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The eagerly anticipated updated return of a bestselling martial arts classic
The leaders of Tae Kwon Do, an Olympic sport and one of the world’s most popular martial arts, are fond of saying that their art is ancient and filled with old dynasties and superhuman feats. In fact, Tae Kwon Do is as full of lies as it is powerful techniques. Since its rough beginnings in the Korean military 60 years ago, the art empowered individuals and nations, but its leaders too often hid the painful truths that led to that empowerment the gangsters, secret-service agents, and dictators who encouraged cheating, corruption, and murder. A Killing Art: The Untold History of Tae Kwon Do takes you into the cults, geisha houses, and crime syndicates that made Tae Kwon Do. It shows how, in the end, a few key leaders kept the art clean and turned it into an empowering art for tens of millions of people in more than 150 countries. A Killing Art is part history and part biography and a wild ride to enlightenment.
This new and revised edition of the bestselling book contains previously unnamed sources and updated chapters.
Alex Gillis is a journalist and university writing instructor in Toronto who specializes in literary nonfiction. He has trained in various styles of Tae Kwon Do and other martial arts for approximately 35 years. He first heard the incredible tales of the art from one of his instructors and entered the back rooms and high-stakes world of Choi Hong-Hi, Kim Un-yong, and other Tae Kwon Do leaders to find the truth about their art.
Table of Contents
People About Korean Names 1. Funny or Phony? 2. Though Ten Million Opponents Might Rise Against Him 3. A Superpower on Every Border 4. Supernam 5. Tae Kwon Do in a Korean Geisha House 6. Enter the Dragon and His Dictator 7. The Vietnam War Popularizes Tae Kwon Do 8. The Aces, Cults, and Spies in Tae Kwon Do 9. Kafka Would Have Cried: The East Berlin Incident 10. As If in a Bruce Lee Movie 11. Exiles and Heroes 12. From Spooky Kukki to WTF 13. Whaaa! 14. Olympic Mania and North Korean Mayhem 15. The Olympic Summer of Love 16. Need a Medal? Come with Money.” 17. Cheating in the Olympics and the Street Fight Soon After 18. Like a Cult 19. The Little Giant Dies and Traditional Tae Kwon Do Falls Apart 20. WTF Leaders Go to Prison and Olympic Tae Kwon Do Faces Oblivion 21. Cults and Criminals Vs. C. K. Choi 22. Reprieve Endnotes Bibliography Interviews Index