Hwa Rang Do® - The martial art name: "The way of the flowering manhood." This is the name of the martial art identity that was
founded in 1960 by Dr. Joo Bang Lee. He is the one who created the syllabus of this martial art for public instruction. He
combined the spirit and philosophy of the ancient Hwarang warriors with the ancient secret Hwarang combat skills Um Yang
Kwon that were passed to Dr. Lee from his master Suahm Dosa.
Hwarang - "Flower man" The title given to the leaders of the youth group from the ancient kingdom of Silla. This title was only
received by the youth of royal family members, and not civilians.
Rangdo -"Fellows" The title of the Hwarang's fellows. These people were the students disciples, and soldiers of the Hwarang,
and all came from the civilian class.
Hwarang (s) - (Hwarangdo ) - The term used to refer to the ancient Hwarang warriors. The Hwarang and Rangdo together were
called the "Flower knights." In reference to these individuals as a group of people, the Hwarang (leaders) and Rangdo
(fellows), two terms are used. Most references simply say Hwarang (s), but there are some later references that also use
Hwarangdo . The "DO" suffix used here means a group of people. So the term pronounced Hwarangdo means a "group of
As you can see the martial art name Hwa Rang Do® (The Way of the Flowering Manhood) and the ancient Hwarang/Hwarangdo
(Flower knights) youth group of Silla are different identities. They have the same Korean and English spellings, however their
meanings are different. The "DO" term associated with the ancient Hwarang/Hwarangdo means a group of people. However,
the "DO" term associated with the martial art Hwa Rang Do® means the "Way" or "Art." The Korean language uses hanja (the
characters of the Chinese writing system) as wells as hangul (the Korean alphabet) to produce the written meanings of their
language. This combination has created a circumstance where words that have the identical Korean pronunciations also have
completely different meanings. For example the hangul word pronounced, "DO" "" in Korean has 45 different meanings
associated to it because of this connection with the Chinese language. Another example of this is the hangul word "Mudo ."
This word means martial (military) arts , another "Mudo " means inhumanity, and also another "Mudo " means dance. Even the
word "Hwarang " has multiple meanings. One is Flower Man "", and the other is a picture gallery "Hwarang ". Because of these
problems with translations, and the difficulties that surround the terms of these languages, we will show the hangul and hanja
meanings with a phonetic spelling for an English equivalent.
The tradition of the Hwarang system has existed for over 2,000 years, and during this time it has developed into an incredibly
influential force. The impact of the Hwarang system and people was strongly felt in the East Asian region in ancient times, and
has also reverberated through time, leaving a lasting mark for us. The Korean combat skills originally began over 5,000 years
ago with the formation of the Kochosun kingdom. In order to protect the people and their territory this kingdom began the
development of a strong combative system. Later, over 2,000 years ago, the kingdom of Silla (BC 57) was formed and they
began the development of their own warrior system.
This Hwarangdo system eventually spread to Japan and was very influential in the development of the Japanese Samurai
system and Bushido (Korean-Musado, this is the moral mentality of the Hwarang and samurai). During this time much of the
Japanese culture originated from the Korean kingdoms of Silla, Koguryo and Packche. Along with social customs, martial
aspects were passed across the sea to Japan. So the counterpart of the Silla Hwarang was the Japanese Shogun, and the
counterpart of the Silla Rangdo was the Japanese shogun's soldiers (their samurai). It is also thought that the family of the
founder of Jujitsu was also connected to the Hwarang warriors. The name of this "Jujitsu " founder is "Shinna Sabro ", and the
Korean pronunciation of his name is "Silla Samrang." There were many Koreans who moved to other countries, and because
they still felt strong ties to their homeland they used this kingdom's name as their maiden name. The meaning of this founder's
name is "Silla third man," so it is thought that this founder's ancestors came from the kingdom of "Silla ".
Japanese soft styles such as Judo (mostly a sport version of throwing and chocking), Daitoryu Yawara (same as Aiki Jujitsu -
mostly throwing, joint manipulation, and grappling), and Aikido (mostly the use of an opponent's strength, and joint
manipulation) were the same skills that evolved from Jujitsu. But, in Japan the Daitoryu yawara (Aiki Jujitsu) and Jujitsu name
has been disbanded, and presently these branch schools are called Judo and Aikido schools. However, the Jujitsu that has
become popular in present times is called Brazilian Jujitsu and is mostly focused on grappling and ground locks. All of these
Japanese soft style skills share many similarities with the soft style "Yusool" skills of the ancient secret combat skills of the
Hwarang which are called "Um Yang Kwon " (Yusool -soft skills and Kangsool -hard skills). Because of these many similarities
and the meaning of the founder's name, it is thought that Jujitsu's roots lie in the Hwarang tradition of Korea.
