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#113470 - 03/04/05 02:33 PM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo

im not in haidong im in koryo but i'ld say the diff. is the gumdo is more of a "graceful" art, while kendo is more of the straght forward and strict art. but i'ld say gumdo.

#113471 - 03/23/05 03:24 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo

Hi, I do Haidong Gumdo and have have a friend that does Kendo. Well i have to say that Kendo uses only Bamboo swords and attack for points, Where Haidong Gumdo uses wooden swords, bamboo swords, practice swords (which is a metal sword that isint sharp) and Real swords. Kendo does sapring while Haidong Gumdo does Patterns ,sparing, cutting (bamboo or hay), candels (having to put out a candel without toching it) and throw cutting (throw apples and cutting them ect.). I'm not putting down Kendo cause i do Haidong Gumdo i'm pointing out the differences. and on a different note i think a student Haidong Gumdo would beat a Kendo student cause Haidong Gumdo students use real swords (and i'm saying that cause i do Haidong Gumdo [IMG][/IMG]).

#113472 - 03/23/05 06:49 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
glad2bhere Offline

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear CXT:

I think you have good intentions and I believe you are right about not accepting "BS". I think you may want to delve a little deeper into the subject as you seem to be missing quite a bit of history that would answer your questions.

1.) Hae Dong Gumdo is an amalgam of Gi Cheon and ShinKumdo synthecized in the 1960-s and publicized in the 1970-s. From the standpoint of whther something by the name of "Hae Dong Gumdo" existed in the 14 and 1500-s is actually irrelevant. The fact is that Koreans used swords back then and used swords today. The Korean do not have a tradition of patrilinear succession in their Martial traditions. This is a construction foisted on the Koreans by the Japanese traditions. If you are using that to authenticate an art in Korea you are mixing apples and oranges.

2.) I understand that you may not accept the MYTBTJ as a "credible source". You have no reason to. For my money there are a lot of sources in the Japanese traditions that I don't care for either. However, I can say that the MYTBTJ is an amalgam resource that draws on over 200 sources starting in the 1400-s and ending with the publication of its final revision in 1795. Nobody says you have to accept it. It stands on its own merit. You may wish to validate some of its material by bumping up against resource materials such as General Qi's JIN XIAO SHIN SHU or WU BEI ZHI by Mao Yuan-I (See Chapter 84 regarding the BON KUK GUM BUP).

3.) As far as showing static pictures you are absolutely right. The images shown are the single most salient postures of a particular method with which one would be familiar with. The MYTBTJ is NOT a manual one learns from as much as a collection of methods the Korean warrior was expected to be familiar with. For instance, "Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg" is not the one-legged position you see drawn, but representative of a method which, when executed, actually encompasses 6 major and two minor points (K. "sool"). In order to understand the MYTBTJ you need to have some foundatuion in Korean MA and hopefully in weapons work, and be willing to cross-reference with comparable material of the time as well as before an after. In this way, learning KMA is no different than the serious study of anything else. You do not "learn" from a book as much as the book serves as a guide for your learning.

4.) I would counsel caution in suggesting that the Ssang Soo Do "no longer exists". There are at least two active ryu in Kyushu in Japan that focus on the use of O-Dachi. In China there are at least three major traditions which work to keep the use of the Long Sword alive. Once again, if you are using the standard of some patrilinear succession to validate the authenticity of a practice you may want to move with caution. Sometimes even the Japanese have trouble with this arguement.

5.) As far as whether or not the material of one culture is similar or identical to another culture I think its important to remember that door swings both ways. Archeological evidence of Korean smelting sites indicates that Korea had an extraordinarily high level of metalurgy much before they exported it Japan. I doubt you will ever get the Japanese nationalists to admit to this. Of course, they may also be the same people who swear that everything we have in the world today was invented in Japan, so I don't know where we would go with that.

I guess the up-shot of my post might be that the term "bogus" may be a paint you might want to apply with a smaller brush, at least until you have considered a few more facts. FWIW.

