Koryo Gumdo

Chris Parker

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Feb 18, 2008
Messages
6,155
Reaction score
994
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Will do, if it goes ahead... that would be in conjunction with two Koryu Kenjutsu systems, my Ninjutsu training and teaching, a Koryu Jujutsu system I'm hoping to be involved in... my word, I'm busy! The MJER would be at a time that I'm at work, but apparently it can be moved around if needed. I don't need sleep, do I? I mean, not really?
 

verbatim

White Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I know this is a HUGE necro, but I feel like I'm capable of answering most of the questions presented earlier.

I am a First Dan (degree) Black Belt in the art of Koryo Gumdo under master John P Wood (early videos posted in this thread show him and his children) preparing for my Second Dan test this friday (January 18, 2013). John P Wood was appointed Chairmen of WKGD by Grandmaster Duk Gun Kwon, founder of USNTF in 2001.

The form posted in the OP (Moo Sa Gumbup) is one of our Black Belt forms (I believe the 5th Dan's form in particular, but I'm not 100% sure). Generally speaking, our Black Belt forms are demonstration of proficiency in technique rather than combat success, which does sometimes involve the use of techniques that would never be feasible on the battlefield.

Actual combat practice is done in the form of step-sparring, choreographed fight scenes in which there is an attacker and a defender. Step sparing is broken down into ten different catagories in which the defender is always defending against a specific type of attack/defending in a specific manner (examples being the thrusting set dealing with thrusting attacks and the kicking set incorporating kicks into your defenses. Each category has three specific defenses that need to be mastered and remembered as part of the core curriculum along with Forms and choreographed Kendo drills. In addition, Black Belts are required to also invent their own unique creative techniques to go along with their respective categories. For my 2nd Dan test, I will be demonstrating the regular drills in the high and low set (high being the one done this testing session, low being the one done last) in addition to 21 creative techniques.

Sparring is done with the Actionflex series swords (the video on page one is a good example of high level combat) in which there may only be one point scored per engagement (this is primarily to discourage people wading in and using the sword like a baseball bat, you need to be skillful to get your hit and get out without your opponent getting you back). Only the upper body and head are targets. Hands and arms are worth no points while strikes to the head and back result in penalties.

Our school also offers Quickdraw Sparring in which the whole body is a target. Quickdraw operates in a round robin system wherein each combatant only gets one cut, and must make that cut within half a second of drawing their blade. Because of the use of PVC pipes tied together in a way that they vibrate on impact, Quickdraw is the most physical sport we offer, with people under the age of 18 needing express permission in the form of a contract from their parents to compete. In my time watching, I've seen lots of hard hits, most notably someone who dived drawing a cross cut and almost got inverted stabbed in the small of his neck (the only place he wasn't padded), but I have never seen any lasting damage result.


I'll most likely be busy prepping for finals and my Second Dan test, but I should be able to answer any questions after that.
 
Last edited:
OP
D

Daniel Sullivan

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
269
Location
Olney, Maryland
Thank you for responding, Verbatim. And it is nice to see a first hand perspective of the art.

I will respond to your post more thoroughly when things settle down.
 
Last edited:

verbatim

White Belt
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Second Dan test is over, I should be ready to answer any questions now.
 
OP
D

Daniel Sullivan

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
269
Location
Olney, Maryland
John P Wood was appointed Chairmen of WKGD by Grandmaster Duk Gun Kwon, founder of USNTF in 2001.
I spoke with GM Wood on the phone and he seems like a good gent.

The form posted in the OP (Moo Sa Gumbup) is one of our Black Belt forms (I believe the 5th Dan's form in particular, but I'm not 100% sure). Generally speaking, our Black Belt forms are demonstration of proficiency in technique rather than combat success, which does sometimes involve the use of techniques that would never be feasible on the battlefield.
The "battlefield" description used by yourself and by HDGD people rings hollow, given that there is no connection whatsoever between any actual battles and either Koryo Gumdo or Haidong Gumdo. Otherwise, given the reasons that many people sign up for martial arts (fitness, fun, social interaction, etc.), I'm not sure that it matters.

