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Gumdo or Kumdo is a modern martial art descended from kendo, which is practiced in Korea. The name means "the way of the sword," and is a cognate with the Japanese term. Kumdo has become engrained within Korean culture and society since being introduced from Japan.

The term kumdo has, within recent history, also been used as a generic term for other Korean martial arts based upon swordsmanship and caution should be exercised so as not to confuse Kumdo with martial arts of Korean origin such as Haidong Gumdo and Hankumdo. Although identical to kendo, minor superficial differences exist due to appropriation and acculturation of kendo. Such differences include the use of native terminology and the use of blue referee flags in competition in contrast to red flags.

Litte Dragon 1 Kick

Kendo, then still known as gekiken, was introduced to Korea from Japan in 1896 as a form of police and military training. After Japan outlawed many Korean martial arts, they introduced Japanese martial arts such as judo and kendo to schools. Due to their popularity in Korea they spread quickly as part of the original national physical education system. Up until end of the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1945, kumdo developed in parallel with kendo. When the occupation ended, kumdo restructured itself, and the Korean Kumdo Association was formed in 1947. When the Korean National Sports Festival was reinstituted in South Korea in 1956, Kumdo was included as an official event.

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