Powerful, complex and beautiful, Haidong Gumdo is a dynamic and exciting sword art that originates in Korea. Unlike Kendo and its Korean equivalent, Kumdo, the focus in Haidong Gumdo is not duelling: it draws on battlefield techniques (meaning it focuses on multiple attackers and uses a very broad range of techniques) to build a curriculum for mental, physical and spiritual development. Haidong Gumdo was founded on the principles of discipline, loyalty, respect and honour.
The essence of Haidong Gumdo is in shimgum. Shimgum is the unification of the mind, body and spirit expressing itself through the use of the sword. It implies a technical mastery of the sword, but transcends technical limitations. One can be “technically perfect” but still not achieve shimgum. One may also be technically imperfect and still achieve shimgum. Shimgum is what makes Haidong Gumdo not only a martial science but also a martial art
Haidong Gumdo not only requires extreme levels of concentration and precision, but also requires a strong sense of awareness of one’s surroundings, excellent speed and reflexes, a fluidity of technique, and great coordination of body and mind. All of these qualities are developed and enhanced through years of study and practice – anyone can learn!
Students of Haidong Gumdo engage in the practice of basic techniques (kibon), forms (geompeob 검법), step sparring (yaksuk daeryun), sparring (hada), energy building exercises (qi gong) and cutting practice (begi). Eventually students will acquire the high level of technical skill and mental focus required for cutting drills with a live blade (black belts only, 18 years and older). Students will also learn meditation and proper breathing exercises that will relieve stress and promote a healthy body and mind.