Asia

Taekkyeon (Korea)

Name of sport (game): Taekkyeon
Name in native language: Taekkyeon
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Korea

History:

Taekkyeon is a traditional Korean martial art with a dance-like appearance in some aspects. A Goguryeo mural painting at the Samsil tomb shows Taekkyeon was practiced as early as the Three Kingdoms Era and transmitted from Goguryeo to Shilla. Taekkyon derives from an earlier art called Subak, which split into two: yusul and Taekkyon, during the early Joseon Dynasty. Its practice never seems to have been widespread within the Korean peninsula, but it was practiced frequently around Hanyang, the capital city of the Chosun Dynasty. At the height of its popularity, even the king practiced Taekkyon. Unfortunately for the people of Korea, the king had to out-lawed Taekkyon matches due to the fact that matches were quite frequent and was mainly use for gambling purposes. In the end the king decided to just make Taekkyon only for military use to prevent the people from gambling their wives and houses away.
Taekkyon took a severe blow when Neo-Confucianism grew in popularity, and then the Japanese occupation nearly made the art extinct. The last “Old-School” Taekkyon practitioner, Song Duk-Ki, maintained his practice of the Art throughout the Japanese occupation and subsequently laid the seeds for the arts’ regeneration. He became the first human cultural asset in taekkyon.

Description:

Taekkyeon is a traditional Korean martial art that makes use of fluid, rhythmic dance-like movements to strike or trip up an opponent. The graceful movements of a well-trained Taekkyeon performer are gentle and circular rather than straight and rigid, but can explode with enormous flexibility and strength. The feet play as important a role as the hands. In spite of its gentle impression, Taekkyeon is an effective martial art highlighting a broad variety of offensive and defensive skills employing all available fighting methods. It also teaches consideration: a skilled Taekkyeon practitioner can rapidly dominate an opponent, but a true master knows how to make an opponent withdraw without incurring damage.

Unlike many hard, external Korean arts which are best suited for younger students, Taekkyon can be practiced well into old age. Because all movements are intended to harmonize with the structure of the human body, techniques are natural and minimally stressful. Part of the reason for this stems from the art's abandonment of normal warm-up and stretching exercises. Instead, the basic techniques, interspersed with brief series of hand pats along the length of tight muscles, provide the necessary muscle stretch and circulation boost. Song Duk-ki proved Taekkyon's therapeutic side effects by training daily until the age of 94. Shin Han-seung continued until he died at the age of 60.
Like other martial arts, Taekkyon teaches the use of "ki" or internal energy, to augment physical power. One method for releasing "ki" is through a "kihap", the forceful exhalation of air at the moment a technique is performed. However, Taekkyon's "kihap" differs from that of all other Korean and Japanese arts. Instead of a short, loud explosion of noise, Taekkyon students make a soft but forceful "eek eh" sound which, they claim, comes from the traditional Korean fighting arts.
A basic principle of Taekkyon sparring is to attack hard with soft, and soft with hard. To illustrate, a punch to an opponent's jaw, while undoubtedly effective, will inflict considerable pain on the puncher. weapon such as the knee or elbow.
More sensible is to strike a hard target with a softer weapon-the palm heel, for example. Conversely, Taekkyon teaches that an attack to the fleshy mid-section is more effective if the striker uses a hard weapon such as the knee or elbow. Lee Yong-bok explains that, unlike most other fighting styles which advocate performing a linear technique and then finishing it, Taekkyon teaches students to continue techniques past their potential point of impact.
In a violent encounter, Taekkyon strategy teaches that a person should stand directly in front of his attacker and move with a rhythmic motion that allows a quick, evasive slip to either side. In contrast to the linear movements in Taekwondo and other Korean arts, the Taekkyon student's body constantly moves forward and backward, to the left and to the right. Lee Yong-bok describes this strategy as the first skill of Taekkyon: staying away from the attacker's weapons.
According to this logic, evasion is superior to blocking because, as long as an opponent's attack fails to make contact, his power does not matter. Taekkyon fighters move with a rhythm which beginning students sometimes learn while traditional Korean drums and bamboo flutes keep time. This rhythmical motion into and out of attack range further differentiates the style from all others. Similar movements have been found in the "tal chum", the centuries-old Korean mask dance. Herein lies another of Taekkyon's differences: During this continuous body motion, the arms constantly move up and down, out and back, and from side to side, confusing the opponent as to exact target locations. When combined with nimble footwork in four directions and occasional evasive jumping, a Taekkyon stylist becomes more difficult to hit.
Taekkyon's kicks have proved so effective that the style does not even include among its hand strikes a traditional jab or reverse punch. The kicks are so legendary that, for hundreds of years the name of the art was synonymous with foot-fighting. However, the kicks bear little resemblance to the typical spinning and jumping maneuvers glorified in tournaments and film. Instead, Taekkyon leg techniques are simple and direct, focusing on linear moves but including limited usage of circular and spinning kicks. Taekkyon has traditionally emphasized stepping and stamping techniques directed at the opponent's lower legs and feet.
In contrast to the intensity of Taekkyon when it existed only for combat, modern practice limits the damage that may be inflicted upon fellow students.
Lee explains the traditional rules of friendly Taekkyon competition, probably developed within the past 100 years, as follows:Custom (greeting and bowing) comes first. Pressure-point attacks are not allowed. Light to medium contact is allowed. Leg-grabbing and take downs are allowed. Kicking above the neck is allowed. Trapping with the hands is allowed. Jumping and kicking with both legs is allowed. Knocking out one leg with a kick is allowed.
Under the system Shin Han-seung systematized, Taekkyon training progresses through three steps. The first is "honja ikhigi", or training by oneself in basic movements and techniques. The second is called "maju megigi", or practice of more difficult and realistic techniques with a partner. The third is "gyeon jugi", or sparring. It teaches what can only be learned in simulated combat when the defender does not know his opponent's actions or reactions.

