Estrada Tae Kwon Do / Haidong Gumdo Academy Online



- Haidong Gumdo -






To give you a better idea about what is included in the Haidong Gumdo curriculum, below is a list showing what a typical class session consists of.


Each class sesson begins with meditation and dan-jeon (abdominal) breathing to help students clear their minds and become focused.


Stretching and warm up exercises is next to get students physically prepared to take class and to prevent injury.


Drills that involve drawing and putting away the sword are sometimes practiced to keep students proficient in these basic skills.


Instructor leads the class in basics, consisting of a long series of overhead, sideways and angular cuts. These basics build strength and increase muscular conditioning.


After basics are complete, students perform their required pre-arranged forms, one-step sparring and fighting combinations.  This is different for each belt level. 


While the floor is occupied with the other ranks, students work on their meditative breathing, practice their paper cutting using their wooden sword, and candle snuffing with their wooden sword and / or fist.  At this time students can also continue to practice their forms or other techniques.


All classes begin and end formally with respect being made to the flag, the instructor, and to one’s fellow students.



Progression of Learning: 10th Gub to 1st Gub (Colored Belt Ranks)

       There are generally 8 color belt ranks (gubs) of learning before a candidate achieves the level of 1st Degree Black Belt (1st dan). The progression of gub ranks toward first dan descends, so a beginner would be a higher gup than a more advanced student. The dans run oppositely, in ascending order. The system of gubs and dans is taken from the Japanese martial art of Judo and was adopted by the World Haidong Gumdo Federation. In Haidong Gumdo it is felt that the purpose of the belt is to keep your pants up, your jacket closed and your testing judges or new instructors apprised of what they can ask you to do.

       At each gub students are taught one or more memorized patterns of movement as well as short, step-drills which emphasize the key-points of those patterns. The patterns are named 'ssang-su gumbub' which means sword methods for two hands.

       A brief description of what is required for each belt level is included in the 'Testing / Promotion' section.

What that all means...

       The memorized patterns (forms) can be thought of as solo performance pieces that serve two functions. The first function is to enable the practitioner to discover the correct way to move with each technique in order to develop proper speed, power and timing. Without these things the student is lost. The second function is to provide the student with a safe way to demonstrate their level of skill.  The two-handed sword techniques (ssang-su gumbub) begin with a very basic approach to moving and cutting properly. Over the course of the 12 pattern series the student will be required to reach greater speeds, higher endurance levels and expand their level of environmental awareness.
       At each belt level, students are also required to learn one or more fighting sword drills or key-point drills (called gyuk-gums).  These are only a few steps each and include the essence and important techniques introduced in the twelve ssang-su gumbub forms. They include a draw, the new technique, a 180 degree rotation, a repeat of the attack and a return of the weapon to the scabbard (holding place for the sword). These drills must be performed as quickly as possible with a focus on skillful execution.
       Shimsang gumbub is the last sword form learned before Black Belt and is used to determine the overall skill of a candidate for first dan. It comprises all of the techniques found in the ssang-su gumbub forms and exceeds them. It is extremely fast and involved, covers a great deal of area and repeatedly simulates confrontations with multiple attackers at all angles.

Progression of Learning: 1st Dan to 8th Dan (Black Belt Ranks)

As should be expected the road through the higher degrees of Haidong Gumdo is slower and much more demanding. The curriculum is smaller but involves a higher degree of technique and conditioning on the part of the student. Cutting skills are the primary requirement for test candidates but forms are practiced as well. The highest rank in Haidong Gumdo is 9th Dan but as in most Korean arts this rank is ceremonial and is reserved for the Head of the art as a whole.

To achieve the rank of second dan requires learning a series of patterns called yedo gumbub.

To achieve the rank of third dan requires learning 1-4 in a series of patterns called bonguk gumbub.

To achieve the rank of fourth dan requires completing bonguk gumbub by learning 5-7.

To achieve the rank of fifth dan includes the learning of jang paek gumbub.

To achieve the rank of sixth dan includes the learning of um-yang gumbub.

To achieve the rank of seventh dan includes the learning of taeguk gumbub.

To achieve the rank of eighth dan includes the learning of haidong gumbub and the learning of ssang-gumbub (two-blades).

       As you can see by the above description, the art of Haidong Gumdo as a whole consists of many pre-arranged forms and movements.  This aspect of the art is part of what adds to it's beauty.




*Some parts taken from Anthony Boyd's Haidong Gumdo Website  (Please refer to our links page for a link or go to