HWA RANG DO

Ancient Korean Art of Curing & Killing

(Kick Illustrated - June, 1981 Issue)



While most martial arts focus on the craft of maiming and killing, few propogate the techniques of healing. Dr. Joo Bang Lee's Hwa Rang Do is a complimentary mixture of the combative and curative. Experts employing this complex ancient Korean art can incapacitate an antagonist as surely as they can revive him.
The martial artsman should continually strive to be one with the laws of nature, a living example of the dichotomies of Yin and Yang, by unifying the body, mind, and spirit into a single force capable of doing anything he so desires. In the physical realm, a well-rounded martial artist should have the working knowledge of tense, linear-oriented techniques which use distance and precise angles (Yang) as well as soft, circular-oriented techniques that stress closeness and flowing movement (Um) as a basis of attack and defense. He must also combine the physical aspects with the mental applications of alertness, strategy, and a general display of mental discipline with the spiritual manifestations of both.
By understanding and utilizing these aspects of Um and Yang, the martial artist combines his thoughts and actions into a cohesive, natural fighting system. In order to achieve a balance, however, a martial artist who has the capabilities to cause both injury and death to another human being must possess the facility to heal as well. Without this balancing element, the martial artist can never be one with the order of the universe. Therefore, at more advanced levels in the esoteric martial art/healing art of Hwa Rang Do, the student must learn the oriental healing arts in conjunction with the fighting aspects; for since he knows how to kill, he must know how to cure.
The practitioner of Hwa Rang Do must be fully versed in the basics of human anatomy, structure, function, and physiology. The human body is composed of both extremely strong, durable components as well as weak points. By knowing these various vital points, correct applications of precise strikes can make an excellent defense or offense for even the most diminutive person. Use of specific angles, in conjuction with certain methods of application directed to the articulating joints, can subdue even the strongest assailant with minimal effort. All strikes are directed to specific points for a predetermined outcome of the application; thus enabling the practitioner to contain and control his adversary to whatever degree the situation dictates.
The finger pressure techniques simply require memorization of the points involved, supplemented with the proper method of application. Yet, due to the potential lethality of certain points, they are generally taught only at advanced levels - when the student has proven without doubt that he will not abuse his knowledge - and as defensive techniques for handicapped individuals or senior citizens.
The joint-manipulation techniques of Hwa Rang Do are based on a combination of knowledge of human physiology and the laws of physics, especially as it peratins to angles and leverage. Just as a stone weighing one ton might take 10 men to move it (or one man with a lever and fulcrum), the manipulation and/or breaking of joints can require a great deal of physical effort - or the proper angle and method of utilization.
These methods of offensive and defensive applications can be referred to as "Gentlemen's Self-Defense" - wherein minimal effort is needed to contain and control an opponent; yet one in which the assailant is subdued within one movement, and is unequivocably controlled at the discretion of the "gentleman" initially attacked. These same laws of physics may be applied in the execution of any hand strike, kick, or throw - combined with the practical knowledge of where to strike for maximum effect.
Due to the comprehensive nature of this martial art, Hwa Rang Do's moo sul techniques can be subdivided into numerous categories and class types, all dependent on the specific needs of the individual or group. Under the auspices of the World Hwa Rang Do Association, specialized courses are conducted for the specific needs of various groups, i.e., training programs for special military forces are conducted specifically for their combative needs; programs are available for law enforcement personnel that deal exclusively with their special problems; classes are designed for the specific needs of women's self-defense; as well as specialized classes for senior citizens emphasizing finger pressure points, joint manipulation, and cane techniques. Courses are also available for the physically handicapped, with each technique taught being specifically designed for each individual.
Although Hwa Rang Do is a combative martial art, some techniques can be modified to allow those students so inclined to participate in light-contact or full-contact tournament fighting. In fact, in inter-school Hwa Rang Do competitions, the point system is different from many conventional tournaments in that points are given for hand strikes, kicks, throws and takedowns, and joint-breaking and choking techniques, with an aggregate of points accumulating over a specific period of time.