BTW: The last use of a sword used in actual military combat that I can document involves the assasination of Queen Min (1895) Before that are the documented incursion by the USS Sherman, by the French, the British and the Americans in the late 1800-s.FWIW.

Best Wishes,


#113473 - 03/23/05 07:30 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
glad2bhere Offline

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear Tarutaru:

"....I'm not putting down Kendo cause i do Haidong Gumdo i'm pointing out the differences. and on a different note i think a student Haidong Gumdo would beat a Kendo student cause Haidong Gumdo students use real swords (and i'm saying that cause i do Haidong Gumdo ...."

I hope you will take it as the kindness that it is meant if I make a couple of adjustments to your post.

It is always good to be careful automatically equating "Kendo" and "Kumdo". In about 90% of the cases you will be correct in that both arts will usually subscribe to the IKF, both will use IKF kata/hyung, both will spar with the same equiptment and almost identical protocols. However, there remain about 10% of Korean sword which may relate to Kendo and Kenjutsu but are decidedly different. The relationship of Kum-Bup ("sword method") to Kumdo is very much like the relationship of Ken-jutsu to Kendo. In both arts of Kum-Bup and Ken-jutsu the emphasis is on function following form, on the use of the Jin Gom as
a real weapon and on the perpetuation of a tradition. Some of the confusion arises form the fact that Kendo, Kumdo, Kenjutsu and Kum-Bup all share the same introductory material, what we call the "O-Bup" or "five methods". Ken-jutsu and Kum-Bup both go on to use an additional number of methods. For Kum-Bup that number of methods may be as high as 33 or even 36. In addition both Ken=jutsu and Kum-Bup seek to steel the Character of the person by compelling them to submit themselves to long tedious hours of repetition in form, drill and cutting. It is the person produced by this grinding training that marks the difference between a person who uses a sword---- and a swordsman. FWIW.

Best Wishes,


#113474 - 03/23/05 08:20 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

With all respect, you have asked good questions and made good points.

I have no wish to offened you in any fashion, if I am doing so, I will offer an up-front "I'm sorry" to be repteated as your request.


"The history" or facts if you will, are EXACTLY what I am asking for--and no-one seems to be providing them.

1-My point EXACTLY--the HDG folks are CLAIMING just such a line of desecnt---without a shred of proof.

2-I don't accept the MYTBJ for a number of reasons--but the BEST one is a simple point of logic.
If a student came into your school and asked you to give them a high rank BASED ON THE STUDY OF A BOOK ON YOUR STYLE--would you give it to them?
My guess is no, and you would probably say what we tell everyone who asks, "you can't learn from books.
Yet that is exactly the same line of reasoning the folks (and not all of them sword guys) expect people to "buy."

3-Good point, except that to be vaild you would have to prove that there is an actual arts to compare and contrast with the MYTBTJ.
And just like the guys that claimed to have "developed" some empty hand stuff from it they also had nothing supportable native to comapre it to.

4-In all research the burden of proof is on the person making the claim---in this case the claim was made BY SOMEONE ELSE that the Ssang Soo Do--as a method of training still exsists--presumbaly in its "handed down" "original" form.
All I askd for was the support of the claim.
That school exsist in Japan and China is true, and they can ALL back up their training with specifics---its only the HG guys that can't.

Thats a problem.
And there are 3 basic problems here with the "the koreans don't use patrilner succession" arguement.

1-If we accept your statement at face value then you seem to be saying that the support simply does not exsist.
If thats the case then the HG need to stop makeing claims that they can't support.

2-I am not really asking a "patrilnaer succession" question.
All I am asking for is the names of folks that taught a "native" Korean style of sword, when they taught etc.
As mentioned before, no-one seems to be able to produce ANYONE prior to about 30 years ago even claiming that such a sytle exsists.

3-These claims ar very similar to those used by a number of TKD guys in claiming great age--all the way back to the Silla, "native" korean empty hand arts and mention in the MYTBJ.
And those claims proved to be largly false. more "marketing" than history.

Personaly I find it chilling that the same type of bogus statements used by some of the TKD crowd, are so very very similar to the statments and arguements used by the HG crowd.
And it ought to worry you as well.

5-No question that Korea had a very high level of culture, which would include metalurgacl arts.
But that is NOT any sort of proof that a "native" korean sword art, used in say the 1600 still exsists today.
AGAIN, the argeuement that the Koreans were skilled swords smiths is a "smokescreen" arguement--because their status as swordsmiths is NOT in question.
Merely that the sword use skills themselves were retained.

Glad would LOVE to consider the "facts" problem however is that there are remarkably few "facts" to consider.

What is presented is a "grab-bag" of fallious reasoning, irrelevent historical data, gapping holes in the "story" and simple assertions of facts--sans support.

For the record, AGAIN, someone wants to tell me what a good art HG is, great.

Someone wants to tell me how effective it is--ok, that I have some questions about.
But overall, got no real problem with that.

You want to claim that HG is "native" Korean sword art that dates back to "X" you better be able to back it up.

I guess the "up-shot" of my post is that if you make the claim you should be able to back it up.

Or you should NOT be making the claim.

As a suggestion, if it were me I would be less concerned about my tough questions and MORE concerned at the lack of really good answers.

If it were the art I trained in, I know I would be.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 03-23-2005).]

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[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 03-23-2005).]

#113475 - 03/23/05 09:27 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
glad2bhere Offline

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear CXT:

Maybe in someway we are actually saying about the same thing but from different sides of the coin. Let me take a look at this.

"My point EXACTLY--the HDG folks are CLAIMING just such a line of desecnt---without a shred of proof...."

No arguement here. Where I think I am making a distinction is in allowing the Koreans to have their traditions in the same manner as every other country. I don't hear the Thais called to task for Muay Thai or the Indonesians for Penjat Silat. These arts are passed along among the people and periodically come to the surface in the media. The Koreans have their traditions. Some of the stuff they borrowed and some they put together for themselve. Every other culture has done the same thing and over an extended period of time. I am not sure why the Koreans suddenly have to "prove" a provenence when even the Japanese have a heritage of people going off into the mountains to learn material from goblins.

2.) I also agree that the idea of giving rank based on having learned out of a book is stupid on two counts. First off the whole idea of rank is a corruption. The Koreans never used and rank and actually, until Kano came along neither did the Japanese or anyone else. Its a revenue generator, pure and simple. The other point is, as I have said, one does not "learn" from the MYTBTJ. It is an asset, a guide and a resource. It gives us a snap shot in history of what the Koreans thought was important in martial tradition and why. Thats what makes it valuable. I find it hard to believe that anyone would sit with the MYTBTJ and think that they would be able to actually "learn" an art with which they are otherwise not familiar. That wasn't its purpose.
Nor does "style" have anything to do with Korean sword. The Koreans have 5 different sword architectures or which two are polearms. It is enough to know the basic movements or methods for each. Individual pedagogy for teaching these weapons was as unique as the number of teachers. The great leveler was the Civil Service exams if a person ever chose to put his learning to use.

3.) And I have to agree with you here as well.

The MYTBTJ DOES reflect actual arts. All of the major weapons groups including polearms, swords, sticks and equetrian skills are reflected in the skills of the day. The Wol-Do and Hyup Do reflect the usage of the Kwan Dao of China and the Naginata of Japan respectively. Again, I think what you are looking for is someone to demonstrate something along the lines of the Ryu-ha system in Japan and unfortunately we are speaking of Korean arts.

4.) Not sure what role "backing up" things will do for us. The only "backing-up" anyone can do is to have faith in whatever traditions are handed down. For instance, the ultranationalists of the late 1800-s were thoroughly embarrased that their isolated country woke-ap to find that Japan had lagged behind the rest of the world. Further it was quite an embarrassment to find that a peasant with a rifle could wipe-up a lifetime of sword training with the squeeze of a trigger. The result was that a lot of myths about Samurai Tradition were born. People still swallow a lot of that stuff just like there are Europeans who still believe in the myth of the Age of Chivalry. People are going to believe what it makes them feel good to believe.

