillis(Author)
  • ECW Press; Updated, Revised edition (August 9, 2016)
  • English
  • 7
  • Sports & Outdoors

Read online or download a free book: A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do, Updated and Revised

 

Review Text

  • By Zero One on August 31, 2017

    Tae Kwon Do always has been one of the most perplexing arts to me. It's rapid global adoption, the variability of its practitioners' skills, a professed history that runs nearly a millennium. Its schools range from hard-hitting knockdown academies to McDojo belt mills where people bounce up and down and play foot tag.Gillis thoroughly documents the art, becoming a heresiarch in the process as he debunks the martial myths and nonsense. To my interest, he also shows the splits that occurred in the art's formation that gave us Choi's hard-hitting schools and Kim's foot-tag Olympic variant.Gillis' book shows the evolution of TKD from a derivative of Japanese karate to something very distinct. We also gain perspective into the machinations of the Korean CIA, South Korea's nationalist dictatorships, the interplay of a powerful cult, and the viral growth of TKD into its modern status as a world art. Much of the book seems far-fetched to the point of nonsense -- it isn't. Matters accepted as articles of faith by practitioners have the human fallibilities and hubris of storied founders painstakingly documented and challenged. Gillis' sources include first-person interviews, articles, congressional hearings, and personal insights.Even if you're not a martial artist, the invented traditions would interest a cultural anthropologist or political science student as TKD became intertwined with Korean nationalism and identity. TKD gained more esteem in my mind, knowing it was so effective and applicable for state and nefarious purposes, as opposed to some mythic lineage to the Choson rulers and prior. I've studied various arts, including kung fu, which has manifold issues in nearly every offshoot's storied history and myths.Ultimately, every martial artist would benefit from this book to challenge undue reverence and belief and to move beyond martial nonsense and contrived demonstrations to focus on what works. Gillis shows instead of tells, and one walks away with the sense that those who focused on finely honed fundamentals prevailed in their execution of the art.

  • By From Detroit on August 15, 2017

    I've been practicing Tae Kwon Do for 2 years now, and I have been very interested in learning about the history. This book was affordable, and fairly highly rated, so I figured "why not?" Overall, I found it to be a fascinating read! Mr. Gillis walks you through General Choi Hong Hi's journey of creating the martial art. Not much description is given to techniques, forms or the mechanical differences between the different styles. This book focuses on the political and ethical turmoil the martial art suffered from the time of its inception, to present, with healthy doses of espionage, subterfuge and corruption. I highly recommend the read to anyone who's interested in learning the history of Tae Kwon Do, and to those who may enjoy reading about military history, as WW2, Korea and Vietnam all had significant impacts on the development of Tae Kwon Do.

  • By Sam Shelton on January 23, 2017

    A great book. It clarified a lot for me, and opened my eyes to much more. I've studied Tae Kwon Do since 1971 and this allowed me to piece together some confusing history facts I'd been taught over the years. I realize Gillis researched much of the information in his book through interviews so there is probably some minor inaccuracy because it's second hand information, but I found this tremendously enlightening and I recommend it to anyone who has any interest in the history and development of Tae Kwon Do. Every black belt from a Korean discipline should read this!

  • By Dennis R. Callanan on December 19, 2016

    The author is an ideal combination of investigative journalist and martial arts expert (5th degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do). The book is an extremely well-researched history of Tae Kwon Do: 499 footnotes, 3 pages of listed interviews, and a 5-page bibliography. In addition to the origins of Tae Kwon Do, its development and growth in the Korean War, and its spread throughout Asia and then the rest of the world after the Korean War,the book explores the history and psychology of the two men who would struggle for the growth and future of Tae Kwon Do. Choi Hong Hi and Kim Un Yong dominate the book just as they struggled to control and dominate the future of Tae Kwon Do. The book is an admirable combination of history and psychological studies, richly spiced with historical incidents that sometimes read like a spy novel or a thriller or a script for a Bruce Lee movie, occasionally peppered with a few of the author's own personal feelings and experiences.I had the great good fortune to have studied under GrandMaster Nam Tae Hi who “was also a founder.” (page 46) I studied under him for seven years in Chicago, had dinner with him and his other black belts, spent time in his house, and my first wife was baby-sitter to his third son. As well as I knew him, there were things I didn’t know until I read Alex Gillis’ book, which I highly recommend.

  • By Marty on February 7, 2017

    Reads like a movie but how much of it is true?The same can be said of any historiical account of Taekwondo , it is widely known that the history of Taekwondo has been embellished by organizations, as is pointed out in this book. Some shocking claims are made in a killing art a must for any TKD student. WTF indeed!

  • By Daniel Glanz Sr on July 12, 2017

    Obviously I do not know if all the allegations in the book are true. In particular, alleged connections between tae known do practioners and the South Korean CIA are serious and disturbing if true. Never the less, the history is fascinating.

  • By Juan D. Rodriguez on May 20, 2017

    This is the true story of one of the worlds popular martial arts. Even if you don't practice the art, you will get a good story out of it.

  • By Guest on December 16, 2017

    Probably one of the best books I've ever read. A myth busting tale that makes you more excited to learn taekwondo than before. A story of reminiscient of Korea's great men and tragic heroes.


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