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Thread: Korean Stick Arts

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    Question Korean Stick Arts

    I have recently run across some DVD's by Sang H. Kim from Turtle Press regarding the stick fighting part of his Junsado combat system.

    Does anyone know if there is in fact a system of stick fighting that is indiginous to Korea? Do you think he made this system up himself, or is there in fact different styles of Korean stick arts out there that I am un-aware of?

    I am wondering of he took some Filipino styles, and modified it. In his double stick system, he uses a reverse grip in the subordinate hand.

    Let me know if you know anything about this...Thanks.

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    I bought that DVD you are speaking of in hopes that it might have had some "traditional" Korean influence. Unfortunately it is something he made up. I still like the DVD. I have a few other's of his also & they aren't too bad. Not crazy about the breathing one. I don't think there is an organized Korean art around weapons like Okinawan kobudo, but the dahn bong (short stick) was used, as well as other weapons.

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    Yep!
    His background is more TKD. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
    Its just TKD is not really known for weapon work. Unless it has been an add on.

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    I have seen this DVD, and I think it was worth renting. That said, I cannot comment on how authentically "traditional KMA" it is.
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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    To the best of my knowledge, there isn't a "traditional" Korean stick art, but in the absence of one...doesn't anything created in Korea by a Korean count?

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    There HAD to be indiginous weapon work in Korea, it`s brobably just not as well known as TKD. No society ever went to war empty-handed.
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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    Quote Originally Posted by David43515 View Post
    There HAD to be indiginous weapon work in Korea, it`s brobably just not as well known as TKD. No society ever went to war empty-handed.
    There is a GREAT DEAL of weapon work, but I'm not sure about sticks - at least in the phillipino sense.

    NOW, if you look into Hapkido, there is indigenous bong work (bong meaning stick, just like bo in japanese) and they do have different sizes...but it is a completely different world from the phillipino styles.

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    Quote Originally Posted by David43515 View Post
    There HAD to be indiginous weapon work in Korea, it`s brobably just not as well known as TKD. No society ever went to war empty-handed.
    Yeah, there was indigineous weapon work at one point, long ago. However, there are certain problems with transmission to the modern time - First, Korean culture of the late 1700s to late 1800s was not a culture in which the old warrior ways were highly valued. While the warrior classes still existed, the scholar-officals were considred to be higher up the food chain. If you wanted to get ahead in life, you picked up the Four Books and Five Classics.

    Secondly, because of their relationship with China, much of of the Korean military borrowed heavily from China, not always to best effect. Of the truly native fighting arts, the best preserved is archery. Further, the Korean military's greatest historic success was at sea. The martial art of naval tactics is not really something you go out and practice idly.

    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we must remember that Korea basically got crushed during the pertiod between 1895 and 1945. It was not a period conducive to the preservation of native martial arts.

    All this adds up to a tremendous loss of the native martial arts. But then again, the native stick-fighting of the British Isles isn't terribly well preserved and perpetuated, either.
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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    Is this of any help?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muyedobotongji

    They seem to refer to "Kon Bong" as 'stick fighting'.
    DISCLAIMER: I am a student of martial arts. I am not an authority on the subject. My views and opinions are my own and do not reflect the views or opinions of my sensei, my dojo, or my style of martial arts. If you have an issue with my views, opinions, or anything I've said or done, please contact me directly. Thank you.

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    I am hardly a martial arts scholar in that I don't read/write/speak Korean and I am not actively learning to do so. Perhaps someday I will make that leap, it just seems life has so many other plans for me.

    That said, I find it continuously amusing yet frustrating that the Korean peninsula - though it has been occupied by other, larger nations a couple of times - is not recognized for the fact that it managed to fight off formidable forces. I've read a couple of summaries of the "reliable" historical accounts (what's left of them) translated to English inferring most of the monks in the buddhist temples were from the peninsula, that equestrian combat skills were brought from the peninsula out to China, Mongolia and Japan.

    The most ancient history of the peninsula has been utterly destroyed so it is very easy to say nothing originated there - I'm sure Japan and China would both be very happy to claim that all skills above caveman abilities were introduced TO Korea from THEIR nations. While it's a given that all nations learned, shared and adapted their fighting skills according to the specialties of the enemy, I find these "origination" arguments rather droll, really.

    The more I see of other styles, the more I see similarities between and amongst them all.

    So pick up a stick and try a few different approaches to its use. Who really cares where it comes from?

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    I am with shesulsa on this one.

    But to answer this one shesulsa

    "So pick up a stick and try a few different approaches to its use. Who really cares where it comes from?"

