From the World Haidong Gumdo Federation:
The name ‘Haidong’ came from ‘Haidong Sungguk Parhae,’ meaning ‘Parhae, the flourishing country in the East’. ‘Gumdo’ means the way of the sword. Today, Haidong Gumdo refers to Traditional Korean Martial Art of Swordmanship.
The history of the martial art is as follows on the World Haidong Gumdo Federation Website.
Haidong Gumdo is the martial art of the ancient Goguryo Kingdom (AD 331).Master Sul Bong established a dojang by Sam Ji Lake in the Baekdoo Mountains and taught his apostles a martial art based on the ideas of patriotism, filial piety, respecting the elderly and executing righteousness.Among them, the outstanding ones were called Samurang and they were always at the front line of the battle against injustice.
The true principle of Haidong Gumdo is to execute justice with the ‘sword light’ that is obtained at the break of day from majestic and brilliant sunlight that glows over the east sea.
In recent days, master Jang Baek San passed down a martial art to Mr. Jeong-Ho Kim, beginning in 1961.Mr. Kim modernized the art and established his dojang in Ahn Yang city on July 24, 1982. On April 10th, 1984, he founded the Korean Haidong Gumdo Federation in the Seocho district of Seoul and established the World Haidong Gumdo Federation on November 25, 1996.On July 23, 2002, the first World Haidong Gumdo Championship was held in Yong Pyung stadium in Kang Won Province.
Over a 10,000 competitors from 14 countries participated.
From July 25th to 27th in 2004, The 2004 World Haidong Gumdo Championship was also successfully held with over 10,000 competitors from 31 countries. Currently, Haidong Gumdo is one of the world’s leading martial arts with a million practitioners and over 1,000 training centers in 50 countries.
Haidong Gumdo is a softer sword art that focuses on multiple attackers, fast, fluid motions, as well as internal disciplines like breathing discipline and meditation. The fact that it’s a softer art means that cripples like me (Master Burns) can practice it without losing the challenge for younger, stronger folks with healthy legs and knees. There are draws, cutting practice, LOTS of beautiful forms, sparring drills, and general training.
What we have now is a beautiful, fluid sword style using a two-handed Katana-style blade. It’s different from Kendo and Kendo-With-Korean-Names because Kendo is fundamentally a duelling style where Haidong focuses a lot on multiple attackers and movement. It’s pretty. The swords cut through things. I enjoy the exercise and fellowship involved. I’m very excited about our new school, and we’d love to have you join us!