The founder of Hwa Rang Do®, Dr. Joo Bang Lee, realized that in order to attain maximum human potential, one must attain a state of balance and maintain harmony with natural laws of the universe. The theory of Um-Yang states that in nature there is co-existence of polar dichotomies. For every one, there is an equal opposite. Hwa Rang Do®, is a combination of UM (soft/circular movement) and YANG (hard/linear movement), making it one of the most diversified and comprehensive martial arts to be found in the world. It’s study integrates the spiritual, mental, and physical disciplines enabling its practitioners to realize their full potential in all areas of life.
The Dynamics of Hwa Rang Do®
The techniques are derived in accord with the principles of Um-Yang.
Three Elements of Um, the essence of Hwa Rang Do®, soft techniques:
- Yu – soft, fluid force of flowing water. The power of Yu is deceptive; relenting under force; it draws its attack into its own stream of power and re-directs it.
- Won – is movement in circular directions. Its power may be seen in the rock at the end of a sling, or the power developed from a spinning motion.
- Hwa – as the third element of Um, it represents unity and combination.
Three Elements of Yang, the essence of Hwa Rang Do®, hard techniques:
- Kang – is hard like steel or stone. Its power is illustrated in the form of a closed fist in a thrust punch or a straight front kick.
- Kak – means angles. Its form is found in the correct angle of the joint when applying breaking and throwing techniques or straight angular blocks.
- Kan – means maintaining proper distance. It is the opposite aspect of Hwa or combination and its form is found in understanding the distance between two opponents.
Hwa Rang Do®, teaches both the martial art (moo-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. In the moo-sul (martial arts) applications, Hwa Rang Do®, possesses both Jung Do (way of the honor and truth – yang) and Am Ja (way of deception – um). As light cannot exist without darkness, so must an individual know both the good and the bad in order to be truly valiant.
The martial applications of Hwa Rang Do® can be further explained in four distinct – though interconnecting – paths of study found within the art.
- NAE GONG – deals with one’s internal energy (Ki power) development, control and direction. Through both passive (um) and active (yang) methods. Ki power development is taught via specialized breathing and meditation exercises in conjunction with specific physical exercises. The practitioner learns to develop, harness, and apply this human energy resources at will. Initially studied for health purposes and for use in the battlefield; at more advance levels this power can be controlled in conjunction with mental processes and can be extended from one individual to another for healing as well as combative applications. This internal energy is found in all living creatures, yet in the disciplined study of Hwa Rang Do®, one can learn to develop this power for truly outstanding displays of human energy and will, extending previously conceived limitations to unlimited possibilities. There are five different senses of Ki which can be developed:
- Kyung Ki – making the body light
- Jung Ki – making the body heavy
- Chyel Ki -making the body hard as steel
- Ma Ki – making the body numb
- Shin Ki -increasing mental concentration and awareness
- WAE GONG – takes its form in over 4,000 offensive and defensive combative applications found within the art and is the externalization of Nae Gong. Most martial arts are either tense and linear in their orientation or are soft and circular. Hwa Rang Do®, combines both elements to form a natural and compatible combative system. This phase of instruction includes all forms of 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 surface; human anatomical structure/function as it pertains to combative applications (knowing and utilizing the body’s weak points to effectively control the opponent, regardless of their size); joint manipulation and/or bone breaking; finger pressure point applications; containment, control, and transport techniques; grappling applications; forms; offensive choking/breaking techniques; defense against multiple assailants; counter-offense and defense for the above and additional advanced, secretive techniques. These applications are taught in their combative form, yet with full control in order to minimize danger to the student. By practicing these diverse aspects, one can regain and maintain health through physical exercise while learning to control any antagonist within one movement. Hwa Rang Do® techniques are implemented to the degree a particular situation dictates, applying an incremental escalation of force.
- 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 object as a weapon as the situation demands.
- 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. This realm includes instruction in : controlling one’s mind; ESP; development of the “sixth sense”; memory recall; understanding the natural laws of the universe; 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. These powers and more lie within the potentials of every human being and can be developed and utilized through the proper training methods.
The In Sul aspects (the study of the Oriental Healing Arts) of Hwa Rang Do® are every bit as complex and demanding as the study of Occidental Medicine. The student of Hwa Rang Do® learns to become one with the natural laws of the universe, learning all aspects of defense in an ever-changing environment. These defensive applications can apply on a basic level, concerning close quarter combativeness, as well as on a more intricate level of healing injuries and disease. Therefore, in order to most effectively defend oneself from these outside elements, the practitioner of Hwa Rang Do® learns to develop the capacity to heal him/herself as well as others. 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.