If one or both of the above stated conditions did not exist, it would have been impossible for the martial arts to survive. The grounds for this assertion become sufficiently clear if one takes a close look at the society and political structure of that time in Korean history. During the reign of Sunjo (14th King of Joseon Dynasty, 1567-1608), Han Kyo scientifically researched the secret techniques of Korea's traditional martial arts and compiled a book called Mu-yae Tong-ji (Comprehensive Manual of Martial Arts). He gave martial art instruction to more than 70 individuals so that the arts could be used against the Japanese invaders of that period. Perhaps this is the first recorded instance of a martial art training hall, or dojang, as they are known today. As a result of the corrupt government at the end of the Joseon Dynasty, social chaos broke out everywhere. Korea found herself in a helpless position against the powerful foreign nations. In this situation, Korean martial arts flourished for a brief while, thanks to a few patriots who were aware of what was happening to their nation. However, the ancient classical weapons inevitably disappeared in the face of the modern weaponry (guns, cannons, etc.) and only the empty-handed martial arts seem to have stood out in the minds of the people.
Subakhui was still popular, but more as a folk game at festivals rather than a selection process for the armed forces. However, tournaments sponsored by the "Ue-hung-bu" (Organization of National Defense) were used to choose shield soldiers and guards. The Annals of Joseon Dynasty tell stories about Subakhui contests being ordered by local officials for selecting soldiers where. The ue-hung-bu ordered that any man who beat three other contestants in a Subakhui would automatically be selected as a shield solider or guard. Common people and slaves continued to practice Taekkyon and enter these events in the hope of defeating three opponents and being selected for the guard.
In foreign policy, King T'aejo followed the practice of his predecessors by attaching himself to the paramount power in China. The country adopted the name Choson (Chaohsien in Chinese) and, in 1395 AD, T'aejo transferred the capital from Kaesong to the city of Hanyang, which is the modern day city of Seoul. By 1397 AD, the Joseon Dynasty was fully established both internally and externally and was to endure two major Japanese invasions, the fall of the Ming dynasty, the Manchu invasions, and the entire span of the Ch'ing Dynasty (1616-1909 AD).