A lot of lies in "kumdo.com"


The so-called "history of kumdo" is
full of intentional frauds and distortions.
Some Koreans openly allege
their nation is the birthplace of Kendo,
when Japan is truly its origin.
They never claim that in the face of the Japanese,
but instead propagandize it primarily to the Western world
where not many people are familiar with the history of
the Eastern countries.
The concerned Japanese, although few at the moment,
are against the cultural plagiarisms committed by the Koreans

We can see Kumdo's shaky claims on this page.
I annotated their claims adequately.

We can see AJKF's official view on this page.
AJKF means All Japan Kendo Federation.

1 Original text A direct translation of "Kumdo" is "the way of the sword."
1 Fact It is more adequate to explain that "kumdo" is a Korean pronunciation of "Kendo".
Because the today's use of the word, "Kendo" was imported from Japan to Korea not so far from now. Koreans read the same Chinese characters by Korean manner. They pronounced them as "kumdo". Till then, Korean did not use these characters in contemporary use.
2 Original text The art of the sword in Korea evolved from a martial art heritage reaching back more than three thousand years to the time of the Bronze Age.
2 Fact There is no reliable evidence to prove that there was a martial art in Korea at the Bronze Age.

In Japan, an armor was found in the site of Yayoi Era (from 300 BC to A.D. 250 ). Needless to say, It may mean that the battle caused, but it does not mean that a martial art appeared at this age.
This is the same to most of archaeologists of most countries.
3 Original text Archeological records indicate that the sword and its art were a part of daily life in Korean antiquity to defend territorial hold extending from Manchuria to Korean peninsula and early settlements in the Japanese main island.
3 Fact This is a very ambiguous explanation. Supposing this territory referred in the text is Goguryeo(BC37-AD668). There is no evidence that Goguryeo had occupied any part of today's Japan. There is no evidence that the migrated people from Goguryeo have taught "the art of sword" to Japan, too.

If your acquaintance say a similar thing to you, you had better ask him the specific evidence, for example, the name of document or the name of the ruin. Then you can verify it by yourself.

I have once received an e-mail from a reader writing that there was a hard evidence, but he did not specify "the hard evidence" he say.

Moreover, Japanese swords had not appeared yet in this age. The characteristic of Japanese swords decided the technique of Kendo, and it is impossible to develop its technique without Japanese swords.
4 Original text About two thousand years ago at the time of the early Three Kingdoms period, the unique sword techniques called "Bon Gook Gum Bup, " or "Native Sword," were developed by Shilla's Hwa Rang warriors.
4 Fact This statement is groundless. Again, there is no reliable evidence to prove that the unique sword technique "Bon Gook Gum Bup" had been developed about two thousand years ago. There is no evidence that the sword of the same shape with the Japanese had ever appeared in this age either.

The person who wrote the "original text" considers "Muyedobo T'ongji" as an evidence that the martial arts were prevalent in Korea.
However, "Muyedobo T'ongji" was the first book about martial arts ever in Korea, which was compiled to edit in 1790 by the king at that time. The content of the book is primarily about the martial arts in Japan and China with very simple descriptions. It is hardly a credible evidence to consider the martial arts had been widespread at the 18th century ( It makes even less sense that they had been widespread as 1500 years ago ).

In addition, in Korea, soldiers fought battles clasping swords with one hand with the other one holding shields, following the Chinese custom. Also it is notable that the Korean swords were double-edged, whereas the Japanese swords were single-edged, on which a significant portion of the techniques to manipulate the swords in Kenjutsu(later renamed to Kendo) would be naturally based. If there were techniques developed according to the double-edged Korean swords, it is very likely to be different from the techniques in Kendo.

Additionally, Hwa Rangs were not warriors.

In Japan, "in the middle of the 10th century (Heian Era)*, swords that had original features of Sori (a slightly arched blade) and Shinogi (raised ridges of the blade), were made and became the main weapons in the battlefields."** There are numerous documented evidences to prove, in the 10th century, many swordsmiths had appeared and crafted these swords, such as Yasutsuna and Sanemori. The Japanese swords had been exported to China, early on. The famous poet in China, Ouyang Xiu composed the poem of a Japanese sword in the 11th century.

*AJKF's official view, refer the link at the top of this.


A sword in Heian Era

5 Original text (The Three Kingdoms period marks a contentious period in which Koguryo, Paekche, and Shilla were in contention with each other and the Han Chinese for control of East Asia.)
Warriors in this period and the following Unified Shilla, Palhae, and Koryo Dynastic periods were known to be sword-bearing and to conduct their daily lives with strictly disciplined and moral manners. For every warrior, the moral code was strict, but the discipline was stricter for those cherished honor above everything.
5 Fact Completely no evidence proves this statement. The idea is exactly from Japanese bushido.

