All Gumdo students must wear a Dobok set during classes as it is the official uniform of World Haidong Gumdo Federation and USA Haidong Gumdo Association.

The uniform consists of a thick cotton material that folds over much like a traditional Karate uniform except it has short sleeves. The pants have wide flared legs like traditional Hakama pants. This was the design used historically by Korean and Japanese swordsman as the wide legs hid the stance of the individual making it very hard to cut to the legs. The pants also give the illusion of floating when you move, and Samarai warriors felt that this gave them some level of superiority over those who wore straight legged clothing.



As a beginner, you start with a white belt and you change your belt color along with your level untill you get a Black belt. You test for a new color belt every 2- 3 months provided you train at least twice a week. The belt progressions are White, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue, Purple, Brown,  Red and Black. Once you get a 1st degree black belt, you don't change your belt color but you can promote to a higher degree level after your Dan (Black Belt) test.

Mok Gum (Wooden sword)

A Mok Gum is the basic tool in Gumdo practice as it is used most of the time during classes. The sword is heavy to simulate the weight of a metal sword.

Jukdo (Bamboo sword & plastic sword)

A Jukdo is used for pre-defined fighting patterns, sparring and other Gumdo exercises. Thus, unlike Japanese style Kendo, a sparring sword is optional in Haidong Gumdo in the beginning. It is not often used in the early belts (except Gyuk Gum techniques but you can still use your Mok Gum for that), but as you advance, it will be used more often. Historically, practitioners have used a Bamboo sword for a Jukdo, but now, most have been replaced with a plastic sword as seen below.

Real sword (Gin Gum)

As an adult senior belt (purple and higher) you are allowed to use a real sword. Until Blackbelt, the sword must be dull. There are many kinds of real swords like Samgak-do, Yookgak-do, and Multi-purpose swords and so on. A real sword is used for cutting practice.

Sword bag (case)

To bring swords to practice, you need a sword bag. Normally we bring wooden swords in a cotton sword bag. Many of our students choose to embroider their name on their sword bag. An actual sword case typically comes with the purchase of a real sword.

Parts of a Sword