Public Notice: Regarding what a Martial Art is and is not Today

Public Notice: Difference between Sport and Martial Art | Public Notice: Damaging Practices Today

Public Notice: What is the difference between sports and martial arts?

Within the present martial arts community and in regards to most martial art school owners, people do not understand the difference between martial arts and sports. These entities are completely different, yet many individuals and dojangs (which is a martial art school) operate and behave as if they were only sports. The following table is used to highlight some of the defining characteristics of Sports, Generic Martial Arts, and Specific Martial Arts. The distinctions between these different types of identities are quite obvious, yet these distinctions have not been addressed or understood by the majority of public practitioners.

Generic Martial Arts
Specific Martial Arts
1. Is there an owner?
Originally yes, but after time has become generic an no longer has an owner
2. How are they governed?
By local/regional/national organizations for a particular league
Nobody can govern the art. Multitudes of organizations that act like leagues
One governing organization for entire art
3. What does the governing organization do?
Maintains qualification and controls game rules
No governing association.
Schools operate
as organizations for their
own personal success
Protects the honor of the art leaders and practitioners benefits and control of
the art’s reputation
4. Can anyone make another organization?
No, only one can exist
5. Who gives out ranks or player licenses?
Any organization
Originally Governing Organization. But after turned to Generic arts, any school owner or through self-promotion
Only one Governing Organization throughout the World.
Testing from founder and testing committee only
6. What is the practitioner?
Athlete/Martial Artist
Martial Artist
7. Is there the level of Dan ranking?
Yes, but meaning has been lost due to self-ranking and reciprocal ranking
Yes, granted only by the founder and art testing committee
8. What is the motivation for practitioners?
Self – Victory, Money, Fame
For many: self, money, techniques
For some: the art and personal development
The future of the art, true ranks and titles, and personal development
9. Does it have the ability to protect its identity?,
10. Can it be defined, and the definition hold true for everyone under that name?
11. Who receives the benefit of its name and reputation?
Individual Players
a School Owner
Practitioners, school owners, and all art leaders due to the protection of the Governing Organization


Point 1: Nobody can own a sport’s identity, but a martial art has an owner.

It is ridiculous to think that basketball or soccer is owned by a person or organization. While the NBA and FIFA set guidelines and policies for their particular professional leagues, athletes that practice outside of these leagues or individuals that play on the neighborhood courts and fields are not bound or regulated by any particular guidelines or organization – they just play the game. This is different than a martial art, and the reason for this can be understood in the historical process that martial arts were founded. The original martial arts were founded in the 20th century, and these were created from a particular lineage and tradition of combat skills. This is an important point to understand. Many people think that martial arts in general have existed for hundreds if not thousands of years. However, what existed in the past were “schools” or “sets” of combat skills, and these were passed from generation to generation until the 20th century. Due to changes in warfare, the traditional hand to hand combat and weaponry (sword, staff, etc.) was no longer an effective primary means of defense in larger scale battles. Yet, these sets of traditional combat skills, and the moral principles that accompanied them, have a positive and beneficial value for the people who practiced them on a personal/individual basis, which is why the leader of a particular “school” or “set” of skills established a particular martial art identity – or founded a modern “Do”.

It is ridiculous to think that basketball or soccer is owned by a person or organization. While the NBA and FIFA set guidelines and policies for their particular professional leagues, athletes that practice outside of these leagues or individuals that play on the neighborhood courts and fields are not bound or regulated by any particular guidelines or organization – they just play the game. This is different than a martial art, and the reason for this can be understood in the historical process that martial arts were founded. The original martial arts were founded in the 20th century, and these were created from a particular lineage and tradition of combat skills. This is an important point to understand. Many people think that martial arts in general have existed for hundreds if not thousands of years. However, what existed in the past were “schools” or “sets” of combat skills, and these were passed from generation to generation until the 20th century. Due to changes in warfare, the traditional hand to hand combat and weaponry (sword, staff, etc.) was no longer an effective primary means of defense in larger scale battles. Yet, these sets of traditional combat skills, and the moral principles that accompanied them, have a positive and beneficial value for the people who practiced them on a personal/individual basis, which is why the leader of a particular “school” or “set” of skills established a particular martial art identity – or founded a modern “Do”.

