Sparring?

Discussion in 'Korean Swords and Sword Arts' started by shieldg, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. shieldg

    shieldg White Belt

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    Hello, just wondering. Do Gumdo do sparring? And if you do spar, what weapons do you use? When you are not sparring, what weapons are you using? Also, can you explain the Gumdo sparring details? I am thinking of taking up Gumdo , it looks promising.
     
  2. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Do you mean Haidong Gumdo or Kumdo?

    The characters for both Gumdo and Kumdo are the same. It is the same difference between Celtic with a hard 'C' which is pronounced Keltik or 'Celtic' with a soft 'C', which is pronounced 'Seltik.' Both mean the same thing and are spelled the same, but in most parts of the US, unless you're speaking with an historian, most will associate the hard C pronunciation with Celts of the British Isles and the soft C with the Boston basketball team.

    If you mean Kumdo, as in Korean Kendo, I can answer for you: yes, in Kumdo, we spar. Sparring is performed in hogu with a juk-to and conforms to the FIK kendo rules.

    The top of the head, the wrists, the middle of the torso, and the throat are all valid targets. If the juk-to is held in joong-dan postition (middle guard with the point level with the opponent's throat), then only the right wrist is a valid target. In sang dan (high guard), both wrists are valid. The mok, or throat, is only valid with a thrusting attack. Strikes are performed with a stomping strike and in a walking stance with both feet pointed forward.

    Now, if you're talking about haidong (or haedong) gumdo, last I heard, they do not spar. Haidong Gumdo is a lot more like kenjutsu in that it focuses on how a warrior would have fought on the battlefield rather than having focus on the fencing aspect. To my knowledge, the techniques are Korean techniques using the Korean daedo, which is similar to the Katana, so HDGD is not Korean kenjutsu (to my knowledge). BUT, there was talk of introducing hogu for Haidong Gumdo by one of the HDGD federations.

    Ninjamom is a senior HDGD practitioner and is the best source on this board that I know of on the subject, so I hope that she'll chime in and clarify.

    If you are talking about another 'gumdo', I have no clue. Given that 'gumdo' literally means 'sword way', any Korean sword art can by called gumdo.

    I hope that helps.

    Daniel
     
  3. cdunn

    cdunn 2nd Black Belt

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    I'm not Ninjamom, but...

    Haidong Gumdo sparring is left up to the individual schools. It is not a part of the formal testing curriculum. Individual teachers may or may not implement it as they feel it is neccesary to their curriculum. Sparring frequency and gear will vary.

    My experience has been that free sparring has been infrequent, and may be done with either jukdo (Kendo stick) or, very rarely, mokgum(wood sword). More frequent are strike and parry drills with the mokgum. When sparring does happen, we generally do not keep track of points or have legal score zones - it is one of many available instructional tools, not a competition. Kicking happens. Sparring may also include multiple opponents, or other disadvantages.

    However, the majority of training is based around the gumbup (sword method) forms. These forms can be executed with mokgum, kagum (blunt metal swords, with appropriate form), and jingum (live swords, similar to the katana). Practitioners above about 5th gup are expected to purchase and at least periodically use the kagum, and generally, ony dan are permitted to use jingum during regular training.
     
  4. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Christopher,

    When you say jingum and call it a live sword, do you mean sharp?

    Just curious.

    Daniel
     
  5. cdunn

    cdunn 2nd Black Belt

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    Yes. Jingum is the sharpened weapon, ready for cutting. Bamboo / Straw cutting is also a part of the curriculum. They are somewhat rare on the dojang floor, mostly due to expense. The Federation took a hard line about what swords are allowed at Federation events, at least in North America, as they had a rash of broken cheapy swords, and many, but not all, dojangs have followed suit.
     
  6. shieldg

    shieldg White Belt

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    Thank you for the answers, both of you are helpful. I am refering to kumdo. Btw, are both Kumdo and Haedong gumdo korean martial arts? Are both influenced by kendo or are they both soley based on korean origins?
     
  7. cdunn

    cdunn 2nd Black Belt

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    Daniel will have to answer for his own art, however, it is my understanding that the gumdo he is describing is pretty much Kendo, straight up, with some minor alterations.

    Haidong Gumdo is only minimally influenced by kendo. Haidong is much more strongly 'Korean', with its primary base apperating to be in Gicheon Mun.
     
  8. Daniel Sullivan

    Daniel Sullivan Grandmaster

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    Yes, the kumdo that I am refering to is kendo. My GM trained in Japan and in Korea. The only difference between our kumdo and kendo is the use of mainly Korean terminology and the addition of some Korean hyung. Otherwise, our curriclum is pretty much what you'll see in the All Japan Kendo Federation. In fact, our school read, "Kendo/Karate" on the door for several years, right up until we moved. Now it says Korean Martial Arts, a more accurate description (we actually do not have 'karate', but taekwondo and hapkido).

    The KKA, Korean Kumdo Association, is actually an affilate of the FIK (International Kendo Federation), and likewise, they promote kendo with Korean terminology.

    If you walked into a KKA school or our school, and into a Japanese kendo school, you'd be hard pressed to find any substantive differences.

    Daniel
     

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