Current status:

There are approximately fifty recognized practitioners of Taekkyeon at present, and the Korean Taekkyeon Association plays a significant role in the transmission and promotion of this traditional martial art.택견 (Taekkyeon, a traditional Korean martial art).

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

As a part of seasonal farming-related traditions, Taekkyeon serves to facilitate community integration, and as a sport accessible to all plays a major role in promoting public health. Taekkyeon is also practiced by a great number of people as a daily activity.

Sources of information :

Articles:
https://kelleyswanberg.com/korea/not-taekwondo-the-real-korean-martial-art/
https://ich.unesco.org/en/RL/taekkyeon-a-traditional-korean-martial-art-00452
https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Taekkyeon
http://www.parandeul.co.kr/taek_overview.htm
Photos:
https://ich.unesco.org/en/13-representative-list-00411&include=slideshow.inc.php&id=00452#https://ich.unesco.org/img/photo/thumb/07567-HUG.jpg

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTOA8P6qr5M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ga1Im-3ZtH8

The information contained in the article comes from the following sources:
http://heritageinkorea.kr/the-exploration-of-the-taekkyeon-a-traditional-korean-martial-art/
https://martialartsblogaroundtheworld.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/taekkyeon/
http://www.parandeul.co.kr/taek_overview.htm

Source of photos used in this article and gallery:
https://kelleyswanberg.com/korea/not-taekwondo-the-real-korean-martial-art/
https://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2021/05/281_267823.html
https://manchester-martial-arts.co.uk/taekkyeon/
https://martialartsblogaroundtheworld.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/taekkyeon/
https://awakeningfighters.com/awakepedia/taekkyeon/
http://www.parandeul.co.kr/taek_overview.htm

Gallery:

Tang Soo Do (Korea)

Name of sport (game): Tang Soo Do
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Korea

History:

Korean martial arts developed approximately 2000 years ago when Korea was then divided into three kingdoms: Koguryo in the North, Paekche in the Southwest, and Silla in the Southeast. During this period, martial arts were very primitive until Korea was first unified under the Silla Dynasty (688-935AD). During the Silla Dynasty, the Hwa Rang Dan (flowering youth) warriors combined the philosophy of the monk Won Kwang, who was the originator of the principles of our own Tang Soo Do, with Soo Bahk Ki (the art of foot and body fighting) to form the traditional art of Soo Bahk Do.In 918 AD, the Koryo Dynasty was established and it’s militaristic rule strongly promoted martial spirit and development of the Korean martial arts. The Yi Dynasty (1392-1910 AD) followed and assured the continuation of Korean martial arts when the martial arts book, Mooye Dobo Tongji was written. During the Japanese occupation of Korea from 1909 to 1945, the Korean people were forbidden to practice martial arts resulting in many Soo Bahk Do practitioners going underground to secretly continue their training.

