Uncommon Kuk Sool weapons

Discussion in 'Kuk Sool' started by Wolf, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Mung Kee

    Mung Kee Valued Member

    On the Kuk Sa Nim documentary there is a small clip of him showing his sons a new sword form. you see them perform only about 30 seconds of it but it looks the business!

    I've never seen it demo'd before though :cry:
  2. AirNick

    AirNick Valued Member

    Yeah, that is the 2nd straight sword form. KJN Sung Jin does it from time to time. Anybody know what it is called?
  3. ember

    ember Valued Member

    We already talked that in another thread. KJN Barry Harmon organized the jool bong spinning into 8 sets, most sets contain four spins each. But it's not officially published anywhere. That explains why the people practicing it tend to be from his KSW lineage.

    We were told in class that the length of the chain can vary, it's not set in stone, and that somebody did prefer working with an extended chain for some reason or another, although that also apparently had drawbacks that I don't remember.

  4. baubin2

    baubin2 New Member

    I got taught part of the Jang Bong sparring form last September at Davenport. Our school, the Davenport school, and the St. Louis school had gotten together for a seminar and were taught the form by SBN Harvey while there. Of course, most of us didn't actually have jang bongs, but we used reguar bongs and it worked out alright.
  5. Wolf

    Wolf Totalitarian Dictator

    That's not a Jang Bong. The Staff Sparring form (Bong Dae Ryun) uses the basic staff that we all learn called a Jung Bong (between 5 and 6 feet long). A Jang Bong is much longer.

    Edit: Just re-read your post. Are you certain it was a Jang Bong sparring set and not Bong Dae Ryun?
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  6. JKN-Taylor

    JKN-Taylor New Member

    lol, yeah. KJN jas asked 2nd degree and up to start practicing the Sam Jul Bong. It's fun watching them learn (like an accident waiting to happen) :D

    I have not seen any of the other weapons in the dojang though.
  7. drewsif

    drewsif Valued Member

    In my dojang, my instructor's weapons rack has what looks to me like a chinese broadsword on it. I've never seen it used, nor have I seen or heard mention of anything like it in relation to Kuk Sool, Hapkido, or anything of the like.

    Looks vaguely like this:
  8. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    Not that a sword of that design was never used by koreans, but as far as current trends go, that is definitely considered a chinese weapon. My guess is that either your instructor studied some type of wushu before starting KSW (or heaven forbid, committed the "cross-training" sin after getting involved - LOL), or else just wanted something *flashy* to stick in the weapon rack. :dunno:

    Most "chinese broadswords" that I've seen won't allow for a double-handed grip. However, if you ever managed to find one that did, then just about any KSW sword form could be preformed using it instead of what is commonly used.
  9. drewsif

    drewsif Valued Member

    That's kind of what I had figured. However, I'm not aware of him doing anything of the like. While I'd rather not say who exactly he is, I cannot see him cross-training at all. The sword is definitely not big enough to allow for a two handed grip. Maybe I'll just ask him. Hopefully I'll be able to understand his response, and won't get a, "you'll know when you're ready" type answer...
  10. Pugil

    Pugil Seeker of truth

    I once asked Master Kim what he thought of the Jool Bong. He replied: "Speaking personally, I don't like. If I hit someone on side of neck... very great pain... maybe even die... Humph! I prefer sword... Hit on side of neck, head comes off!"
  11. Pugil

    Pugil Seeker of truth

    As I've expounded many times in past posts, there are many similarities in different martial arts systems from around the world. If the Jool-Bong is indeed a factual weapon found in Korean Martial Arts - and some people dispute that - then the way of using it is going to be pretty universal anyway. Filipino Martial Arts also have such a weapon (called a Tabak Toyok) but, like the Jool-Bong in Korean Martial Arts, it's not really taught that much. Probably for the reasons Master Kim stated in my post 30 above, and the fact that it can be an unpredictable weapon after a strike has been made - in other words, it doesn't return along a predictable path. Some years ago, in some remote Bank in the States, a Robber found that out to his cost. He entered the Bank when there was just one female Cashier on duty (I believe), swung his Nunchaku around in an impressive manner, and asked the Cashier to 'hand over the cash' - which she promptly did. When the guy went to leave the Bank, however, with his now heavy bag in one hand and his Nunchuks in the other, he decided to perform an encore for the Cashier. Whilst performing his flourishing act, and being unbalanced with his heavy bag, the end of the Nunchuk took a deviation and hit him around the area of his Occipital bone at the base of the skull. It laid him out cold, and he laid on the floor of the Bank until the Police came and took him away.

