From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Hangul 무예신보
Hanja 武藝新譜
Revised Romanization Mu Ye Sin Bo
McCune–Reischauer Mu Ye Shin Bo
Hangul 십팔기
Hanja 十八技
Revised Romanization Sib Pal Gi
McCune–Reischauer Sib Pal Ki

The Muyesinbo (or Muyeshinbo, meaning "new compendium of martial arts") is a Korean martial arts manual published in 1759.1 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:

  • Gonbang 곤봉 (long staff), c.f. Chinese Gun (棍)
  • Deungpae 등패 (shield)
  • Nangseon 낭선 (thorn spear)
  • Jangchang 장창 長槍 (long spear), c.f Chinese Qiang 槍 / Shuò 槊
  • Dangpa 당파 (three-pronged spear)
  • Ssangsudo 쌍수도 (two-handed sword)

The remaining twelve skills are original to the Muyesinbo:

  • Jukjangchang 죽장창 (long bamboo spear)
  • Gichang 기창 (spear with flag)
  • Yedo 예도 銳刀 (sharp sword): a single-edged short sword paralleling the Japanese wakizashi.
  • Wae geom 왜검 (Japanese sword): the Japanese katana.
  • Gyojeon 교전 (sword sparring techniques):
  • Woldo 월도 (moon-blade): a polearm with a curving blade paralleling the Chinese guandao.
  • Hyeopdo 협도 (spear-blade): a polearm paralleling the Japanese naginata or nagamaki.
  • Ssang geom 쌍검 (twin-swords): fighting with two swords; twin-swords were made to be carried in a single sheath.
  • Jedok geom 제독검 (admiral sword): techniques introduced by Chinese admiral Li Rusong, who fought on the Korean side in the Imjin War. Li used straight-bladed swords (jikdo) with a single edge for slashing and a double-edged sword (geom) for stabbing. The manual gives 14 basic stances for this discipline.
  • Bonguk geom 본국검 (national sword): a method of swordsmanship stressing traditional Korean origin (as opposed to the more recent adoption of the techniques of the "admiral sword").
  • Gwonbeop 권법 (unarmed fighting skills): based on the 1567 Jin Xiao Shin Shu or "Manual of New Military Tactic" by General Qi Jiguang (1528-1588). Of the original 32 methods cited by General Qi, about 19 methods are identified in the Muyesinbo, besides another 14 original methods, yielding a total of 33.
  • Pyeongon 편곤 (flail): paralleling the Chinese two-section staff

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

Modern reception

Further information: Sib Pal Gi Association

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 practitionerswho? 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.


  1. ^ Ehwa University Press 2008, Sippalgi: Traditional Korean Martial Arts, Dr. B.K. Choi
  • Ehwa University Press 2008, Sippalgi: Traditional Korean Martial Arts, Dr. B.K. Choi
  • Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts; Trans: KIM Sang H., Phd; Turtle Press, 2000.

See also