Who is the Holy Dangun for which General Choi Hong Hi, founder of Taekwondo named one of our Chang Hon style ITF Hyung(Form) for?
Dangun Wanggeom is the legendary founder and god-king of Gojoseon, the first Korean kingdom. He is said to be the “grandson of heaven” and the “son of a bear”, and to have founded the kingdom in 2333 BC.
Dangun’s ancestry legend begins with his grandfather Hwanin, the “Lord of Heaven”. Hwanin had a son, Hwanung who yearned to live on the earth among the valleys and the mountains. Hwanin permitted Hwanung and 3,000 followers to descend onto Baekdu Mountain, where Hwanung founded the Sinsi (“City of God”). Along with his ministers of clouds, rain and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught humans’ various arts, medicine, and agriculture.nLegend attributes the development of acupuncture and moxibustion to Dangun.
A tiger and a bear prayed to Hwanung that they might become human. Upon hearing their prayers, Hwanung gave them 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of mugwort, ordering them to eat only this sacred food and remain out of the sunlight for 100 days. The tiger gave up after about twenty days and left the cave. However, the bear persevered and was transformed into a woman. The bear and the tiger are said to represent two tribes that sought the favor of the heavenly prince.
The bear-woman Ungnyeo was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. However, she lacked a husband, and soon became sad and prayed beneath a “divine birch” tree to be blessed with a child. Hwanung, moved by her prayers, took her for his wife and soon she gave birth to a son named Dangun Wanggeom.
Dangun ascended to the throne, built the walled city of Asadal situated near Pyongyang (the location is disputed) and called the kingdom Joseon—referred to today as Gojoseon “Old/Ancient Joseon” so as not to be confused with the Joseon that was established much later. He then moved his capital to Asadal on Mount Paegak or Mount Gunghol.
Interestingly when General Choi Hong Hi created the Dangun Chang Hon Hyung(Form) pattern he did something that was unusual for a Hyeong. All the punches in Dan Gun are high section (eye level) symbolizing Dangun scaling a mountain.
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