Haidong Gumdo

Haidong Gumdo fighters

Haidong Gumdo (Photo credit: Wikipedia, Creative Commons license)

Haidong Gumdo is a Korean traditional sword based martial art that is rapidly growing in popularity here in Texas, as well as nationwide in the USA. Gumdo, also known as Kumdo, or Geomdo, can be traced back far into the history of the Koguryo kingdom. The meaning of Gumdo is the same as ‘Kendo’ in Japanese, however, it has been altered into a Martial Art that can be practiced more for the general public of today.

Gumdo, roughly translated means ‘sword art’ in Korean language. Like other martial arts, Haidong Gumdo trains the body, the mind and the spirit. It also teaches self-defense, self-confidence, character development, patience, concentration, meditation, and etiuquette.


If you learn it, you must learn how to respect others, above all. Your lessons also include two-handed style sword patterns (Ssangsoo Gumbup and Yedo Gumbup, Bonkook Gumbup, etc.) ‘Gumbup’, means forms, sparring, cutting and many other things.


Haidong Gumdo activities include:

  • Gumbo (patterns) Practice is the core of sword training. It enhances physical attributes such as spontaneous power generation, balance, spinning techniques as well as the ability to concentrate.

  • Cutting: The underlying theories of the sword techniques are mastered through cutting practice. A harmony of speed, power, fast sighting and correct footwork is required. Bamboo, stacks of straw, small moving targets and paper are used as cutting material.

  • Dan Jun Breathing: Through meditation and control of the breathing pattern, a practitioner learns to calm the body and mind as well as the ability to control the self.

  • Gyukgum (Sparring drills): In order to develop fast reflexes and judgment, a practitioner learns to apply the sword techniques of gumbups in real combat situations.
    There are short gyukgum and choreographed gyukgum.


Yong-in Tae Kwon Do aims to provide high quality structured training with scientifically designed classes that will improve you physically, mentally and emotionally. Our desire is to spread the true spirit of Haidong Gumdo throughout the general population in the Cypress / Katy / NW Houston area.


Our classes combine rigorous training with breathing and posture exercises to improve inner strength (Ki). There is very low risk of injury because it is not a full contact martial art. Our Haidong Gumdo classes are focused on the traditional components of martial arts.


This martial art is quickly catching the interest of people all around the world. Now we would like to provide you with the same opportunity. It is guaranteed fun and good work out for those who are looking to get fit and improve overall lifestyle.


What is a normal class like?

A normal class runs around 50 minutes depending on the level of practitioners and the size of the class. All classes begin and end formally with respect being paid to the flag, the instructor and one’s fellow students.


There are five stages to every class:


  • At the beginning, the instructor leads stretching and warm-up exercises.

  • The second stage of a class involves executing basic cuts and stances. These basics are part of the warm-up drill in every class to develop the students’ understanding, fitness, endurance and technique. Practice of the basic techniques can become a meditative aid for some students.

  • The third stage of class is determined by level, but can involve instruction on the basic patterns, Sang Soo Gumbup, or engagement techniques such as Gyuk Gum.

  • At the fourth stage of class, you and the instructors typically spend a few minutes in meditation working on Dan Gun breathing.

  • The final stage is when students line up according to their rank and the instructor concludes the class with final instructions and comments.

What type of swords do you learn to use?

The basic sword used in Haidong Gumdo is the traditional Korean long sword, whick looks quite similar to a Japanese Katana. The blade is slightly curves and only one side is sharp. Most training is done with a hard wood sword (mokgum). After achieving black belt rank, the student regularly receives training with a real sword (jingum) for cutting and forms. For safety reasons, the mokgum or kagum (blunt metal sword) are used in group classes.


Who can learn?

Although we suggest that kids wanting to learn Haidong Gumdo start at around age 8, there is really no age limit in learning this martial art. Juniors, teens, adults, and seniors can exercise this sword art.

The traditional style of training in Haidong Gumdo accommodates three different generations. This means a participant of any age is able to practice this martial art without any major risk. Feel free to come out and watch a class. If you want more information, click here to send Grandmaster An and his staff an email for more information.