Movements - 21
Ready Posture - PARALLEL READY STANCE
DAN-GUN is named after the holy Dan-Gun, the legendary founder of Korea in
the year of 2,333 B.C.
Dangun Wanggeom was the legendary founder of Gojoseon, the first kingdom of Korea, in present-day
Liaoning, Manchuria, and the Korean Peninsula. He is said to be the grandson of the god of heaven, and to
have founded the kingdom in 2333 BC. Although the term Dangun commonly refers to the founder, some
believe it was a title used by all rulers of Gojoseon, and that Wanggeom was the proper name of the founder.
Dangun's ancestry begins with his grandfather Hwanin, the "Lord of Heaven" (a name which also appears in
Indian Buddhist texts). Hwanin had a son Hwanung who yearned to live on the earth among the valleys and
the mountains. Hwanin permitted Hwanung and 3000 followers to descend onto Baekdu Mountain, then
called Taebaek Mountain, where Hwanung founded Sinsi ("City of God"). Along with his ministers of clouds,
rain, and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught humans various arts, medicine, and agriculture.
A tiger and a bear prayed to Hwanung that they may become human. Upon hearing their prayers, Hwanung
gave them 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of mugwort, ordering them to eat only this sacred food and
remain out of the sunlight for 100 days. The tiger gave up after about twenty days and left the cave. However,
the bear remained and was transformed into a woman.
The bear-woman (Ungnyeo) was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. However, she lacked a husband,
and soon became sad and prayed beneath a Sindansu ("Divine Betula") tree to be blessed with a child.
Hwanung, moved by her prayers, took her for his wife and soon she gave birth to a son, who was named
Dangun ascended to the throne, built the walled city of Pyongyang (present capital of North Korea), and
called the kingdom Joseon. He then moved his capital to Asadal on Mount Baegak (or Mount Gunghol).
Fifteen hundred years later, in the year Kimyo, King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty enfeoffed Jizi to Joseon, and
Dangun moved his capital to Jangdangyeong. Finally, he returned to Asadal and became a mountain god at
the age of 1,908.
Dangun's rule is usually calculated to begin in 2333 BC, based on the description of the Dongguk Tonggam
(1485) as the 50th year of the reign of the legendary Chinese Emperor Yao. Other sources vary somewhat, but
also put it during Yao's reign (traditional dates: 2357 BC-2256 BC). Samguk Yusa states Dangun ascended to
the throne in the 50th year of Yao's reign, while Sejong Sillok says the first year and Dongguk Tonggam says
the 25th year.
Until 1961, the official South Korean era (for numbering years) was called the Dangi, which began in 2333 BC.
Daejong-gyo considered October 3rd in the Korean calendar as Gaecheonjeol ("Festival of the Opening of
Heaven"). This day is now a national holiday in the Gregorian calendar, called National Foundation Day.
The earliest recorded version of the Dangun legend appears in the 13th century Samguk Yusa, which cites
China's Book of Wei and Korea's lost history text Gogi . This is the best known and most studied version, but
similar versions are recorded in the Jewang Un-gi by the late Goryeo scholar Yi Seunghyu (1224-1300), as
well as the Eungje Siju and Sejong Sillok of the early Joseon dynasty.
Scholars today regard the legend as reflecting the sun-worship and totem ism common in the origin myths of
Northeast Asia. The bear is often found in origin myths of Manchuria and Russian Far East. The legend
therefore may hint at the relationships among various tribes that worshipped the sun, bear, and tiger.
The story further illustrates the importance of knowledge of weather to the early agricultural peoples of Korea.
In the 1990s, North Korea claimed it had found and excavated parts of the Mausoleum of Dangun. Scholars
outside of North Korea are generally skeptical of the dating methods and the extent of renovations, since the
government has not permitted independent access and testing.
Dangun as religion
During the Mongol invasions of Korea, the Dangun legend is thought to have played an important role in
national unity and patriotic mobilization against the invaders. Gosindo, a version of Korean shamanism that
considered Dangun a god, had a small following, but had largely died out by the 15th century.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with a resurgence in Korean nationalism after repeated Japanese
invasions and the beginning of Japanese rule (1910-1945), the movement was revived in Daejonggyo. It was
promoted by Na Cheol (1864-1916), but could not survive the repression under the occupation (Taejonggyo
(1999)/Tangun), since it conflicted with the Japanese cultural assimilation policy. After the surrender of Japan
and Korean liberation, Daejonggyo was revived, although it remains a minor religion.
Dangun in Taekwon-Do
Dangun is the second pattern or tul in the ITF form of the Korean martial art taekwon-do. Students learn that
the tul represents "The holy legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 BC". Unusually for a tul, all the
punches in Dangun are high section (at eye level), symbolising Dangun scaling a mountain.
|Rare International Tae Kwon-Do (ITF) video produced with the
GENERAL CHOI on North Korea, you can see Grand Master Park Jung
Tae, Grand Master Choi Jung Wha and other masters of the ITF
performing tuls and explaining the movements of each tul.
Dan-Gun, Do-San, Won-Hyo and Yul-Gok
1.Move the left foot to B forming a right L-stance toward B, at the same time executing a middle guarding block to B
with a knife-hand.
2.Move the right foot to B forming a right walking stance toward B while executing a high punch to B with the right fist.
3.Move the right foot to A turning clockwise to form a left L-stance toward A, at the same time executing a middle
guarding block to A with a knife-hand.
4.Move the left foot to A forming a left walking stance toward A while executing a high punch to A with the left fist.
5.Move the left foot to D forming a left walking stance toward D while executing a low block to D with the left forearm.
6.Move the right foot to D forming a right walking stance toward D while executing a high punch to D with the right fist.
7.Move the left foot to D forming a left walking stance toward D while executing a high punch to D with the left fist.
8.Move the right foot to D forming a right walking stance toward D while executing a high punch to D with the right fist.
9.Move the left foot to E, turning counter clockwise to form a right L-stance toward E while executing a twin forearm
block to E.
10.Move the right foot to E forming a right walking stance toward E while executing a high punch to E with the right
11.Move the right foot to F turning clockwise to form a left L-stance toward F while executing a twin forearm block to
12.Move the left foot to F forming a left walking stance toward F while executing a high punch to F with the left fist.
13.Move the left foot to C forming a left walking stance toward C while executing a low block to C with the left forearm.
14.Execute a rising block with the left forearm, maintaining the left walking stance toward C. Perform 13 and 14 in a
15.Move the right foot to C forming a right walking stance toward C, at the same time executing a rising block with the
16.Move the left foot to C forming a left walking stance toward C, at the same time executing a rising block with the
17.Move the right foot to C forming a right walking stance toward C, at the same time executing a rising block with the
18.Move the left foot to B turning counter clockwise to form a right L-stance toward B while executing a middle
outward strike to B with the left knife-hand.
19.Move the right foot to B forming a right walking stance toward B while executing a high punch to B with the right
20.Move the right foot to A turning clockwise to form a left L-stance toward A while executing a middle outward strike
to A with the right knife-hand.
21.Move the left foot to A forming a left walking stance toward A while executing a high punch to A with the left fist.
END: Bring the left foot back to a ready posture.