previous page: 16.10) HapKiDo
page up: Martial Arts FAQ
next page: 16.12) Iaido

16.11) Hwa Rang Do


This article is from the Martial Arts FAQ, by Matthew Weigel faq@idempot.net with numerous contributions by others.

16.11) Hwa Rang Do

(Contributor: Carsten Jorgensen - hwarang@usa.net)


Hwa Rang Do is a comprehensive martial arts system whose training
encompasses unarmed combat, weaponry, internal training and healing
techniques. Translated, Hwa Rang Do means "the way of flowering

Origin: Korea


For the ancient history of the Hwarang, please refer to the Ancient
Korean History section of http://www.hwarangdo.com/hrd1.htm.

In March 1942 present day founder of Hwa Rang Do, Dr. Joo Bang Lee and
his brother, Joo Sang Lee was introduced to the Buddhist monk Suahm
Dosa by their father, who was a personal friend of the monk, and they
began their formal training aged 5 & 6.

The brothers lived and trained as the sole students with the monk
mostly in weekends and during school vacations but also trained in
other martial arts when they were unable to train under Suahm Dosa.
Influences include Boxing, Yudo, Komdo, and Tang Soo Do. In addition

the Lee Brothers attained Master level of Dae Dong Ryu Yu Sul (modern
name - Hapkido) from its founder Choi Yong Sool in October 1956.

In April 1960 Dr. Joo Bang Lee created and founded his martial art by
combining Suham Dosa's techniques with the other systems he had
trained. He choose the name Hwa Rang Kwan to describe his system and
this also marked the first time the Hwa Rang was used publicly in
connection with unarmed Korean martial arts. There is no way of
knowing if the techniques Suahm Dosa taught the brothers actually was
the martial art of the Silla Hwa Rang, or another form of monk martial

In 1967, at the request of President Park, Dr. Joo Bang Lee organized
the unification of the Korean martial arts and directed the Unified
Korean Martial Arts Exposition on May 27, 1968 at the Jang Chung
Sports Arena in Seoul. Since it was difficult for all martial art
organization leaders to agree on methods of administration, this
organization was also disbanded shortly after the exposition.

Following the dissolution, Dr. Joo Bang Lee concentrated his efforts
solely on the development of his martial art to the exclusion of all
other martial arts. He renamed it Hwa Rang Do translated to mean "The
Way of the Flowering Manhood". (Do - represents "the way" or the
"martial art"). Also this marked the first time the character for
"Way" was used in connection with the Hwa Rang and the unarmed martial

In 1968, Head Grandmaster Joo Sang Lee introduced Hwa Rang Do to the
United States of America. Dr. Joo Bang Lee became the system's supreme
grandmaster upon Suahm Dosa's death in 1969. He immigrated to America
in 1972 and founded the World Hwa Rang Do Association and since then
Hwa Rang Do has spread all over the world. Today Dr. Joo Bang Lee
presides over the World Hwa Rang Do Association, Hwa Rang Do World
Headquarters in Downey, California (USA).


Hwa Rang Do is a combination of UM (soft/circular movement) and YANG
(hard/linear movement). The Mu Sul (martial aspects) of Hwa Rang Do
can be further explained in four distinct - though interconnecting -
major paths of study.

NAE GONG - deals with developing, controlling, and directing one's Ki,
or internal energy force, through breathing and meditation exercises
in conjunction with specific physical techniques.

WAE GONG - Wae gong includes more than 4000 offensive and defensive
combative applications. Combining elements predominantly tense and
linear in nature with those soft and circular, these techniques mesh
to form a natural fighting system. This phase includes full
instruction in all hand strikes and blocks (trapping and grabbing as
well as deflection applications, using the hands, wrist, forearm,
elbows, arms and shoulders), 365 individual kicks, throws and falls
from any position and onto any surfaces, human anatomical structure as
it pertains to combat applications (knowing and utilizing the body's
weak points to effectively control the opponent, regardless of their
size), joint manipulation and breaking, finger pressure-point
application, prisoner arrest, control and transport, grappling
applications, forms, offensive choking and flesh-tearing techniques,
defense against multiple opponents, breaking techniques,
counter-attacks, and killing techniques.

MOO GI GONG - involves the offensive and defensive use of the over 108
traditional weapons found within 20 categories of weaponry. By
learning these various weapon systems, the practitioner can most
effectively utilize any available object as a weapon as the situation

SHIN GONG - is the study, development, and control of the human mind
in order to attain one's full potential and mental capabilities.
Techniques are taught to achieve an increase in one's total awareness,
focus, and concentration levels. Included are instruction in :
controlling one's mind; development of the "sixth sense"; memory
recall; the study of human character and personalities; practical
psychology; visualization; the art of concealment and stealth as
utilized by special agents (Sulsa); as well as advanced, secretive
applications. Hwa Rang Do teaches both the martial art (mu-sul) and
healing art (in-sul). If one is able to injure or worse, then he/she
should know how to heal as well, once again maintaining harmony
through balance of opposites. First aid applications, revival
techniques are taught in conjunction with the traditional full studies
of acupuncture, Royal Family acupressure, herbal and natural
medicines, and bone setting.


A typical training session includes Meditation (beginning and end of
class). Total body stretching and warm-up exercises. Basic punching
and kicking practice. Ki power exercises. "Basic-8" combination drills
(which vary by belt rank). Two-man countering techniques (vary by belt
rank). Open session which may include: sparring, tumbling, grappling,
sweeps, or advanced techniques. Self-defense techniques. Cool down
exercises. Hwa Rang Do code of ethics.

For further information, please refer to http://www.hwarangdo.com
and/or write to:
World Hwa Rang Do Association
8200 E. Firestone Blvd.,
Downey, Ca 90241
(562) 861-0111


Continue to:

previous page: 16.10) HapKiDo
page up: Martial Arts FAQ
next page: 16.12) Iaido