Point 2: The governing body of sports are limited in their ability to control and administer the entire sport. The same is true of generic martial arts, however the governing body of a specific martial art can fully manage all aspects of the entire art.

While governing bodies/organizations of sports and martial arts often fulfill some of the same capacities and responsibilities, the range of their jurisdiction and influence is completely different. A governing body of a sport only has jurisdiction over the members of its league. For instance the NBA controls the NBA, the CBA controls the CBA, the Olympic committee controls basketball in the Olympic games, etc. Most of the basic rules of the game are consistent throughout the different leagues, however, their guidelines, rules, and policies vary. In short, these organizations can only administer their particular group of individuals and teams, and they have no jurisdiction whatsoever over any other person/group/league of individuals and teams that participate in the same sport.

Due to the specific martial art identity that was originally founded, the governing body of a particular art does have jurisdiction over all aspects of the art. This organization determines how the art will be managed. It determines administrative policies, it enforces the rules and regulations of the art, and it maintains specific guidelines related to ranks and titles. (Some of the original martial arts became sports, and some have lost the ability to properly govern themselves with a single organization, and these points will be addressed later). An organization of a truly specific martial art though, does control all aspects of the art. As a specific martial art can be defined to a specific identity, its governing body is similar to that of a government of a country. This governing body establishes the rules that individuals and groups must follow in order to maintain social stability and harmony within its borders. It defines the administrative policies and guidelines used for the implementation of particular programs. It collects funds to be used for beneficial improvements/public works for that particular country and society. It has checks and balance/quality control procedures to ensure that all are equal under the law and justice is fairly maintained. Furthermore, it has the ability and means to enforce its laws, rules, and regulations for everyone that exists within that country or specific martial art.

Remember, a martial art is the “Way of ” a particular idea/concept/techniques from the source of its founder’s secret skills, and it operates as instruction in this particular “Way”. What is important in modern times and modern society, is that a martial art exists in the form of an instructional business within this present society(s). This being the case, while the martial art governing organization can exist in similar forms and capacities as sports organizations and other business associations, the perspective in which it operates is much more vast when compared to these other types of organizations. The specific martial art organization/association is the government of the total art, and its administrative and regulative endeavors.

Point 3: A martial artist is not an athlete.

While both martial artists and athletes perform physical skills, these two types of people are totally different. Merriam-Webster defines an athlete as “a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.” Basketball players and participants in the Olympics develop their skills in a particular sport, and then compete under predetermined rules with one another in the same sport. It is pretty easy to understand what an athlete is, however there exists major lapses in the understanding of what a martial artist is.

The historical development of the martial arts is again an important perspective to understand. As martial arts developed from traditional schools/sets of combat skills, it is important to remember the practitioners of these original skills were warriors. While at times there was a little “friendly” competition between different traditions, the majority of times and primary purpose of their combat skills was for battle. Plain and simple, the practitioners of the traditional “schools” of combat skills fought with one another and the enemies of their country to the death or they conquered the other.

The dynamics have changed during the transition from “schools” of combat skills to specific martial arts. The martial “artist” still learns these sets of combat skills for his or her personal self-defense, yet there is also an underlying philosophy that has evolved. Again, martial arts were founded to preserve the tradition of a particular school of combat skills and philosophy for the ages. These skills were no longer the most practical in modern warfare, and use of these skills within society has serious repercussions. Obviously people cannot go around killing one another or social stability and harmony will be lost. This is why the primary motivation and purpose for practitioners is that of personal development.

Please make sure not to confuse a martial artist with a fighter. Practicing techniques only and being concerned with just the fight or competition is fine, however, this is not the defining characteristic of a martial artist. There are specific principles, philosophies and morality that accompanies the specific techniques of a specific martial art. And in regards to teaching combat skills to the public, one must teach morality and concepts such as respect and honor to ensure these practitioners will use these skills in a justified manner. These concepts are also a requirement if a particular art is to be passed down to future generations.

One must also be aware of the relationship between student and teacher. In the martial arts, the teacher is NOT a coach, but rather exists as a parent to that student. In sports, often times coaches are mentors to their athletes. However, no matter how much they care for their team members, their primary purpose is to lead the team to victory. The master/instructor of a martial art practitioner is primarily focused on the personal development of his/her student, which involves deep concern over their mentality, the ability to have a successful life, that they live honorably, that they are healthy, and that they develop their physical body and spirit. This type of concern and focus is important because the master/instructor is responsible for their student and their life.

Please think about the ranking system of the martial arts. Are there Dan degrees for athletes of a sport? Is Michael Jordan a 10th Dan in basketball? While he may be one of the greatest players to ever play the game, it still does not make sense to start giving out Dan degrees. Athletes and martial artists cannot be compared to one another along the same standards. The key to understanding what a martial artist is to understand that the artist is a practitioner of a specific “Way,” and not a participant in a game or competition. Often times martial arts are referred to as a “way of life,” yet how many people understand the actual meaning of this? Athletes do not follow a particular “Way,” but rather they compete for their own personal motivations – to win, to make money, or to represent their country.

Point 4: Some martial arts are no longer arts, they are now sports.

As time passed in modern society, some martial arts have changed into sports. The original combat skills were used for battle, but if battle is taken away, a forum for the use of these skills has also disappeared. Hence the rise of the sport version of combat skills, such as Judo and Taekwondo. While these sports originated from traditional combat skills, they have been organized, created, and defined with the purpose of competing under a specific format. Only certain techniques can be used, and there are rules that dictate how points are scored and a winner is determined. Many of the “Americanized” schools that exist today are also just sport versions of combat skills, and are not martial arts.

There is nothing wrong with being a sport version of combat skills, but it is essential that people understand the difference between martial arts and sports. Even in the way these are governed there is a difference. Sport combat skills are governed in the same manner as other sports. There are national and local organizations which oversee competitions and guidelines regarding fairplay. Just as in other sports, these organizations only have a limited jurisdiction and cannot control others within the same sport if they are in a different league. Again, the primary focus of the sport version of combat skills is competition and not the total personal development of the practitioners.

Point 5: There is a difference between specific martial arts and generic martial arts.

A martial art came from one lineage of combat skills to a modern founder. In order to continue passing on this lineage, practitioners who wish to teach must get permission from their art’s highest masters and governing organization. If this individual has the proper abilities and fulfills all other requirements, then a school license can be granted. These school owners must follow the rules and regulations of the art, teach the same curriculum, and ensure that their school operates to the standards specified for the art. It is an honor to be a representative of one’s art, and this type of dedication and leadership ensures that this particular art will maintain its integrity.

In the past 30 years, some of the original martial arts have become generic martial arts. An understanding of generic and specific arts is important in this day and age, because a distinction must be made between the two. All the original arts started taking the same steps together, but over time they went their own directions. Remember, at one point in time each art was a specific martial art identity. As mentioned above there exists a standard curriculum, rules and regulations, etc., which define what the art is and how it is passed to the future. However, high standards have not been maintained or enforced by a particular art and/or popular trends and unsavory individuals have damaged some of the original arts and their ways leaving only a generic mix of techniques behind.

The lack of high standards is the responsibility of the original masters and their governing organizations. Since many arts were founded in the same time period, competition existed between them. For whatever reason, some individuals felt in order to promote and expand their art it was necessary to give out ranks, titles, and school licenses without adhering to high standards. Another trend also arose during this period, and that is the purchasing of ranks and titles without actually fulfilling the requirements for these ranks and titles. This trend is still in strong force today, and a variation of it has mutated into what is know as “reciprocal ranking.” This concept is completely absurd, yet it is accepted by many individuals within the martial art community. Simply put “reciprocal ranking” between styles asks – “If I am a 3rd Dan in Taekwondo, can you give me a 3rd Dan in Hapkido?” Without learning one technique, one concept, one philosophy you will be granted the same rank in another art – with a small fee of course. Now these individuals display multiple Dan rankings and multiple arts names in their schools without even realizing the damage and disrespect they are showing to both martial arts. At our world headquarters we receive hundreds of emails asking this question, but how is it possible that a person who has dedicated the past 10 – 20 years of their life working for the benefit of their art and to their own personal training compare to a person who has not done one thing in that art? Does money make up the difference? – Absolutely Not!!!