It is true main three countries contended with each other in the age of three Kingdoms of Korea....
"contended with each other"→"Many wars occurred"
→ There "must be" the class corresponding to Japanese Samurai. (?)
→ There "must be" the moral code and culture corresponding to Japanese Samurai's. (??)
→ They "must" live their life with strictly disciplined and moral manners, and "must" prize honor first. (???)
→ (+petit Sinocentrism (Chinese nationalism))*
→ Japanese Samurai "must" originate from Korean peninsula. (????)
We Japanese must drop our jaws...
*In this case, petit Sinocentrism means the prejudice that every culture "must" come from continent, because the people in island nation must not develop their original culture.
In this way, Korean "Copied Kendo" associations create their bizarre theories. I want call this "Must Be" theory.
When they were at war, there may be a commander and soldiers. But it does not mean they had the living habits or culture similar to Japanese Samurai.
Do you think the soldiers of all ages and countries are Samurai ? Then you can see it easily.

In other words, they wrote "Warriors in this period ... were known to be sword-bearing and to conduct their daily lives with strictly disciplined and moral manners. For every warrior, the moral code was strict, but the discipline was stricter for those cherished honor above everything." only by their prejudice, without any evidence.

It is applicable not only to this site but also to Korean mainstream media and public institution.
At first, I cannot believe it, but it is an obvious fact.

Then, their bizarre theories seem to spread among Korean people living in Korea or other countries, although their theories downplays their real ancestors.

The copies of Samurai became to appear in the recent Korean films, which is the stories of Korean peninsula long age. It's not known exactly why the copies of Samurai belt on the copies of Japanese swords.
-Movie "The Myth"
http://www.choiminsoo.jp/Movie/TheMyth/newspaper.htm (cache(Japanese))
In the interview at above link (in Japanese), the Korean actor says that he changed his movie prop from the Japanese sword to the "Korean sword"(?) which "Korean Samurai(?)" used.
What is a "Korean Samurai" ?
What is a "Korean sword" ?
-Movie "MUSA" (2001 Korea)


-Movie "Sword in the Moon" (2003 Korea) Even "Ninja" appears in this movie !


6 Original text Many good examples of the warrior culture can be found in the Palhae and Koryo Dynastic periods from the 7th to 15th century. In particular, the Palhae Dynasty was found and ruled by the former Koguryo warrior class after the fall of Koguryo in 668 A.D.

With the art of the sword and the disciplined warrior's sprite, Palhae was successful to conquer and to extend their territory from the Sungari and Amur rivers in northern Manchuria all the way down to the northern provinces of modern Korea at the first half of the 9th century, in the height of its power.
6 Fact I want to know what is "Many good examples of the warrior culture". What is the writer talking about? All the same, he does not specify the evidence. In addition, Koguryo was established not by the Korean but one of Tungus races.

Samurai culture had been established during the long period which samurai class was rising as unique political forces. Samurai class coexisted and conflicted many times with the Imperial court of Emperor and aristocrats. But they produced their order all over Japan at last.

This period had been lasted for 700 long years from Heian Era to Edo Era.
Basically, anyone cannot explain this process without the counterbalance, the Imperial court of Emperor, or the geographical conditions easy to grow local power.

How Koguryo warrior class establish their "Samurai culture" at all ?

In addition, Koguryo was founded by another race, not Korean.

It is nonsense to say "The wars happened many times, and they must have Samurai culture."
If they could say so, Samurai culture must exist from Yayoi Era and before in Japan.
Because a human bone in Jomon Era (from some ten thousands years ago to 300 BC) was injured by spear, and an armor of Yayoi Era was found.
Then, can we insist Samurai culture must exist from that age?
7 Original text At the beginning of the Choson Dynasty in the 15th century following the fall of the Koryo Dynasty, some 500 years after the fall of the Unified Shilla and Palhae, the political and ideological foundations changed dramatically. These changes brought the elimination of the warrior class and their power bases in private soldiers. Thus, gradually, the art of the sword was limited to the state military which was regraded as inferior to scholars.
7 Fact The Choson Dynasty was China's tributary country - That's why Koreans didn't need sword fighting skills nor armed strength. Korea only had Yangban noble government but Japan had Samurai government for long years. Sword fighting skills were evolved during the Samurai government period.

Even if Koreans had Sword fighting skills about the Korean swords with double-edged, they seem to lose their skills in this age. About culture, once they lost, it is hard to recover.


An old Korean flag.
There are the characters mean
the client state of Sino (China)
at the top of the flag.

