- The seeds for the current Korean martial arts were sown 400 years ago. Over the next 200 years the successive Joseon monarchs laid the foundation of an illustrious martial arts system epitomized by the 18 essential skills, which had evolved in Korea as well as in China and Japan. Now, another 200 years later, those efforts are shining through modern martial artists. Understanding of Sibpalki is essential to understanding modern Korean martial arts as well as the entire spectrum of East Asian martial arts. However, in Korean martial arts in particular, myths and distorted perceptions of history prevail. Thus, this book attempts to fill in these gaps, by providing a historic overview of Korea's martial arts tradition, focusing on endeavors before and after the compilation of the Muyedobotongji, the Comprehensive Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts.