Muyedobo-tongji became the standard text for military instruction. The fourth volume "Hand Fighting Techniques" contained the illustration of 38 motions that resemble modern Taekwondo forms and basic movements. However, those motions cannot be directly compared with contemporary Taekwondo forms that have been modernized through scientific studies.
While King T'aejo was not able to reverse the trend of disinterest in the martial skills, the publication of Muyedobo-tongji led to the subsequent popularizing of the art among the public. The book was responsible for the survival of Taekkyon during this era and it provided a written record of native Korean martial arts for future generations.
Although desirous of peace during the latter part of the 18th century, Korea was drawn yet again into world events and consequently was to suffer severely. During the 17th and 18th centuries, a money economy and a market system were established. The resulting political and social changes severely strained Korea's political and social system, which in the 19th century began to break down. Christianity, introduced in 1784 AD from China, put native institutions and values under even greater stress.
Korea was open to invasion, powerless, with a population of twelve million people and a standing army of a mere six thousand men. The Confucian government's obstinate disapproval of the military establishment was sorely felt. In 1864, Taewongun seized power, outlawed Christianity, and repelled military interventions by France (1866) and the United States (1871). These reforms, however, triggered the downfall of Taewongun himself.