Lastly, as far as patrilinear succession goes I just don't know how to help you with that. It seems pretty important to you, but I am not sure why. In my own case I can trace my own swordwork back to Seoul about 1926. Maybe if I keep pushing I might get it back farther, but right now thats shy of about 80 years. So as I sit here I can tell you the names and relationships of the last six generations of teachers and students who have taught Kum-bup leading up to me. Not sure what this has to do with anything other than what we call "bragging rights". I know that Korean sword goes back before that because we have records of the swords being taught and used. If I am hearing you correctly, what I think I am understanding is that unless there is a passage of a discrete curriculum in involate succession from one generation to the next then there is little or no authenticity. If thats true I think you need to prepare yourself for a shock as not even the obsessive-compulsive Japanese with all of their records have been able to do this. So my sense is that there is "evidence" to support things, but just not the sort that satisfies your particular needs. FWIW.

Best Wishes,


#113476 - 03/23/05 10:15 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

1-Not a salient argeument for the purpose of this discussion.

A-No-one is asking about the provenence of Thai arts. Another "smokescreen" arguement.

B-The Thais can produce the required "proof" of their arts.

C-The Thais, in general, don't "sell" their art on its "age" they "sell" it on its effectivenss--and they uprove it in the ring.

No-one "really" belives that the "goblins" taught sword.
But I can trace a specific swrod style thu specifc people thu spcific duels and battles from the 1600 to today.

I assure you that if a Japanese styliest claimed descent from a unknown "ryu" that could provide no teachers, no people that also trained in his art etc--I would be just as sceptical.

2-Again, non-answer, the question is NOT did such arts exsist historically, the question is what provenence is there for their survival into this era.
There seems to be no "link" between "those days" and "today."

3-Not really, not actually asking for a simliar "ryu-ha" system. What I AM asking for is line of teachers and what they taught.
The Chinese don't use a "ryu" system and yet they have no trouble detailing from exactly whom they got their arts--and who trained them, and whom trained THEM and so forth.

What we know is that pretty much everyone that is now claiming training in HG ALSO is a long term kendo/kumdo student. As were the guys that taught THEM.
So we KNOW that are trained in kumdo/kendo. But no mention exsists of HG with these guys PRIOR to the last 30 years.

That is a red flag.
Similar to the folks in Hapkido that got all their original training with (whomever the guy is, the name escapes me at the momment) leaving his group, re-naming their art and claiming its a "anceint art used by royal place guards" And NO I am not making this up.

Or a guy that trained years in Katori Ryu, then claiming that he "really" was student of previously unknown Japanese Ryu.

4-No, "faith" in what your told is not really needed when you have proof.
If what folks tell you about the history of your art is fact then the proof exsists.
If there are no proofs then you should not present it and market it as fact.
You can say "this is what I belive" or "this is what I was taught."
But that ain't fact.

(Look at karate, you have any idea how many folks are still repeating the old "karate was developed by unarmed Okinwan peasents to protect themselves vs sword wielding samurai" line of BS? )

5-No, innacuarte represention of my point, as I said before and said again above, litteraly "parilinear succession" is NOT "important" to me.
A supportable history is.

And HG seems to lack that.

Look at your last post--you say you have "80 years" of teachers?
Then can you show me something from 1926 about teaching "Headong Gumdo?"
Or is what your "really" saying is that the current crop of HG masters are "saying" that the kumdo teacher that taught me or HIS teacher ALSO taught HG?
I am guessing the latter.

AGAIN, that swords were used "back in the day" is not the point.

Try it like this, say you wish to learn "authentic" Scottish Claymore use, just like in BraveHeart.

We know that Scottish Claymores were used, we have historical records that prove it.

"REAL" question is if there anyone that can PROVE" beyond a reasonable doubt that they what they claim to teach is in fact how the Claymore was used back in the day.

One method would be written documents, another would be a supportable line of whom taught him, whom taught his teacher, whom taught HIS teacher and so on, reaching back to the time period in question.
There is also scondary evidence, in which people OUTSIDE the "group" mention the training.

