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About Muyesinbo 무예신보

The Muyesinbo (or Muyeshinbo, meaning "new compendium of martial arts") is a Korean martial arts manual published in 1759.

The book is a revision of the older Muyejebo, made during the reign of King Youngjo (1724–1776). It adds twelve disciplines or "skills" of both armed and unarmed fighting by Prince Sado to the original six which were descbribed in the Muyejebo. No copies of the Muyesinbo have survived, but its contents can easily be traced back by comparing the Muyejebo and the later Muyedobotongji.

Prince Sado also originated the term Sib Pal Gi (십팔기, 十八技, “Eighteen Fighting Methods”), shortened from Bonjo Muye Sib Pal Ban (본조무예십팔반, 文章武藝十八般, "18 Martial Arts Classes of the Yi Dynasty", reflecting the Chinese concept of 十八般兵器 "Eighteen Arms of Wushu") to identify this collection of skills.

Historical Background

The earlier manual of 1610, Muyejebo (“Martial Arts Illustrations”) had as its background the Imjin War (1592–1598), which revealed severe shortcomings in the Korean national army causing King Seonjo (1567–1608) to order reforms based on the successful training model of the Chinese General Qi Jiguang (1527–1587).

During the reign of King Yeongjo (1724–1776) the Muyejebo was revised, and supplemented with 12 additional fighting methods by Prince Sado, published in 1759. Prince Sado was the heir-apparent of king Yeongjo, but he suffered from a mental illness which triggered violent outbreaks. After the prince took to randomly killing and raping people in the palace, he was executed by suffocation in 1762, aged 27.

Both the Muyejebo and Muyesinbo formed the basis for the later Muyedobotongji ("Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts") of 1795, which added the execution of six disciplines on horseback, bringing the total number of systems to 24.

The Eighteen Skills

These the eighteen "skills" (技 skill, ability, method) are classified into three categories (thrust, slice, and strike) and reflect strong influence from Chinese martial arts.

The first six skills already present in the Muyejebo can also be found in the Muyesinbo:

The remaining twelve skills are original to the Muyesinbo:

The term Sip Pal Gi in modern Korean martial arts has come to identify three separate but related activities.

Modern Reception

In modern Korean martial arts, Sip Pal Gi has come to be used generically, much like "kung fu" in the west. There are, however, small groups of practitioners who use the term Sip Pal Gi historically, for the attempted reconstruction of 18th-century Korean martial arts based on the historical manuals, much in the same way as martial arts reconstruction in the West.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Muyesinbo", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

 

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