Gyebaek (died 9 July 660) was a general in the ancient Korean kingdom of Baekje during the early to mid 7th century. Little else is known of his personal life—including the year and location of his birth. The Taekwondo pattern Gyebaek is named after him.
The last battleEdit
In 660, Baekje was invaded by a force of 50,000 from Silla, supported by 144,000 Tang soldiers. Gyebaek, with only 5,000 troops under his command, met them in the battlefield of Hwangsanbeol. Before entering departing to the battlefield, Gyebaek reportedly killed his wife and children to boost the fallen morale and patriotism of his army, and to prevent the thought of them to influence his actions or to cause him to falter in battle.
His forces won four initial battles, causing severe casualties to Silla forces. However, in the end, exhausted and surrounded, Gyebaek's army would be outnumbered and overwhelmed. Baekje's forces would be all annihilated in battle, alongside with their leader Gyebaek.
Baekje was destroyed after 678 years of rule, shortly after Gyebaek's defeat and death at Hwangsanbeol.
As Neo-Confucian philosophy became more influential in the later Korean Dynasties, Gyebaek was recognized by historians and scholars are exemplifying the Confucian ideals of patriotism and devotion to his King and praised as such. Although not much else is known about Gyebaek's life, his actions leading up to his last battle are well known to many Koreans.
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