Unsavory individuals have also left an impression on the martial art community. These individuals don’t even bother with things like reciprocal ranking or the purchasing of degrees, they simply steal the name of another art and use it just like any other store front business. They watch a couple videos, maybe read a couple articles, and now they are masters of the martial arts. Some individuals mix things they learned previously with material from other arts, and now they create a “brand new and improved” martial art. These liars have only damaged real martial arts and the integrity of the entire martial art community.

These types of practices have allowed individuals who should not be teaching and who should not represent an art the opportunity to do so. But, can anyone really be surprised with the results? Curriculums for arts are no longer standardized, ability standards for practitioners are not met, individuals have broken away from their mother art and created thousands of different organizations for the same art, and all ability to maintain any sense of quality control is lost.

This distinction must be understood. Presently there exists generic martial arts and specific martial arts. While all martial arts started out on the same step forward, some have followed a path which has destroyed any sense of a distinct identity, while other specific martial arts have maintained their identities. Now, those few specific arts remaining are the only ones that can govern themselves and maintain their identity for the future generations.

Concluding remarks:

With an understanding of this distinction between generic and specific, one can also understand the need for a registered trademark. A specific martial art can be defined, and in order to maintain its identity some form of protection is necessary in today’s world. People can no longer settle differences and disputes with their fists, and as a public institution a specific martial art must follow the law. An internationally registered trademark is one of the means Hwa Rang Do® legally protects its identity. Everyone is equal and accountable under the law. Everyone is also equally accountable under the laws of the art. No matter one’s rank or position, a violation is a violation, and one must accept the consequences of one’s actions.

As you can see, there are two essential means of maintaining a specific martial art’s identity – Internal and External. Internal governance is necessary for administration and quality control procedures that oversee the schools, instructors, and practitioners of that particular art. External means are necessary for stopping individuals outside of the art from damaging its identity. Sports and generic martial arts do not have this level of protection, they can only govern their particular league or group internally. Hwa Rang Do® is a specific definable identity, and this characteristic is extremely important to all of our practitioners. Our identity will not be sacrificed for money, personal gain, or personal agendas.

Public Notice: Difference between Sport and Martial Art | Public Notice: Damaging Practices Today

Public Notice: Damaging Practices Today

Another mission of the Hwa Rang Do® Master’s Judicial Committee is the correction and education of the martial art society through the demonstration of Hwa Rang Do®’s true martial and healing art’s spirit. The spirit of a martial art is the beating heart of its identity. As individuals open schools under a particular art name, that spirit must be represented in order to maintain an art’s public reputation. It should also be mentioned that a martial art is an instructional business. As public institutions they must follow specific guidelines and laws for their administrative endeavors and their instructional practices. It does not matter if one follows a traditional or modern path, the school must follow and abide by its art’s standards, and not the personal whims of the school owner.

An instructional business is similar to any other business with legal precedents and enforcement procedures that apply. These businesses may also be protected by those laws defined by trademark registrations, and international, federal, and state anti-dilution and unfair competition laws, as well as common law rights. As the discussion continues to some of the aspects and trends of the present martial art community, please keep in mind the following:

A martial art is:
1. A tradition of a specific set of combat skills, philosophy, and laws that is passed generation to generation.
2. A public institution that exists in the form of an instructional business and is protected by legal rights.

Practices of the Present Martial Art Community

The above discussion regarding sports, generic martial arts, and specific martial arts has already addressed a few of the present negative trends within the martial art community today. In the hope to correct these destructive trends and preserve the integrity of martial arts, the Hwa Rang Do® judicial committee will explain these in detail below. Many times these types of practices go hand and hand with one another, and the following can be taken as the most destructive practices to martial art identities within the present martial art community:

1. The belief that a martial art is only a group of techniques.
2. The practice and instruction of multiple martial art identities in the same school or by one person.
3. The selling of Dan degrees and titles without proper qualification.
4. Stealing the reputation of martial art identities and their names and ranks.
5. Following personal motivations of profit and fame, over adhering to the standards/guidelines of the art.
6. Breaking away from one’s teacher and/or governing organization to create a new art or new organization.