    Filipino Tabak Toyok:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEwE7euHSfw"]YouTube- FCS KALI ONLINE - Tuhon Ray Dionaldo - Tabak Toyok[/ame]
  12. drewsif

    drewsif Valued Member

    This is why I've never really thought of jool bong as a viable weapon. Sure, you might be able to hit someone a few times, but does that really count if you proceed to accidentally hit yourself in the nose immediately after you hit them?
  13. Pugil

    Pugil Seeker of truth

    If you look at pictures of old Harvest (corn, wheat, etc) flails from the UK you'll see that the length of each section is different. In other words, the bit you hold is longer than the bit you flail the corn with. Means it can't fly up and take your teeth out!
  14. drewsif

    drewsif Valued Member

    Well that sounds much more practical. Any insight into why the change occurred?
  15. Demdike

    Demdike Banned Banned

    a traditional threshing flail would require a two-handed action
    presumably for hand to hand combat a single-handed weapon would be preferable, so the handles were cut down
    Don't forget that in European use the flail developed into the (single-handed) ball & chain
    The wiki article is worth a read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flail_(weapon)

    Also this article http://www.chinahistoryforum.com/index.php?/topic/32795-chinese-flail-weapon/
    Which indicates that - at least in China - a large flail was used against horses, while implicitly the smaller flail was specifically anti-personnel

    Now for the totally conjectural:
    there may be a historical difference due to the method of food production. Different crops require different types of flail to achieve optimum threshing, maybe rice works better with a smaller flail? Also I suspect that there may well be a cultural thing: in the UK (for instance) threshing was a communal action carried out by the male villeins and serfs in a large barn on a large scale, with the grain stored in bulk. I'm guessing here,but if the Eastern tradition was simply to thresh however much rice you needed at home, immediately before use, I can see a smaller flail used by women developing rather than the more powerful two-handed flail
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  16. drewsif

    drewsif Valued Member

  17. Demdike

    Demdike Banned Banned


    from a european perspective, basically any long spear with an additional side blade is usually some kind of horse-dispatcber
    The side blade would be for ripping the guts out of an attaching horse, or for crippling its legs
    A halberd would be a similar idea Also a glaive, or a billhook. Also sometimes poleaxes were used as well, though there you'd be aiming at the horses head
    Obviously a side-bladed weapon can also be used against attacking cavalrymen as they pass you by: you can scythe or hook then with the side blade. If the head is heavy enough you can also simply use it as an axe
    Apparently tools like this could also be used againt pikemen - it could be used to break the attacking pikes, though I'd have thought there would be a numbers game at play here: how many pikes could one of these break before the wielder was overrun in the pike-push?
    The Scottish Highlanders had the Lochaber Axe - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lochaber_axe
    Also read this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halberd
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  18. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    No doubt why this weapon is called a FLAIL in english. :rolleyes:

    And again, Demdike beat me to the punch. :mad:

    From what I've gathered in my research (and not a quick google just now, but library digging done way before the advent of the internet), the military version was inevitably always longer than a standard nunchaku as well as the handle end being longer than the projectile end (for cavalry or anti-cavalry use). Handles could be anywhere from 3 to 5 feet and the striking end 2 to 3 feet. The flailing end was usually studded or spiked when constructed as a military weapon (yes, the asian version was exceedingly similar to its european cousin). I have always suspected that the ball & chain mentioned by demdike was an idea borne by combining the flexible nature of a fail with the hard-hitting & devastating power one finds in a mace. The fact that it was such a great idea for a weapon, the term 'flail' got attached to that particular variety instead of simply two rods connected by a chain. Although the term 'ball & chain' is sometimes used to distinguish the 'mace-flail' (?) from an ordinary flail using only rods/staves, the fact that there is also an old physical restraint device by that name, makes using that name a bit confusing. :confused:

