According to the Canadian Haidong Gumdo Association, "The biggest difference from Kendo is that Haidong Gumdo is non-sparring based. Unlike to Kendo, which focused on sparring that employs point system, most of Haidong Gumdo practices are performed in absence of opponents.
Haidong Gumdo primarily focuses with the practice of sword patterns (Gumbup) with wooden sword or real swords (Jingum). There are also target cutting practices, such as bamboo pole or jipdan (stacks of straw) cutting practices employing real sword. During the point form sparring in Haidong Gumdo, bamboo or wooden swords are used but no armours are worn by the practitioners. Haidong Gumdo emphasizes the cultivation of the body and the mind through sword training rather than competition aspect of the martial art."