Haidong Gumdo is an ancient Korean martial art which focuses on sword art. Many battlefield tactics and techniques are taught to students to prepare them for a balanced mental state. Haidong Gumdo translates best to East Sea Swordsmanship and Gumdo alone, actually translates to "way of the sword."
The history of this Korean martial art dates back to (371-384 AD) during the time of the Kokuryo Kingdom. The art of Haidong Gumdo relies solely on one weapon: the sword. While the teachings and times have changed, the art has remained a true art of swordsmanship.
While the art itself is ancient, the first recorded training hall was opened in 1982 to the public in Anyang in Kyungki province. Swords that were introduced were the jukdo (bamboo sword), which is used for sparring and the mokgeom (wooden sword), which is used in basic training. Those who practice Hadiong Gumdo train with basic techniques, sparring, energy building and cutting practice.
Haidong Gumdo has been compared to Japanese kendo throughout the years. While there are many similarities in the techniques and teachings of these two martial arts, there are also differences. Kendo focuses primarily on individual combat, whereas Haidong Gumdo concentrates on battlefield combat.
At the heart of Haidong Gumdo lies the idea of “Shimgum” which is the unification of the mind, body and spirit and this process occurs through the sword. Haidong Gumdo students are taught this unification system as it is essential to succeeding in battle. There is a lot of value placed on Baldo and chakgeom forms as well. Baldo refers to the drawing of the sword, while chakgeom refers to the sheathing of the sword. These practices are derived from Gicheon, another Korean martial art.