1. The belief that a martial art is only a group of techniques has become a prominent trend, and makes martial art training similar to that of an academic education. In academic education there is a primary focus on learning more and as much as possible. An individual gets an undergraduate degree from one school in one field, and then moves on to another degree in another field sometimes at another school. This continues on, and often the most respected and learned scholars are those who have 3, 4, or more types of degrees to show for their education.

Since we grow up in the institution of academic education, this type of approach makes sense and is something we are familiar with. This kind of approach is fine for academia, but when the same approach is applied to martial arts, the martial arts become only sets or styles of doing certain types of techniques, and in turn one focuses on learning as many different sets of techniques as possible. While the learning of techniques is important, and again we would like to remind you that being focused only on technique is not bad in itself, it is the consequences of making this the primary focus is what is of importance, and how this damages the martial art identities.

If you are only learning techniques for competition, or you want to know how to perform a vast array of combat skills for your personal protection/use you are entitled to that right. An individual’s personal goals and desires are his/her own, and you are free to study the techniques you want to study. However, you are not studying martial arts, you are studying combat skills and technique only. Remember the techniques of a specific martial art are just one aspect of that art. If you are studying a martial art you are also studying its philosophy, morality, laws, and you are a part of its identity, its family. As the martial arts were founded from the original sets of combat skills, they were brought to us as public institutions and instructional businesses. These specific martial arts were also founded in order to preserve a specific tradition, and as a practitioner of a specific martial art it is your duty to ensure that the tradition can be carried on to the future generations.

When a person believes that martial arts are only techniques, you are forgetting the other 95% of what that martial art really is and have thrown its real identity to the wayside. When this has happened, it is obvious that the meaning and integrity of that martial art identity will be lost.

2. The thought that martial arts are technique only has also contributed to the practice and instruction of multiple martial art identities in the same school or by one person. As one is focused on the academic version of combat skills, obviously the more types of skills one knows the better. With this, we now have a single school that is proud to say that “we teach: Taekwondo, Hapkido, Kungfu, Jujitsu, Judo, Karate, Kendo, Taichi, and Yoga.” What could be better than a school that teaches every kind of combat skill and eastern health practice? You can learn every technique you ever wanted in one place! Well, again, all value in these specific martial arts and styles of techniques are lost. While you may know some more techniques are you living any of their philosophies? Do you have loyalty to any teacher, to any art? Are you working to preserve an art’s identity? What will be your legacy and the legacy of these arts in the year’s to come?

Instead of comparing a martial art to academic education, one should think of an art like a country. A country can be defined, it has boarders, and exists in a definable state with definable values throughout time. If the values and laws of the country are forgotten or not held in high esteem, the country will crumble internally or be conquered – ceasing to exist. When you think of your country and its values, one often feels a patriotic sense and duty to one’s country. While other countries can be respected, this patriotic sense and loyalty does not exist.

This feeling should be felt by the practitioners of an art. You should feel loyalty to your teacher, and you should feel loyalty and have this patriotic sense in relationship for the tradition that you are a part of. If you do not have his feeling, and teach different styles of techniques, it is obvious that the meaning and integrity of each martial art identity will be lost.

3. The trend of learning multiple styles has also brought about the rise of inappropriate Dan ranking. If you are a teacher, and want to teach 5 different styles, what can you do to make the public believe in you? Within traditional martial arts we have Dan Degree ranking and specific titles. A Dan Degree and master title represents an individual’s total dedication to an art. This includes proficiency in the required techniques of that level, completion of positive works for that martial art, and years involved in practice in that art. However, if you want to teach 5 different arts, you would usually have to spend 5 lifetimes in order to become a master of each of those styles.

