Aside from mounted archery there are several other Korean mounted martial arts I am interested in, such as spear, sword, double sword, hyapdo (similar to a naginata), masangjae (horseback acrobatics), and Gyeokgu (Korean Polo). All require a great amount of discipline, patience, and constant practice like mounted archery, but are just as much fun. I have been fortunate enough to begin learning these equestrian martial arts from my Korean friends. All of these disciplines require a very well trained horse, who is sensitive to leg aids, and desensitized to lots of movement in the saddle. I am always impressed with the horses in Korea, and how well they have become accustomed to so many different types of weapons. Mounted archery is the only mounted martial art in which people usually use some kind of a guideline or course. For any other mounted martial art, the rider has to have control of the horse with or without the reins (some weapons are two handed when used, but can be carried with one hand).
Here is a crappy video of me practicing the first step of masangjae (horseback acrobatics), standing up:
Medieval Horse Games
Medieval horse games are closely related to the mounted martial arts. In the spring of 08, Holm Neumann, Bob Story, Doug Clitheroe, and myself, went to Puyallup, Washington to give mounted archery demonstrations at the Celebrate the Horse Festival, and we played with the Seattle Knights in their war horse challenge demonstrations. The Seattle Knights do things like jousting, spear, sword, and a little mounted archery not only for demonstrations at horse shows, but for professional entertainment too. For more information on the Seattle knights, please visit their website here. Also, here is a video of Bob and I playing with the Seattle Knights:
The object of this warhorse challenge, was to collect two rings on your spear, then stab the “boar” by throwing your spear into it. Then you had to pick up your sword to collect a ring, cut off a head (in this game its a water bottle on a post), then collect your last ring. It is a relay race between two players. In this race with Bob, I won, and even took a ring Bob missed at the end of the race. The horse I am riding is Eddie, he is amazing…
Here is a picture of the rings we had to collect, they were very small:
For the Warhorse Challenge we also got to shoot at the Seattle Knight’s live target dressed in armor (with blunted arrows). It was really fun!
In April of 09, I went to Hocktide Emprise in Ashland, OR. This was an SCA equestrian event. Here are two videos:
This is me on Jebe taking our first real attempt at the Courser Challenge.
Timer starts when you pass the hay bale. The first part is whacking off heads with your (blunt) weapon, while basically poll bending so that you are required to swing off the left and right side of the horse. You then race back to he beginning and enter the next course to chop reeds again on both the left and right side. Then you race back to the beginning again, to drop your sword, and pick up a spear. You collect three rings with your spear, turn around, collect three more rings which are much smaller in diameter, then spear the hay bale to stop your timer.
It is so much fun!!!
After this section of the Courser challenge, there is a second half which includes spearing a hay bale, throwing a javelin into a hay bale, pig sticking, and then mounted archery.
This next video is Jebe and I doing a three min improv. Palfrey challenge. He didnt want to do dressage in an uncomfortable kids western saddle that had been turned into a vaulting saddle haha (I dont blame him, it is even had for me to ride in!) But he tried hard for me, and even let me vault onto him and stand up!