Haidong Gumdo Techniques
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Rising Sun Martial Arts provides instruction in Haidong Gumdo. Haidong Gumdo is the study of one Korean Method of Swordsmanship. Haidong Gumdo is a Korean sword art that traces its roots to the 3rd century when General Yu Yu of the Koguryo Kingdom founded the Jangbaekryu sword art.Â
For centuries, sword fighting was practiced by Korean Samurai as a primary means of defense. As time passed, the sword was no longer practical from combat and its practice became structured as an art for mental and physical development.
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.
Practitioners of Haidong Gumdo engage in the practice of basic techqniues (kibon), forms (gumbub), step sparring (yaksuk daeryun), sparring (hada), sparring with live blades (jingeom gyeokgeom), energy building exercises (gi gong) and cutting practice (begi).
Basic practice is done with the mokgum (wooden sword). Sparring practice begins with the jukdo (bamboo sword) and progresses to mokgum and jingum.Â
Pumse within Haidong Gumdo were derived from the mechanics of gicheon (a Korean form of martial arts similar to Tai Chi Chuan), and various sword patterns found within the Muye Dobo Tongji (Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts). Baldo and chakgeom forms (drawing and sheathing the sword) were also developed.
While indigenous Korean sword forms are contained in the Bonguk Geombeop (Korean sword method), other geombup are taught within Haidong Gumdo curricula, including:
- ìŒìˆ˜ê²€ë²• Ssangsu Geombup (method of using the double handed sword)
- ì‹¬ìƒê²€ë²• Simsang Geombup (method of the heart of swordsmanship)
- ì˜ˆë„ê²€ë²• Yedo Geombup (method of using strategy and tactics with the sword)
- ì œë…ê²€ë²• Jedok Geombup (Admiral’s sword method)
- ìž¥ë°±ê²€ë²• Jangbaek Geombup (the Jangbaek method)
- ì™œê²€ë²• Wae Geombup (Japanese method)
- ì™¸ìˆ˜ê²€ë²• Wuisu Geombup (method of using the sword with one hand)
- ìŒê²€ê²€ë²• Ssanggeom Geombup (The method of using two swords)
Haidong Gumdo may be generally characterized as exchanging multiple strikes of the sword for one strike of the sword. The one strike concept characterizes the Japanese method. The Japanese ideal of “one strike, one kill” is prevalent in Japanese kendo (kumdo), even today. The merits and limitations of each of the philosophies may be debated endlessly. Probably the best way to characterize the main difference between Japanese Kendo and the Korean Haidong Gumdo styles is through training philosophy:
- The Japanese technique primarily focuses on one-versus-one, or individual combat.
- The Korean technique primarily focuses on one-versus-many, or battlefield combat.
The essence of Haidong Gumdo is in shimgum, a concept similar to the that of the Spanish duende, as coined by the Spanish poet, GarcÃa Lorca. Shimgum is the unification of the mind, body and spirit expressing itself through the use of the sword. It implies a technical mastery of the sword, but transcends technical limitations. One can be “technically perfect” but still not achieve shimgum. One may also be technically imperfect and still achieve shimgum. Shimgum is what makes Haidong Gumdo not only a martial science but also a martial art.You might also like: