Korean swordsmanship

Korean Swordsmanship

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Korean swordsmanship

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In Korean martial arts, sword disciplines are known as Gum Sool (검술, 劍術 kenjutsu) or Gum Do (검도, 劍道 kendo). The extant schools originate after the end of Japanese occupation (1945) and are heavily amalgamated with the modern Japanese schools of Kenjutsu or Kendo.

Gekiken, the predeceossor of modern Kendo, was introduced to Korea in 1896, giving rise to the Korean variant of Gumdo after 1947. Later Korean schools developed under the names of Shim Gum Do (1965), Haidong Gumdo (1982) and Hankumdo (1997).



The Korean Bronze Age, and with it the earliest bladed weapons, dates to the Gojoseon period, approximately 8th century BC. In Gojoseon, violin-shaped daggers were widely used. Due to short length of these daggers, it is assumed that swordsmanship at this time was simplistic.

Korean swordsmanship during the Three Kingdoms of Korea period can be witnessed on Goguryeo tomb murals. Swordsmanship was an important component of Goguryeo martial arts, and it was also practiced as a form of art and dancing. From the wall murals, it is believed there were three styles of Korean swordsmanship. First style is where both opponents face each other on foot, and second style is where both opponents face each other on horse. The third style is where one opponent on foot is facing another opponent on horse.The use of swordsmanship on the battlefield in Korea dates as early as the Three Kingdoms period, where sword techniques using a two-handed sword...
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