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BYU student wins gold at international martial arts competition

A Brigham Young University student won a gold medal two weeks ago in the 2006 Haidong Gumdo World Championships in Seoul, South Korea.

Lina Ferreira has been training in martial arts including tae kwon do, judo, aikido and kung fu since she was seven years old, and has been training in haidong gumdo since last spring. She is the daughter of Jaime Ferreira, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is an English major at BYU.

Gumdo, from the Korean, can be split into “gum," which means sword, and "do," which means way or school. Literally, the word is translated to mean "the way of the sword" and uses a philosophy called “shimgum,” which is characterized by a unification of the mind, body and spirit, and transcends technical accuracy. One can achieve technical exactness in execution without reaching this ideal state, according to Ferreira.

The championships were held July 23-Aug. 1 and take place every two years. It is a large-scale event in South Korea, with more than 10,000 attending the 2002 competition. The Haidong Gumdo World Championships experience includes an immersion in South Korean culture along with the tournament.

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