Hwa Rang Do is a comprehensive martial art focusing on both martial and healing practices. Because of its level of comprehensiveness, it functions as an advanced martial training program and is the graduate program to Tae Soo Do.
Tae Soo Do is the undergraduate program to Hwa Rang Do and the beginning of a much more intensive study of martial arts. Tae Soo Do is a sport-style training program similar to Karate or Tae Kwon Do and achieving a black belt in Tae Soo Do grants you access into Hwa Rang Do.
Though the martial tradition of the Hwarang was created 2,000 years ago, changes in political and social ideologies forced the secrets of the tradition to be passed down from one monk to one disciple for 600 years until 1942. In 1942, our Supreme Grandmaster Dr. Joo Bang Lee and his brother Joo Sang Lee started training with Suahm Dosa, a monk in this Hwarang tradition. During the 1950's, Dr. Joo Bang Lee also became involved with other Korean martial artists, particularly those who eventually founded Hapkido. In 1960, he created and founded the martial art of Hwa Rang Do, which combined his knowledge of martial art training along with the spirit and philosophy of the Hwarang warriors.
The basis of Hwa Rang Do stems from the theory of Um-Yang, the two harmonious forces of nature, which are revealed in the soft and hard techniques of Hwa Rang Do. Tae Soo Do was created by Supreme Grandmaster in 1990 as an introductory program to Hwa Rang Do to expose it to people inexperienced in martial arts as a form of recreation and sport.
To understand more of the history behind Hwa Rang Do, watch this three part series on YouTube, Hwa Rang Do: The Untold Story of the Formation of the Modern Korean Martial Arts, which is a first-hand account from Dr. Joo Bang Lee on the founding of Hwa Rang Do. For an understanding of the ancient history of the Hwarang warriors, read the history on the Hwa Rang Do Official Website.
A beginner in Tae Soo Do is a white belt. A student may test to gain higher rankings. The rankings are as follows:
When a student receives a Tae Soo Do black belt, he or she also receives Chil Kub (yellow sash) in Hwa Rang Do. The student is then responsible for Moo Kub (white sash) and Pal Kub (orange sash) material in Hwa Rang Do.
Each rank has a varying curriculum. To see more of the curriculum, check out what we do in class.
Supreme Grandmaster Dr. Joo Bang Lee
Founder of the World Hwa Rang Do Association in 1960 and 58th generation Do Joo Nim, or keeper of the way.
Grandmaster Taejoon Lee
Eighth degree black sash, son of Dr. Joo Bang Lee, and heir to the title of Do Joo Nim. Grandmaster Lee's academy is located in West Los Angelos, California. His title is Kuk Sa Nim.
Master David Kijek
Fifth degree black sash and head of Hwa Rang Do in the Midwest. Master Kijek lives in Madison. His title is Kwan Jang Nim.
Chief Instructor Dylan Sirny
Fourth degree black sash and head of Hwa Rang Do in Minneapolis. His title is Susuk Sa Bum Nim.
The UW-Eau Claire Hwa Rang Do community is unique compared to the other schools and clubs in the Midwest and perhaps the world. The trait that separates us is the dedication and self-accountability of its students. Since the club’s founding in 1995, UWEC has seen several head instructors and not every head instructor has been a black sash. While these Eau Claire instructors were allowed to teach Tae Soo Do, they had to travel for their own training as a Hwa Rang Do student. This dedication created a unique community in Eau Claire of driven individuals.