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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended For all TKD'ers
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...
Published on 4 Jan. 2009 by S. Anslow

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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 14 months ago by F. Stewart


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended For all TKD'ers, 4 Jan. 2009
By 
S. Anslow "StuartA" (UK) - See all my reviews
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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
By 
S. Fagence - See all my reviews
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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.

The only issue is that once you have finished the book and all the skeletons in the closet, you have to remind yourself about all the really good things about taekwon-do and all the really good people that practise it. I hope that Mr Gillis continues to write on the subject - perhaps a book on the more positive and impressive side of Taekwon-do's growth - it really is an art that changed the world after all and this is something that is crystal clear in the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly fascinating insight of Taekwon-Do's heritage, 22 Jun. 2009
By 
J. Burgess "Samurai Ronin" (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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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 review is from: Killing Art, A (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting Read About The True History Of TKD, 26 Jan. 2013
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If your are a Taekwon-Do practitioner and are interested how this Martial Art was 'conceived' this is a brilliant book to read.

As other reviewers have commented, it shows the true struggle Gen. Choi went through to create his 'Art'. But also on the flip side of that how he disliked/disowned anyone who criticised what he did. Gen Choi comes across (from reading the book) as someone who disliked to be questioned why something was the way it was (maybe from his military background - mine is not to question why....)

The most controversial of all being the change to 'sinewave' movements from the standard hip-twist/knee-spring. And that if anyone didn't adopt this new 'style' of Taekwon-Do they were not practising the 'True' art.

Think of the first two movements of Do-San or the first three moves of Won-Hyo, do you perform them as a combination or do you perform them as totally (some could say dis-jointed) individual movements each having full sinewave???

Personally I would of liked this particular aspect to of been explored more with in the book. The question remains was it really for political purposes, or that it truly benefited the martial art and has made it better - the debate that still rages on internet forums today. Many of the first Instructors and Pioneers of TKD don't use it, and see no purpose for it and went their own way, creating their own Associations; but their are also those who stuck by Gen. Choi and true to ITF TKD

Whatever faction you are from or prefer there is no denying that without Gen. Choi there wouldn't of been the TKD we love and practise today, and this book explains how it all began and is a very interesting read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying!, 5 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Killing Art, A (Paperback)
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
By 
D. R. Anderson "Yonhap" (Rutland/UK) - See all my reviews
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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 A history of taekwondo, 25 July 2011
This review is from: Killing Art, A (Paperback)
A fascinating book. Especially for people who study teakwondo- and have to write an essay for their black belt grading. It feels like the real history of taekwondo, rather than the flowery version often used. The book has been written by someone passionate about the sport- and is occasionally a bit difficult to read. However, what the book lacks in graceful grammar is more than made up for in the detail of the history of taekwondo, from its karate beginings, through its use in the Korean military, and then into an Olympic sport.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a jolly good read, 25 Aug. 2010
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On the surface a slightly cringe worthy title, however there is no getting away from the uncomfortable fact that the title is honest about the original purpose of the art...quite simply the efficient killing of a martial enemy using ones body as a weapon.
I must say it was a really ripping yarn and kept me hooked throughout,I started to learn ITF TKD in the late 70's and had not an inkling that all this intrigue was occurring...amazing.
Alex Gillis has produced a marvellous book that should be on your must read list.
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Killing Art, A
Killing Art, A by Alex Gillis (Paperback - 26 May 2011)
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