Since most people can’t spend 5 lifetimes practicing these different arts, how is it that they can have Dan degrees and master titles in all of them? The solution is actually a simple one, all you have to do is purchase this rank from an organization willing to sell you the rank. These “organizations” range from some traditional art associations, “modern” groups of affiliations between individuals who promote this mixed martial art trend, and people who have been expelled from their art or simply have no legitimate roots whatsoever. At first Dan ranking sold for a thousand or so dollars, but now for a couple hundred bucks you can be a 5th Dan of hapkido or taekwondo and many of these kinds of organizations will be happy to grant this to you.

We also mentioned the trend of “reciprocal ranking.” This is closely related to the above mentioned trend of purchasing Dan ranking and titles. This fancy name is a way for people to justify this completely ridiculous concept of having high ranking titles in multiple martial arts. Put simply, if you have actually earned a specific rank in one martial art, 5th Dan, you can be given the same rank in a completely different martial art without ever learning a thing. How nice this must be for the instructor who wants to teach many multiple arts.

What is the effect of this widespread selling of Dan ranks and titles? First of all these titles no longer hold any value within the martial arts that have let this happen. When an individual spent 20 years learning an art, and working for its positive future, the title they had earned meant something. You could be proud about your rank, your title, and your position. However, in the generic martial art community this rank is meaningless because anybody can buy the same rank.

Rank is an important part of the martial art identity because it is an essential vehicle in preserving the art through the generations. Rank establishes the hierarchy, and relationship between the practitioners of the art. With certain rank, specific responsibilities and privileges arise.

A martial art is a military art. Think about the ranks and titles of the military. Can a person be a major in the US army, a Sergeant in the Germany army, and a Lieutenant in the English navy? Not unless you are a really good spy!!! It is absurd to think that someone can be a true rank in different military branches, yet does it make sense to have rank in different martial arts? If for some reason you stop one martial art, and wish to practice another, you must drop all of your previous ranks and titles and start fresh. That is the only way you can show respect to both of these martial arts. Otherwise,it is obvious that the meaning and integrity of both martial art identities will be lost.

4. The next step that damages specific martial art identities are the unsavory individuals who have no respect at all for martial art identities, and simply steal their names, their reputations, and their ranks. In order to follow popular trends like having 5 martial art names on your school doors, these individuals simply put these multiple martial art names on the doors without learning a thing or even buying a Dan degree. Their goal is to capitalize on the popularity of an art at a specific time, so more students will be attracted to their school.

The most widespread example of this in present times is the use of Hapkido by many Taekwondo practitioners. Taekwondo has been quite popular for many years. When it became an Olympic sport, more and more people were again attracted to its schools. However, being a sport also has a downfall, and Taekwondo, in the fact that it is not as combative, and is no longer a martial art began to drive people elsewhere. In order to resolve this problem, many Taekwondo practitioners now say that they teach Hapkido as well. This way they are presenting the known/popular sport version of combat skills in Taekwondo, but also they teach a “real” martial art in Hapkido. Just look at the yellow pages, websites, and school buildings, and you will see this trend everywhere. It is not just with Taekwondo and Hapkido, but with almost every other martial art name as well.

Again, these individuals watch a couple videos or attend a seminar (sometimes they don’t even do this), and now they are stealing the reputation of a respected martial art identity to use for their own profit. When this has happened, it is obvious that the meaning and integrity of that martial art identity will be lost.

5. Using multiple martial art names and false Dan degrees and titles is just a symptom of a larger problem. This underlying concern is that people are sacrificing the integrity of their art for their own personal profit and fame. Some school owners think that they can make more money by listing multiple martial art names and fake titles on their school, and sometimes they probably do. By not standing by one’s art, or its governing organization, the school owner decides that for a couple dollars today, he/she will sacrifice the integrity of their martial art’s future.

These school owners may not even be thinking of large profit, but rather the focus is on just having a successful business. Especially in hard economic times this is a difficult endeavor in itself, and the additional weight of helping to support an art and its governing organization adds up. So the focus now becomes how I, the school owner, will survive, and not on how the art will survive.

In the short term, the doors may stay open a little longer, or you may even become a millionaire. However, the long term consequences are severe, and you are destroying the very thing that is your livelihood. How is it that so many people destroy the very thing they are teaching? Do they just not see the impact their actions have on their martial art? Every school, every instructor impacts the martial art that they practice. When one individual does something bad, this is felt by everyone in that martial art identity. This is also true of positive works, good actions are also felt by the entire art.