    When discussing the nunchaku/jeolbong, making the rods of equal and shorter length so it could be used as 'anti-personnel' weaponry sounds suspect to me, and this story was probably concocted as a way to explain the nunchaku as a viable military weapon. I'm not saying it wasn't a weapon used in olden times, just probably not on the battlefield (IMO). Also, I believe that the term jeol-bong wasn't used to describe the military flail (I'm presently not where I can access my copy of the MYDBTJ, but I think in that tome this cavalry-anticavalry weapon is referred to as pyun-gon). Furthermore, I'm under the impression that the correct korean term for the nunchaku is SSANG jeol-bong (or ssang jeol gon), with the distinction being that both ends are equal in length and not uneven like the battlefield variety of flail. I also think that KSW folk eventually dropped the word SSANG because for the ear untrained to hearing korean, it's difficult to distinguish the proper word (i.e. ssang jeol bong) with the word for a three sectioned staff (sam jeol bong). That makes sense to me, especially if pyeon gon is the correct term for a battlefield flail.
  19. Demdike

    Demdike Banned Banned

    just came across this site

    It agrees with Unknown over the flail name
    "The pyun gon is a flail, an eight foot long staff with a two foot long club attached to the end of it by a chain or metal ring. The pyun gon looks similar to a nunchaku except that one segment is much longer than the other whereas the nuchaku's sticks are equal in length. It was often used to club enemies attempting to scale the walls of a castle or fortress."
    "Masang Pyun Gon
    The pyun gon used on horseback has a longer chain than that used by the infantry, allowing the mounted combatant to strike enemies on the ground. The stick at the end of the chain is studded with iron nails or other sharp protrusions to inflict fatal wounds on impact"
    Somewhat different to the Chinese theory of use I linked to above
    Also interesting it that it does not list a short flail as a traditional weapon

    It also has contradictory entries re the Wol Do:
    "The wol do is a nine foot long crescent sword. Its blade is moon shaped, with a small blade projecting below the main blade. The smaller blade has a feather tied to it. Although a fearsome looking weapon, it was used primarily for practice among infantry soldiers, having been considered too weak for use in battle."
    "Masang wol do is the use of the crescent sword on horseback. In the 16th century war with the Japanese, the masang wol do was instrumental in repelling the Japanese invaders. After the war King Shinjong built a monument in Seoul in memory of General Kwan Woo who was credited with the first use of the wol do."
    Thats a nice can of worms for someone to try to reconcile...

    PS -Unknown: is that page an extract / translation from the book you referenced above?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2009
  20. unknown-KJN

    unknown-KJN Banned Banned

    While the lochaber bears a striking resemblance to the woldo, I tend to lean more toward the glaive (which you also mentioned) as being the MOST similar.

    FWIW, even though the chinese term of guandao (or kwandao) is said to be "guan's knife" or "guan's sword" and attributed as the weapon being popularized by a certain general GUAN (guan yu), it can also be deconstructed to mean "pole-blade" or "pole-sword" (much the same way we use the words pole-ax or pole-arm in english). The chinese word guan is identical to the korean word gon, which means pole and I think it's a different ideogram fron the one used as that famous general's surname (I'll report back tomorrow after consulting my dictionaries, though).

    The full name in korean for this weapon is cheon-yong wol-do, which translates as sky-dragon moon-blade (shooting stars were often called 'sky-dragons' by ancient koreans), and the myth of how this wepon was designed is outlined in the relatively new book by R. Barry Harmon, 5,000 Years of Korean Martial Arts. I have inserted a copy of the back cover from the book, an illustration by Ken Hill.

    Supposedly a famous warrior was meditating one night in front of a pond. When a falling meteor shot past the crescent moon, the idea for a new weapon sprung into his head.

    Attached Files:

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