Joseon Sebup is Chinese?

Jul 2015
290
Japari Park
To my best knowledge, Mao Yuan Yi was a philologist, not a general, and he never participated in the Imjin War (or in any war). His work Wu Bei Zhi was criticized by many of his contemporaries as outdated, inaccurate, and redundant.
To be fair, Mao Yuanyi did have some military experience (as military adviser of Sun Chengzong), although he wrote Wubeizhi before that (Wubeizhi jumpstarts his military career, more or less, but he was already well-versed ). Indeed Mao Yuanyi didn't participate in Imjin War (he was 3-4 year old when Imjin War broke out)

Wubeizhi is basically a compilation of a lot of military works during or before his time. It was criticized by his contemporaries because it contains a lot of stuffs considered outdated/less useful for the battlefield of his time (or just plain bad), but for us modern readers it provide some very good info on Chinese military from Song period onward, up to that point.

As for Chaoxian Shifa/Joseon Sebup, Mao Yuanyi claimed that he got it from someone that acquired it from Korea. He never explicitly state that it was during Imjin War. Ultimately, the main argument against the Korean origin of Chaoxian Shifa is that even the author of Muyedobotongji didn't buy his origin story.
 
Jul 2015
290
Japari Park
As for language usage, I don't have the faintest idea on how Korean teach their native arts in written form, so it's hard to make a comparison. Yedo 銳刀 is basically a word-by-word exact copy of Wubeizhi's Chaoxian Shifa but with slightly altered illustrations (same pose, different outfit and weapon) and two extra non-combat stances, as are most other "Chinese" arts in Muyedobotongji and its predecessor books.
 
Jul 2019
28
Victoria
To be fair, Mao Yuanyi did have some military experience (as military adviser of Sun Chengzong), although he wrote Wubeizhi before that (Wubeizhi jumpstarts his military career, more or less, but he was already well-versed ). Indeed Mao Yuanyi didn't participate in Imjin War (he was 3-4 year old when Imjin War broke out)

Wubeizhi is basically a compilation of a lot of military works during or before his time. It was criticized by his contemporaries because it contains a lot of stuffs considered outdated/less useful for the battlefield of his time (or just plain bad), but for us modern readers it provide some very good info on Chinese military from Song period onward, up to that point.

As for Chaoxian Shifa/Joseon Sebup, Mao Yuanyi claimed that he got it from someone that acquired it from Korea. He never explicitly state that it was during Imjin War. Ultimately, the main argument against the Korean origin of Chaoxian Shifa is that even the author of Muyedobotongji didn't buy his origin story.
Ah excellent. Thank you Wolflance and Karst. So Mao wasn't a general and yet he still had some experience and interest enough to write the compedium. What did the writer of Muyedobotongji say specifically about Mao's claims? Best i can do is only access the translation of the drills.
 
Jul 2019
28
Victoria
As for language usage, I don't have the faintest idea on how Korean teach their native arts in written form, so it's hard to make a comparison. Yedo 銳刀 is basically a word-by-word exact copy of Wubeizhi's Chaoxian Shifa but with slightly altered illustrations (same pose, different outfit and weapon) and two extra non-combat stances, as are most other "Chinese" arts in Muyedobotongji and its predecessor books.
Yep. The reason i said the Yedo was a different branch was only because of the added stances and the instructor (at that time) was Korean. Do you study Chinese fencing by any chance?
 
Jul 2019
28
Victoria
Yeah I've found bits of the Pyonggi Tosol but I mostly focused on firearms.

73 and 65 cm are still pretty short.

At the same time I'd be skeptical of explaining this as solely an issue of expertise and technology; fighting style probably played a major role as well.
True. I would like to believe that techniques are Korean since it is my major interest and yet it's kind of hard to take it at face value considering this is the literally ONLY korean fighting techniques that exist with a close quarter weapon.

EDIT: Sorry i misunderstood your post. I wasnt trying to say Koreans somehow had a technological limitations in making longer swords. If a sword is 73cm its very likely to be a single handed sabre. Honestly thats a very pratical length. We know that Korean soldiers had a hard time against Japanese katanas but the officer addressing the issue of swords also mentioned that Korean soldiers could still hold ground in close quarter combat if it weren't for the fact that they routed.
 
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Jul 2015
290
Japari Park
Yep. The reason i said the Yedo was a different branch was only because of the added stances and the instructor (at that time) was Korean. Do you study Chinese fencing by any chance?
I don't practice fencing, but I like to read about them.


