Hwa Rang Do® – Tae Soo Do®

Martial Art & Healing Art

      The tradition of the Hwarang combat skills have been passed continuously for 58 generations. These skills began in the ancient Korean kingdom of Silla some 2,000 years ago, where they were used to unify the Korean peninsula for the first time. But as time moved on, these skills were passed secretly (1392-1960) from masterto disciple in the mountains of Korea. In 1942, the monk Suahm Sunsa (aka Suahm Dosa) began teaching two brothers these skills. Dr. Joo Bang Lee and Joo Sang Lee were Suahm Dosa’s only students in the world and the monk passed on the concepts, techniques, and lineage of this combative system to them.

     In 1960, Dr. Joo Bang Lee brought this combat system to the public when he founded the new martial art identity Hwa Rang Do®. The Hwarang combat skills that Suahm Dosa taught were called Um Yang Kwon which means “soft and hard combined.” This set of combat skills are based on the principles of Um and Yang . It combines both hard and linear movement with soft and circular movement to create one of the most comprehensive combative systems in existence.

      However, when the Lee brothers were trained from Suahm Dosa, they were not taught by a belt-by-belt syllabus. There was not a ranking system, and their master simply taught them his vast knowledge through intensive training in all of these skills. Once they had learned these skills their master gave them the title of master. In order for Dr. Lee to teach this system to the public a syllabus and ranking system was needed. So in 1960, Dr. Lee divided all of the skills that he had learned from Suahm Dosa into the Hwa Rang Do® curriculum that exists today.

MuSoolMartial Skill Aspects

Hwa Rang Do®is an art that contains both martial skills as well as healing skills. The Hwarang Um Yang Kwon combat skills, the musool (martial skills) that Suahm Dosa taught were divided into the four divisions of power found in Hwa Rang Do®.

Nae Kong – 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 earns 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 after you practice Hwa Rang Do’s® ki(power) development exercises:

          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 Kong – 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 ell 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 micalstructure/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; ground fighting and locks, forms for each sash; 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 with one movement. Hwa Rang Do techniques are implemented to the degree a particular situation dictates, applying a particular degree of response for each incremental escalation of force. Within this division of Wae Kong you can find over 4,000 techniques in Hwa Rang Do®. These 4,000 techniques have both practical effective ways and artistic ways of execution. So it requires tremendous concentration and a good memory to learn this curriculum. Even though there are so many techniques, they are mostly designed so that it is easy for a physically weaker individual to perform them on a stronger opponent. So anyone from 3 year old children to 80 year old adults can learn them.

Moo Gi Kong – 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 Kong – 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.

Principles of Um and Yang

All of the techniques and concepts found in Hwa Rang Do® are based on the principles of Um and Yang.

The three Elements of Um , the essence of Hwa Rang Do’s® 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 redirects 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.
Hap – as the third element of Um, it represents unity and combination.

The three Elements of Yang , the essence of Hwa Rang Do’s® 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 Hap or combination and its form is found in understanding the distance between two opponents.

      As you can see from these 6 aspects of Um and Yang the total combinations and possibilities of techniques are almost endless. The philosophie of Um and Yang are the foundation for the divisions of Hwa Rang Do®, and this can be seen in the 260 categories of over 4,000 techniques, 365 kicking
possibilities, forms, and weapon study found in the syllabus of Hwa Rang Do.Click here to view the specific requirement for each sash level of Hwa Rang Do.

