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  • Naginata in Korea

    Just out of curiosity, just as kendo is widely practiced in Korea and aikido is practiced under the name Hapkido in Korea, is naginata also practiced in Korea? So far I haven't heard or seen anything about this but there must be some Korean naginata practicioners out there...

  • #2
    There are a few people doing Naginata in korea, but as of yet there is no official federation, and the numbers are very small. The main man behind it so far spent a year at the International Budo University. He is very good too.

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    • #3
      Good question. I was wondering the same thing. I find it interesting that naginata is over in Europe, New Zealand/Australia, and North America, but I have never heard of any activity in Asia outside of Japan.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by elfboy
        Just out of curiosity, just as kendo is widely practiced in Korea and aikido is practiced under the name Hapkido in Korea, is naginata also practiced in Korea? So far I haven't heard or seen anything about this but there must be some Korean naginata practicioners out there...
        I might have to take exception at the hapkido/aikido thing. They may have been started the same way (and this is a very contentious area) but hapkido tends to be a little more of a harder style, has lost some of the sword-based techniques, and has incorporated a similar but not identical style of kicking to Tae Kwon Do.

        At this point they are very different arts, not like kumdo and kendo which are relatively similar.

        I have a feeling that there really isn't any Korean pole-arm arts out there. After the Japanese suppression of their native martial arts which probably were more similar to Chinese arts, the need for polearms died down with the invention of firearms and thus the Koreans probably did not feel the need to adopt or resurrect polearm skills for warfare. I fully admit that I may be wrong about this though...

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        • #5
          I am told that all Korean martial arts such as kumdo, hapkido and taekwondo comes from the arts used by the japanese military (i.e. kendo, jujutsu/judo and karate). Naginata has never been used by the military and was thus never taken over to the mainland. Contrary to popular (and chauvenistic) belief the ancient Korean martial arts (including archery) did not survive. Statues of ancient korean warriors are said to have influenced the modern korean martial arts as well as influences from China but the original style is very similar to their japanese conterparts.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Jakob Ryngen
            Statues of ancient korean warriors are said to have influenced the modern korean martial arts as well as influences from China but the original style is very similar to their japanese conterparts.
            In some Korean history book I read a while back, maybe it was A Panorama of 5000 Years: Korean History, or something else, it mentions as while Japanese society placed more of an emphasis on the cultivation of the martial arts and skills, Korean society, strongly influenced by Confucian principles, held a more neutral stance towards the martial arts, neither actively promoting it or discouraging it, instead, encouraging pursuit of the intellectual arts and studies. I assume because of this, you don't really see too many Korean warrior-types, although we have the Shilla-Hwarang and the Saurabi swordsmen. Now I may be totally wrong and that's cool, but it just strikes me as interesting that the topic of ancient Korean warriors is brought up, given ancient Korea's stance towards the martial arts. (Now I am probably wrong and please correct me. Nowadays, with the popularity of TKD and Kumdo, I probably am )

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            • #7
              OK, you may find this funny but when I played the PC game Shogun: Total War (Warlord Edition) the Koreans had a similar unit (called "Korean Guardsmen") which was the mainland warriors' answer to the Japanese Naginata soldiers. The game takes place in the Mongol invasion of Japan in the 13th century.

              Now seriously, if mainland and island evolution of weapons and weapons' tactics had a parallel history, we can safely deduce there is some kind of equivalent in Korea today, even if not called officially Naginata because of Korea's contemporary national interest of independence in the martial arts field.
              Last edited by Prof.Wizard; 30th January 2004, 08:19 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Prof.Wizard
                Now seriously, if mainland and island evolution of weapons and weapons' tactics had a parallel history, we can safely deduce there is some kind of equivalent in Korea today, even if not called officially Naginata because of Korea's contemporary national interest of independence in the martial arts field.
                A similar weapon to the naginata was used in Sweden to before it was replaced by more modern weapons. You could make a sport of that weapon and call it swedish, but as the old techniques have been lost you can not trace it back to the original. With Atarashii Naginata you can do that. Much has perhaps been lost on the way, but you can still do it.

                It would be really interesting to hear about a Korean equalent to Atarashii Naginata, but I guess such a sport (if it existed) would have the same connection to Naginata as Kumdo has to Kendo.
                Last edited by Jakob Ryngen; 30th January 2004, 08:41 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jakob Ryngen
                  It would be really interesting to hear about a Korean equalent to Atarashii Naginata, but I guess such a sport (if it existed) would have the same connection to Naginata as Kumdo has to Kendo.
                  This is exactly what I implied. I'm not expecting many differences. The two countries are too near: exchange of ideas and techniques has been going on for centuries.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Prof.Wizard
                    This is exactly what I implied. I'm not expecting many differences. The two countries are too near: exchange of ideas and techniques has been going on for centuries.
                    But many people say that Kumdo really is Kendo. The differences, such as clothing and kata, where added after WWII...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Jakob Ryngen
                      But many people say that Kumdo really is Kendo. The differences, such as clothing and kata, where added after WWII...
                      Hmm, don't you see we are saying the same thing?
                      If the above is true, then it is almost certain Naginata existed in Korea sometime, albeit abandoned (at least with this name) today.

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                      • #12
                        and even in Japan, if you follow the Naginata history, the shape of it has changed. You can see some of these difference in different traditional ryu that still exist such as Chokugen ryu compare to Jiki Shin Kage ryu.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nagi David
                          and even in Japan, if you follow the Naginata history, the shape of it has changed.
                          Wasn't it supposed to look like this?
                          Also, interestingly, Naginatas they sell on eBay can be separated in two pieces, a small sword and a longer grip. I thought this wasn't possible with medieval Japanese Naginatas.

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                          • #14
                            Hmmmmm......

                            Originally posted by Prof.Wizard
                            Wasn't it supposed to look like this?
                            Also, interestingly, Naginatas they sell on eBay can be separated in two pieces, a small sword and a longer grip. I thought this wasn't possible with medieval Japanese Naginatas.
                            It was not possible: the E-bu (shaft) would have been solid. This is obviously a modern design.

                            It's funny that the "small sword" more resembles a Chinese-style broadsword (ako "big knife") more than anything else. I hope it's not one of those 440 stainless steel blades: KW Iaido Thread - Don't Do This At Home.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by R A Sosnowski
                              It was not possible: the E-bu (shaft) would have been solid. This is obviously a modern design.
                              OK, it won't do. xvikingx gave me a better place to look.

                              It's funny that the "small sword" more resembles a Chinese-style broadsword (ako "big knife") more than anything else. I hope it's not one of those 440 stainless steel blades: KW Iaido Thread - Don't Do This At Home.

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