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Thread: Korean arts other that TKD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Korean arts other that TKD

    I thought we had a thread on this here but I can't find it now (we have a lot of TKD threads)

    Inside Haidong Gumdo, Queens’ sword-based martial arts club
    The Journal takes a dive into one of the oldest clubs on campus
    February 5, 2021 Angus Merry

    Haidong Gumdo, an ancient martial art, has been a club at Queen's since 1995. Photo: Tessa Warburton
    When most people think of recreational clubs, they think of the staples: archery, gymnastics, eSports—maybe even Quidditch.

    They rarely think of ancient forms of martial art.

    Haidong Gumdo—one of Queen’s resident recreational clubs—is just that. A military martial art that originated in ancient Korea, it teaches principles of self-defence, discipline, and mindfulness through sword-based combat.

    First taught over 2,000 years ago in the kingdom of Koguryo, Haidong Gumdo began as a martial art used by a highly skilled group of warriors known as the ‘Samurang,’ the ancestors of those who would eventually create the Samurai order in Japan. The techniques, principles, and combat strategies employed by the Samurang allowed them to help secure vast swathes of land which now make up the current geography shared by North and South Korea.

    Two millennia later, Haidong Gumdo is still being practised—in Queen’s gyms.

    Established in 1995, Queen’s Haidong Gumdo (QHG) is the oldest club of its kind in Ontario and currently has the oldest active instructor in the province too.

    To learn more about the elusive and mysterious sport, The Journal spoke to Kai Battaile, ArtSci ’22, who’s a Gumdo practitioner and executive team member of Queen’s Haidong Gumdo.

    “It’s sort of like learning a dance, almost.”

    According to Battaile, the club was started by Brian Ghim, a Gumdo Master who, in addition to founding QHG, was a member of the Provincial Gumdo regulatory gaming body. After Ghim left the club in 2003, the club’s advanced members took up the mantle of instructing the club.

    This “second generation” of Gumdo members, as Battaile called them, were almost fanatical about the club and its activities. They became so close, in fact, that most of the members piled into a single residence.

    “At one point, there was a whole Gumdo house,” he said. “Everyone in the club was living in a house together.”

    Not only that, but Gumdo members used to perform at something called the Queen’s Culture Show, a venue where they showcased choreographed sets of their techniques alongside other similar groups on campus.

    Since, the club has only gotten smaller, with only 12 regular members, but Battaile assured that the social atmosphere within the club has grown increasingly varied. Although nobody is living together now, the team has more social events to keep everyone just as close.

    As for what goes on at a Gumdo practice, Battaile said that it’s usually split between practicing forms and sparring competitively. Despite being a “martial art” in a literal sense, the performative aspects of Gumdo are just as important as the defensive ones—the discipline and mindfulness associated with the sport are directly tied to memorizing and executing moves to precision.

    All that said, Battaile still urged that Gumdo is just as ‘martial’ as any other art. Similar to Karate, Gumdo has a belt system, and after rising through the ranks, students can go from sparring with wooden swords— “Motgums” he called them—to steel ones, which are blunted for safety.

    As expected, QHG has been unable to meet in practice for months now due to COVID-19, but Battaile said the club has found one particular way of combatting their isolation from each other during lockdown.

    “People will record themselves doing a form or two, and then send it in to the instructors for them to assess it.”

    Earlier in the year, QHG would also do practices in a nearby park to abide by social distancing protocols. Although neither methods are perfect, Battaile said there’s only so much that can be done at the moment.

    Looking to the future, Battaile spoke about numerous things he hopes the club will do when the pandemic passes. The most notable of these is retaining the “open” and welcoming atmosphere he feels defines the club.

    Second will be reconnecting with other Gumdo clubs around the province and engaging in actual competitions with them. Finally, Battaile hopes QHG will start making more appearances at cultural celebrations like the “Queen’s Culture Show” again.

