Kunmudo is one of the Korean martial arts. It is based on dance, music and the martial art itself. The music utilises the gayageum, a Korean zither-like string instrument. In 1957, Jung-Hyo Ha founded a kunmudo-school, and started reforming the art along with his students.
Kunmudo is said to be a dance performed by ancient soldiers, and has its roots in the Silla kingdom (4th century).
The Hwarang of this era were said to practise a martial art called ‘Musa Chum’, meaning ‘sword dance’ and might have been a predecessor of the modern form of Kunmudo.
The martial art itself contains both armed and unarmed techniques, and some of the weapons used includes Korean sword, spear and bow and arrow equivalents.
The weapons training also include horseback riding. All techniques seem to switch between flowing elements reminiscent of Tai Chi, and explosive elements bearing some resemblance to Shaolin Kung-Fu.
Kunmudo is one of the unique Korean martial art dance which is practicing ancient sword dance that brings the harmonious power between nature, man and spirit. Kunmudo was originated in Silla kingdom (4th century).
The at that time, the Wharang(elites in the military school) used to pratice martial art called ‘Musa Chum’(Musa means sword man and Chum means dance) in combination with sword, music, and dance, as a way of training their body and spirit during the peaceful time, and it was used as a weapon during the war.
Since then this types of martial art dance was widely practiced and handed over the centuries, and it became a form of artistic dance. But it have been interrupted during the Japanese colonial period (1910 – 1945). However Kunmudo was reformed and modified by Jung-Hyo Ha, and established the school in 1957.
Since then it developed and refined by his several students. Eung-Sun Kang was one of the student, and he improved notably in the field of SSangkeommu(double sword dance) and Masangmu (pratcing while horse riding).
He initiated Kunmudo in 1976 and have been trained for twelve years in the Korean mountain under his master Jung-Hyo Ha. After his intense training, he could establish his own Kunmudo school in 1988.
Since then he is concentrate on teaching his students and continious training for himself. Since 1990, he was started to be invited frequentely for the demonstrations and stage performances in many different occasions, often in cooporation with other traditional musicians and dancers. He is the one of the rare martial artist who is performing as an artistic dancer.
The current grandmaster of the system is Eung-Sun Kang, who travels around the world as an artistic dancer and martial arts instructor. There has also been some reports that seems to imply that Eung-Sun Kang has recently compiled his knowledge into a system called Poong Ryu Son Do, which includes kunmudo in its curriculum, but also includes other arts such as Vajra Zen Yoga.
The character of Kunmudo:
- Kunmudo allows the joint of our body to relax, the symmetry of our right and left body to recover, and the health of our five viscera and six entails to grow, regardless of the difference of sex,age, and physical strength. The Kunmudo trains our body symmetry and builds up our mind peace with matching our traditional music.(Kayakum,Takum, and Kaemunko).
- Kunmudo is artistic value. The line of motions and the shape of geometry allow our body and mind to be beautiful, our spirit to have nature energy. This artistic performance give us to be impressed.
- Kunmudo has our mentality be spiritually awakened with theTaoist meditation.
- Kunmudo protects and guards ourselves, and brings up our physical ability and our artistic presentation ability.
- Kunmudo trains always without any condition, and the Kunmudo is our life like food, clothing, and shelter.
- Kunmudo has the Taoism, the structural beauty of the human body, the physical medicine of our Korean system, and the self enlargement of training.
- Kunmudo has the functions of medical treatment, cultural art, mental philosophy, and martial arts.