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Killing Art, A: The Untold Story of Tae Kwon Do

Killing Art, A: The Untold Story of Tae Kwon Do [Kindle Edition]

Alex Gillis
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

In 1938, Tae Kwon Do began at the end of a wicked poker game in a tiny village in what is now North Korea. Today, the martial art is possibly the most popular on the planet, and Olympic sport practised by an estimated 50 million students and known for its spectacular kicks. Few people, however, know about the art's secret and violent past. The Art of Killing is a non-fiction "novel" that takes readers into the lurid dynasties of two men and their disciples - those who invented the martial art and those who developed the Olympic style of the art - in a thrilling and charged narrative.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1010 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: ECW Press (1 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #148,191 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended For all TKD'ers 4 Jan 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is amazing for anyone who enjoys martial arts, it is incredibly well researched and charts TKD for both ITF and WTF and reveals some amazing stuff regarding both the art and it connections to Korean politics (KCIA).

It read like a novel and will be interesting for anyone with a remote interest in how martial arts came to be (ie. their true roots).

The book is as alarming as it is saddening, it shows Gen Choi as a man who fought against the might of Korea for his art, how corrupt SK was and the lengths it went to and also some sad steps he took for that fight!

Highly recommended to one and all! And a must read for all who do TKD!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Necessary Reading for TKD Instructors 18 Jan 2010
In short, this is an absolutely fantastic book. If you teach taekwon-do you should own it and read it. No argument.

Political conflicts between instructor groups have lead to so many lies over the years relating to the art of Taekwon-do that the truth has become sadly buried. Also, most groups prefer their students to learn only about the Korea of Dan Gun and Hwa Rang and leave them utterly bereft of knowledge about how the real art of Taekwon-do was developed.

This book cuts through the lies and I hope big organisations can go forward with this and reassess some of the failings in their teaching of taekwon-do. Many groups have only just stopped teaching that "Taekwon-do is 2000 years old and has no link to Karate". I hope these groups press on and emphasise the whole picture and whilst giving Gen. Choi the credit he deserves for making Chang Hon taekwon-do the great art that it is today, to recognise him as human, not perfect and certainly not an incarnation of moral virtue on a pedestal. I also hope that more recognition is also paid to the other taekwon-do pioneers who have been written out of history and who were in their day real legends and phenomenal martial artists who so greatly outperformed their contemporaries on the scene at the time. These pioneers and what they contributed to the syllabus should be known to all dan grades.

To read this book is to feel a great sense of gratitude to Mr Gillis for publishing such a well rendered account of what is usually limited to an oral history. It puts into print with footnotes events that many instructors will deny flat out ever happened.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
I found this was one of those rare books that I just couldn't put down. I read this with a wry smile as it delved deep into the politics of Taekwon-Do, the underhandedness & the dirty goings on behind the scenes as TKD emerged onto the World scene as a fledgling martial art into the powerhouse that it is today. I was aware of many of the issues that this book covered & had heard many of the stories beforehand, but this text contains some real revelations, which are quite, quite startling. Most martial arts instructors will have been touched by MA politics in some way & I am sure, really despise this dark side of the Art. None-the-less, even if you hate this side of the martial arts, this book is highly recommended & illustrates just what a select few sacrificed to make TKD what it is today.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top notch! 7 Feb 2012
This is the best book I have ever read on Taekwondo, and one of the very best in the whole field of Martial Art books - this is what they all should aspire to! If you are a TKD practitioner or at all interested in TKD history this book is a must buy. Every TKD student should now these truths behind their art. It can be a hard swallow to open your eyes and read this book, so if if you want to keep believing lofty myths and tales you should stay away. However, I can not recommend it enough! I should point out that at the moment I am not even practising TKD anymore, I do not know the author and I am in no way benefiting financially from giving this book a rave review - it is just my personal opinion, and if you do not believe me thats on you as you will miss out on something special. Check out my other reviews, and you will see I am real and not some kind of fanatic. Buy it, and enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting 19 Jun 2009
An excellent and at times shocking book.
I thought the history of karate was seedy enough at times, but this book shows that at its worst, TaeKwondo has equalled it.
whenever the temptation to 'deify' a martial arts instructor comes about its books like this that are needed to bring people down to earth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying! 5 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Interesting book that doesn't only cover taekwondos history, but also quite a chunk of Korean history and a peace of history of modern Olympics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book 26 Feb 2009
Absolutely couldnt stop reading. A must read book for any TKD Instructor that doesnt follow blindly............
Dave Anderson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for your Taekwondo library 9 Sep 2014
Anyone who is doing Taekwondo ( any style ) should be purchasing this book. It is very easy to read and the author has done his research well which clearly shows as you read it. It explains the true background of the birth of Taekwondo and is not all pretty and rosy as some historical documents like to portray it. It has some great stories of early Masters which adds more depth into the true history of what the art was originally designed for.
Well worth the money.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Taekwondo geeks
Bought as a gift for my Taekwondo - loving husband. The bast book he ever read.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Livescribe Echo
5.0 out of 5 stars A very readable history of the martial art
Alex Gillis has written one of the best books on the philosophy of Tae Kwon Do around. Crucially he doesn't idolise the characters. He presents a very readable humanistic history.
Published 3 months ago by Alex
4.0 out of 5 stars Must read
This is a must read for all martial artist a very frank and interesting book with a great deal of suprises in it i enjoyed it
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Ian Linton
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for TKD'ers and also an interesting for others.
As an avid TKD'er I found this an extremely interesting book exploring where my art came from and the intrigues and "devilment" surrounding those times. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Fran_ad
3.0 out of 5 stars Christmas present
This was bought for my brother in law who is really into TKD thankfully it arrived in time for Christmas. He hasn't said anything about the content.
Published 8 months ago by F. Stewart
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for all TKD practitioners
this is an excellent book,

it gives an incredible insight into an inspiring martial art.

covers all taekwondo history including ITF & WTF from the roots until... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mark Mooney
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Really interesting account about tae kwon do, and well written for a martial arts book which are often written by excellent boxers wgo cannot string a sentence together.
Published 14 months ago by Inky
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Read About The True History Of TKD
If your are a Taekwon-Do practitioner and are interested how this Martial Art was 'conceived' this is a brilliant book to read. Read more
Published 20 months ago by UserID
5.0 out of 5 stars a good read
a good book if you train in " take my dough" or not, interesting stuff . . . . .
Published 20 months ago by Rb
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