The man who developed Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan, Grandmaster Hwang Kee (1914–2002) studied Tae Kyun (another Korean system not related to Tae Kwon Do) and Soo Bahk Do at the age of 22. In1936, he travelled to northern China where he studied a Chinese martial art called the Tang system and combined it with Tae Kyun and Soo Bahk Do. He then named the organization the Korea Soo Bahk Do Association, also known as Tang Soo Do and after World War II on November 9th, 1945, training restrictions were lifted and he established the Moo Duk Kwan where Tang Soo Do was taught.In 1965, the Korean Government established the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association in an attempt to unite the Korean Martial Arts under one name and develop the sporting aspects of martial arts. However, Grandmaster Hwang Kee and most Tang Soo Do practitioners chose to remain independent traditionalists rather than become part of the sport oriented Tae Kwon Do organization.The techniques of Tang Soo Do are based on the ancient Korean kicking style of Tae Kyun, and the soft flowing movements come from the northern and southern Chinese systems.

Tang Soo Do is a classical martial art with practical self-defence applications and its main goal is to develop every aspect of one self. The practitioner is aiming to become a balanced person who totally combines his intellectual mind with demanding physical training. This results in becoming a person who is in control of one self and able to deal with the outside world in a calm manner.
Source: https://tangsoodo.com.au/tang-soo-do-history/

Description:

5 codes of Tang Soo Do
Loyalty to your country
Obedience to parents and elders
Honour friendship
No retreat in battle
In fighting, choose with sense and honour

Tenets of Tang Soo Do
Integrity
Concentration
Perserverance
Respect and Obedience
Self-Control
Humility
Indomitable Spirit

Eight Key Concepts of Tang Soo Do
Yong Gi – Courage
Chung Shin Tong Il – Concentration
In Neh – Endurance
Ching Jik – Honesty
Kyum Son – Humilty
Him Cho Chung – Control of Power
Shin Chook – Tension Relaxation
Wan Gup – Speed Control

source: https://tangsoodo.com.au/tang-soo-do-history/

Contacts:

Logo world tsang soo do association
World Tang Soo Do Association
2436 Hanford Road, Burlington, NC 27215
Website: https://www.worldtangsoodo.com/
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/WTSDAOfficial/
Tel: +1 336-223-0056
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International tsang soo do federation
International Tang Soo Do Federation (UK)
Website: http://www.tangsoodo.uk/
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel.: +44 7725 750652
Fb: https://www.facebook.com/InternationalTangSooDoFederationuk/

logo european tsang soo do association
European Tang Soo Do Association
Tel: +353 (0) 876969215
Website: https://www.europeantsd.net/about-us.html

Sources of information :

Articles:
https://budodragon.com/what-is-tang-soo-do-a-look-into-the-history-of-the-korean-martial-art/
https://www.liveabout.com/history-style-guide-tang-soo-do-2308284

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s1Q_ySoGkM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8swnWyzDc3w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy6P_uvkmBw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3fq84nylEQ

 

The information contained in the article comes from the following sources:
https://tangsoodo.com.au/tang-soo-do-history/

Source of photos used in this article and gallery:
https://blackbeltmag.com/power-vs-speed-the-evolution-of-tang-soo-do-fighting
http://carymartialarts.com/tang-soo-do/

Gallery:

Thirikkal race (Sri Lanka)

Name of sport (game): Thirikkal race
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Sri Lanka

Thoda (Pradesh, India)

Name of sport (game): Thoda
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Pradesh, India

Description:

This remnant of martial culture is popular in the districts of Shimla, Sirmaur and Solan. Probably best described as a group demonstration sport, "thoda" is the art of archery. It takes its name from the circular wooden ball used to replace the deadly arrowhead. Bows ranging in size from three and a half to six feet are used in its practice. The archers divide themselves into groups called the "Saathis" and the "Pashi," who are reputed to represent the descendants of the Pandavas and the Kauravas who in the days of the Mahabharata frequently battled in the Valleys of Kulu and Manali. Competition takes place yearly on Baisakhi Day (April 13th and 14th which honors the Goddesses Durga and Mashoo). The event takes place on a marked fairground as both groups face each other at a distance of approximately ten yards. Each group in turn fires its arrows, targeting the opponents' leg area beneath the knee. Points are detracted for hits to other areas. The defenders may dance about, side step and kick their legs in an effort to foil accurate aim. All the while, observers cheer from the sidelines while participating teams sing and play martial music.

