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|Revised Romanization||Sib Pal Gi|
|McCune–Reischauer||Sib Pal Ki|
Shippalgi (Hangul: 십팔기 Hanja: 十八技 lit: "eighteen techniques") is a Korean martial arts consisting of a system of eighteen traditional military practices followed in Korea first organized in 1759. These methods are classified into three categories (thrust, slice, and strike) and reflect strong influence from Chinese martial arts and the tactical military situation of the 16th and 17th centuries before firearms and modern military technology replaced bladed weapons as primary-use in the Korean Army.
Sibpalgi, Sipalki, Sibpalki or Sippalki are also used. The initial sound is "sh" rather than "si" as in "sip," and the final sound is more of a softer "g" than a hard "k."
The Korean system of Shippalgi has its roots in the Korean military manual, Muyejebo (“Martial Arts Illustrations”) which was published in 1610. Conflict with the Japanese during the Imjin War (1592–1598) 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). These reforms included but were not limited the introduction of an operational order of battle, uniformity in training and training standards and a structured approach to inter-relating individual weapons in small unit tactics.
With the cessation of hostilities, efforts were made to retain the organizational gains of the Korean Military. The MUYE JEBO was compiled by one of the king’s military officers, HAN Gyo, and consisting of 6 fighting systems. These included the KON BONG (long stick), DEUNGPAE (shield), NANG SEON (multi-tipped spear), JANG CHANG (long spear), DANG PA (trident) and the SSANG SOO DO (two-handed saber). During the reign of King Youngjo (1724–1776) the MUYE JEBO was revised, and supplemented with 12 additional fighting methods by Prince Sado. Prince Sado also originated the term "Sip Pal Gi" – a shortened term from BON JO MUYE SIB PAL BAN("18 Martial Arts Classes of the Yi Dynasty")- to identify this collection of skills. The 12 skills that were added include the JUK JANG CHANG (long bamboo spear), GI CHANG (flag spear), YEDO (short sword), WAEGEOM (Japanese sword), KYO JUN BO (combat engagement with the sword), WOL DO (crescent sword), HYUP DO (spear sword), SSANG GEOM (twin swords), JEDO GEOM (Admiral’s Sword), BON KUK GEOM (native sword), GWON BEOP (fist method), and PYEONGON (flail) for a total of 18 methods. The revised publication was titled the Muyesinbo (“Martial Arts New Illustrations”) and was published in 1759.Both the Muyejebo and Muyesinbo formed the basis for the better known Muyedobotongji (Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts). Itself was a further revision of the previous material, this last revision, published in 1795, added the execution of 6 earlier systems from horseback, bring the total number of systems to 24. Upheavals and transformations of the 19th and 20th century including the introduction of Western technology and the Occupation of Korea by Japan (1907–1946) created broad cultural conflicts with Korean society. Conservative elements which lost out to more liberal decisions in the government became increasingly discontented culminating in the Military Mutiny of 1882 and the The Donghak Peasant Revolution, or the 1894 Peasant War (Nongmin Jeonjaeng). The defeat of these Conservative elements caused a migration to rural and isolated areas of the country, a movement accelerated by the later Japanese Occupation. While the abuses of the Japanese Occupation are a matter of historical record, the influence of the central government policies and Occupational administration were felt far less in the Korean hinterland. As a result, a limited number of practices and materials were preserved in these enclaves. With the end of the Second World War, Korean nationals who had fought the Japanese Kanto Army in Manchuria sought to return home. However, their indoctrination into Communist Economic and Political models made them suspect as sound allies to the United States. As a result, the United States retained large numbers of Korean individuals sympathetic to Japanese practices and traditions. Effectively, this gave activities predicated on Japanese practices a clear advantage in the reconstruction of the Korean culture. Commonly Japanese elements remained in Korean culture albeit with Korean terminology and trappings. Early efforts to resurrect traditional Korean practices such as SSIREUM (wrestling), TAEK KYON (Martial Sport) and GEOM BEOP (sword method) encountered