Welcome to our international website!
Our goal at the KIMA is to engage in in-depth studies on the theory and application of oriental martial arts with the view of sharing this knowledge to the community at large.
Up to now we have been closed in our research efforts and have been mostly active within the academic field in East-Asia. However, since coming to the "west" when moving to the Netherlands in 2007, I have had the privilege of meeting many Western practitioners of various Korean martial arts including Taekwondo, Hapkido, Tang Soo Do, Haedong Gumdo, Hanmudo and Kuk Sool Won. Most of these practitioners were very diligent and passionate, not only in their practice, but also in their desire to learn about the historical background and theoretical aspects of their respective arts. In other words, they were searching to understand what they are doing and why.
As a scholar and a martial arts practitioner, I have unfortunately witnessed discrepancies between the theory and practice of martial arts over the past 20 years. The lack of scholarly resources available in any other language but Korean has, in my opinion, led many people down the wrong path. Korean martial arts are thriving around the world, yet simultaneously the theory, the arts foundation can sometimes be overlooked.
This problem is of course not limited solely to Korean martial arts, but also occurs in Chinese and Japanese martial arts. However, Korean martial arts in particular seem to have suffered more in terms of authenticity and identity issues, obscuring the universal values of the martial arts culture upon which they are rooted. As a Korean, I personally feel ashamed that intelligent people with a serious interest in Korean martial arts are often led astray because of this lack of foundation, and I strongly feel that there is a crying need for bridging scholarly research with the experience of practitioners on the mat.
The KIMA invites everybody to team up with us so that we can bridge the East to the West, bringing together scholarly work with first-hand experiences and thereby bridging the past to the present. Overcoming these obstacles will support the development of Korean martial arts for the future. We have an excellent board of renowned martial arts scholars and professors, but we also need your support to build the bridges.
I hope that you will consider joining us as a member!
Bok Kyu Choi