Baduk and Martial ArtsThe Link Between Baduk & Martial Arts
Our ancestors had to deal with the frigid cold of winter, the burning droughts of summer, and everything in between without the aid of modern technology. The only way for them to survive was to adapt and bend with the continuously changing environment. With their basic survival secured their adaptation and understanding grew from the simplistic understanding of the cycle of the seasons to incorporate a deeper understanding of the cycle of life. Philosophy, awareness, and introspection grew to a tireless pursuit of an understanding of life, the universe, and all that it contained, and a desire to unify a person's body and life with it. From these foundations martial arts was born.
Martial arts is traditionally taught through a system known as the 36 chambers. Each chamber contained a lesson or skill that was needed to progress to the next chamber. Lower level chambers contained basic philosophy, discipline, strength, and flexibility. Middle level chambers contained kicks, forms, and techniques. The higher level chambers combined the mental and physical for deeper Ki (Chi, Qi, Energy) study. Early within the chambers the basics of the game baduk (wei chi, or go) are taught. As the martial artist grew in skill and philosophical understanding so did his skill within the game of baduk. The skill sets of a martial artist and his skill in baduk were so closely tied that if two students played the game then the victor on the baduk board would be the victor in a fight. During this time period all martial arts still combined the physical, with philosophy, and medicine since all of these arts are tied together through the concept and understanding of Ki. As martial arts spread to the masses these arts continuously diverged from one another up into the present where someone with one of these skills may or may not be a martial artist. As baduk and martial arts separated over time the ranking system of a baduk player became the same ranking system of the martial arts (18th Grade to 1st Grade, 1st Degree to 9th Degree). While the exacting ranking system varies in different parts of the world there can be no doubt of its close ties to the martial arts.