The History of Tukong Martial Arts
Tukong Moosul (Special Combat Martial Art)
Tukong Moosul is an ideal martial art system for anyone, at any age, from children to adults, and is a traditional style of martial art. We take pride in blending a family environment with intensive training for students at all levels.
Grandmaster Wonik Yi holds a 9th-degree black belt and is the creator of Tukong Moosul and founder of the World Tukong Moosul Federation.
Tukong Moosul is both a very new style and one whose history can be directly traced back over 1200 years. Grandmaster Wonik Yi grew up in the Dae Yeon Sa (Great Achievement Temple) from age 5 until 19. During those 14 years, he was taught Buddhism, Philosophy, and a powerful martial art form that had no specific name.
In South Korea, military service is compulsory – so at age 19, Grandmaster left the temple to complete his civic duty. During his time there, he had the opportunity to showcase his powerful and effective martial arts and was eventually asked to develop a training system for the Special Forces under the command of General Chang Ki Oh. Taking the name of his unit, Tukong Moosul was born.
In 1982 Grandmaster Yi moved to Austin, Texas, and began teaching his blend of what he learned in the temple, and the training system he devised for the Special Forces.
Tukong is much more than effective self-defense; Tukong is a way of life.
Dae Yeon Sa (Great Achievement Temple)
The first location of Grandmaster’s childhood home was in the mountains of what is now North Korea. Master Ji Suk and two others built and dedicated the Dae Yeon Am (Great Achievement Meditation Hall) in the year 1200 AD. Initially, it was only a place for study and meditation – no martial arts were trained. In 1269 AD Masters Song Jae and Bup Kwang joined the Dae Yeon Am, and brought with them martial arts training to help discipline the body, in order to allow longer periods of meditation without harming the body through inactivity.
Centuries later monks from the west joined the temple. The times were turbulent, and the decision was made to move the Dae Yeon Am deeper into the Korean peninsula, into what is now known as South Korea. These monks from the west brought their own form of Buddhism, and their own martial arts training. Upon reaching their new location, the new monks and the monks of the Dae Yeon Am worked together to build a larger temple ground suited to developing their study, meditation, and training. They renamed this larger location the Dae Yeon Sa (Great Achievement Temple). This meeting of the minds in the late 1600’s is why our style encompasses both hard and soft martial arts, linear and circular, and has techniques that are classically understood as Korean as well as techniques classically understood as Chinese. Without question, over the course of 400 plus years – Tukong Moosul has techniques that cannot be classified as either, as the synthesis has created something unique. This is the history that Grandmaster Yi passes to his students, and his students pass to theirs.
Eun Kwang Bup Sa (Eun Kwang, Master of the Law)
Young Grandmaster Yi was the only child at the temple. He tells of being overwhelmed at first, desiring to leave at times. The temple headmaster, Eun Kwang Bup Sa, was a childhood friend of Grandmaster’s grandfather and took Grandmaster in with kindness and compassion. Grandmaster eventually thrived and loved living at the temple.
By sharing this powerful style with us, Grandmaster still honors his master’s philosophy of:
Eun Kwang Bup Sa passed away in 1996 at the age of 101. It is Grandmaster’s hope to pass in the same way as his master: Sitting upright during a class, and smiling at his students.