Thoda is a martial art form from Himachal Pradesh, India. The sport demands excellent expertise in archery. The main weapons needed for Thoda are bows and arrows. In Thoda there are 2 groups. There are close to 500 people in one group, majority of them do no take part and are present just to cheer up the team. The two sides that take part are named as Saathi and Pashi since they are believed to be descendants of Pandavas and Kauravas. Unlike archery, the target of the competitors here is the opponents` leg; below the knee, where the opponent should aim his arrow.
The moment the two contesting groups reach the village fairground, both the parties dance on either side of the ground, waving their swords, aglitter in the sun, and sing and dance to the stirring martial music. The Pashi group forms a chakravyuh, and blocks the Saathi group, who in turn begin to penetrate their defences. After the initial resistance, the Saathis reach the centre of the ground. The two groups stand 10 metres apart and prepare to attack. The defenders start shaking, kicking their legs to and fro with brisk movements, to thwart the accurate aim of their adversaries.
In fact the whole concept of the sport is to create a highly energetic atmosphere with non-stop leg kicking on one-hand and constant attempts to hit the target on the other. Lightning movements and agility are the sole methods of defence. The whole competition is conducted to the lively, virile rhythm of war dance, with one side furiously sidestepping, legs kicking in all directions, and other side doing its best to place an arrow on the target. If a defender is hit on the wrong part of the body, negative points are awarded. At present, the game is played in a marked court, which ensures that a certain degree of discipline.
Source: https://targetstudy.com/qna/what-is-thoda.html

Sources of information :

Articles:
https://targetstudy.com/qna/what-is-thoda.html

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8L8j_8lPQo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAuO_5YIOsw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0xOTmqLsSY

 

Source of photos used in this article and gallery:
https://pl.pinterest.com/pin/496310821410088514/
https://www.sportskeeda.com/slideshow/10-indian-sports-that-you-should-know-about?ref=relatedmid
https://homegrown.co.in/article/10332/the-amazing-lesser-known-sports-of-india

Gallery:

Vat (Vietnam)

Name of sport (game): Vat
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Vietnam

Vovinam Viêt-vo-Dao (Vietnam)

Name of sport (game): Vovinam
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Vietnam

History:

Vovinam is a genuine Vietnamese Martial Art (“Vo” means “Martial Arts”; “Vinam” stands for “Vietnam”).
By far Vovinam is Vietnam’s most popular traditional form of Martial Arts. The Martial Art of Vovinam was founded by Master Nguyen Loc in 1938. He researched other Martial Arts with the intention to combine specific aspects from each into one style that would be suitable to the physique of the Vietnamese people: thin, but fast, flexible and enduring.
Since 1964, the title “Viet Vo Dao” has been added, to become “Vovinam – Viet Vo Dao”. Viet Vo Dao stands for the philosophy on which Vietnamese Martial Arts leans, a/o the principle of Yin and Yang, or soft and hard techniques. In 1939, the first public demonstration of Vovinam took place in Ha Noi; subsequently clubs were established in all regions of northern and central Vietnam. Master Le Sang - successor of Master Nguyen Loc - organized a meeting with southern masters in Saigon with the view of spreading Vietnamese martial arts worldwide. In 1973 the “French Vovinam - Viet Vo Dao Federation” was established, gradually evolving into the “International Vovinam - Viet Vo Dao Federation”, which finally became the “Vietnamese Martial Arts World Federation”.

Description:

