I'll ask Master Clements when I see her tomorrow....I'm not sure, I was wondering about that too.
Why take a sword art?
Kenshin BT10 asked:
Out of curiosity (not trying to be a dick, I promise), why do you take a sword-based martial art? By which I guess I mean, what's your goal in terms of martial arts right now? Also, do you do any empty-hand stuff?
Well, it's definitely for reasons that aren't readily apparent. I KNOW I'll never get into a swordfight in a self-defense situation. Originally I was like any other guy in that I was interested in Japanese swordwork just because it was cool. I enjoyed starwars and whatnot. But that mindset doesn't stand the test of time, and there's so much more to get out of weapons martial arts.
Weapon training in general prepares you with a slightly different mindset than empty hand arts. When sparring empty hand, one can sometimes become comfortable with trading punch for punch... getting struck or thrown and not being permanently damaged. Obviously you can do a lot of damage open handed, and you can end a fight quickly or even kill a guy if you're fit and trained. I'm not blind... But the reality of swordfighting is that in a proper dual there are only three possible outcomes once the 'sheaths come off.' Either you kill your enemy, he kills you, or you both kill each-other. Note that 2 out of 3 possibilities are not in your favor.
I suppose what I mean to say is that with weapons arts you develop a bit more of a soldierly and serious mindset. It's less about being a tough guy and more about facing the possibility of death. It's about learning to be responsible with the power you have...
The weapon you're using also changes the flavor of the activity itself.
--> The "tool" , (be it sword or spear or just the rock you're holding)....compensates for one's natural human limitations. You're trying extend your sphere of influence, your mobility, and magnify the amount of damage you can naturally do to your opponent through extra weight, mechanical leverage, or focused edges. So at the end of the day, the weapon itself ends up being responsible for the more of the damage you do to your opponent, rather than your own physical or mental effort.
--> This principle is best exemplified by the firearm.
After you've reached a certain level of weapons technology, it becomes a thinking man's game rather than a tough guy's game. While sword martial arts like kendo/iaido/haidong gumdo still emphasize fitness, they tend to reward skill and mental dexterity over strength.
There's a Chinese saying that 'a boxing master isn't a master unless he's a weapon master, and a weapon master isn't a master unless he's a boxing master.'
I think that's the heart of it. Each weapon is like a different teacher, and they each have different lessons to impart to us. At the end of the day, you should balance your training out. You can apply the principles of your weapons training to your empty hand, and vice-versa.
Haidong Gumdo is the only martial art that I'm highly ranked in. But I chose to focus on it more for aesthetic reasons. I enjoy the performative and gymnastics aspects of chinese wushu, and it was more an issue of me looking at the different martial arts available and deciding to myself, "I want to move like this, and not like that."
I don't practice another empty hand art right now, but if I did? I don't know which one exactly. I'd probably go either Chinese or Japanese. But I'd want one that gave access to both weapon and empty hand training.
Last edited by TwistOfLemon; 2/20/2008 2:51am at .
I also train in Haidong Gumdo at the Estrada Haidong Gumdo Academy. You can look my school up on the web I'm too lazy to link to it . I just recently Promoted to red with white stripe and am currently working on the first half of Shimsaang for my next promotion. My Sabunim is Ralph Estrada who is well known in the Haidong Gumdo Federation under Jeong Ho Park. I never realized how much negative attention our sport is getting untill I registered on this website especially from one of the posters on this thread (DerAuslander108) He calls what we do larping. I'd be interested to know why he bothers to post in this thread if he doesn't like this style.
1) Because I'm the moderator of this forum & I can.
2) Develop a sense of humor.
3) I don't call what you do LARPing.
Perhaps I have you confused with someone else on one of the other threads who did call what I do larping which I guess I took a little offense at. No problem. Once again I do realize I need to find another style for more practical self defense purposes I just am not sure at this time which system would be good for me. In the meantime I do enjoy Gumdo.
Acting like what you're learning will help you on a feudal battlefield is larping.
Is that you?
You see that's what I mean I'm trying to let it go and you keep bringing me back to why I was offended in the first place. I may not have what you consider the best style or the most practical self defense but I do know when to let things go. So let's just drop this !
I could give a damn about why you were offended. If you're offended, then leave.
Your art is a modern amalgamation. The samurang are bullshit. The myths the creators of your art fed their followers were bullshit. If you want to follow Haedong Geomdo as a path of self-discipline that's fine. Deluding yourself that it is anything else is your problem, not mine.
I will leave but before I do I have to say that you are exhibiting a lot of anger . And anyone who calls himself a zen teacher or a martial artist for that matter who exhibits anger is bullshit good day sir !
I'm not the one who was offended by the truth.
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