Here's a screenshot from Muyedobotongji.
2.png


BTW, about the Joseon sebup video you posted, those practitioners are HEMA-trained, so they are better than many Korean reconstructions (better than Haidong Gumdo guys anyway), but they don't seem to understand even the most basic technical terms in the manual, and tend to replace what they don't understand with what they learned from HEMA, so their interpretation is very HEMA-like. (same issue with this Ming military blog post. You can't just shoehorn another art into HEMA. Martial arts don't work that way)

For example, they interpret 점검세(點劒勢) as a horizontal thrust to the throat (probably because 點劍刺 is mentioned elsewhere in the manual).
5.png

點劍 is a vertical tip-cut, which is quite common in all forms of Chinese swordsmanship. This problem plagues many Korean interpretation of Chinese-origin martial arts (i.e. Sib Pal Gi etc) - they lack the knowledge base of still-living traditions to help them interpret older manuals correctly and have to make more (often completely wrong) guesstimate than necessary.
 
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Haakbus

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
3,808
United States
To be fair, Mao Yuanyi did have some military experience (as military adviser of Sun Chengzong), although he wrote Wubeizhi before that (Wubeizhi jumpstarts his military career, more or less, but he was already well-versed ). Indeed Mao Yuanyi didn't participate in Imjin War (he was 3-4 year old when Imjin War broke out)

Wubeizhi is basically a compilation of a lot of military works during or before his time. It was criticized by his contemporaries because it contains a lot of stuffs considered outdated/less useful for the battlefield of his time (or just plain bad), but for us modern readers it provide some very good info on Chinese military from Song period onward, up to that point.

As for Chaoxian Shifa/Joseon Sebup, Mao Yuanyi claimed that he got it from someone that acquired it from Korea. He never explicitly state that it was during Imjin War. Ultimately, the main argument against the Korean origin of Chaoxian Shifa is that even the author of Muyedobotongji didn't buy his origin story.
I had noticed that a lot of stuff in the Wubeizhi seemed very old and long-obsolete and I found it hard to believe it was still in use.
 
Jul 2019
28
Victoria
I don't practice fencing, but I like to read about them.


Here's a screenshot from Muyedobotongji.
View attachment 25189


BTW, about the Joseon sebup video you posted, those practitioners are HEMA-trained, so they are better than many Korean reconstructions (better than Haidong Gumdo guys anyway), but they don't seem to understand even the most basic technical terms in the manual, and tend to replace what they don't understand with what they learned from HEMA, so their interpretation is very HEMA-like. (same issue with this Ming military blog post. You can't just shoehorn another art into HEMA. Martial arts don't work that way)

For example, they interpret 점검세(點劒勢) as a horizontal thrust to the throat (probably because 點劍刺 is mentioned elsewhere in the manual).
View attachment 25190

點劍 is a vertical tip-cut, which is quite common in all forms of Chinese swordsmanship. This problem plagues many Korean interpretation of Chinese-origin martial arts (i.e. Sib Pal Gi etc) - they lack the knowledge base of still-living traditions to help them interpret older manuals correctly and have to make more (often completely wrong) guesstimate than necessary.
That is incredibly disappointing. I was taken back when the HEMA reconstruction was very little like the one held in Suwon fortress, although i couldn't say anything about it because they were only doing drills. Funny thing is the guy in the picture is the one that came up with the theory in the first place. It is somewhat discrediting.

Also, I can't read Chinese so can you tell me the gist of what he's saying?
 
Jul 2015
290
Japari Park
That is incredibly disappointing. I was taken back when the HEMA reconstruction was very little like the one held in Suwon fortress, although i couldn't say anything about it because they were only doing drills. Funny thing is the guy in the picture is the one that came up with the theory in the first place. It is somewhat discrediting.

Also, I can't read Chinese so can you tell me the gist of what he's saying?
The translation:
"Mao Yuanyi laments that the (gradual?) lost of the arts of swordmanship, so he wrote the manual himself. He claims that he acquired the manual from Korea, and then claims that he acquired the manual oversea, with the intention to mythicize the origin and make others believe him"

I remember Suwon fortress demo is more of a presentation dance than actual reconstruction of a lost art. I'd even say the HEMA-influenced reconstruction gets more things correct than Suwon Fortress, since they at least have a good idea on how to handle a proper sword (although far from enough for a proper reconstruction).
 
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