Much of the influence of this Hwarang tradition is due to the arrival of King Chinhung (540 AD), who was also a Hwarang. The
Hwarang system existed before King Chinhung, but he was the individual who greatly developed the power and strength of
this system within his administration and military. After his arrival followed a long period of wars of expansion with the larger
kingdom to the north, Koguryo. However, before the northern kingdoms were engaged, King Chinhung took on the task of
driving out the Japanese colonies to the east, which were in alliance with the Yamato clan of Japan. Ten years later, King
Chinhung turned his armies onto the fertile valleys of west and central Korea, between the Han and Imjin Rivers. This was the
Pakche kingdom, and the conquest of the Han-Imjin river area brought great wealth to Silla through the acquisition of the
richest agricultural lands in the peninsula, additional military service, and the labor of the peasantry. This conquest also
opened an easier route to China through the capture of the ports on the Yellow Sea. Because of the Hwarang warriors of Silla,
these three countries were unified for the first time.
Who were the Hwarang?
One of the most significant acts by King Chinhung was the development of the Hwarang system within his military service. This
Hwarang system was organized by groups of youths who went to mountains, rivers and other places of natural beauty to learn
to develop human morality, loyalty, and mental and emotional control along with their combat skills. Through this development
of strong mental, physical and spiritual training they were taught to act as models of their culture and chivalrous warriors. They
were Silla's elite warriors. They were called Hwarang (Flower Knights) and Rangdo (a Hwarang's disciple or soldier). These
were young men who exemplified the warrior-intellectual that influenced the Silla kingdom's history for many centuries. A 13th
century monk recorded that the Silla kingdom had "issued a decree and chose boys from good royal families who were of good
morals and renamed them Hwarang (title of leader or General). Hwarang Sor Won was to be admitted as a Kuksun (Dae Jang
Gun or head General). This was the beginning of the Hwarang (JanGun-General) and Rangdo (SaByoung -soldiers) special
integration within the military system. During this time these warriors were called Hwarangdo (Hwarang and Rangdo group of
people) which means the flowering knights and their warriors.
Besides religious instruction, the Hwarang were taught traditional dance and songs for their emotional development.
Literature, the arts, and sciences were taught for their academic development. They were also taught the art of warfare,
archery, combative skills etc. Their combat skills are based upon the concept of the unity of opposites embodied in the
um-yang . Their empty-handed fighting techniques were known for their blending of the hard and soft, linear and circular
attacks. A linear thrust punch could break through the wooden armor of an opponent and kill him instantly. They could also spin
kick at such speeds that their enemies frequently thought that the feet of the Hwarang warriors were swords. Also they learned
108 different weapons within their curriculum.
The eighth century Silla historian, Kim Taemun, noted in his Hwarang chronicle. "Sagacious counselors and loyal ministers
follow the Hwarang and Rangdo; they produce great generals and brave soldiers." The rank of Hwarang signified the position
of a teacher of the their combat skills and he commanded 500 to 5,000 students, who were called Rangdo. A Kuksun possessed
the rank of head general (Dae Jang Gun) in the army. The ferocious fighting spirit of the Hwarang warriors became legendary,
and their exploits were recorded for posterity in Hwa Rang poetry and literature. The Hwarang narratives of the Silla dynasty
became the basis of the classical novel that formed the backbone of Korean literature for a thousand years.
Examples of the Strong Moral Mentality of the Hwarang
One of the most famous stories eulogized by Hwarang literature is the martyrdom of the son of General P'umil, who died in the
wars of unification. Kwan Chang was a Hwarang commander at the age of 16. He was captured during a battle with Paekche,
one of the western kingdoms. Since his high ranking battle crest indicated he was the general's son, he was taken before the
Paekche general. Lifting his war helmet, the Paekche general was taken aback at his youth. Thinking of his own young son, he
decided against execution, which was the usual fate of the captured officers, and returned him to Silla lines. Kwan Chang went
before his father and asked that he be sent back into battle at the head of his men. General P'umil agreed. He was captured
after a day-long battle, but after he was disarmed, he broke loose from his guards, killing both of them by hand and attacked
the Paekche general's second in command. A leaping, spin kick killed the commander as he sat on his horse, a full eight feet in
the air. Finally subdued, he was taken before the Paekche general. Much distressed over the loss of his chief commander, he
told Kwan Chang, "I gave you your life once because of your youth, but now you return to take the life of my best field
commander." This time the Paekche general returned the boy's head attached to the saddle of his war horse. At the Silla line,
General P'umil grasped his son's head and wiped off the blood with his sleeve. "My son's face is as when he was alive!" he
shouted to his men. "He was able to die in the service of the king. There is nothing to regret." The General rode back into
battle to complete the final defeat of Paekche. This was the famous Hwang San Bul battle and the story became legendary
throughout Korean culture.
