Hankumdo is a sword art based on the principles of hankido. It was officially introduced by Myung Jae-nam in 1996. The word hankumdo can be loosely translates as ‘The Korean way of the Sword’.
Basic techniques in hankumdo are taught with the Korean writing system hangul as a guide. Students learn to ‘write’ the Korean letters with their sword. Every stroke of a letter is represented by a strike, cut, stab or block. In Hangul there are 24 letters (14 consonants and 10 vowels) so there are also 24 of these ‘hangul strikes’.
Of course Hankumdo is more than just these 24 techniques. Students first learn how to handle the sword.
With a sword a student learns how to look at the principles and strategies of fighting in another light. Matters of strategy and distance are equally important in armed and unarmed fighting. The consequences of making a mistake in an armed fight however can be much much bigger.
In our school the hankumdo we teach is heavily influenced by the teachings of master Han Si-hwan. Master Han was a student of Myung Jae-nam and a very skilled swordsman. He taught traditional Korean sword fighting skills. These skills are brought together in several forms.
The name of these forms are yesang geombeop, which means ‘rainbow sword method’.
The basic practice swords we work with are made of wood. The Korean name of these swords is ‘mokgeom’ (목검). An intermediate students can purchase a sword made of aluminium, called a ‘gageom’ (가검). These swords look like a real sword but are usually much lighter. An advanced student can purchase a real sword, a ‘jingeom’ (진검). The basic wooden sword however will still remain the most important practice weapon of choice.