    When asked for his Haidong Gumdo elevator pitch to close out the interview, Battaile kept it short and sweet.

    “You get to do physical activity, a little bit of meditation, and at the end of the day—you’re swingin’ swords around.”
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Pretty Boys

    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    One of the BIGGEST sources of the emasculation of Asian men today actually comes from Asia. Look at the male K-Pop groups, as well as similar trends in other Asian countries (for one example, in China).
    Here - ponder this...
    Exclusive Excerpt: The Deadly ‘Pretty Boys’ Who Were Korea’s Warriors and Assassins
    David Yi

    12 mins ago

    K-pop’s biggest male stars may be beauty gods but they’re hardly a new trend. While Korean pop stars may wear porcelain foundations, colorful eyeshadows, and blood-stained lips, there were men who walked — and worked — the earth centuries before. They were called the hwarang – literally “flower boys” aka “pretty boys” of Korea’s Silla dynasty – who sported crimson eye shadows, powdered faces, and slicked-back hair as a spiritual practice. These warriors were chosen for their beauty, as Silla’s king, Jinheung, believed beauty was power. In the excerpt below, we understand Korea’s rich history of beautiful men and how cosmetics, makeup, skincare isn’t a new phenomenon — beauty is literally embedded in the very culture. Here’s a history of the pretty boy warriors who were precursors for K-pop stars to thrive in our modern era.

    South Korea is now known as the beauty capital of the universe, and its men hold the title of world’s biggest cosmetics consumers. Korean men glisten and glow, their complexions plumped and hydrated, as if serums pump through their very veins. But to understand why Korean men today care so much about their aesthetics, we must look to Korea’s sixth-century Silla Dynasty, and to the hwarang. The hwarang—which roughly translates to “flower boys”—weren’t only some of the fiercest weapons-wielding, martial arts–practicing assassins in Asia. They would become legendary for their fight and their faces. Aesthetics, and the spirituality behind beautifying, were paramount to their ability to defend their kingdom for over two centuries . . . and to lead the way for generations of Korean beauty boys to come.

    Like all the Silla, the hwarang were devout followers of Maitreya, the future Buddha. Ancient texts say he manifested into human form to live among mortals as a lean, teenage pretty boy before the nation of Silla was formed. It was said that his look was so striking, all were awed by his presence. The kingdom of Silla awaited his return on Earth as Christians await the return of Christ: it is foretold that he’ll return to save humanity. Legend has it that when Maitreya’s physical form died, his spirit reincarnated into Silla’s soil to be reborn in the physical form of young men who resembled him. That meant that any young man in the aristocracy who happened to be pretty could also very well be Maitreya incarnate. Talk about winning the genetic—and spiritual—lottery!

    But Silla’s wily king Jinheung had big plans for those fated pretty boys. For years, the king had been testing his allies’ patience, slowly plotting to take over the entire Korean peninsula. The Korean nation had been split into three kingdoms for centuries at that point: Baekje in the west, Goguryeo in the north, and Silla, which occupied land to the east. King Jinheung had helped the Baekje reclaim their land from the Goguryeo, but quickly turned on the Baekje right after, breaking a sacred 120-year alliance. At the end of the war between Baekje and Silla, one that was years-long and tireless, Silla was left as vulnerable as ever. In his final days, King Jinheung was paralyzed by fear and consumed by paranoia. He knew his enemies were thirsty for revenge, and were after his people’s complete downfall.

    To keep his enemies at bay and his kingdom alive for centuries to come, King Jinheung needed power that none of his enemies had. He needed something supernatural, that Big Buddha Energy. Silla’s pretty boys were the only ones who could deliver, he thought. After all, the prettier the boy, the closer to god—and these men were packing!

