Welcome to the exciting and wonderful World of Hwa Rang Do® - "The Way of the Flowering Knights"
"The key to the universe lies dormant within the self, waiting to awaken through self-discovery."
Origins of the Hwarang
Hwa Rang Do is a traditional Korean warrior art founded on a moral ethical code of chivalry, honor, and loyalty of knighthood.
Hwa Rang Do dates back to the Three Kingdoms Period in Korean History when the Ancient Hwarang Warriors of the Silla Kingdom unified the Korean Peninsula for the first time in its history.
The Hwarang were an elite youth corp who were selected from the finest of the royal court to be trained to become the perfect warrior-scholars. Therefore, the goal was to maximize their human potential in all aspects of the self, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. They were taught in all areas of warfare, philosophy, literature, and the arts, creating the first stylized form of poetry in Korean history called the Hyang-ga. They were also spiritual leaders, considered as Bodhisattvas who went on spiritual pilgrimages to India and China after their services to the Kingdom as warriors, and then statesmen.
The Meaning and Value of Hwarang
The name “Hwarang” itself might seem unusual for a warrior class, but in fact it was the perfect name for the warrior-philosopher/spiritual leader. The name has different levels of meaning. “Hwa-rang” possesses the concept of the Um/Yang Theory of dichotomy within its name. The character of “Hwa” means a flower, the feminine component and the character “Rang” stands for man, the masculine component. Together they symbolize the idea that within the universe exists two polar opposing forces, which created all things within the universe.
Furthermore, the flower in Buddhism represents the idea of blossoming, coming into being, achieving enlightenment. Also, the flower possesses the essence of beauty without effort, just by merely existing, by being. This is also the aspiration of the Hwarang – to be beautiful within without effort, to be strong without force.
Holistic vs. compartmentalization
Hwa Rang Do is a holistic approach to learning, which is forgotten in today’s society as we have moved into industrialization by way of compartmentalization and specialization, arriving at a society centered primarily on mass production and consumerism. Hwa Rang Do strives for balance, as that is what is in harmony with natural laws and the universe as all things strive to achieve a state of homeostasis.
The reason that the Hwarang were successful in conquering the larger neighboring kingdoms with a smaller, younger army was in fact for this reason of holistic learning, by maximizing the human potential through strengthening all areas of the self rather than focusing only in part. Most importantly, however, it was the cultivation of a strong sense of loyalty, duty, and honor to the King and their fellow brothers that inspired them to fight not for themselves but for each other, which made them invincible. This is what we strive to do still to this date and it is our hope that by maximizing the self in total, that the foundation is strong to bear the weight of the ever-changing unstable world and allow the individual to courageously seek for the Truth and live a life of true meaning and purpose in the service to humanity for its betterment, honoring God and all for His Glory!
We are not just a martial art, or just a sport, in essence we are a School of Leadership!
We hope you will enjoy your journey through our World as we attempt not only to educate and inform, but to offer an experience on what it is to live as a Hwarang - "A Flowering Knight".