Haidong Gumdo

 

Haidong Gumdo (Haedong Gumdo, 海東劍道 “Korean way of the sword”) arose in April of 1983 as the Haidong Gumdo Association with its main office in Seocho-gu, Seoul and, in November, 1996 was incorporated as the World Haidong Gumdo Federation (WHDGF).

In promoting his art, Grandmaster Kim Jeong-ho reported that in 1962 he began training with his master, a monk called Jang Paek-san, and opened the first “Way of the Eastern Sea” (“Hai Dong Kumdo”) training hall in Anyang, Kyungki province, in July of 1982. To the degree that Hae Dong Kumdo draws on material gleaned from Bon Kuk Geom Beop, it could qualify as a type of historical martial arts reconstruction.

While the purist may take exception to the selection of sword architecture to execute a given method, the theatrical or gymnastic qualities of practice and the inconsistent representation of provenance for this practice, its growing popularity has made it a staple of the Korean Martial Art community.

Since 1996, branches of the WHDGDA have opened in a variety of countries including the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Mexico, Japan and New Zealand. Currently there are more than 300 dojangs and 2000 schools and companies teaching Haidong Gumdo in Korea. 500 dojangs have spread internationally.