Gumdo
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Gumdo Overview 

What is? | Origin | History | Chronology

1. What is Gumdo 

Gumdo means "the way of the sword" The present form of using "Juk do"(4 split bamboo sword) and the "Ho goo"(the head and body gear) began around 18th century. With "Juk do" and "Ho goo" the art of Gum Do took a surprising turn in its style. Allowing more experimentation without injury, the style became more effective by allowing stronger
and deadlier blow without a considerable and extensive swing of the sword. The present form that combines of the inner strength (much signified by a scream from within
"Ki"), the absolute and unbounded swing of the sword ("Gum"), and use of one's lower back and body ("chae") was recently perfected. This is known as "ki-gum-chae"
Thus in tournaments one does not receive a point, although striking
the opponent successfully, if the blow is not accompanied by all three components of
"ki-gum-chae."

In other martial arts the strength always has an advantage. If one is fit and strong, such a person can win over most opponents(of course giving consideration to certain level off expertise and experience). During a fight, although one is hit, he/she can come back win the battle. Not so for Gumdo. In Gumdo, one does not get a second chance. If you receive a blow, the battle is over. Under this circumstance one's attitude and spiritual understanding of oneself is most crucial. The statement of "never underestimate your opponent" cannot be more true for Gum Do than anything else.
Without the proper attitude and reverence to the art form, one opening for the opponent is all it takes to lose. Although combination of strength and speed plays a crucial role, one cannot master the art of Gum Do without the pure and unadulterated state of mind and soul.

The spiritual maturity, inner strength, calmness of the soul, and pure heart combined with strength and speed--that is the "essence" of Gum Do.
A duality of one's identity that unites into one.


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2. Origin of Gumdo

Gumdo is the art of the sword. You might think that Gumdo was originated from Japan. That is definitely
wrong. Although Japan developed the Gumdo as a sport, Korea has the root of Gumdo. In Korea, there were
'Jo Seon Se Bup' and 'Bon Gook Gum Bup' which are the unique sword techniques.
First, we would like to introduce
'Bon Gook Gum Bup' which is the oldest sword technique in the world. About two thousand years ago, the Three Kingdoms period marks a contentious period in which Goguryo, Baekje, and Shilla were in contention with one another and the Han Chinese for control of East Asia. At that time, 'Bon Gook Gum Bup' constituted with 33 movement was developed by Shilla's Hwa Rang warriors to defend their territorial hold. In addition to 'Bon Gook Gum Bup'.


Korea prides 'Jo Seon Se Bup' which was introduced by the Chinese Book named 'Moo Bee Jee' In 1621, a Chinese man,
Mo Won Eui, published 'Moo Bee Jee' after studying about 2000 Chinese military tactic books. In 'Moo Bee Jee', the only Sword technique introduced by 'Mo Won Eui' was
'Jo Seon Se Bup'.
'Jo Seon' means 'Jo Seon Dynasty' which is the old name of Korea. He also said that there was no well-developed Sword technique in China, but that was in Jo Seon Dynasty.
At the beginning of the Jo Seon Dynasty in the 15th Century, the political and ideological foundations changed dramatically. These changes brought the elimination of the warrior class and their power bases in private soldiers. Thus, gradually, the art of the sword was limited to the state military that was regarded as inferior to scholars. In 1896, During the era of modernization, the art of the sword, was selected as a mandatory training requirement for newly established police academy. From there on, Gumdo, the modern amalgamation of 'the art of the sword' was developed to be practiced by some as a sport and
by others as a means of character development or spiritual refinement.

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3. History of Gumdo
 

A direct translation of "Gumdo" is "the way of the sword" The art of the sword in Korea evolved from a martial art heritage reaching back more than three thousand years to the time of the Bronze Age.  Archeological records indicate that the sword and its art were a part of daily life in Korean antiquity to defend territorial hold extending from Manchuria to Korean peninsula and early settlements in the Japanese main island.

About two thousand years ago at the time of the early Three Kingdoms period, the unique sword techniques called "Bon Gook Gum Bup" or "Native Sword," were developed by Shilla's Hwa Rang warriors. The Three Kingdoms period marks a contentious period in which Goguryo, Baekje, and Shilla were in contention with each other and the Han Chinese for control of East Asia.  Warriors in this period and the following Unified Shilla, Balhae, and Goryo Dynastic periods were known to be sword-bearing and to conduct their daily lives with strictly disciplined and moral manners. For every warrior the moral code was strict, but the discipline was stricter for those cherished honor above everything.


Many good examples of the warrior culture can be found in the Balhae and Goryo Dynasty periods from the 7th to 15th century. In particular, the Balhae Dynasty was found and ruled by the former Goguryo warrior class after the fall of Goguryo in 668 A.D. With the art of the sword and the disciplined warrior's sprite, Balhae was successful to conquer and to extend their territory from the Sungari and Amur rivers in northern Manchuria all the way down to the northern provinces of modern Korea at the first half of the 9th century, in the height of its power.


At the beginning of the Joseon Dynasty in the 15th century following the fall of the Goryo Dynasty, some 500 years after the fall of the Unified Shilla and Balhae, the political and ideological foundations changed dramatically. These changes brought the elimination of the warrior class and their power bases in private soldiers. Thus, gradually, the art of the sword was limited to the state military which was regraded as inferior to scholars. Until the end of Joseon Dynasty, the art was practiced and taught mostly by individuals in the state military who refined and developed the art under the name of "Ghihuck-Gum."

