Alright, so I have done many “brave” (as my friends call it) things in the name of socializing: mostly just on the eating nasty things front. However, this time, I have outdone myself! I started taking a Korean martial art called, Gumdo. It is also called Kumdo here as G and K are interchangeable.
How did I get myself into this, you ask? Well, the short of it is that a good friend of mine takes it and his instructor offered to teach me for free! I wrapped pinky fingers and touched thumbs with him– and the promise was sealed! So, I take Gumdo lessons twice a week, for 2 hrs a lesson.
I should pause here and say that the instructor is amazed (in a really bad way) at my size and basically thinks that I’m an elephant! lol.. no really. We are just 14 kg (that’s about 30lbs for you Americans out there) apart in weight. He is a former national Gumdo champion, and I … well… am NOT. He is really a nice guy and has extended much kindness to me. Not only does he give me free lessons, he also bought my outfit— which is a special order due to my size, a bamboo sword and embroirdered my name on my pants. …ok– back to the blog…
So, I have been at it a couple weeks now. It is no joke! It is a very precise sport and requires very particular attention to detail, lots of yelling, and LOTS of sweating!! The good news is that I am progressing nicely. I am learning (today in fact) the same thing that students who have been there 4 months learn. YAY! According to my instructor, I am “very strong” and “could become a very good Gumdo athlete!” That is encouraging in light of his (above) view of me.
Here is a video I found on youtube. It’s a “commercial” of sorts for an instructional video, but the moves in it (and the outfits) are what I am experiencing right now. PLUS, it’s in English… watch the whole thing to get an idea of the things I am learning.
Oh, by the way… no one speaks English at the Gumdo gym. lol.. My friend does his best to help us understand one another. I am grateful for him as his English skills are better than my Korean skills…. lots of gestures and body language demonstrations… we figure it out! Good times, good times!
Here is another video just so you can get an idea of how it looks in competition/action. It’s 7 minutes & a high quality focus… so you can see the armor, footwork and swords better…. Lots of yelling, obviously!! lol (minutes 3-7 are probably the most exciting). Enjoy…