What is Hangumdo?

Hangumdo is the art of the sword whose basic techniques are based on the letters of the Korean alphabet, Hangul. The meaning of the word 'hangumdo' actually consists of three different words:

  • Han (한 / 韩): Korea, Korean culture and mentality
  • Gum (검 / 剑): Sword
  • Do (도 / 道): Path

So you can say that hangumdo is: The way to learn to control the sword through the language / culture (written Hangul) Korean.


Many Korean martial arts were heavily influenced by Japanese styles in the 20th century. Chong Kwanjangnim Sergio Fernandes (master in Hapkido-Hankido-Hangumdo) while living in Japan, trained and graduated in various Japanese sword schools and, based on his learning, decided to compile all their knowledge and create a true art of the sword, based solely on actual combat, excluding all fanciful techniques that are for show but are useless or ineffective, and therefore deadly to those who try to use them.

In Semokwan Hangumdo ® System efficiency prevails over appearance, functionality is preferable to aesthetic beauty alone, but the techniques can also be executed with beauty, aesthetically speaking, and yet brutally efficient, so Kwanjangnim Sergio Chong proved really effective techniques can also be very beautiful when applied with precision and AWARENESS!

The Japanese sword arts developed the art of dueling man-to-man during the quiet Edo period and are characterized by great attention to detail under the influence of Zen Buddhism. However, it was on the battlefield that they originated, baptized in blood. Only the best survived to transmit their teachings, and it is from this context of war that the harsh code of Bushido evolved, which emodied in some warriors selected as the most powerful, efficient, courageous and, above all, the most honoured masters.

Following this line of thought Master Sergio developed a new system based on ancient Japanese teachings. After exhaustive research, training and deep contemplation, and never neglecting modern techniques, he created Semokwan Hangumdo ® System, reflecting his deep knowledge of Korean martial styles and affinity with the culture of the people. He chose Hangul as the basis for the training for cutting techniques until the first black belt and for the upper belts Hanja, so that the student learns the whole Korean written language system and also the culture of the people, since the naming system of techniques is also in Korean language and is compulsory for the black belt candidate to learn to read and write in hangul.

Hangumdo Techniques

The basis for all technical hangumdo is the letters of the Korean alphabet, hangul. This alphabet consists of 24 characters, 14 consonants (자음) and 10 vowels (모음). To 'write' these letters with the sword in the most basic form, the student just needs to learn some techniques:

1. Nerio Bae Gui (내려 베기) - Vertical Attack

2. Bi't Kyeo Bae Gui (빗겨 베기) - Attack diagonally below

3. Ch'i Ru Gui (찌르기) - Drilling Front

4. Mak Ki (막기) - Blocking

The techniques have the same name as the character followed by the word Bae Gui (베기) which means cutting. After the first Dan is a deeper study of the techniques learned, and the escalating use of natural Hanja, where cutting precision, concentration and posture merge, transforming practitioner, sword and spirit (HON) in one.

Hangul & Hangumdo: The HON

The way to master yourself through the sword. When creating Semokwan Hangumdo System ® , Chong Kwanjangnim Sergio Fernandes realized how difficult it is for a beginner to learn the techniques and postures of Hangumdo and, faced with such difficulties, decided to incorporate in Hangumdo an ancient training method used by the samurai, which allows the practitioner to enhance and strengthen their skills, attitudes, and particularly their spirit, which became the main goal of the practitioner of Hangumdo.

HON (SPIRIT) means a first analysis in Korean. The practitioner Hangumdo in all their movements seek techniques to defeat their greatest enemy HON. By analogy Hon, which means spirit, symbolizes to the practitioner of Hangumdo their greatest enemy. But who is this spirit, this enemy, and where can it be found? There is a being who knows you well - who really knows who you are, your strengths and especially your weaknesses. Who also knows all the deepest feelings of your heart. You agree together, eat together, go out and sleep together. This "BE" is not an entity outside, since it rests in the deepest corner of what is intimate, it is YOURSELF.

In Hangumdo your greatest enemy is your spirit, your self, your own anxieties, fears and desires, and the strength they have on you. Thus follows the idea that your greatest enemy is yourself. The Hangumdo practitioner seeks in all their techniques and movements to succeed and surpass themself to win, dominate and overcome the HON . Only through mastering HON through Hangumdo's techniques and movements will the student be at one, in harmony with their spirit.

Overcoming Hon

  • Fear - 恐怖 - 공포
  • Shyness - 臆 病 - 겁쟁이
  • Anxiety - 不安 - 불안
  • Lack of confidence in yourself - 挫折感 - 좌절감
  • Sloth - 怠慢 - 태만
  • Jealousy - 嫉妒 - 질투
  • Envy - 欲望 - 욕망
  • Depression - 绝望 - 절망

…. and various other enemies that are within the HON. Only through mastering HON through Hangumdo's techniques and movements will the student be at one, in harmony with themselves. The training and control of the spirit, the HON Fighter, is more important to work than any muscle of the arm, trunk or leg. Without cooperation between the spirit mind and body, success is impossible. While the practitioner is able to perform training techniques while exercising no control over their mind and spirit, all these exercises performed without consciousness will eventually be useless. Training to master the mind and spirit in everyday situations leads eventually tocontrol during combat and throughout life.

Control and mastery of the spirit and mind is to control and overcome thoughts, fears and desires. This is mastery of the self. When this is done correctly and with dedication, the fighter is able to control his actions. And when they can control their actions, and only then, they have control over their destiny, conquests and victories.

Heraldry Semokwan Hangumdo System ®