In 1896 during the era of modernization, the art of the sword, also known as "Ghihuck-Gum," was selected as a mandatory training requirement for the newly established police academy. From there on, Gumdo, the modern amalgamation of "the art of the sword" and "the way of righteousness" from the Taoist philosophy, was developed to be practiced by some as a sport and by others as a means of character development or spiritual refinement.

By the early 20th century, Gumdo training had adopted and utilized a practice weapon made of bamboo and lightweight armor that had been developed by the Japanese. This method of practice largely replaced the earlier, more dangerous, methods of training. Yet, the Gumdo popularity had been limited until early 1960 when the practice armor could be mass produced with the latest materials. When Gumdo equipments became easily available and affordable, the Gumdo population started to grow rapidly. Gumdo became no longer the martial art of the selected few.


Gumdo is both a physically and mentally demanding martial art. A Gumdo bout with a skilled opponent is an intense experience. For a moment, as one opponent faces another, concentration is absolute, conscious thought is suppressed, and action is instinctive. Such training develops the power of resolution and endurance under pressure which frequently affects Gumdo students' lives beyond the confines of the training hall.

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4. Chronology of Gumdo
 

This page contains history of the very beginnings of the people known as the DONGYI, of which Koreans are a major part of. The DONGYI include other peoples of East Asia: Jurchens (Manchus), Mongols, Khitans, Xiongnu (Huns), and so on. The older period takes up the bulk of nationalist historiography, whereas the "officially recognized history" dreadfully lacks information on the said period.

 

7193 BC Han-In (Lord of Heaven), establishes a country 50,000-li north to south and 20,000-li east to west, called Han-guk. It comprises of twelve nations. This is believed to be a tribal league in the nationalist circles, the formation of the ethnic entity: DONGYI.  

 

7193 BC - 3898 BC Han-guk is ruled by seven in succession by seven Han-In's (Han-In is probably a title of a ruler, rather than a personal name)

 

3898 BC establishment of Bak-dal Nara, the first Dongyi state. Its territories are as follows: (farthest extent in each direction)

                             

North - Lake Baykal vicinity. Stanovoy mountains
South- Yangzi river (includes present Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Anhui)
East  - Russian Maritime provinces
West - Dunhuang

3898 BC-3804 BC Reign of first Han-ung (a title, not a name), Kuh-bal-han
3804 BC-3718 BC Reign of second Han-ung, Kuh-bul-li
3718 BC-3619 BC Reign of third Han-ung, U-ya-go
3619 BC-3512 BC Reign of fourth Han-ung, Mo-sa-ra


3528 BC The son of crown prince Tae-u-ui, Tae-ho, annexes territory held by Hua (ancestors of the Han Chinese) chieftain Zhuiren. He introduces animal husbandry and agriculture to the annexed area, also devising the Eight Trigrams. In Chinese history, Taeho is known as Fuxi, or Ox Tamer



3512 BC-3419 BC Reign of fifth Han-ung, Tae-u-ui
3419 BC-3321 BC Reign of sixth Han-ung, Da-ui-bal
3321 BC-3240 BC Reign of seventh Han-ung, Kuh-ryon
3240 BC-3167 BC Reign of eighth Han-ung, An-bu-ryon

                              


3168 BC Han-ung An-bu-ryon orders General So-jeon (Shao dian) to lead troops to administer the former annexed territories. His son, Shin-nong, introduces medicine and advanced agriculture to the area. Shin-nong is known in Chinese history as Shen-nong, or Divine Farmer

 


3167 BC-3071 BC Reign of ninth Han-ung, Yang-un


3071 BC-2971 BC Reign of tenth Han-ung, Gal-go
During his reign: descendents of Shin-nong earns right of self-rule within the annexed territories. First formal border established with Bakdal Nara


2971 BC-2879 BC Reign of eleventh Han-ung, Kh-ya-bal
2879 BC-2774 BC Reign of twelfth Han-ung, Ju-mu-shin
2774 BC-2707 BC Reign of thirteenth Han-ung, Sa-wa-ra

                                    

2707 BC-2598 BC Reign of fourteenth Han-ung, Ja-o-ji
During his reign: Begins mass production of steel and bronze weapons such as swords, spears, armor, helmet, arrow tips, etc. When Yumang (Yuwang), descendent of Shin-nong, tries to reach the coast by military means, the Han-ung's army crushes them and occupies their capital, Gongsang (Kongsang, in present Shandong). Then the native chieftain Heon-won (Xuanyuan, the Yellow Emperor) issues challenge, whom the Han-ung defeats is 73 successive battles, and makes him a vassal. Heonwon is given the title Yellow Emperor (Huangdi) by the Han-ung, who is also known as Chi-u (Ciyou)


2598 BC-2509 BC Reign of fifteenth Han-ung, Chi-aek-teuk
2509 BC-2453 BC Reign of sixteenth Han-ung, Chuk-da-ri
2453 BC-2381 BC Reign of seventeenth Han-ung, Hyuk-da-sae

 

2381 BC-2333 BC reign of eighteenth Han-ung, Kuh-bul-dan. he is the father of the first Tangun, Im-gom

                        

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