Here are links to two interesting Korean documentaries on Traditional Korean weaponry, training and modern-day ‘warriors.’ Most of the weapons appear in the Muyedobotongji (武藝圖譜通志 – 무예도보통지) which was commissioned by King Jeongjo in 1790. Some of the treaty was based on earlier writing. The Muyedobotongji appeared in 4 volumes containing 23 chapters and outlining 24 methods. The work was written in Hanja though a further volume was produced in Korean script, (Hangul).
The first video focuses on cavalry training and the use of weapons on horseback most especially archery. There are numerous organizations researching ancient texts such as the Muyedobotongji and those involved are usually proficient in various Korean martial arts and are proficient at reading Hanja. Symposia are regularly held to discuss various interpretations of text and diagrams. Both videos are in Korean but they are largely self-explanatory.
The second video focuses on various weapons including the spear (창), pole (봉), and the moon blade (월도 – wol-do). The Korean style sword is also featured. This is similar to the Chinese (Han) version which was both straight and had a double blade. Though the terms ‘keom’ (검) and ‘do’ seem to be used interchangeably, the ‘keom’ was in fact double edged while the ‘do’ consisted of a single blade. Most interesting is the appearance of the both the chuk chang ch’ang (죽장창) and the nangseon (낭선). The chuk chang ch’ang (bamboo long spear) was 4.2 meters. The nangseon is quite an incredible weapon and something I had previously only read about. It is equally as long and looks like a small tree except the branches were sharp and thorny and often tipped with poison. You can’t miss this weapon in the video; it makes its appearance at 7.55.