Along with martial arts philosophies and health maintenance techniques, Vovinam – Viet Vo Dao (VVVD) provides a system of martial arts techniques that encompasses various forms of self-defence that are very effective in real life combat. The goals of VVVD are to:
i) Preserve and develop the martial arts of Vietnam, applying “soft and hard core-development”;
ii) Research and innovate new martial arts’ techniques to improve VVVD technical resources;
iii) Train students on Strength, Techniques, and Philosophy to develop a solid body, strong endurance against obstacles and disease (Strength), self-defence and just causes (Techniques), and a rational mind, invincible will and gallant character (Philosophy). Students will be living in a self-disciplined and forgiving way and become model citizens, serving oneselves, one’s family, one’s state, and mankind.
Practitioners wear blue uniforms and earn belts just as in other traditional martial arts. A student begins with a light blue belt, same colour as the uniform. When VVVD student pass their first exam, the belts are changed into a dark blue colour, which stands for hope - the hope of being successful in learning VVVD. Upon positively completing the following 3 exams, yellow stripes are added to the blue belt. The 3rd yellow stripe is followed by the yellow belt: the student has reached instructor's level.
Higher levels include the red and white belts; the red stands for blood and fire, symbolizing a fighting spirit. Finally, white stands for infiniteness and bones, symbols of the depth of the spirit. The white belt designates the master to the absolute mastery of Vovinam - Viet Vo Dao.
It’s a bit ironic that Vovinam - Viet Vo Dao is getting popular in Europe, especially in France, since the founder developed this martial arts as a means to train Vietnamese youth against French colonialism. However, today the sport is also put into effect in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Belgium, Switzerland and other countries.

Current status:

Practiced

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

Nowadays, VVVD is very popular in Viet Nam, from big cities to small villages. It’s cheap to register for a class anywhere. Students can practice with and without weapons while in combat or in daily life. It includes training of the body as well as the mind - the fighting spirit, courage, tenacity, fairness, modesty, and tolerance. Above all, the morality involved in VVVD training and the way it teaches how to apply techniques shape the students’ character.

Contacts:

World Vovinam Federation - WVVF - https://www.facebook.com/WorldVovinamFederation/

logo

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Wooden shoes race (China)

Name of sport (game): Wooden shoes race
Name in native language: 板鞋竞速(Ban Xie Jing Su)
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Guangxi, China

History:

This sport was invented in 1500s, during Ming Dynasty. It was originally used to train soldiers to improve their cooperation in Guangxi. Then it becomes popular around other parts of China as an entertainment activity.

Description:

This sport usually covers several pairs of wooden shoes/long ski boards. Each pair of wooden shoes is 100 cm in length, 9 cm in width and 3 cm in thickness. It has velcro or nylon tapes for fastening athletes’ feet on it.

Wooden Shoe Racing is usually played in three forms: speed contest / Relay Race/obstacle race

Rules:

(For Speed Contest)
1. Speed Contest is usually played in a stadium. It uses normal athletic track.
2. Three players form a team and get ready for race.
3. On “Ready, set, go” mark, athletes must compete a distance of racing(60m or 100m)as fast as possible.
4. The first team crossing finishing line wins.
5. If the team falls down or their feet leave wooden shoes during the race, they must stop and make their feet attach to nylon tapes on wooden shoes again. Only then could they complete the rest of the race.
6. They must keep in their own race track during the race.
7. False start, running on other teams’ track or someone’s feet without keeping touching wooden shoes during race will cause an invalid result.

(For Relay Race)
Rules similar to speed race, but distance of race is longer(200 m) and each team usually has two or groups for relay race.

(For obstacle race)
Rules similar to speed race, but more interesting because players have to finish several tasks while they are running on wooden shoes. For example, bypassing cones or stepping over balloons, etc.

Current status:

Practiced sport. It is also a formal event of Traditional Sports Games For Ethnic Groups in China.

Importance (for practitioners, communities etc.):

It improves cooperation, agility and determination of players.

Gallery:

Tikhy or Tikhee (Laos)

Name of sport (game): Tikhy or Tikhee
Name in native language: Tikhy or Tikhee; also called Lao hockey
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

Laos

History:

Tikhy is a traditional sport (similar to hockey) and is a distinctive part of an annual That Luang Festival, being an inseparable part of the celebration. The That Luang Festival is one of the most significant Buddhist festivals in Laos and takes place during lunar eclipse which occurs in October or November (depending of the cycle of lunar calendar). It is a joyous event, which is not only attended by town residents but also numerous tourists who visit Vientiane at that time.
Pha That Luang or gold-covered Buddhist Stupa is a national symbol as well as the most important religious monument in Laos which also serves a purpose of holding the most important Festival in Vientiane Boun That Luang.