Teachers and practitioners must understand that everything they do has an effect on the their martial art identity, its public reputation, and on what is passed to the future generations. If these individuals do not support their art, there will be nothing left for the next generation, and in fact this is already felt by all of the generic martial arts today, and it is obvious that the meaning and integrity of these martial art identities are lost.

6. The last trend in the martial art community that we wish to discuss is the last step in destroying the value of martial art identities, and it is the creation of new “martial arts” and new organizations. Since the focus is on what is popular and what an individual can do for himself, what is better than becoming a founder of a martial art on your own? When martial arts first came to the US in the 60’s and 70’s you would only find a Judo and Karate section in the Yellow Pages. As time passed on, more martial art identities were introduced to the US and the broader category of “martial arts instruction” became the heading for these unique martial art identities. Now, when you search under this broad “martial art instruction” category you will find 10,000 different names for martial arts, and another 10,000 different organizations that “govern” these arts.

Martial art identities are a 20th century phenomena, but it would be ridiculous to think that these 10,000 new martial arts originated from the traditional lines of combat skills. These new martial arts are made by people who have found the “new and improved” version of the original techniques, and “from their vast years of practical experience” developed the most “comprehensive and effective” martial art. There are so many of these kinds of martial arts it is actually impossible to count them. There is a “Do” for everything now, and multiple organizations to go with them.

Again, to take techniques from multiple martial arts, and call them something else only destroys the integrity of those original martial arts. Also, for so many people to say that they have found a new and improved version of thousands of year old techniques is also ridiculous. Pretty soon, these individuals will start saying they know a new and improved version of acupuncture or another healing method.

Rearranging a basic number of techniques and putting a little twist on them, does not make you a founder of a martial art identity. While there can be tremendous innovations in the realm of combat skills just like healing and science, this certainly does not happen on the scale that it has in the present martial art society. A big innovation was when the original martial arts were founded from the original lineages of combat skills to the public institutions of martial art identities, but these original founders CANNOT be compared to your average Joe that created his own “Monkey-Do.” These kinds of actions have only caused harm to the entire martial art community. How can the public trust all of these people and organizations, when they don’t have any roots and they only act for their personal gain. These people are just taking advantage of innocent practitioners that are looking for personal development. Now, it is obvious that the meaning and integrity of most martial art identities are lost.

How the Hwa Rang Do® Judicial Committee deals with these present circumstances within the martial art community on an internal level.

On an internal level the Judicial Committee is where decisions by the WHRDA are reached when any Hwa Rang Do® or Tae Soo Do® member violates the rules and regulations set forth for the martial and healing art Hwa Rang Do® / Tae Soo Do® . It should be noted that individual masters or instructors do not have the sole authority to expel students. Punishable incidents and requests for expulsion/reduction in rank, must be reported to the Judicial Committee where a verdict will be determined, and finally this request must be approved by the Founder of the art. Expulsions and reductions in rank in Hwa Rang Do® or Tae Soo Do® are extremely rare and these judgments are reached by a majority rule only after serious reflection and presentation of all the facts. In nearly all cases, the violating individual is given an opportunity to maintain membership if they accept their reduction in rank to white belt status and change their offensive behavior. All judicial committee procedures and punishments are in accordance with the bylaws and rules and regulations concerning PENALTIES / DISMISSAL / REDUCTION IN RANK.

The judicial committee follows and enforces the laws of the art. Please be aware that any action taken by the judicial committee is never out of anger, only out of concern for our art’s identity after following thorough procedures. The individuals and the judgments they have received are posted on this website to inform the public of their actions and their actual relationship with the martial art of Hwa Rang Do®. If the these individuals resolve their issues and/or stop all use of the Hwa Rang Do® name, uniforms, techniques, and master’s names we will not have to follow up with legal action and the remarks on this site concerning them will be taken off the judicial committee page. The dedication and benefits of legitimate practitioners of a specific martial art must not be damaged due to the whims and desires of a couple dishonorable individuals, or else that specific martial art will become a generic martial art.