In this case a mention of Sir Richard Blake and his students and his demonstarion of the Scottish Claymore at at the 1890 Harvest Feast would help.

All three of which the Japanese can produce, the Chinese and number or martial cultures can do the same.

Here is what bothers me.

1-HG is unique becase it has NO provenence, no written history, no line of training OUTSIDE of kumdo/kendo teachers.

2-There is no mention of the art prior to very recent times--which given the claimed age of the art is both highly unlikey and very weird.

3-Everyone, as far as I know, that teaches HG recived extensive training in and from kumdo/kendo guys--and the sparring/gear/shinai are STILL pretty much the same thing.

4-There are no records or documents that support the claimed great age of HG.
Weird again because there ARE for comparitive Japanese and Chinese etc arts.

5- The claims of the HG set are chillingly alike in tone and content to the bogus claims of some TKD folks who also use the same "reasoning" to support their claims of a ancient age for TKD.
They also:
-Questioned the claims of other art to divert attention from their OWN claims.
-Used historical facts--such as MYTBTJ, carveings/painting to "prove" that their arts were "really" old.
Ignoring that NO LINK exsisted between "then" and "now."
-Also made the claim that the "Japnese destroyed all the records"
-Also claimed untraceable teachings going back to people that did exsist, BUT no support of exactly what they taught does.
-Resorting to highly complex theorys and highly convoluded arguemnts when asked simple questions.

But the worst thing of all was that these guys ALSO started to cop an attitude when closely questioned.

(Glad, you most certainly ARE NOT doing so!!!!, some of the guys above howwever....)

Overall, I find the claims of great age of HG are largly unsupportable.
As are the claims that its a "combat" art.

(esp since no-one can produce any evidence that it was actually used in ANY combat.
Another areas of difference in the korean and japanese arts.)

If it were me, reather than trying to defend what you see as an attack on your art, which its not.
A better use of time would be getting some stright answers and doing some research in to the history of HG.

Who knows, the scale to which I am wrong may not be measurable with current technology.
Could be so far off on this one that I might as well be insisting the earth is "really" flat.

But with what we have to work with today, does not seem that I am.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 03-23-2005).]

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#113477 - 03/23/05 10:46 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
glad2bhere Offline

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear CXT:

I guess I need to understand what it is that you are calling "proof" or "support" or "backing-up". What seems to be happening is that you take exception to something, and ask for a rationale. I stepped in and gave a rationale and now you are saying that you want a "different" rationale.

If I were to express my suspicions, my sense is that you have taken Korean arts to task before and may even enjoy picking at what you have determined is their "superficiality". I could go over the same questions you have asked and I have responded to but I am never going to be able to actually "make" you respect the martial traditions of another country if you are not vested in doing so. Modern Korean military tradition can be said to start with King Sejo (1455-1468). Maybe this means something to you and maybe it doesn't. The martial traditions of the Koreans go back even before that but are not as well documented. I can also say that the military and martial traditions of the Korean have been passed along the entire line of the Choson Dynasty. Again, maybe that means something to you and maybe it doesn't. If it does I can't persuade you do to. If it doesn't I can't make it mean something. Examining you posts, my sense is that you have a very narrow definition for what you will accept as valid and that your judgement allows for assumptions regarding other cultures that you do not extend to the Koreans. I can help you with information, but probably cannot help you with prejudices. If you will ask me some straight forward questions I will do my best to answer. FWIW.

Best Wishes,


#113478 - 03/23/05 11:06 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
cxt Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 5846
Loc: USA

Simple answer-

Because claims of great age and "combat" effeciveness are being made on public, open websites.

Don't feel that the claims are consistant with what is known of the history of HG.

Do the same thing when I run across bogus claims on-line as to the history of karate, or other sword arts.

And "my" sense is that like many folks who have been hoodwinked, many HG people would rather "kill the messanger" than seriously re-examine the claimed history of their chosen art.

(heck, a several of them have posted above)

As far as what I consider "valid", same level of support I ask for on any claim by anyone.
As mentioned, other arts seem to have little or no trouble in providing it.

