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About Us Acestes

In Roman mythology, Acestes, became king of the region where he was born on the island of Sicily. At a trial of skill in archery, Acestes took part, and discharged his arrow into the air with such force that it took fire, and marked out a pathway of flame, until it was wholly consumed and disappeared from sight.

In the same way that the “Arrow of Acestes” was inflamed, the fist on the Club’s badge is engulfed in flames. The white fist, symbolizes the white belt and indicates that the beginning student has no knowledge of Taekwon-Do technique. Further the fist is outlined with the colour black, which symbolizes the black belt and indicates the proficiency in technique of the black belt wearer.

Acestes Taekwon-Do Clubs (ATC) was founded by Chris van der Merwe on 1 January 1999.

Left: Karel Wethmar, Right: Chris van der Merwe

Dan-Gun Kwan (Federation)

Consists of 2, Level-1 Academies, namely Acestes Taekwon-Do Academy and Greater-Pretoria and Region Academy. The Acestes Taekwon-Do Academy has dojangs (training centres) in Elardus Park and Cullinan.

The federation heads are Karel Wethmar, Annari Wethmar and Chris van der Merwe. The federation heads are Karel and Annari Wethmar.

Meaning of Dan-Gun Kwan:

“House of Dan-Gun”. The Koreans have a legend that the holy Dan-Gun founded the Korean nation in 2333 B.C. The myth of Dan-Gun played a very important role in protecting the Korean kingdom from invasion by maintaining the Korean culture for several thousand of years. The idea is, that like Korea, the Dan-Gun Kwan will also survive, come what may.

Dangun Wanggeom is the founder of Gojoseon, the first kingdom of Korea, in present- day Liaoning, Manchuria and Korean peninsula in 2333 BC. He is said to be the grandson of Hwanin or the god of heaven. Although the founder is commonly called Dangun, some believe that Dangun was a title or position, and Wanggeom was the proper name.

Legend of Dan-Gun

1. The legend:
Dangun's ancestry begins with his grandfather Hwanin, the "Lord of Heaven". Hwanin had a son Hwanung who yearned to live on the earth among the valleys and the mountains. Hwanin permitted Hwanung and 3000 followers to descend onto Baekdu Mountain, then called Taebaek Mountain, where Hwanung founded “Sinsi” ("City of God"). Along with his ministers of clouds, rain, and wind, he instituted laws and moral codes and taught the humans various arts, medicine, and agriculture.

A tiger and a bear living in a cave prayed to Hwanung that they may become human. Upon hearing their prayers, Hwanung gave them 20 cloves of garlic and a bundle of mugwort, ordering them to only eat this sacred food and remain out of the sunlight for 100 days. The tiger gave up roughly after twenty days and left the cave. However, the bear remained and was transformed into a woman.

The bear-woman was grateful and made offerings to Hwanung. However, she lacked a husband, and soon became sad and prayed beneath a "Divine Betula" tree to be blessed with a child. Hwanung, moved by her prayers, took her for his wife and soon she gave birth to a son, who was named Dangun Wanggeom.

Dangun ascended to the throne, built the walled city of Pyongyang.

2. Dating:
Dangun's rule is usually calculated to begin in 2333 BC, based on the description of the Dongguk Tonggam (1485) as the 50th year of the reign of the Emperor Yao (the legendary Chinese sage Yao).

Until 1961, the official South Korean era (for numbering years) was called the “Dangi”, which began in 2333 BC, the year of the legendary founding. October 3rd is considered in the Korean calendar as "Festival of the Opening of Heaven". This day is now a national holiday, called National Foundation Day.

3. Dangun in Taekwon-Do:
Dangun is the second pattern or “tul” in the ITF form of the Korean martial art Taekwon- Do. Students learn that the tul represents "The holy legendary founder of Korea in the year 2333 BC". Unusually for a tul, all the punches in Dangun are high section (at eye level), symbolising Dangun scaling a mountain.
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