Pha That LuangPha Than Luang

The first event during the festival is called a "Wax Castle" procession surrounded by colourful candles, which takes place in Wat Si Muang. In the morning of the third day of the festival, people gather in the gold-covered Stupa before sunrise, in order to secure space in the monastery, where they prepare to offer an offering and a prayer. Thousands of people gather to pay respects near That Luang. A lot of participants wear their best clothes as well as various Lao outfits characteristic of ethnic groups. Both men and women wear their traditional clothes called sarong for men and sinh for women. During the festival people dance, play traditional music and sing traditional songs while gathering near the Stupa. At 7 am starts an Alms Giving Ceremony "taak Baat", when monks collect the offering from the praying people. After "taak Baat", the believers come into the Stupa in order to pray while lighting candles and incenses.
The festival offers an occasion for many Laotians to return to their home country and visit their families to spend time together during the traditional picnic. At that time a traditional game called Tikhy takes place. Some people derive the sport from history or even a legend telling about the confrontation between the native people with the influx of administrative power symbolizing a new royal and religious order.
Some people say that in the past horse races were being organized during the festival. The festival ends together with the full moon, when the participants gather aroung the Pha That Luang for the last time, surrounded by the procession candles, holding armfuls of flowers, incenses and candles. The end of the festival is very often celebrated with fireworks.

tikhy in 1900Tikhi in 1900. Reproduced from Alfred Raquez, Pages laotiennes: Le- Haut-Laos, Le Moyen-Laos, Le Bas-Laos (Hanoi: F.H. Schneider, 1902)

Description:

Traditional game of "tikhy" or "tikhee" is played between a team consisted of festival participants (local people) and a team consisted of civil servants, which in the past were dressed in red. The game starts with a procession, before the game starts, master of ceremonies leads the local people, holding a magbeng, to bring the ball (Louk khee) from the Town Hall where it is being stored. The modern ball is made of bamboo roots and has a spherical shape and golden colour. After that, the whole procession gather near That Luang Stupa and circle it three times. Then they bring the ball to the pitch while everyone gathers to watch the match. This is a variation of Lao hockey, in which the participants use a bamboo sticks to direct the ball into the opposite goal. It requires a certain set of skills, as the bamboo sticks are not in a perfect shape and the ball is not perfectly round and smooth. Each team consists of 50 members, half of which plays in the first part while the other halt plays in the second part. Each of them lasts 25 minutes.
Winning the game means that the people will not suffer from hunger, while luck and prosperity will be with them for the whole year. The game is being held in a rather positive spirit in order to enhance the relation between local people and civil servants. The participants are cheered on by the crowd, which does not strain from dances and singing.

stamp laos hockey

stamp laos tikhy

 

Current status:

The sport is being practised.

Sources of information :

Tikhy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62etfE9YJyg
Tikhy - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp2ZxRoOO5A

Gallery:

Wushu (China)

Contacts:

International Wushu Federation
Web: www.iwuf.org Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lausanne | Tel: +41 21 312 2583 | Fax: +41 21 312 2587
Avenue de Rhodanie 58, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland

Beijing | Tel: +86 10 87774492 | Fax: +86 10 5962 0989
9 Huaweili, Chaoyang District, 100021 Beijing, China

logo IWUF

Gallery:

Yabusame (Japan)

Name of sport (game): Yabusame
Name in native language: 流鏑馬 (Japanese)
Place of practice (continent, state, nation):

This sport discipline is practiced in Japan. Performances of it are occasionally shown in other countries.

History:

The roots of this sport date back to prehistory. It was established in Jōmon era. According to historians, year 12,000 BCE was the beginning and year 300 BCE was the ending of the era. The shape of the bow, that is used nowadays, was created during Yayoi era (300 BCE – 300 CE).
Until the 4th century archers were moving on foot, then they started horseback riding. After few hundred years later samurais, who were at most 10% of Japanese population, began dueling in a way similar to today’s Yabusame – each of the samurai rode closer to the other rider in order to shoot him with at least three arrows.
At the end of the 12th century in Japan’s history began another important period for Yabusame. Kamakura era, apart from socio-political transformations closely related to the emerging feudalism and reducing emperor’s role to ceremonial functions, also began the tradition of demonstrating archery techniques on a horse before the government. It was also an exercise preparing for a possible war.
Later, this sport discipline lost its popularity. It experienced a big reform only in the year 1724. It was then that Ogasawara Heibei Tsuneharu led by Shogun Yoshimuna developed a new Yabusame style: combining the traditions and textbooks of both schools of this sport. Both schools were created in the 9th and 12th centuries.
What is interesting, this discipline was also used for ritual purposes. It was demonstrated during prayers for healing, repelling evil, or the birth of children.
After the abdication of the last ruler of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1867) and the restoration of the Empire, the sport lost its popularity once more. It was only after the Second World War that Yabusame returned and now is an essential element of the Japanese tradition.