Tae Soo Do

      The martial art of Tae Soo Do® was created as the undergraduate program to Hwa Rang Do®. Since the Hwa Rang Do® curriculum is very advanced and complicated because there is so much learn, it was often difficult for an individual without previous martial skill training to progress through Hwa Rang Do®. The Tae Soo Do® syllabus is designed to build a foundation of physical skills as well as proper attitude for the nonexperienced practitioner. This program helps the student understand the fundamentals, basic mechanics, and philosophies inherent in Hwa Rang Do®. (as a side note: before Tae Kwon Do unified, KongSooDo and TangSooDo(SooBakDo) had an organization name for a short time called the Korean TaeSooDo Association. This name is no longer use by TaeKwonDo, and the meaning of this TaeSooDo is the “way of body and hands”. However, the meaning of our Tae Soo Do® is a martial art name that means the “Way of the Great Hand” or the “Way of the Warrior Spirit,” so please do not confuse these).

The Tae Soo Do®Curriculum contains

*   Linear and Circular Kicking
*   Linear and Circular Blocks and Hand Strikes
*   Combinations: Kickboxing
*   Practical Self-defense Techniques
*   Basic Joint Manipulation
*   Basic Take-downs and Throws
*   Basic Ground Fighting and Choking
*   Weaponry: Ssang Jyel Bong (Nunchucks), Jang Bong
   (Long Staff),
     Jang Gum (Sword)
*   Beginner to Advanced Forms: Weapon and Open Hand
*   Sparring
*   Basic Acrobatics and Falling Techniques
*   Stretching and Agility Drills

      Once the student progresses through the Tae Soo Do® curriculum and receives their Black Belt, they graduate into the Hwa Rang Do® program as a Yellow Sash (master beginner). For the non-experienced individual and children, the Tae Soo Do® program is the best way to prepare oneself for the more advanced training found in Hwa Rang Do®. However, individuals with previous experience can start out in the Hwa Rang
Do® program initially. Click Here to view the specific requirements of each belt in Tae Soo Do®.

Insool – Healing Skill Aspects

      Another important part of Hwa Rang Do® is its healing skills.All advanced practitioners of Hwa Rang Do® must learn these healing skills as well as the martial skills. If one can cause injury (or worse) then one must also have the ability to heal. The healing skills found in Hwa Rang Do® are divided into 6 categories:

Ji Ap Sool – Acupressure
Chim Gu Sool – Acupuncture and Maxabustion
Yak Bang Bop – Herbal Medicine
Jup Gol Sool – Bone Setting
Hwal bop – Special Aids
Ki Ryuk Sool – Ki Power healing

      Through the study of both the martial and healing skills the Hwa Rang Do®practitioner will have an incredible understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the human body. This will not only help in a self-defense situation, but will also help the practitioner to understand and appreciate the fragility of human life. This type of understanding is crucial became it will help lead the practitioner to the further development of their character.

The Foundation of Hwa Rang Do’s Morality

      The study of human morality is more important to the Hwa Rang Do® practitioner than learning how to kick and punch. When you make a weapon out of a human through the learning of combat skills, you must have the responsibility to use this knowledge properly. Without this understanding of human morality, the martial art practitioner will cause great harm to themselves and the rest of society. That is why the moral foundation of Hwa Rang Do® is the Hwa Rang Do® Meng Sae. This is made up of the ancient Hwarang’s five rules, and Founder Dr. Joo Bang Lee’s nine philosophies concerning human morality.

(The 5 rules of the Ancient Hwarang’s code of ethics)






(Founder’s nine teaching moralities)

2. UEI
3. YAE
4. JI
6. SUN
7. DUK


T.O.P.S. School
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International Law Enforcement Mobile Training Team
Military – Special Units
International Military Mobile Training Team
Corporate Training Program
Stress Management, Self Defense, Confidence & Self Esteem
Physically Challenged Program
Individually tailored to those with limited mobility.
Security / Bodyguard Training
Specific to the needs (Practical & Legal) of security work.
At-Risk Youth Program
Help children stay away from gangs & drugs.
Self Defense Clinics
Practical & informative – Learn to effectively defend yourself.
Oriental Healing Programs
Periodic seminars, clinics, and individualized programs.

All programs are tailored to the needs of the individuals or groups involved.

For further information: contact the Hwa Rang Do® World Headquarters