Actual combat practice is done in the form of step-sparring, choreographed fight scenes in which there is an attacker and a defender. Step sparing is broken down into ten different catagories in which the defender is always defending against a specific type of attack/defending in a specific manner (examples being the thrusting set dealing with thrusting attacks and the kicking set incorporating kicks into your defenses. Each category has three specific defenses that need to be mastered and remembered as part of the core curriculum along with Forms and choreographed Kendo drills. In addition, Black Belts are required to also invent their own unique creative techniques to go along with their respective categories. For my 2nd Dan test, I will be demonstrating the regular drills in the high and low set (high being the one done this testing session, low being the one done last) in addition to 21 creative techniques.
Sounds like a dynamic and enjoyable practice.

Sparring is done with the Actionflex series swords (the video on page one is a good example of high level combat) in which there may only be one point scored per engagement (this is primarily to discourage people wading in and using the sword like a baseball bat, you need to be skillful to get your hit and get out without your opponent getting you back). Only the upper body and head are targets. Hands and arms are worth no points while strikes to the head and back result in penalties.
Sorry, but action flex swords really detract from any kind of meaningful martial practice, though I have no doubt that the sparring fun. Certainly, the foam swords provide an element of safety, but on the flip side, with bamboo swords and bogu, you really don't see much in the way of injury, though off armor strikes certainly smart.

What I saw in the videos was not my cup of tea, regardless of the sword analog employed.

Our school also offers Quickdraw Sparring in which the whole body is a target. Quickdraw operates in a round robin system wherein each combatant only gets one cut, and must make that cut within half a second of drawing their blade. Because of the use of PVC pipes tied together in a way that they vibrate on impact, Quickdraw is the most physical sport we offer, with people under the age of 18 needing express permission in the form of a contract from their parents to compete. In my time watching, I've seen lots of hard hits, most notably someone who dived drawing a cross cut and almost got inverted stabbed in the small of his neck (the only place he wasn't padded), but I have never seen any lasting damage result.
I watched the video. The action flex swords are very ill suited to the task. Overall, it was not for me.

Ultimately, I ended up training in Tenshinsho Jigen Ryu for a while, but time and distance along with other commitments conspired against me there. I ended up getting involved with western sword work (historical and classical fencing, specifically) again through a friend who was involved with ARMA, which led me to the Association for Historical Fencing.

But I do appreciate the time that GM Wood took to talk with me. Also, congratulations again on your second dan grading.
 

Tswolfman

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Messages
136
Reaction score
1
As a forth dan black belt in koryo gum do. I see your points. A lot of the koryo gumdo curriculum is derived from haidong gumdo. However many peices come from other arts.
 

Tswolfman

Green Belt
Joined
Mar 11, 2005
Messages
136
Reaction score
1
One thing to note, Their are 2 Koryo Gumdo Organizations now . World Koryo Gumdo Association Headed by GM Duk Gun Kwon, and Koryo Gumdo International Headed by GM J.P. Wood. World Koryo Gumdo Association Uses a newer Series of forms. where as Koryo Gumdo International uses the orginal Koryo Gumdo Form Series. Both of which are less then 15 years old. The forms were based off of haidong forms with some modifications. PArtly so Taekwondo Schools could tech then and compete with them in normal tournament size rings.
 
OP
D

Daniel Sullivan

Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
May 27, 2008
Messages
6,472
Reaction score
269
Location
Olney, Maryland
One thing to note, Their are 2 Koryo Gumdo Organizations now . World Koryo Gumdo Association Headed by GM Duk Gun Kwon, and Koryo Gumdo International Headed by GM J.P. Wood. World Koryo Gumdo Association Uses a newer Series of forms. where as Koryo Gumdo International uses the orginal Koryo Gumdo Form Series. Both of which are less then 15 years old. The forms were based off of haidong forms with some modifications. PArtly so Taekwondo Schools could tech then and compete with them in normal tournament size rings.
As I recall, this is exactly what happened with Haidong Gumdo; a split (be it ammicable or no is unimportant) of two GMs, with one starting his own organization. The end result was two organizations; the World Haidong Gumdo Association and the International Haidong Gumdo Association.
 

Latest Discussions

Top