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World Koryo Gumdo Association



Introduced to the instructors and students of the USNTF in 1995, Koryo Gumdo proved to be of great interest and excitement. The World Koryo Gumdo Association “WKGA” formed as a venue to instruct school owners who wish to bring a new martial art to their students through:


  • Dan and Kub Certification


  • Instructor Certification


  • Regional, National and International Championships


  • Regional, National and International Seminars


  • Referee Certification

Regional Chairman



Doug Millburg

Robert Nicolls

Edgard De La Cruz

Michael Giampitro

Jim Adorno

Vice Chairman



Anthony Momti




Master Steven McArther

Koryo Gumdo is a Korean style sword martial art whose method practiced today have evolved through the years.  Korean gumdo has been established through the adoption of many philosophies and methodology that existed in Korea and surrounding countries over the last 2,000 years.

In Korea, the martial arts are thought to have developed as a result of internal conflicts and repeated attacks from the neighboring countries of China and Japan.
In an attempt to unite and stop foreign invaders, the various tribes formed alliances, which ultimately resulted in the development of the three kingdoms Silla, Kokuryo and Paekche.  This time was known as the Koryo Dynasty.
The military of these three kingdoms taught and trained their soldiers and officers in different facets of martial arts including unarmed combat methods of Subak, Taekyeon, & Tang Soo Do… along with armed combat methods of Gumdo, Goong dong, & Bong sul battlefield strategies.

Each kingdom had a system of warrior:

1.  Koguryo Kingdom: Ssabori Warriors / Way of the Warrior
2.  Silla Kingdom: The Hwa Rang / Flowering Youth
3.  Paekche Kingdom: The chulgi / Iron Horsemen


Korea is a peninsula that lies between Japan and China.  Because of migration, conflict and the sharing of ideas and philosophies, many concepts have been introduced and adopted throughout the ages between these countries.
Historically there is evidence in Korea dating back to 70 B.C. of sword making techniques that are used in what is known as the samurai sword of Japan.
Around 600 A.D. the three kingdoms of Silla, Koguryo and Paekche united into what is known today as Korea.  The martial arts of Taekyeon, Subak and Gumdo enjoyed great popularity and prestige at this time.  This surge in popularity lasted until the Yi Dynasty overthrew the Koryo Dynasty in 1392.

During the new dynasty period, the martial arts fell into decline as Confucism replaced Buddhism.  Warriors were banished and the practice of the martial arts was forbidden.  The policy of “favoring the arts despising arms” was adopted.  Thus, many Koreans took refuge to the Buddhist temples where the martial arts were taught and preserved secretly, with instruction handed down from father to son and teacher to student.  In the 18th and 19th centuries, military training skills declined even further.  The Yi Dynasty ruled until 1910.

On August 28, 1910, Japan invaded Korea and Emperor Sunjong abdicated his throne and officially relinquished the thrown of Korea to Japan.  The Yi Dynasty came to an end with the Japanese occupation of Korea.  Japan began the systematic destruction of the Korean culture.  It became illegal to teach Korean history.  A revisionist history was written by the Japanese which replaced traditional subject matter and was taught in public schools.  Korean martial arts were banished and replaced with Japanese sporting arts.  Ssirum was replaced with Sumo, Subak and Taekyeon were replaced with Judo and Karate, and Koryo Gumdo was replaced with Kendo.
With the end of World War II, and the liberation of Korea, Korea once again tool control of its own martial arts.  From the period of 1945-1955, there was a movement to unite the various Korean martial arts into unified national styles.  Tae Kwon Do focused on the ballistic art by utilizing blocking, kicking and punching, and has grown to become very popular over recent years.  Hapkido incorporates offensive and defensive maneuvers that applies ballistic techniques with holds, releases, and throwing techniques.  Korean Gumdo is the art of the sword, which trains men, women and children in this ancient sword art of the koryo warrior.

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