The influence of karateka gichin funakoshi on jigoro kano and taekwondo leaders

Kyungwon Jung, Chang Liu*, Fumiaki Shishida

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Problem. The purpose of this study is to examine the direct influence of karateka (karate practitioner) Gichin Funakoshi on Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, and the founders of Korea's national sport, taekwondo, especially Won Kuk Lee and Byung Jick Ro. Kano founded Seiryoku zen'yō Kokumin Taiiku (National Physical Education According to the Principle of Best Use of Energy) in 1924, but the movements seemed to have been greatly influenced by Karate. This study takes up two questions: First, how did Gichin Funakoshi influence Jigoro Kano. And second, how did Gichin Funakoshi influence taekwondo leaders. Method. This study is historical research based on relevant data analysis. In the question 1, the solo moves of Shotokan karate-do with the seiryoku zen'yō kokumin taiiku style were compared. In the question 2, literature and newspaper articles about karate and taekwondo from Korea and Japan are analyzed to investigate the motivations, objectives, and beliefs of Funakoshi and early Korean taekwondo leaders for their martial arts practice. Results. As a result, this study has found: (1) Funakoshi's karate style and Kano's seiryoku zen'yō kokumin taiiku style shared some similarities, especially in terms of punching, kicking. Differences were found in the direction of punches, standing postures and simultaneity of upper-body defense in kicking attacks. (2) Lee and Ro practiced karate at the Shotokan dojo by Funakoshi while they were studying in Japan. They were influenced by Funakoshi' training method, kata (a series of fixed technique motion for selfpracticing), and philosophy, which led them to found the first Karate school (the original version of Taekwondo school) in Korea around the time of Korea's liberation in 1945.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalIdo Movement for Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Byung Jick Ro
  • Kokumin Taiiku
  • Seiryoku zen'yō
  • Won Kuk Lee

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Philosophy


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