Haidong Gumdo Danjun Hohup
The Haidong Gumdo | Haidong Gumdo History | Haidong Gumdo Techniques | Training Haidong Gumdo | Fundamentals of Haidong Gumdo | Danjun Hohup | Haidong Gumdo Vocabulary | Haidong Gumdo World Organisation
Modern haidong gumdo practice is structured in a variety of ways including fundamentals, forms, combat drills and cutting of objects like bamboo and straw bundles. Beginners practice with the wooden training sword to develop fundamentals. Advanced practitioners train with both the wooden training sword and the forged steel sword.
In addition to practicing the actual movements required for sword combat, haidong gumdo practitioners engage in danjun hohup practice to channel their energy into techniques. The danjun is located about two inches below the navel and is believed to be the center of bodily energy. Through the practice of danjun hohup, practitioners attempt to center their energy in the danjun to increase power and focus.
Danjun hohup is practiced by breathing in through the nose as slowly as possible while expanding the danjun area then breathing out through the mouth at the same pace while contracting the danjun area. It is practiced in a very deep stance, with the knees bent, arms raised and hips tucked backwards to aid in breathing.
At first, it is difficult to practice for even one minute correctly, however, experienced practitioners build up to several minutes at a time. Although this does not sound like a long time, maintaining the deep squatting stance required for danjun hohup can challenge even the most fit martial artist.
While it does not seem necessary to generate a great deal of power for cutting with a sword, focused power is one of the most important attributes to develop at the advanced levels of haidong gumdo. After the fundamentals have been mastered, practitioners test their cutting prowess on a wide variety of materials including bamboo poles, bundles of straw, suspended pieces of bamboo and wide sheets of paper. To accurately and cleanly cut each object requires a tremendous amount of power focused at the instant of cutting. A lack of focus will cause the object to simply tip over or fly away when the sword strikes it.
As both a mental and physical practice, haidong gumdo has a great deal of depth to offer the serious practitioner. However, the serious nature of practicing with a sword is not for everyone. There is a great risk that someone could be accidentally or even intentionally injured if the sword practitioner does not understand the inherent danger of the art. As the practice of haidong gumdo spreads around the world, it offers a new frontier for a select group of serious practitioners in the arts.Â
Drawing the Sword: In haidong gumdo, the sword is drawn by turning the scabbard clockwise so that the sword is horizontal, parallel to the ground. It is then brought up above the head and then down in front of the body, finishing with the tip aiming just below the eyes.
The lower hand should be gripping the sword at the end, with the bottom 3 fingers firmly holding it while the thumb and index finger gently encircle it. The other hand should be placed about one fist distance above the bottom hand, with a similar grip.You might also like: