Friday, April 24, 2015

Book of Stone: Um Yang Kwon

For April, Stone is celebrating the A to Z Blog Challenge with daily letter-themed entries. A separate page with a list of all these entries, plus Character Profiles and Book Synopses will appear on the right hand side of the page in coming weeks, detailing the people, places and things of the Stone Soldiers universe.

An ancient martial art from the Korean kingdom of Shilla, Um Yang Kwon has been reported as the predecessor for Tae Kwon Do. Legends say that a scholar developed this martial art as a way to create soldiers for the Shilla Kingdon to use against its enemies. These soldiers were known as the Hwa Rang and were not merely adept at hand-to-hand combat, but also were capable of inhuman feats of strength, and possessed mental powers, the Shin Gong, developed through intense study and practice.

By the 20th Century, Um Yang Kwon was an almost-forgotten art, the Hwa Rang having been disbanded centuries early. During the Japanese occupation of the peninsula, all symbols of Korean history were outlawed. Those still practicing Um Yang Kwon went into hiding or fled the country.

Colonel Mark Kenslir was among a group of special operations soldiers sent to study the art in the late 1950s, following the Korean War. Trained by Mast Pin Lee, Kenslir may not only be some of the first Westerners to learn the art, but the last in the world to practice it.

Kenslir's mastery of Um Yang Kwon was first identified in Stone Soldiers #08 Terrorcota when he fought against an agent of the People's Republic of China. Kenslir identified his Master and confirmed that he practices at least some of the Shin Gong. In particular, Kenslir utilizes Shin Kyun Sul to see into the mind's eye of subjects, and Un Shin Bop to cloud the minds of others for stealthy movement. As of Book #11, the full extent of Kenslir's training has yet to be revealed. It has been revealed that the Colonel has been training other members of Detachment 1039 in the martial art, possibly for decades. 


  1. I never really thought about where Tae Kwan Do came from. This was interesting. I am stopping by today from the #atozchallenge – where I am part of the A to Z Ambassador Team! (I’m a minion/volunteer under Lisa.) Congratulations on making it this far! Finish strong. You can do it! and Don’t forget our after party. The Reflections Linky List will open on Monday May 4th. (For links directly to posts, not to general blog addresses.)

  2. Taekwondo came mostly from tangsoodo which is similar to karate. It is written the same way as karate and translates tang referring to Chinese, soo is fighting do way, and often translated as China hand way, karate in Japanese is empty hand

    I'm obsessed with martial arts and history especially Korean, and never heard of eum Yang kwon which would be Yin Yang fist. I will look into this...I believe this might be my free time I research stuff like this and never have seen this

  3. Thanks for visiting!

    Please remember, this is a fictional series, and I took a little creative license. But you can learn more about Um Yang Kwon at the following site:

  4. Yeah I kinda realised it was probably fiction after posting that case good job lol. I think I came across your page from a Google search for something martial arts related. Sorry about that lol