strong opposition by elements in Korean Society that felt such practices recalled a culture of pre-Occupation Korea best left in the past. In 1948 the Chinese Civil war ended and Chinese expatriates brought Southern Chinese martial traditions to Korea. As in the case of earlier Japanese practices the introduction of Chinese arts introduced a new terms, or new meanings for old terms, such as KUNG FU, SIP PAL KI, CHUAN FA, CHIN NA and SHAOLIN, and as with the Japanese materials, terms and concepts were often used inaccurately, if indiscriminately. Independent of changing policies concerning the Romanization of the Korean language, the nature of SIP PAL KI in modern Korea is very much a function of the context in which it is practiced. Effectively, use of the term "SIP PAL KI" has come to identify three separate but related activities. Currently, there are practitioners in South Korea who follow the practices of an eclectic Chinese system of armed and unarmed Martial Arts generally termed SIP PAL KI owing to the number of systems, methods and practices in a given curriculum. Individual schools will vary in the weapons used and the manner of practice. A second apllication for the term SIP PAL KI is as a general label to identify Chinese Martial Arts and Chinese Boxing specifically in much the same way as the term KUNG FU has become an international umbrella for these activities. Though particular practice in modern South Korea may include Preying Mantis Boxing, TAM TUI and Long Fist Boxing, it is common for the population at large to gather all of these traditions under a single label - SIP PAL KI. Lastly, there are small but ardent groups of SIP PAL GI practitioners who seek to preserve methods from Korea's military past as cultural artifacts. Though not generally as well-known as more commercial venues, these practices continue to advocate for research into and study of historical practices in much the same way as historical re-enactors of other countries.
In 1969, KIM Kwang Seok opened a school for instruction in SIB PAL GI. Kim had begun studying SIB PAL KI in a small Daoist community called Munam in the Korean mountains in 1951. Kim's teacher, YUN Meong Deok had similarly studied SIB PAL GI beginning in the 1920s. Though not the only person to study these traditions, Kim became an ardent scholar and teacher, publishing four books on SIB PAL GI systems between 1987 and 2002. Kim's students founded the Korean Sib Pal Gi Association, which trains in Korean historical military practices as part of the larger study of Bonjo Muye Sip Pal Ban ("18 Martial Arts Classes of the Yi Dynasty")identified by Prince Sado in 1759. Subsequent to the Korean Sib Pal Gi Association was the formation of the Kyong Dang under Master LIM Dong-kyu, a former student of KIM Kwang Seok. Un Master Lim's guidance the Kyong Dang sought to make such studies more public by bringing them into public venues. As with his teacher, Master Lim seeks to revivify past Korean Military practices through the examination of a variety of resources. Though some sources do not provide insights into the more subtle factors such as timing, tempo, transitional movements or intent, the Kyong Dang consider the various methods in light of their Chinese influences as well as the tactics and strategies of the time.
Yoo Soo Nam(유수남) has introduced his family style called Ion Bi Ryu ("school of swallow's secrets") to the West beginning in 1970 when he migrated to Argentina, this style has 18 methods, 15 with weapons and the other 3 unarmed. The unarmed methods consists of: personal defense (Ho Sin Sul), combat one to one or one against more than one opponent (Kwon Bop) and Meditation (Shim Bop).
- 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.
||This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (January 2011)|
- (Korean) The Society for the Preservation of Sippalki
- (Korean) Korean Sibpalki Association
- (Dutch) Netherlands Sibpalki Association
- (Spanish) Argentina
- (English) Mantis Cave, which includes biographies of Sip Pal Gi/Tanglang masters from Korea
- (English) Chun Dae Soung's (noted CMA Sip Pal Gi master) Website
- (English) James Theros' Level 10 Kung Fu Association website's page on Sip Pal Gi
- (English) Park Bok Nam's website, includes a biography of Lu Shui Tian, noted CMA Sip Pal Gi master
- (English) Yong Moon's (noted CMA Sip Pal Gi master) website
- (English) EmptyFlower Forum's thread on Korean CMA and Sip Pal Gi
- (Portuguese) Confederação Brasileira de Sipalki-do Kumgang