    King Jinheung searched for every beautiful boy throughout the kingdom who came from true bone status. The search was methodical and swift (like, a few months swift!), and a year after his hunt began, in 576 CE, the hwarang was implemented as an official arm of Silla’s military. As detailed in the Samguk Yusa, a historic Korean record, these young men would immediately go through rigorous training that not only stripped them from their families, but demanded their excellence in all things physical, emotional, and spiritual.

    The hwarang trainees mastered martial arts, swordfighting, and hwarangdo (a specific style of martial arts created for the hwarang by Silla monks), horsemanship, stone throwing, archery, and javelin, as well as perfecting song and dance and memorizing religious texts. These “soft” skills allowed the men to become well-rounded warriors. Instilled with great discipline, each was also indoctrinated with Taoist, shamanist, and Buddhist teachings. Many became so devout that they even believed they’d encounter Maitreya before they died.

    And in true Maitreya fashion, it’s believed that the boys perfected their appearances as well—the closer they resembled Maitreya, the closer they would be to divinity. “They selected the handsome boys of the nobility and adorned them, powdering their faces and calling them Hwarang,” wrote an envoy for the Tang dynasty. “The people of the country all respected and supported them.”

    Unfortunately, there exists no information on the specific makeup they used, but we can look to the Chinese Tang dynasty, whom the Silla were influenced by, and make an educated guess. In historic texts, the Chinese detail face powder ingredients as being made of (lethal) lead, rice, and clamshell powder mixed together to create a thick, pearly foundation.

    In addition to face powder, modern scholars believe the hwarang would have used red eye-shadow to distinguish themselves as elite warriors, as well as appearing more intimidating during battle.

    The red dye the hwarang may have used on their eyes would have been created from safflower and red lily, and was also used by Chinese royals as a cheek, eye, and lip stain.

    Per the time period, their long hair may have also been hydrated with oil produced from apricot seeds and peach kernels (way fancier than St. Ives). Some hwarang are also depicted with pierced ears and beautiful clothing—when you’re already fancy, what’s a little more?

    When the hwarang officially made their debut, they became overnight sensations. Precursors to boy bands like NCT 127, The Boyz, or even BTS, who are now worldwide heartthrobs, they had tongues wagging all the way from Silla to China. As King Jinheung had once pre-dicted, his enemies would one day attack Silla. In the midsummer of 660 CE, the Baekje launched an attack against the Silla, which would become known as the famous Battle of Hwangsanbeol. But the hwarang, fighting together with the Tang army, would prevail against the Baekje, sending the enemy cowering. For over three hundred years, the hwarang would defend their borders from outsiders—without smudging their eyeshadow—until they, too, were overthrown by another power. In 935 CE, they surrendered in defeat to Korea’s last dynasty, the Goryeo, which would go on to unify the entire Korean peninsula. Though the hwarang were dissolved by the new power, their legacy wasn’t completely erased: the Goryeo government took pride in Silla’s past, and made attempts to celebrate hwarang history over the years.

    To this day, no one can deny how mystical and magical these “flower boy” warriors were. In contemporary Korea, the hwarang are still extolled for their bravery and celebrated for their beauty, and South Korea’s men’s beauty business leads the way for innovations around the world. Korean pop culture celebrates men’s beauty, from TV shows like OnStyle’s Lipstick Prince, a program that features male K-pop idols learning about makeup and putting cosmetics on each other, to K-dramas like 2016’s popular Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth, which cast K-pop’s biggest names and prettiest faces in the role of warriors, from BTS’s V to SHINee’s Minho. These are only some of South Korea’s contemporary flower boys, who some shamanists would argue possess the hwarang spirit, alive and well (and pretty!).

    Excerpt from PRETTY BOYS by David Yi, illustrated by Paul Tuller. Copyright © 2021 by David Yi. Illustrations © 2021 by Paul Tuller. Available June 22, 2021 from HMH Books & Media.

