Shippalgi

Shippalgi is a name for a group of independent Korean martial arts. The name is often used to refer to the study of Chinese martial arts introduced to Korea, but also for several other styles.

One style that uses the name Sib Pal Ki, and probably the most famous, is said to have its roots in the Mu Ye Shin Bo, a Korean martial arts manual published in 1759.

This book was based on an older manual, Mu Ye Je Bo (1590s). Both formed the basis for the better known Muyedobotongji.

The modern version of SibPalGi was revitalized by grandmaster Kim Kwang Suk (김광석, 1936). During the Japanese occupation of Korea, Kim spent his youth in a small Daoist community in the Korean mountains where he received his training in traditional Korean martial arts.

This happened in secret, because the Japanese had outlawed the study of Korean martial arts. He also studied Eastern medicine and breathing exercises. Between 1987 and 2002 master Kim published four books about Korean martial arts

In the Mu Ye Shin Bo 18 methods of fighting are described, 17 of which involve the use of arms while the other method is that of unarmed combat. The name sib pal gi means eighteen methodes, thus referring to the methods described in the Mu Ye Shin Bo.

Grand Master Soo Nam Yoo(유수남) has introduced his style called Ion Bi Ryu (the “school of swallow’s secrets”) to the West beginning in 1970 when he migrated to Argentina, this style has 18 methods but only 15 with weapons and the other three unarmed. The unarmed methods of selfdefense are: personal defense combat, one on one combat, and the last about one against more than one opponent.