The Kagum: Korean Martial Arts Blunt Metal Sword
At many Martial Arts Dojos, they have a wide range of weapons available for training and practice, but one of the favorites is the Kagum (which literally means false sword) the Korean martial arts blunt metal sword. This traditional Korean training sword has a unique design and history that make it an essential part of any martial arts training program.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the Kagum sword and its features. We will explore its history, construction, and usage in Korean martial arts. By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of this unique weapon and its importance in martial arts.
A Kagum is a type of training sword used primarily in Korean martial arts such as Kuk Sool Won and Hapkido. It is designed to simulate the weight and feel of a real sword (Jingum), but with features that make it safer for practice and demonstrations.
Kagums are often constructed from materials like aluminum, making them lighter – around 400 grams, similar to a regular wooden sword – and less dangerous than live blades. These training swords typically have slightly blunted edges and may lack handguards to allow for the practice of specific techniques, such as reverse blade maneuvers. While they are intended for safer training, especially compared to sharp, real swords, they are not completely without risk and should be handled with care during martial arts training to prevent injury.
History of Kagum Sword
The Kagum is a non-lethal, safer replica of a sword for training purposes, it is colloquially referred to as a “false sword” because it imitates the appearance and handling of a real sword without the associated lethality or risk of injury. This helps practitioners safely learn techniques, forms, and sparring without the dangers posed by a sharp blade.
The Kagum sword, also known as Geum, is a Korean weapon that has been in use since ancient times. Its history can be traced back to the Three Kingdoms period of Korean history (57 BC – 668 AD). The sword was primarily used for self-defense and martial arts training by warriors and soldiers.
The design of the Kagum sword is unique and differs from traditional Japanese swords. The blade of the Kagum sword is straight, whereas Japanese swords have a curved blade. The handle of the Kagum sword is also shorter than the handle of Japanese swords. These differences reflect the distinctive Korean martial arts style.
Construction of Kagum Sword
The Kagum sword is typically made of steel and has a blunt edge. The blade of the sword is straight and can be up to 75 centimeters long. The handle of the sword is also made of steel and is usually wrapped in leather or other materials for a better grip.
The Kagum sword has a distinctive guard, which is called the Hilt. The Hilt is a round, metal guard that sits between the handle and the blade. The Hilt is designed to protect the hand of the user during practice and training. The Hilt is also used for blocking attacks and disarming opponents.
Aluminum Kagum Training Swords
Ideal for refining proper cutting techniques, these aluminum Kagum training swords feature grooves along the blade that produce a distinct sound when a cut is made correctly, indicating precise execution. The blunt blade and rounded tip ensure safety, making them unsuitable for actual cutting exercises but excellent for safe practice.
The weight of an aluminum Kagum sword is considerably lighter than that of real swords, with the sword alone weighing around 400 grams, akin to a standard wooden sword. Although lighter, these training swords share design similarities with our custom-made live blades, with each component meticulously assembled. Notably, the grip is wrapped in a rubber material that mimics the texture of ray skin, and the guard (tsuba) is noticeably slimmer.
Three sizes of aluminum Kagum swords are generally offered:
- Short – Blade length: 69 cm (27 inches), Handle length: 25 cm (10 inches)
- Medium – Blade length: 71 cm (28 inches), Handle length: 27 cm (10.5 inches)
- Long – Blade length: 74 cm (29 inches), Handle length: 28 cm (11 inches)
Two weight categories are available:
- Light: approximately 400 grams (1 lb)
- Heavy: approximately 600 grams (1.3 lbs)
Usage of Kagum Sword
The Kagum sword is used for training and practice in various Korean martial arts, such as Haidong Gumdo, Kuk Sool Won and Taekwondo. The sword is used for forms, sparring, and cutting practice. During training, the sword is used with protective gear, such as a helmet, gloves, and chest protector.
One of the unique features of the Kagum sword is its versatility. It can be used for training in both offensive and defensive purposes. The straight blade of the sword allows for thrusting attacks, while the Hilt can be used for blocking and disarming opponents.
In addition to its martial arts usage, the Kagum sword is also a symbol of Korean culture and heritage. The sword has been featured in numerous Korean movies, dramas, and other media as a representation of the country’s martial arts tradition.
Kagums have the potential to inflict significant injury if someone is struck by them. It is important to treat these instruments with caution and not as mere playthings. Although they represent a safer option for training compared to Jingums, Kagums still carry inherent risks during use. Proper safety measures should be observed to minimize the chance of harm.
In conclusion, the Kagum sword is an essential part of Korean martial arts training and practice. Its unique design and history make it a fascinating weapon to study and use. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced martial artist, the Kagum sword is a valuable addition to your training program.
If you want to learn more about the Kagum sword and other Korean martial arts weapons, we invite you to visit our martial arts website where you can find expert instructors are ready to guide you through the techniques and principles of Korean martial arts.
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