ISABELLA BOGDONOVICH — SECOND DEGREE
August 1, 2015
My name is Isabella Bogdonovich. I am 11 years old and I have been taking Tae Kwon Do for 4 years now. I thought a lot about what to write in this essay and I finally decided to research Tae Kwon Do more and do an essay about my favorite form Kwang-Gae. Kwang-Gae meaning “broad expander of territory”, was born in 374 AD and ascended to the throne in 319 AD. He was the 19th king of Koguryo Dynasty and came to the throne at only the age of 17. He regained all the territories previously lost to the dynasty during prior conflicts, including the greater part of Manchuria. He was known for his boldness and ambition during his youth. Through many conquests he conquered 64 castles and 1400 villages during his reign. He ruled over Koguryo at the time in Korea’s history known as The Three Kingdoms, so called because during this time the Korean peninsula was constantly being fought over by the three Koguryo, Silla, and Paekche dynasties. He expanded Koguryo’s territories far into the Korean peninsula by advancing southward at the expense of the Paekche dynasty to occupy the north of the Han River, and occupied Manchurian territory to the east of Liaohe. He eventually ruled two thirds of the Korean peninsula. In 392AD he built 9 Buddhist temples in Pyongyang. This form has 39 movements and the diagram of the form represent the expansion and recovery of lost territory. The form begins with a movement called Heaven Hands. Legend has it that King Kwang Gae stood upon a hill and gazed through his hands toward heaven, asking the gods for a quick and successful battle. When enemy armies came over the horizon the king thrust his hands apart to signal the start of the battle. Kwang Gae came to his death in 413 AD at the age of only 39. There is a 24 foot monument next to his tomb that has 18000 Chinese characters carved into it recording King Kwang Gae’s achievements.
Kwang Gae is my favorite form because I like how the movements of the form start out slow and then turn into fast movements, sort of like how King Kwang Gae started so young and then quickly started taking over territories. I really like how the form starts with the “heavens hands” and was interested to learn what it meant to King Kwang Gae. The form seems to flow so beautifully to me and I almost feel like it’s a dance which I love to do, and if done right looks beautiful as well. I like when my instructor tells us about Tae Kwon Do history in class and am looking forward to researching other forms to find out more about them in the future. I feel that learning about the history of the forms will also make me appreciate what I am doing more and will make it easier for me to remember the definition. I think that as a black belt it is becoming my job to learn more about the history so that I can pass on what I am learning to other students and my family.