Hwarangdo’s Dynamic Techniques

(Black Belt Magazine January 1977)

Hwarangdo’s Dynamic Techniques: Hwarangdo techniques are founded on four basic divisions of power - inner, exterior, weapons and mental power. Aspects of each are taught as the student progresses in his training. Hwarangdo includes all forms of personal combat. It is a true yin/yang martial art. Both hard/soft and straight line/circular forms and techniques are found in hwarangdo.
In advanced studies, hwarangdo deals with mental disciplines and becomes an "inner art." The techniques and principles are effective for such diverse needs as personal self-defense, mob control and mental discipline.
On the purely physical and technical level, the knowledgeable practitioner will spot forms similar to a broad range of martial arts. Below is a breakdown of the techniques in which hwarangdo students are instructed:

A. INNER POWER TECHNIQUES (NEGONG): These are developed by controlled breathing and concentrating or focusing the ki at a single point. It is said to be the essence of power behind kicking and punching.

1. DANJUN HOHUP: Danjun breathing exercises
2. JEONGDO JOSIKBOP: Mind and body rejuvination
3. KIRYUKSOOL: Ki Power techniques
4. DANJUNKI HEANGBOP: Ki Power movement
5. KIHAP CHARYUK SUL: Joining of Ki Power

6. DANJUN KI BOP: Danjun Ki Power techniques
7. UN KIHAENG BOP: Ki Power movement
8. KIGONG GEONSHIN BOP: Ki development for the body

B. EXTERNAL POWER TECHNIQUES (WAEGONG): These are developed by defensive and offensive techniques using kicking and punching, knowledge of natural human weak points, the use of vital points, jointlocking etc. Waegong is divided into 270 catagories with 4,000 techniques, 365 kickings and forms.
1. GOLJYELGI: Joint techniques. These are self-defense techniques directed at the opponent's joints.
2. TOGI: Throwing techniques.
3. GOTOGI: Grappling
4. BAKSANG SOOL: Head techniques. These encompass techniques for using the head as a weapon.
5. WANSOOL: Hand breaking techniques. These include self-defense movements against hand grabs.
6. JOKSOOL: Kicking techniques. These are based on three basic kicking types: snapping, thrust and circular.
7. JIAPSOOL: Finger pressure techniques.
8. JORUGI: Choking techniques.
9. GURUGI: Rolling techniques.
10. JWAGI: Self-defense techniques from a seated position.
11.WAGI: Self-defense techniques from a prone position.
12. KWON SOOL: Punching and striking techniques.
13. HYUNG BOP: Forms. There are 30 forms or hyung, patterns or series of movements used as training forms so that the student can learn techniques.
14. KYUKPA SOOL: Breaking boards or stones. These techniques stem from the combination of physical and mental power or outer and inner strength concentrated at a single point.
15. TOYUK SOOL: Tearing of flesh with bare hands.
16. BANGGUM SOOL: Unarmed self-defense against knife attack.
17. BANGTOGI: Counter defense against throwing techniques.
18. BANGJOK SOOL: Counter defense against kicking attacks.
19 BANGKWON SOOL: Counter defense against punching attacks.
20. KWON YUDOBOP: Come-along or hand control techniques.
21. DABANG CHERI SOOL: Defense against more than two opponents.

C. WEAPONS POWER TECHNIQUES (MOOGIGONG): This section of instruction deals with what is commonly known in kung fu or karate as weapons training. Hwarangdo students learn 108 different Hwarang warriors weapons in 20 catagories. But modern time Founder Dr. Joo Bang Lee has set for 20 weapons. This includes the use of the sword, wind swords, shot-middle-long stick, spears, short sword, knife and other exotic weapons, such as throwing dirks, pointed stars and stones.

D. MENTAL POWER TECHNIQUES (SHINGONG): These techniques directly affect the "life energy force" of the human body. They are divided into the following areas:
1. KIHAP SOOL. Here a combination of physical, mental and breathing power plus concentration is learned in order to break solid objects more efficiently.
2. KYUK PA SOOL. Extracting mind power. Refers to the capacity of the mind to extract latent power inherent in every human. The mind may possess a 100 percent potential, but the normal condition is a person who uses only a small portion of this power. It is possible with the proper training, according to the Lee brothers, to develop the full potential.
3. CHEMYON SOOL. Technique of putting a person to sleep.
4. GUKUP HWALBOP. Use of acupuncture to revive an injured person.
5. CHIMGOO SOOLBOP. Acupuncture as a medicinal science.
6. EUNSHIN BUP.The art of concealing oneself in front of others.
7. SULSA SOOL: It employs a combination of distraction, suggestion, stealth and camouflage used by spies and assassins, such as the celebrated Japanese ninja.
8. SUN HAK: Study of Zen Meditation
: Study of reading the human mind
10. JU SOOL: Chanting to cause illness
11. SASANG HAK: Study of the four quadrants of the mind


The Theory of Ki Power In Hwarangdo

Founder of Hwarang Do Joo Bang Lee explains the theory surrounding ki power in this way. The danjun area, or seat of this power, is in the human body located one to three inches below the navel. It is comprised of three points: ki hae, located one inch below the navel; kwan won, two inches below, and suk moon, three inches below the navel.
This danjun is the center from which all life energy, or power, emanates. Lee says that a human being cannot even move one finger without the power from danjun. Although all people have this power, not everyone has the same level of control over it. But with the proper training in special techniques devised and developed by hwarangdo masters over the last 2,000 years, it is possible to increase the level of ki power over which a person has control.
This ki power in hwarangdo functions in five different ways. One way is to make the body heavy. Another is to make the body light. The third is to make the body feel like steel. The fourth is to make the body numb, so that no pain is felt. The fifth, and perhaps the most difficult to attain, is to control this power directly with your mind in individual parts of the body and even outside the physical body. An example of this last form of ki power would be to use the power to make your arm or leg move faster than is possible by purely physical means, as in the execution of a punch or kick.
In American schools, students are taught to develop ki power through the following two basic methods:

1. Danjun ki (air ki): The scientific application of controlled breathing techniques to build up ki power.

2. Shin ki (mental ki): The use of mental techniques taught through meditation to gain mastery over unlimited amounts of ki power purely through the medium of mind control. Examples of this method occurring spontaneously without prior training are the many documented cases of persons who, under extreme fear or stress circumstances, lift or move an object which would normally require the strength of ten people, such as a mother lifting a car under which her child is trapped.

Hwarangdo ki theory also delves into the study of what is said to be the movement in and out of the body of the “spirit" or "life force," particularly that movement which occurs near or at the time of death. In the region of the eighth to tenth vertebrae (from the top of the spine), hwarangdo masters explain, is a "door," or exit point, where the spirit leaves the body at the time of death. This door is called myung mon sa hwa hyel.

The importance of ki theory is relevant to a basic tenet of hwarangdo training - the belief that the martial artist must be able to heal injuries and illness because he has the power to cause them. Therefore, students undergo medical training (acupuncture, herbal medicine, bone setting etcetera), prior to learning the more dangerous and deadly black belt techniques.

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