Traditional techniques and cutting
Basic techniques and sword control
As Haidong Gumdo involves the use of a dangerous weapon, it is fundamental that students begin with the basics of learning how to hold and handle a mokgum (wooden sword) and basic sword control. Students begin with a series of basic movements consisting of drawing and sheathing the sword, various cutting angles, guards, stances and stepping drills. Students are not encouraged to race unduly through the learning of these skills, as it is essential for safety that a student gains extensive familiarity with the use of their sword.
Basic techniques are also pivotal to the training of advanced students, as they allow for the refinement and development of sword control, speed, reflexes and the practical application of all strikes and guards.
The ability to control exactly where a sword moves and stops is fundamental for a student’s own safety and that of others in the class. Sword etiquette is strict, and requires that at any given time a student is able to stop their sword mid-movement to avoid any accidents.
A fun and challenging way of testing a student’s technical control is via candlework. This is where students are set the task of trying to extinguish one or several candles (depending on the student’s ability) using specific cutting actions, without hitting the candle. This is incredibly challenging, and requires great mental focus as well as technical skill.
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