8 Original text Until the end of Choson Dynasty, the art was practiced and taught mostly by individuals in the state military who refined and developed the art under the name of "Ghihuck-Gum".
8 Fact I want to know when the name of "Ghihuck-Gum." was used in Korea with the evidence. "Geki ken" is an old name of Kendo ( in Japan ). This was used from Edo Era. "Hyou hou", "Ken jutsu"(the art of sword), "Ken pou", "Tou hou", "Ken gi" or "Ken do" are used as another name. "Ken jutsu" was most popular in Edo Era. ( Before Edo Era, from Kamakura Era to Muromachi Era, "Tachiuchi" was used.)
9 Original text In 1896 during the era of modernization, the art of the sword, also known as "Ghihuck-Gum", was selected as a mandatory training requirement for the newly established police academy. From there on, Kumdo, the modern amalgamation of "the art of the sword" and "the way of righteousness" from the Taoist philosophy, was developed to be practiced by some as a sport and by others as a means of character development or spiritual refinement.
9 Fact Geki ken is an old name of Kendo in Japan. This had been used from Edo Era(the 17th century). In 1895, the war between Japan and China(Sino) ended with the victory of the former. As a result, China accepted the independence of Korea (the first prerequisite of the Treaty of Shimonoseki). After that, the premier of Korea wanted to modernize their nation under the leadership and support of Japan, during which "Kendo" ("Geki ken" was widelly used at this age) was introduced as a training program of the Korean police in 1896.

Isabella L. Bird, the famous travel writer at this time, wrote as follows in her famous work, "Korea and Her Neighbors".
"During January, 1895, Seoul was in a curious condition. ....There were Japanese controllers in all the departments, the army was drilled by Japanese drill instructors, a police force was organized and clothed in badly fitting Japanese uniforms,.."
(From CHAPTER XXII A TRANSITION STAGE)



To celebrate Korea's independence from China,
the Independence Gate was built in 1898.

What is the front pole of the Gate ?
If you study it,
you can understand this nation deeply.

10 Original text By the early 20th century, Kumdo training had adopted and utilized a practice weapon made of bamboo and lightweight armor that had been developed by the Japanese. This method of practice largely replaced the earlier, more dangerous, methods of training. Yet, the Kumdo popularity had been limited until early 1960 when the practice armor could be mass produced with the latest materials. When Kumdo equipments became easily available and affordable, the Kumdo population started to grow rapidly. Kumdo became no longer the martial art of the selected few.
10 Fact The protective equipments were developed in the latter of the 16 century when various schools of Kendo ("Ryuuha") were established in Japan. In the latter of the 17 century, the mask appeared, which can be seen in one of the drawings in the book Hishikawa Moronobu.


Moronobu's work, Chiyo no yuukaku.

11 Original text *The Purpose of Practicing Kumdo*
The purpose of practicing Kumdo is:
To mold the mind and body,
To cultivate a vigorous spirit,
And through correct and rigid training,
To strive for improvement of Kumdo,
To hold in esteem of courtesy and honor,
To treat others with sincerity,
And to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.

Thus, one will be able:
To be a patriot of righteousness in the highest form,
To respect and honor one's parents,To trust, honor and loyal to friends,
To perceive and never retreat from challenges,
And to respect all lives and living things.
11 Fact
http://www.kendo.or.jp/kendo/concept/

Here is the source of above texts.
It is regrettable that this kind of historical distortions (whether intentional or not) still prevail in the Korean society.

Many "Copied Kendo" Organizations of Korea officially insist that their nation is the birthplace of Kendo without reasonable ground.
One organization is trying to make its way to an official Olympic sport, another one eager to falsify the established procedure of the game under incorrect assumptions.

I am NOT saying that the Koreans should stop practicing "Kendo", I only want them to stop making up some mysterious origin and claiming that it's an original Korean culture for the sake of 'national pride' ( Some people say that the Koreans are one of the most nationalistic people in the world, mainly due to their nation-centered educational and commercial policies ). There is a significant distinction between being nationalistic and being patriotic.

If they want to be the respected people in the world, they should also respect the culture of the other country like many people of the other nation.

In addition, I must say the duty of the Japanese society of Kendo. They must know the real status that Kendo is now invaded, and must think more their responsibility to avoid these shameless cultural plagiarisms.

If you are a Korean or a Korean descent, I may make feel bad you by the some of historic facts I pointed out until now, even if you don't believe Kendo originate from Korea. In fact, I received such a mail to that effect. I don't want to point out such a thing actually.

But I can not avoid the history of Korea, especially their cultural background when I discuss the "kumdo" problem or other cultural invasion problem by Koreans. And I have to say that Korea had been a China's tributary country and they had critically affected by Sinocentrism for long times.

If Koreans stop their cultural invasion, it is not necessary to explain their motivation or reason with the historic facts make them feel bad. But they seem not to stop it, and I can't help but explain their reason. Although I am terribly sorry to the Koreans or Koreans' descendents who don't participate with the cultural invasion, please understand these circumstances.

Nearby Korea, there have been the powerful country, China, who have always had a unique idea, Sinocentrism. Then Korea had no other choice to be under strong influence of China and accept Sinocentrism for their survival. Anyone can't help but accept it. What's shameful about it?

But it is not valid to prejudice or distort the history of their ancestors without reasonable grounds. It is shameless to invade the culture of another nation., too.

Is it to disgrace their brothers and descendants at all ?


Creator : bxninjin2004@yahoo.co.jp