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Two Harbors Tae Kwon Do Hosts Special Guest

On December 20, Master Hagen of Seven Dragons Martial Arts came to Two Harbors Tae Kwon Do to teach some basics of the martial art Haidong Gumdo. Master Hagen is a 5th dan master of Haidong Gumdo, a Korean sword art.

Through her martial arts connections, Two Harbors Tae Kwon Do instructor 2nd Dan Black Belt Laura Erickson came to know Master Hagen. She mentioned she had a group of young people very interested in learning about swords. “What better way to end the year?” Master Hagen says.

Participants were loaned practice swords to use during the class. The class began with the basic warm-up for Haidong Gumdo, which consisted of an introduction to basic movements, stances, and cut lines.

After the warm-up, Master Hagen taught students Gyukgum #1, which is ideally done with a partner. Gyukgum #1 is one of the easiest Haidong Gumdo skills to teach, as it is very simple and repetitive.

The next activity was charging at a foam pad, striking the pad with an assigned strike, while uttering a battle cry. This was done with sparring swords, and the goal of this exercise was to get students to be able to loosen up, think through the motions, and swing a sword to strike a target with full power.

Master Hagen instructed the class in three primary draws and put aways for the sword. He then took out newspapers and had students learn how to slice newspapers with a wooden sword. The purpose of cutting newspapers was to teach controlled and accurate strikes. Finally, Master Hagen demonstrated his Haidong Gumdo skills with newspaper cutting and two forms. The class ended with bowing out and taking a group photo.

Master Hagen first got involved in Haidong Gumdo after earning his first degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. His instructor told him to learn a secondary martial art. A Haidong Gumdo master from the Twin Cities came up to Duluth and introduced the art of the sword. Master Hagen has always been fascinated by swords and samurai, so Haidong Gumdo was a perfect fit for a secondary martial art. Now a 5th Dan, Master Hagen wants to keep learning Haidong Gumdo, saying it is harmonious with Tae Kwon Do, in which he is a 4th Dan.

I asked some of the students at the class for their take on this introduction to Haidon Gumdo. Alicea Erickson said, “We learned about how important stances and balance are. I had fun.”

Sara Owens recalls Master Hagen instructing the students and saying, “Let me hear your battle cry,” during the padwork time.

Hanna Searls said she “Really enjoyed the sword class and the challenges it presented.”

Eli Symons expressed the feeling of many of the students when he said, “It was cool to learn a new form of martial arts and appreciate the skill required to do it.”

Master Hagen hopes for more opportunities to teach Haidong Gumdo, and he encourages interested people to come to Seven Dragons Martial Arts studio to learn more. Seven Dragons is located in Duluth and is partnered with Twin Ports Martial Arts. He thanks Laura Erickson for inviting him to come share some Haidong Gumdo with Two Harbors.

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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