In 1996 Myung Jae-nam kuksanim’s announced Hankumdo as a new separate martial art. At a seminar held at the IHF headquarters the system was first introduced. The characters of the Korean alphabet, hangul, is the basis for this art.
To make it easier for students to learn the fundamentals of sword fighting combinations of sword strikes were developed that mimic the writing of the Korean characters. The combination of an upward block followed by a diagonal strike down for example represent the letter giyeok (ㄱ).
Hangul is an alphabet that consists of 24 jamo (letters), 14 ja-eum (consonants) and 10 mo-eum (vowels). Words in hangul aren’t written sequentially but syllables are grouped in blocks.
The 14 ja-eum are: ㄱ,ㄴ,ㄷ,ㄹ,ㅁ,ㅂ,ㅅ,ㅇ,ㅈ,ㅊ,ㅋ,ㅌ,ㅍ,ㅎ
The 10 mo-eum are: ㅏ,ㅑ,ㅓ,ㅕ,ㅗ,ㅛ,ㅜ,ㅠ,ㅡ,ㅣ
An example of a syllable is 한 (han). The ㅎ,ㅏ and ㄴ are grouped together.
Students learn the 24 combinations the way kuksanim taught them. In this system the strike order follows the stroke order exactly. It not only helps students to grow their understanding of sword techniques but of the Korean alphabet as well. The techniques are called ‘hangul geombeop’, hangul sword method.
The basic system can be written with the use of just five different techniques: the vertical strike, the diagonal strike, the horizontal strike and front stab as well as an upward block.
In the table below you can find the pronunciation for each jamo.
Students interested in Korean might benefit from this list of Korean terminology.
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