After K-Pop and “Squid Game”, the Korean saber wins the Lyon public

Twenty silhouettes dressed in black twirl gracefully, slice the air with a wooden sword, clash that of a partner with a snap. Guided by a charismatic warrior, they focus on the perfect gesture. A concentration that does not prevent laughter … In this gymnasium of Croix-Rousse, in Lyon, men and women of all ages practice haidong gumdo, the Korean sword. A little-known martial art, masked by the popularity of taekwondo, but which has more and more followers in France.

the Lyon Haidong Gumdo is a pioneering club, since it introduced the Korean saber in the Rhône-Alpes region in 2011. Its founder, Franck Dominé, is the warrior in question: his vocation was born in 2004, at the Bercy Martial Arts Festival. “I wanted to learn, but there were no instructors in France, so I had to wait 6 years before being able to train! I started the club in 2011, with 20 members the first year, and since then it has only increased. “

France affected by “Koreaphilia”

Korea’s popularity in France is not for nothing: “It started with the wave that brought us K-Pop, dramas,” he explains. “As manga had made Japanese culture known in the past, a new generation has moved from K-Pop to more traditional Korean culture, including martial arts. “This year, Franck Dominé says he is proud to have 52% of female students:” We have succeeded in creating a safe place where everyone can come and assert themselves and express themselves, without discrimination. “

As proof, Aurore, 24 years old and green belt, comes “three to four times a week”. Manga fan Demon Slayer, she wanted to practice the saber but the Japanese arts seemed to her “too rough, too square”. A demonstration by Franck convinced her. “The movements were fluid, harmonious, and I adhered to all the values ​​transmitted by Franck: to refocus on oneself, to channel oneself, to deploy…” The haidong gumdo galvanized her: “It brought me so much, in my way of holding myself, of opening up to others! I have become more expressive, and professionally I take more responsibility for my choices. “

A fulfilling martial art and club

This self-assertion, Aline, 41, confirms it. She, who was looking for a drawing course at a forum of associations, in 2011, did well to opt for the saber: ten years later, she is a black belt, and transformed. “I was a very withdrawn person, and the haidong gumdo allowed me to express myself, to have self-confidence, in addition to physical work, to surpass myself. This club has become a big family for me. “

Lyon Haidong Gumdo will be present at the Japan Touch, this weekend at Eurexpo. A “Team Demo” created within the club will give demonstrations in traditional costume, saber but also Korean calligraphy. This team ended up becoming a full-fledged Korean cultural association: the French passion for the land of calm morning still holds great discoveries.