Swordsmen Martial Arts brings home two world champs and a swag of medals

SIX Greenbank martial arts athletes formed the Queensland contingent of Australia’s team at the 2017 World Martial Arts Open Championships held in PyeongChang, Korea, in July.

Swordsmen Martial Arts, a Greenbank club, was headed by Master John Tysoe (6th Dan) and Master Cheri Parks (6th Dan).

SWORD MASTERY: Master Cheri Parks (6th Dan) of Swordsman Martial Arts, Greenbank, competes at the 2017 World Martial Arts Open Championships held in PyeongChang, Korea, in July. Photo: Supplied

SWORD MASTERY: Master Cheri Parks (6th Dan) of Swordsman Martial Arts, Greenbank, competes at the 2017 World Martial Arts Open Championships held in PyeongChang, Korea, in July. Photo: Supplied

The international event took place from July 21-24, with the Greenbank team competing in Haidong Gumdo (Korean Sword) and Taekwondo.

The rest of the Queensland contingent comprised Master Luke Walsh (4th Dan), Derek Murray (Blue Belt), 12-year-old Blake Murray (Cho Dan Bo), and 71-year-old Geoff Cording (1st Dan).

The club headquarters are at Greenbank, with Master Luke running at a second location at Yarrabilba. All members of the group brought medals home, and World Championships were won by Blake Murray and Geoff Cording.

Club success

Swordsmen Martial Arts has competed internationally since 2002, Ms Parks told the Times this week.

“With Blake and Geoff, we now have a total of 11 World Champions, plus numerous other podium finishes, making us one of the most successful martial arts clubs in Australia,” she said.

“We are most fortunate in having the two highest-ranking westerner masters as our mentors.”

According to Luke Walsh, it was a great honour to represent the club at an International level.

“I was lucky to receive medals and the respect of my peers in the international community,” he said.

Quiet excitement

Mr Cording said the experience was a combination of quiet excitement, nervousness, and anticipation.

“You’re wondering if you are good enough to hold your own against competitors from the country that originated the art, and wanting to repay the effort and confidence your masters have in you by doing your best,” he said.

According to Mr Cording, Haidong Gumdo is a dynamic sword art based on battlefield techniques that can be traced back through 2000 years of Korean history.

“Haidong Gumdo is the traditional Korean martial art of the sword,” he said. 

“It involves learning the various patterns which increase in complexity as one progresses. It also involves sparring with foam covered 'swords', paper cutting, and bamboo cutting.

“It involves learning discipline; harnessing one's inner strengths, fitness, respect, and commitment. It is an ideal activity for the youth of today and can involve the whole family.”

Team results

The Greenbank team performed with a high degree of focus on technical accuracy, which made it stand out against our competition, Mr Cording said.

“To achieve what we did, against the best from the country that invented the art, demonstrates our commitment to Haidong Gumdo.

“There are essentially 2 competitions – the regular component and the World Championship component. Swordsmen did well in both divisions.”

Results were:

  • Master John Tysoe – World Championship Bronze, Bamboo cutting.
  • Master Cheri Parks – Gold, Bamboo cutting; Gold, Gumbup (technical patterns); Gold, Taekwondo Poomsae Final; Bronze, world Taekwondo Hanmadang Poomsae.
  • Blake Murray – World Championship Gold Gumbup; Gold, Paper cutting; Silver, Taekwondo. Bronze, world Taekwondo Hanmadang poomsae.
  • Derek Murray – Gold, Paper cutting; Gold, Gumbup.
  • Master Luke Walsh – Gold, Bamboo cutting; Gold, instructors division Bamboo cutting; Bronze, Paper cutting; Bronze, Masters division Gumbup; Bronze, Taekwondo Poomsae.
  • Geoff Cording – World Championship Gold Gumbup; Silver, Paper cutting; Gold, Bamboo cutting

Swordsmen Martial Arts provides tuition in Haidong Gumdo (swords), Takewondo, Judo, Karate, Pilates, and Korean Archery.