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The Forms: Dan Gun

Dan Gun is named after Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 BC. [*Note* This diagram does not match up 100% with our version. Make sure to perform a double knife-handed block on the first and third movements. Also, towards the end of the form, when performing a single knife-handed block, ensure your elbow is bent to protect the face.]

According to the legend, Hwan Ung came down from heaven to rule the universe. At that time a tiger and a bear, who lived in a cave, begged Hwan Ung to change them into humans. The tiger couldn’t comply with the commandments of Hwan Ung, so he lost his chance to become human. However, the bear could, became a woman, and prayed under an altar to become pregnant. Hwan Ung was moved by her plea, changed himself into a man, and married her. They had a son, Dan Gun. This myth became respected by all, particularly after the Silla unification and in the era of the Yi Dynasty.

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During the Koryo Dynasty, there was considerable antagonism toward the Mongolian tribes because in the past they had invaded and conquered Korea several times. The Koryo Dynasty viewed Dan Gun as the sole founder of the Korean kingdom and used this legend to show Korean superiority to the Mongolian tribes. The myth of Dan Gun played a very important role in protecting the Korean kingdom from invasion by maintaining the Korean culture. October 3rd is celebrated as a national holiday, commemorating Dan Gun. 21 movements.The Yi Dynasty is also known as the Joseon Dynasty after the name of Korea at that time, Joseon Chosen. The Dynasty was founded by the Jeonju Yi family, and by Yi Seonggye in particular. Though his father was a former Mongol official, Yi Seonggye was of ethnic Korean origin. He seized the throne of Korea in 1392. General Yi actually repelled the remnants of the Mongol invasion of Korea, as well as Japanese pirates. While some Koreans dispute that the name “Yi Dynasty” is correct, there should be no dispute that there is nothing dishonorable about honoring a man who repelled Korea’s enemies, through the use of his name as the name of the Dynasty. The Dynasty endured until 1910.

For further information, please read about the Joseon Dynasty, the Taejo of Joseon and the History of Dan Gun. A copy of the image below can be found here.

Don’t forget to KI-YUP! on the third punch going up the I!

credit to seghea.com
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