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Haidong Gumdo – Korean Sword Martial Artwork – An Introduction and Comparison

It really is time to established the history straight about Haidong Gumdo. For all those unfamiliar with this, Haidong Gumdo is a Korean martial art centered on the use of swords. The visual aesthetic is acquainted to most Individuals, and will remind a person of the Japanese samurai thanks to the form of the sword and the gown which is worn. Haidong Gumdo is about grace. It is about precision, and power. It is about mastering one’s individual intellect and entire body in the progress of bodily talent. It is not, having said that, about cultural imitations or derivations.

The Sword
The sword employed in Haidong Gumdo practice is recognized by numerous names, including hwando and jingum, which is the equivalent of the Japanese phrase shinken, or “actual sword”. It is important for individuals additional familiar with Japanese sword arts to recognize that the jingum is not a katana, in spite of specific surface area similarities. This is mainly associated to discrepancies in cutting system. Whilst historic Korean swords come in several shapes and dimensions, the modern-day jingum is uncomplicated to distinguish from a Japanese katana by the form of the suggestion and the process in which the blade is mounted to the handle. Top quality jingum ordinarily have a broader idea, and are mounted with a pin and bolt in the handle.

The Uniform
The Haidong Gumdo uniform applied by the Globe Haidong Gumdo Federation is anything else that leads to confusion to individuals extra common with Japanese sword arts. This is because of the pants that are worn, which flare outwards identical to the Japanese hakama. As with the sword, having said that, there are dissimilarities involving the Japanese and Korean models. The Japanese hakama are worn exterior of the gi (or jacket), though in Haidong Gumdo, the jacket is worn about the pants. Because the leading of the pants is thus not seen, they have an elastic midsection, instead than the elaborate ties of the hakama.

In addition, Haidong Gumdo makes use of a small sleeved dobak, or uniform. This allows much more independence of motion, without having stressing about catching the sword in the sleeve. Lastly, Haidong Gumdo will make use of coloured belts to denote rank, identical to far more familiar arts these types of as the Korean Taekwondo, or the Japanese Judo.

Relations with “other” sword arts
Sad to say, the aesthetic similarities amongst the Korean and Japanese sword arts, coupled with a heritage of stress amongst these two peoples, has provided rise to a significant amount of money of misunderstanding and strife in the martial arts neighborhood.

This is not to say everything at all negative about Japanese sword martial arts! I experience no want, for example, to dispute the heritage or legitimacy of Iaido, which is a fashionable Japanese sword art as practiced by the All Japan Kendo Federation. It is lovely and swish, and, I could possibly include, new. The identical is correct of Haidong Gumdo.

Nevertheless the martial arts community continues to be plagued by the rigidity which has existed amongst these peoples for pretty some time. As American practitioners of these arts in distinct, we ought to regard every single others’ picked out disciplines. That is not even to start to point out the negativity which occurs from meaningless debates about historic origins, uniform styles, or effectiveness. This form of slander only serves to weaken us in our pursuit of mastery.

So let’s shift the discussion in a extra optimistic course. Do you follow a martial art? What do we even imply when we use that time period?

The This means of “the Way”
I would argue that sports activities such as MMA (“combined martial arts”) do not suit the definition of martial arts in the regular perception. The word Gumdo translates as “the way of the sword”. “Way” is utilized in this article the identical as it is used in Taoism. In actuality, “Tao” and “Do” are the similar character, pronounced in another way in diverse languages. To quotation Wikipedia:

“The martial arts are codified systems and traditions of overcome tactics, which are practiced for a assortment of good reasons: self-defense, opposition, actual physical overall health and health and fitness, as properly as mental, physical, and spiritual growth.”

That 2nd phrase is critical. A major portion of martial arts follow is psychological, bodily, and spiritual growth. So this would contain the various types of Chinese Kung Fu, Japanese Karate, and Korean Taekwondo, amongst other people. It consists of the several ryu of Japanese Samurai Swordsmanship, and yes, it consists of Haidong Gumdo, an indigenous Korean sword art. Certain, almost nothing develops in a vacuum, and Korea necessarily reveals influences relevant to its geographical place and its interaction with other cultures. But that does not diminish the art or its practitioners.

Haidong Gumdo focuses on multiple facets of swordsmanship, from drawing and sheathing, to forms perform and stance coaching, to check cutting with a live blade. There is no trick to remaining ready to execute these cuts, whether on bamboo or other targets – no stage magic, just many years of education and apply. Personalized betterment and a frequent striving to strengthen technique are what helps make it function.

Martial artists of all disciplines should be intrigued to see a good sharing of tips. Clearly show me some of your possess martial arts observe, and let us compare. Anybody in the location is also welcome to stop by my studio, Blue Mountain Martial Arts, to see my sword get the job done first hand. Check out for much more information.

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