Description:

Archers are dressed in traditional costumes from the Kamakura period – a time during which this sport was actually created. The sport begins with a ritual prayer. The leader of the game places an arrow on the altar in order to drive away evil spirits, after short introductory ceremonies. He sacrifices that arrow to the gods. Later, one of the players stands in front of the main place of the celebration. He says a prayer intended to bring peace and abundant crops to the country.

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Next, on the altar an olive branch is offered, and the leader of prayer gives one of the archers a folded arrow, which will be used again at the next ceremony. The speech ends with a few hits on the gong. After leaving the temple, players go on the game field.
A further prayer takes place before reaching the destination. The archer, being already on his horse, tightens the bowstring, directing the arrow towards the sky and then towards the ground, which reminds a deep bow. These activities are performed for peace and prosperity.
The procession, leaded by the person with the olive branch, passes along the track of the game, which is about 218 meters long (2 Japanese chōs). A fence is placed on both sides of it. On the left, about 5 meters from it, at a height of 2 meters, 3 square targets with a length of 35-50 centimeters, spaced apart at equal distances, are installed. These distances, however, can change, because they are dependent on Yabusame schools and rules applied in a given region.
First, there are several test runs, during which no shields are shot. Then the main game begins. Two people standing at the beginning and the end of the track give the signal to start by waving fans. While horses’ gallop, riders have to hit the targets. If they succeed, the player sitting at the target raises a white fan.
Over the time, the targets were changed to wheels with a diameter of 10 centimeters. Inside there is confetti that shoots from it after being hit by an arrow. Some Yabusame schools, however, do not have this kind of targets.
Here and there after shooting all three shields archers receive a white robe, which they put on their shoulders.

costume2

Current status:

Yabusame is not often practiced. Mostly only on chosen, festive days, as well as during visits of heads of state, or other high-ranking officials from other countries.
Yabusame performances take place in various districts of Japan on different days. However, in many places in this country this discipline is practiced on September 15, on Shintō festival Rei-sai, during which there is pleading for further prosperity from the gods. Rei-sai is one of the three most important celebrations throughout the year.
In addition, some regions demonstrate this discipline on Sunday, which is near April 15, May 4, May 5, August 1, September 9, November 3, and several other days.
There are no regular games. The position of the archer in Yabusame is a highly honorable matter. Although only men practiced this sport, for some time also women become archers – they compete with each other, presenting this discipline.

Contacts:

Ogasawara-ryū – school founded in 1187.
http://www.ogasawara-ryu.gr.jp/ (Japanese)
http://www.ogasawara-ryu.gr.jp/english (English)

The Japan Equestrian Archery Association
http://yabusame.or.jp/ (Japanese)
http://yabusame.or.jp/english/ (English)

20-43 Onarimachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa-ken
Japan, 248-0012

Sources of information :

Articles:
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%8Dmon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yabusame
https://doyouknowjapan.com/yabusame/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve0KVtx_u74

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve0KVtx_u74 – report from men’s games.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDDvSRCVq_g – report from women’s games.

 

Source of photos used in this article and gallery:
https://twitter.com/hyuga_mt_419/status/718408248877920256/photo/2
http://yabusame.or.jp/english/
https://amoderngirl.wordpress.com/2012/12/06/yabusame-the-japanese-art-of-mounted-archery/
https://tokyobling.wordpress.com/2013/11/28/yabusame-horse-archery-at-meiji-shrine/
https://www.globetrotting.com.au/yabusame-japanese-horseback-archery/
https://www.aa.com.tr/en/culture-and-art/ethnosport-cultural-festival-features-japan-s-yabusame/1141395
https://www.ana.co.jp/en/jp/japan-travel-planner/aomori/0000009.html
https://pl.pinterest.com/126bydziku/yabusame/
https://uncoveringjapan.com/2013/11/22/crash-course-yabusame/

Gallery:

Documents:

pdfMorgaine_Theresa_Wood_Mounted_Archery_in_Japan_Yabusame_and_the_Modern_Setting.pdf

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