I have nothing BUT respect for the arts of Korea.

I have little respect for spacious claims and fallious reasoning.
Not really "anti" anything, I am however "pro" logic and "pro" truth.

Look at it like this, if no-one was running around trying to "sell" people on the supposed age and "combat effectiness" of HG then I would really have nothing much to say now would I?

What a person does in their own school, in their own group and with their own art is THEIR BUSINESS.

When they choose to make it public domain, then it becomes EVERYONES business.

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 03-23-2005).]

[This message has been edited by cxt (edited 03-23-2005).]

#113479 - 03/23/05 11:33 AM Re: haidong gumdo vs kendo
glad2bhere Offline

Registered: 08/11/00
Posts: 663
Loc: Lindenhurst, Illinois USA
Dear CXT:

I don't know if this will help the discussion at all or not but having examined your previous post I think there are a few things that merit a comment.

1.) My hope was that by using the example of Thai tradition you might be invited to accept that a tradition can be passed along without benefit of rigid hierarchical management. They have various centers recognized for their professionalism and training and these are not unlike the boxing gyms we have here in the States. There are no “ryu” replete with patrilinear succession and that was my point.
2.) As far as the Chinese traditions go, unfortunately you have been misinformed. The idea of succession in almost all Chinese traditions usually goes back as far as the 1800-s and stops. After that oral tradition takes over usually ending back in the mists of time with an anonymous monk or peddler.
3.) In like manner the idea of tracing a “ryu” through a series of teachers, each transmitting an uncorrupted replication of what he was taught is pretty much a function of ultra-nationalist propaganda much like the idea that the “Katana is the worlds greatest sword.” Draeger suggests that there may have been as few as 400 and and as many as 700 ryu in Japan and all but a very select few have survived to this day let alone uncorrupted. It’s a fine ideal and a romantic notion. Its just not historically accurate.
4.) The continous existence of Korean sword down through the centuries is there for your witness if you choose to see and not just glance. Where did you think it stopped? The use of swords is documented all the way up until today. Lets just take a look at only the last 100 years, OK? The Chinese influence is extant in the Ship Pal Gi, the weapons work of Long Fist and Praying Mantis and the Muslim traditions of the Tam Tui. The Japanese tradition is extant in the BUTOKUKAI-CHOSON, the Toyama Ryu of the Japanese military and the Police Sword taught in the Korean Academy. And the Korean traditions themselves? You seem to ignore the Son Monastery traditions, and the practice of BON KUK GUM BUP & CHOSON SEBUP. Now I can name these things to you and indicate that they are alive and well and still practiced but I can’t make you respect their existence of give it worth.
5.) If your issue is purely on the matter of the name (“Hae Dong Gumdo”) I am afraid I can’t help you there. The art I teach, Yon Mu Kwan Hapkido, was called “hapkiyukwonsul” before that, “hapkiyusool” before that, “yusool” before that and Yawara before that and all sorts of other things going back to “soo bahk” before that. What makes this curious is that I can open the Jin Xiao Shin Shu and the MYTBTJ and see many of the same things I teach now demonstated on those pages. Now I don’t see the word “hapkido” used on those pages, but how is it that the material is still the same? And if we must credit only the Japanese material of modern times with Korean sword how come my teacher and I know such maneuvers as “White ape leaves the cave” and “long dragon rises from the lake”? I find no Japanese traditions that practice this? Those moves are identified in the MYTBTJ? If Korean sword did not exist except from what was provided by the Japanese how is it that I have been taught this?

Please understand one thing, and I want you to understand this very clearly. At one time I too stood where you are now and questioned passionately. I was every bit as skeptical and played hardcore games of “Devils Advocate”. In the Kwan to which I belong this is expected of us. I understand now why my teacher required me to do this, because I can now speak with some authority about the traditions I practice which I would not have been able to do if I had simply been spoon fed. I heartily encourage you to keep testing things exactly as you are doing. I will help in any way I can.

Best Wishes,


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