Specialized courses involving weaponry are also available, as well as those dealing primarily in yoga and meditation. Special classes are taught for children which emphasize the code of ethics inherent to the art of Hwa Rang Do: Loyalty to one's country; loyalty to one's parents and teachers; trust and brotherhood among friends; courage to retreat in the face of the enemy; justice never to take a life without cause. This ethical code of behavior embraces humanity, justice, courtesy, wisdom, trust, goodness, loyalty, virtue, and courage.
These and more specialized programs are taught in conjunction with the standard classes in which the entire repetoire of Hwa Rang Do techniques are taught, thus combining these various aspects. Specialized instructor courses are available to advanced students who wish to become professional martial artists, as well as intensive seminars held on a periodic basis, both at present school locations and at the invitation of interested parties. These seminars generally encompass the various martial art applications in addition to ceratin aspects of the healing arts.
The in sul aspect of Hwa Rang Do deals with the study of Oriental healing arts of acupuncture, acupressure, herbal and natural medicines, and bone setting. The World Hwa Rang Do Association's affliated Dong Kook Acupuncture College in Downey, California, deals with these applications for both professional physicians and interested laymen.
In order to study the field of acupuncture, one must be completely familiar with its basic concepts and ideologies - that of energy flow or ki. In the study of occidental medicine, the student must be completely familiar with the intricacies of the various systems of the body: the muscular system, circulatory system, skeletal system, digestive system, nervous system, respiratory system, and so on, and how they interrelate with one another.
The occidental medical mind is extremely analytical towards what can be physically seen (to the aided and unaided eye). In oriental medicine, the approach is somewhat different. Of course, all the above systems of the body must be thoroughly known. But there is an additional system that is not studied in traditional occidental medicine because, to date, it cannot be visibly seen. This is ki, the energy system which courses through the body in specific pathways called meridians, of which there are 26.
In oriental medical thought, it is believed that man is an exact replica of nature and the universe, and is therefore intricately connected with its natural governing laws. The universe consists of five elements: Wood, fire, water, metal, and earth, plus one additional element that cannot be seen - air. The universe also contains both positive and negative forces (Um and Yang, Moon/Sun, Female, Male, etc.).
The meridians of the body correspond to the 12 months of the year. Because the body is symmetrical, there are 12 meridians located on each half, totaling 24, plus one running up the back (governing meridian-Yang) and another running down the front (conception meridian-Um). On these symmetrical meridians lie 365 vital points (corresponding to 365 days in a year), with approximately 150 extra "body" points, bringing the total to over 500 vital points found on the body.
In medical practice, it is thought that if the body is injured, diseased, or has fallen ill, it is out of balance with its natural order. Therefore, in order to rectify the natural balance, it must be re-achieved. By stimulating the vital points in a specific manner, one can alter the energy flow to the various organs of the body, thus acting upon the primal root of the problem, not the symptom, which enables the practitioner to cure his patient. As with any complex endeavor, one can devote an entire lifetime to the study of this 5,000-year-old healing art, in conjunction with the studies of moxibustion and herbal medicines. When the technology of occidental medical procedures, truly remarkable healing applications will be found.
One first aid technique of in sul which is especially apropos to martial artists concerns itself with the treatment of someone who has fainted, been knocked out, or otherwise lost consciousness. Simply extend the middle joint of your middle finger and apply a firm pressure to the in jung point (that vital point located at the base of the nose (between the nostrils) and vibrate your hand circulary on this point. This action alone should cause the victim to regain consciousness. It has an effect similar to smelling salts.
This is one example of acupressure technique called Hwang Ga Hyel Do Ji Ahp Sul (meaning "Royal Family Finger Acupuncture"). In ancient times, members of the royalty of the kingdom of Silla used this form of acupressure to effectively heal minor aches and pains, and to recharge and revitalize themselves. Today this form of acupressure is taught and applied at the Dong Kook Acupuncture College, under the auspices and direction of its president, Dr. Joo Bang Lee, O.M.D.,C.A., PhD. In addition to the courses taught, Dr. Lee operates an acupuncture/acupressure clinic/spa which is open to the general public.
Readers interested in learning more about the martial art/healing art of Hwa Rang Do are invited to contact the:

Hwa Rang Do® World Headquarters
13762 Newport Ave. #201 Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 731-5425 (KICK)


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