    About the Author: David Yi is the founder of Very Good Light, a site that has aimed to redefine masculinity through a beauty lens. Prior to Very Good Light, David launched fashion and beauty verticals at Mashable, reported for WWD, and was the fashion editor at the New York Daily News, in addition to writing for many other publications. He has received a GLAAD Award and two Webby nominations, and was named one of “25 People Changing the Beauty Conversation” in Marie Claire. “PRETTY BOYS” is his first book.

    I'm copying this off our Once-Upon-a-Time-in-Hollywood thread discussion to our Korean-arts-other-that-TKD thread, just for good measure.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Where ever I Am; today, West Virginia, US of A, NA, N of EUdMexico

    Kickers Add Japanese or Chinese For Martial Arts

    Heard of Hwarang do. Like with Okinawa Chinese craftspeople-Tang Soo Do is Chinese referencing the dynasty called Tang.

    The Koreans must have had their hands full much because they had Kyon or they kicked.

    In China they used to say Northern Legs; Southern hands. It references city versus country and room of outdoors and far apart, compared to less room amoungst buildings and crowds.-Ernie Moore Jr.

    The Japanese seemed to do something with Korean-who's primary seems to have been legs.

    Hapkido is considered Korean and uses some level of Accupressure points.

    There are four lights...¼ impulse...all donations can be sent at to;

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Korean arts other that TKD

    Korea's oldest combat techniques text to become national treasure
    Posted : 2021-10-30 09:00 Updated : 2021-10-31 12:32

    Pages from "Muyejebo," Korea's oldest text of combat techniques published in 1598 / Courtesy of Cultural Heritage Administration

    Pages from "Muyejebo," Korea's oldest text of combat techniques published in 1598 / Courtesy of Cultural Heritage Administration

    By Park Ji-won

    Korea's oldest-known fighting arts manual, titled "Muyejebo," published in 1598 to train soldiers of the 1392-1910 Joseon Kingdom in armed combat techniques, is among seven cultural heritage items to be newly added to the list of state-recognized treasures, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) said Friday.

    The CHA said "Muyejebo" is a manual published by Hangyo of Hunryeondogam, Joseon's military training office, under King Seonjo's order following the 1592-98 Japanese invasions of Korea, as a training guide designed for Korea's warriors. The author describes six close-range combat skills and ways to make weapons, many of which were compiled from "Jixiao Xinshu" a military manual of the Chinese Ming Dynasty, with illustrations.

    It specifically shows how to make weapons including long staffs, shields, spears and swords and the combat techniques for using them.

    First editions were owned by France's University of Languages and Civilizations and Korea's Suwon Hwaseong Museum. Its later woodblock print version, published in 1714, was designated as cultural heritage by the Seoul city government in 2019.

    The CHA added that the designation is necessary, as "Muyejebo" inspired other publications during the Joseon era such as "Muyejebo Beonyeoksokjip" (1610), the sequel to "Muyejebo," which was designated as a cultural treasure in 2001.

    Cultural heritage items could be designated as treasures for having "important value, such as historic architecture, ancient books and documents, paintings, sculptures, handicrafts, archeological materials and armory," according to the CHA.

    Wooden seated Manjusri Bodhisattva of Bohyeon Temple in Gangneung, Gangwon Province / Courtesy of Cultural Heritage Administration

    In addition to the manual, the CHA announced the designation of other six treasures: the wooden seated Manjusri Bodhisattva of Bohyeon Temple in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, for its value in preserving the style of statues made between the late Goryeo and early Joseon periods; the stone seated Amitabha Buddha of Ulsan's Sinheung Temple for having the recordings of its move from Pohang to Ulsan; Seoul's Heungcheon Temple's hanging painting of the Buddha triad painted by 17 monk artists which is historic in terms of inspiring the paintings of Seoul and Gyeonggi Province; a commentary book of "Daeseung Gisinnon" (Awakening of Mahayana Faith) belonging to Daegu's Yongmun Temple.

    They will undergo further review over the next month, prior to being designated as treasures.
    I've never read this one. Anyone?

    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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