Muye Dobo Tongji
on MAR. / 23 / 2011 | 0 comments
The Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts of Ancient Korea
By order of King Jungjo
Written Yi Duk-moo and Park Je-ga
Translated by Sang H. Kim, Ph. D.
Published by Turtle Press
Review by Aaron Wayne-Duke
The Muye Dobo Tongji is a fascinating collection of Korean martial arts information that has been painstakingly translated into the English language. This book should not be viewed as a “how to” manual for Korean martial arts but more as a historical documentation on philosophy, strategy and history.
The pictures that are included in the text are not reproductions or photos which lends authenticity to the project. This manual is an intriguing look into the martial arts that existed in the late 1700s. This collection is the earliest known Korean martial art treatise, the Muye Jebo written in 1599.
While I carry opinion on every product and service that I review, it would be irresponsible of me to assume this work could be improved upon. I cannot imagine the time and effort it must have taken Mr. Kim to complete this important work. I look at it as a gift to every Korean martial arts practitioner and other martial artists as well.
Pros: English translation, historical illustrations remain authentic, exhaustive view of Korean martial philosophy, strategy and history.
Cons: I view this is as historical documentation but it would have been interesting to see photographs of some of the weapons and clothing from the period (even if they were reproductions). I would suggest at some point that a symposium be convened to discuss this work.