I am very honoured to present an interview with Joohyun Kim who is one of the owners of Soma and Body in South Korea. On a personal level, Joohyun and I have become good friends over the last few years and I have travelled to Seoul to run workshops for him at Soma and Body.
When did you start swinging Indian Clubs, Persian Meels & Gada (mace)?
Joohyun Kim:– I started swinging Indian Clubs 2011. It was my first ever encounter with club swinging.
In 2015, I decided to visit, India and Iran to learn to swing the Gada (mace) and Persian Meels.
As time passed I decided to participate in a Zurkhaneh sports championship, swinging heavy Persian Meels.
I took part in individual matches 4 times, and I won a bronze medal.
What sparked your interest in swinging clubs and maces?
Joohyun Kim:– I watched the Iran & India tour videos made by Paul Taras Wolkowinski that he posted on Youtube.
I felt inspired and amazed and wanted to find out more, visiting the source and learning at the home of club swing exercise like my grand teacher Paul had done. This meant travelling to India and Iran.
Can you explain why you enjoy this form of swinging exercise?
Joohyun Kim:– First of all swinging exercise, is good for your health, especially for shoulder health and it awakens my natural movement patterns. I feel that I move better and stronger.
If you were to be cast away alone on a desert island, which discipline would you choose to have with you, Indian Clubs, Persian Meels & Gada (mace)?
Joohyun Kim:– Very difficult. Ha-Ha. I’d choose Indian Clubs because there are many complicated combinations and creative exercises to keep me occupied and not bored. Lots of mental agility. Although I have to say that my absolute favourite clubs are the Persian Meels.
What are the characteristics of your favourite Indian Clubs?
Joohyun Kim:– Transportability. Because of light weight and small size, I can carry clubs anywhere, even on trips overseas.
Why did you decide to become an Indian Clubs, Persian Meels & Gada (mace) trainer?
Joohyun Kim:– At first, to tell you the truth, I wanted to learn Club & Gada (mace) for myself which was driven by my personal curiosity, which eventually led me to become the Korean Zurkhaneh Sports national team coach, and Club & Gada (mace) trainer.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of Club & Gada swinging for the average person?
Joohyun Kim:– A newcomer to Club Swinging will benefit with improved shoulder mobility and scapular stability. During Club swinging the chest naturally opens and closes promoting deep breathing. Improvements can be seen in correcting rounded shoulders and forward neck posture issues.
How do you combine Indian Clubs, Persian Meels & Gada (mace) in combination with other training?
Joohyun Kim:– I like to train in the traditional Zurkhaneh Meel style playing traditional Iran drum beat music, I start my warm-up with Sheno push-ups and Persian gymnastics and lightweight Persian Meels as an appetiser.
Then I swing the Gada or Heavy Persian Meels as the main dish.
End of session, Indian clubs are used as a cool down, dessert.
How would you describe Club and Gada exercises to a friend who has no idea how Clubs and Gada are used, or what they are for?
Joohyun Kim:– I would explain to them that the Club and Gada is whole body exercise originated from ancient warriors.
Originally both were used as weapons of war. Nowadays both disciplines are used to train athletes for wrestling in India (Gada) and Iran (Persian Meels).
Out of all the old books written about Indian Clubs, which one is your favourite and why?
Joohyun Kim:– I like GTB Cobbett & AF Jenkin’s book called Indian Clubs. Their arrangement of Club swing skills is well described with good terminology.
I also like E. Ferdinand Lemaire’s book which provides a good explanation of the origin of Club swing and the illustrations are very clear.
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