Historically this term may be the original
name for the Korean martial art of Taekyon. Originally, Korea was divided
into three kingdoms: Silla in the southeatern part of the country, Goguryeo
in the northern part, nearest to China, and Baekje located west of Silla.
The style of Subak was initially created in the Korean peninsula kingdom of
In the year 400 BC, in an
attempt to dominate the entire southern portion of the country, Baekje
invaded Silla. King Gwanggaeto the Great of Goguryeo is said by some
accounts to have sent 50,000 Sonbae troops to Silla's aid (later he would
attempt to dictate Silla's internal affairs because of this assistance). It
was at this point that the people of Silla first encountered Soobak, which
they would adopt and begin to train their own warriors in (called Hwarang).
They would alter Soobak into modern day Taekwondo.
Soobak took a heavy blow during the Joseon period, which was founded on the
ideology of Confucianism, stressing literary art instead of martial art.
Soobak was only allowed to be practiced in competitions called subakhui.
After three subakhui bouts, the winner could become employed as a soldier.