Martial arts have been developing as implying means of survival and technical factors in war. However, self-discipline aspect of enhancing one’s body and mind is increasing in the modern society and it includes sportive factors through games. The purpose of practicing martial arts is to create upright body, upright mind, and upright values and to be a person that a family, a society and a nation require.

Martial arts have a wide variety for its use from small act of establishing an ability to adjust oneself from inside and outside environment that brings stresses by developing the mental capacity such as strong stamina, willpower, endurance and confidence to means of promoting wellness of the nation. It also is an instinctive gesture that humans have and it can be a link that leads to enlightenment ultimately.

Horseback archery, the most distinguished martial arts, is known to be the ultimate refined act where a horse and a person are coming into harmony with characteristics of the existing martial arts.

Virile heartbeats and dynamism of a horse touch the people and make them feel beautiful, and its splendor is revealed through horseback units in all countries of humankind as far back as history recalls. Horseback archery appears in the most brave and great conquering history. All conquering history from Old Persia, Rome, Egypt, the Yellow River, Mongolia and the New World had occurred through a horse.

In other words, horseback archery is one of the most splendid and sublime martial arts that a person, a horse and technique are forming a trinity in the development process of humankind. It is the valiant vanguard of martial arts that has been protecting the territory of nation along with human history, and a zenith of martial arts that accomplishes balanced developments of one’s body by breathing with a horse. It also is martial art that one can obtain strength through equal development of body, unification with a horse and maximization of mind, training by cultivating one’s body, mind and spirit.

Horseback archery, a valuable cultural heritage of humankind, was in danger of disappearing into the history along with development of transportation culture of today, but fortunately the government of Korea designated horseback archery and Gyek-Gu for the first time in 1997 “year of cultural legacy” and decided to restore. This means Korea had acknowledged it as a martial art that grew together with the history of Korean people and its value that must be passed down as a human cultural inheritance expressed through a person and a horse being one. Horseback archery around the world is continuously being reintroduced. About 30 countries of the world are introducing horseback archery already through World Horseback Archery Federation.

Beautiful culture with dynamism and vivid sense of immediacy which has been practiced systematically by numbers of people over a long period of time, the horseback archery we hope the spirits of ancestors who ran across the plains on horse bloom again from the people of the 21st century.

Resource: WoMAU No. 11 spring 2011, Special Column