Yes Vapour, I also enjoy this insight you are sharing. An example to your point about the Korean government purging Chinese characters from Korean writing is something that my wife has experienced. Her father and uncle were schooled in calligraphy and they have also taught her. Her generation is sort of the beginning of the end. As she has told me her youngest sister who is 32 only received a fraction of education in Chinese characters. Her niece, who is 10 or 12 is getting even less than that. There are still some hagwons (schools) that teach this and other tradtional Korean arts, but they are very few and in between now and days.

Now regards, to kumdo. The Dae Han Kumdo is definetly Japanese in origin. I do not know much about Haidong Kumdo except that it has popped up only in recent years with its claim to being "traditional" Korean swordsmanship. As it was mentioned though, it is definetly Chinese swordplay with Japanese swords. Even their ready stance has a flare of the Wing Chun horse stance. Again this isn't to say that Korea never had it's own historical swordsmanship the Mooyea Tobo Dongji does record some ancient weaponry of Korea.

Jeremy M. Talbott