Koryo Gumdo – Sword Training

Korean Swordsmanship

Koryo Gumdo ClassesKoryo Gumdo is a martial art that developed over many centuries in Korea and surrounding countries. The art is recognized by distinct uses of the sword in offensive and defensive movements that demonstrate skill and concentration.


Come join Master Michael Giampietro and feel the sensation of wielding a sword. You will have a great time exploring this ancient sword art. You will experience many facets of training and develop the skill and pride of the ancient Hwarang warrior.


Equipment and Supplies: The students wear official uniforms designed from the ancient Koryo warrior, and will practice with a variety of swords to develop specific skills, timing, cutting and sport. Your instructor will guide you in the specific equipment necessary to maximize your experience.


Benefits From Training

Physical Strength and Agility: You will be guided in our special exercise and activities to make you strong and agile.


Mental Strength and Attitude: In each class you will learn and practice special exercises to clear your mind and relax your body.


Patience and Willpower: As your mind and body become stronger, you will see the success of your training and will meet new challenges with patience and willpower to succeed.


Mental Discipline and Success: We practice Koryo Gumdo to improve ourselves, from the way we think to the way we act in our daily lives. We are producing a courageous and courteous generation.


History of Koryo Gumdo

  • Originated: In the ancient kingdoms of the Koryo Dynasty.
  • Practiced: By the three kingdoms of Silla, Koguryo and Paekje.
  • First Schools: The military who trained young warriors as officers for their armies.
  • Korean Headquarters: Seoul, Korea
  • United States Headquarters: Franklin Park, IL
  • Director and President: Grand Master Duk Gun Kwon
  • United States Gumdo Division Chairman: Master John P. Wood
In Korea, the martial arts developed as a result of internal conflicts and repeated attacks from neighboring countries like China and Japan. In an attempt to unite and stop foreign invaders, various tribes formed alliances resulting in the development of the Koryo Dynasty (made up of the three kingdoms of Silla, Koguryo and Paekje).


The warrior groups in these kingdoms had strict codes of honor and would discipline their minds and bodies while cultivating their physical strength. The young warrior would learn to think calmly and logically and cope with dangerous situations in an orthodox manner. Through meditation they would train their minds and improve concentration. Applied through use of the sword, these concepts allowed the Koryo warrior to overcome the challenges of battle.


Koryo Gumdo developed over time with influence from a variety of people and regions with some skills passing on and others fading out of practice. The development of Koryo Gumdo remains obscure even in Korea today, but there is historical evidence dating back to 70 BC of sword making techniques similar to what is known as the samurai sword of Japan.


Following the Koryo Dynasty (during the Yi Dynasty from about 1392 to 1907), Korean martial arts lost popularity as the government modernized weapons for national defense instead. By 1910, Japan had invaded Korea and had complete control of the land and people. The practice of Korean martial arts was banned in an effort to destroy the Korean identity and any possible method for revolt. Koryo Gumdo was replaced by Kendo. But, secretly many Koreans continued to pass down the art until the liberation of Korea in 1945.


Immediately there was a movement to unite the various Korean martial arts into unified national styles. New feelings of national pride and a desire to re-establish Korean customs led to an outbreak in the number of people practicing the ancient martial arts (like Taekwondo) and Koryo Gumdo masters began training men, women, and children once again.


In 1994 Grand Master Duk Gun Kwon organized the introduction of Korean Hwarang Gumdo to the United States National Taekwondo Federation (USNTF). The purpose of this special training program was to educate and expand the knowledge of Korean martial arts as a whole. In an effort to preserve strong traditions through worldwide education of the Korean martial arts, Grand Master Duk Gun Kwon organized the International Martial Arts Education Program (IMAEP) and began a cooperative effort between Korea and the United States to explore the ancient art of Koryo Gumdo. Since then many martial arts masters from America and around the globe have traveled with the IMAEP to Korea in an effort to practice and create an avenue for others to learn and enjoy the benefits it offers.


In 2001, Master John P. Wood was appointed the United States Gumdo Division Chairman and rules for international competition in Koryo Gumdo were outlined.