    The truth is that the only people who really care are the ones that try to compare who has the bigger (well ya know, lol)
    Its all about ego more than anything else.
    Sad when you think about it.

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    Red face Re: Korean Stick Arts

    Quote Originally Posted by MBuzzy View Post
    There is a GREAT DEAL of weapon work, but I'm not sure about sticks - at least in the phillipino sense.

    NOW, if you look into Hapkido, there is indigenous bong work (bong meaning stick, just like bo in japanese) and they do have different sizes...but it is a completely different world from the phillipino styles.
    To all who are interested. This is indeed indigenous Korean stick arts. If you want the authentic practical stick fighting start with Hwarang-do from the Joo Bang Lee lineage. Michael D. Echanis' book on Basic Stick Fighting for Combat gives most of the basics for Korean stick fighting for the Jung Bong (baton-walking stick), Dan Bong (short stick), Kwa? Bong (snapping stick/bone breaker) and the Ji Pang-Ee (hooked cane). Basic techniques for the Kon Bong (staff) are in the Muyedobotongi which shows it to be between Okinawan and Chinese staff.

    One must remember that the Koreans took their own techniques and added whatever was useful from the Chinese/Japanese to continue to be a well prepared, fierce, fighting force in order to protect their freedom. If not for Confucianisms down grading of the importance of military skills/weapons in Korean and the superiority of the production of modern weapons in pre-WWII Japan, Korean may have continued to be free.

    Hope this is helpful to whomever may read it.

    Don Daly

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Daly View Post
    One must remember that the Koreans took their own techniques and added whatever was useful from the Chinese/Japanese to continue to be a well prepared, fierce, fighting force in order to protect their freedom. If not for Confucianisms down grading of the importance of military skills/weapons in Korean and the superiority of the production of modern weapons in pre-WWII Japan, Korean may have continued to be free.
    Leaving aside the Japanese conquest of Korea issues, essentially all post-WWII KMAs are of primarily Japanese origin starting in 1945. Most of their own techniques were lost in the first half of that century. The Echanis books do have a fair amount of stick material but it's far from clear that it is in any sense native.

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    OK, I forgot to mention the most important part. Korean stick techniques have both soft and hard energy, but they almost always have snap at the end of the strike because unlike Filipino escrima/arnis/kali in Korean a stick is a stick and is used accordingly. In Filipino arts, a stick is only a stick until you pick it up, then it becomes a sword/machete/kris (this is the mental attitude that the escrimador is to have). In other words. Filipino "stick" arts are NOT stick arts, they are blade arts in disguise. They may teach you how to use a stick (debatable) but they are intended to teach you combat blade fighting. So if you really want to learn to use a stick, really as a stick for stick fighting. The rarely taught Korean stick fighting is what you want. What farm tools were to the Okinawans, sticks were to the Koreans. Unfortunately this is very hard to find. I will try to get something on the internet in the future.
    Don Daly

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    Re: Korean Stick Arts

    It is easy to say that the Japanese arts were the only ones left, but the Korean taekkyon influence (and Chinese kungfu influences) in their arts make even most of their Japanese based arts distinct from the way they were done in Japan. It is popular for those with gramdmasters who got 3-5th degree black belts in Japan pre-1945 to want to downgrade the taekkyon and other KMA influences as well as the CMA influences in the other masters of Korean Karate (ie. Hwang Kee, General Choi, Yun, Byung In), mixed arts (ie. Hapkido), and the founders of temple based systems (ie. Moo Sul, Hwarangdo). These masters still had a working knowledge of basic Taekkyon and other Korean arts during the occupation and combined them with the most initially popular Karate, Judo and Aiki-jujitsu to make distinctly Korean versions that many consider to be superior to the straight Japanese versions. Of course once it caught on, their "Korean" versions were much more popular in Korea as all things Japanese became more to be avoided. There was definitely a lot of politics and prejudice involved as the once popular Japanese purists lost clout and students to the more nationalistic Korean schools. So lets not say that all schools were primarily of Japanese origin, because Hwang, Kee's Hwa Soo Do and Yun, Byung In's Kwon Bup Bu - Kong Soo Do schools were two of the first post 1944 schools established and they were not only Japanese Karate but both had a heavey emphasis on Chinese arts and Korean influences.

    As far as Echanis and others KMA stick fighting techniques. They are distinctly Korean in style and I have not seen any Japanese arts that use that same style of techniques. I also have additional techniques that I was taught by another Tang Soo Do school that do not use the same technique for baton/cane that Japanese sources use. The basics of the straight cane/walking stick that I learned are much different that Hatsumi's basics in his stick fighting book and much more devastating. I must admit that Hatsumi's finishing moves are great, but getting there works better with the Korean techniques.

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