Heroic legends of the Hwarang warriors were preserved in many forms: dances, poetry and literature. They were told and
retold from one generation to another and provided an example for the young of each generation to follow. The fighting spirit
of the Silla warriors was so widely known that even the most powerful enemies hesitated to attack.
One of the most famous stories that illustrates the respect that the country of Tang (as China was known in this period) had for
the people of Silla, is told about the young Hwarang general named Yoo Shin Kim. General Kim was 15 at the time he became a
commander in the army. Some years later China and Silla were in an alliance in a war against Paekche. The Silla armies had
engaged Paekche in a battle and defeated them. But the battle had taken several days and it caused the Silla commander,
Moon Kyung Kim, to be late for a meeting with the Chinese general, who was the top commander in this temporary alliance.
The Hwarang commander and General Kim went before the Chinese General Jung Bang So to report the good news of their
victory. But General So wanted to punish the Silla Commander for his disobedience and late arrival, so he ordered his
execution! Suspecting treachery, that China's real intentions were to first take Paekche and then turn on Silla, General Kim
spoke out angrily, "Are we your allies or your slaves?" Then in a burst of fury he exploded, "I will first fight with your army and
then we will defeat Paekche." Kuksun Yoo Shin Kim's sword rose from its scabbard by itself into his hand and he was about to
take the life of the Chinese general. It was thought in those times that the sword was the soul of the warrior and that it followed
the mind of its master. Seeing this, General So was taken with fright. He quickly apologized to General Kim and rescinded the
order of execution.
Paekche was defeated and Silla prepared for a war with China. However General So was afraid to attack Silla and returned
home to China. Asked by the Emperor why he had not taken Silla also, General So said, "It is true that Silla is a small country,
but their King is very wise and the generals are fierce and loyal. All the people are united in a strong camaraderie." He
repeated the incident with the Hwarang commander and said, "they are small, but we cannot defeat them."
Another story which revealed the depth of familial bonds of the Silla period concerned the death of the Hwarang General Bi
Yeng Ja. Asked by General Kim to lead a suicide attack against a large Chinese force. Hwarang Bi Yeng Ja replied, "You have
given me a great honor to show loyalty to my king and country." He then requested that the general watch over his son and
prevent him from following him into battle. Since Hwarang Bi Yeng Ja had only one son, he was concerned that his family name
live another generation. General Kim assured him that he would watch over his son. Hwarang Bi Yeng Ja entered battle and
was killed. Upon witnessing the death of his father, the son mounted his horse and followed his father into battle and was
killed too. Then followed the house manager and servant who were also killed. The whole Silla army witnessed this act of
loyalty and, swept with a wave of sympathy for this act of sacrifice, charged into battle to avenge the death of the Bi family.
They defeated the Chinese armies and saved Silla from almost certain conquest.
Fraternal loyalties among the Hwarang warriors were frequently as strong as familial ties. Another story is about Hwarang Sa Da
Ham who was 15 years old when he became a Hwarang under King Chinhung. In a war with the Northern kingdoms, Sa Da Ham
pleaded with the King that he be allowed to lead the first attack. In spite of Hwarang Sa Da Ham's young age, the King
consented so as to demonstrate the bravery of the Hwarang youth. Sa Da Ham led the army into battle against a fortress and he
was the first to breach the gate. For his bravery, King Chinhung gave him 300 slaves from the defeated army, but Hwarang Sa
Da Ham gave them their liberty and wished no personal rewards for his deeds.
In this war, Hwarang Sa Da Ham lost his closest comrade, Hwarang Moo Kwan Rang. From early childhood the two young friends
had a death pact that obliged each to commit suicide should one or the other die in battle. Sa Da Ham heard of his friend's
death and fell into remorse and mourning. He refused to eat or sleep for seven days. He died on the seventh day, and his
sacrifice was eulogized in Hwarang novels for centuries to come.
The story of Hwarang Won Sool, the second son of Dae Jang Gun Kuksun Yoo Shin Kim, commander of the Silla army, is similar
in its importance. Hwarang Won Sool was a lieutenant in the army when it suffered a defeat at the hands of Chinese troops.
Upon his return, his father requested permission from King Moon Moo to execute his son for the disgrace he brought on the
family and the country. But King Moon Moo replied that the boy was not in command and therefore was not responsible for the
defeat. But the father banished his son into exile in the mountains as a monk. When the father died Won Sool came back down
from the mountain to face his mother, but she refused to see him replying that she would not violate the father's command.
Won Sool returned to Tae Bak Mountain. Some years later China launched another war. Hwarang Won Sool heard of the
impending war and returned to the King to request that he be allowed to enter the battle. He was given a command and
performed brilliantly. King Moon Moo wanted to reward him, but Won Sool refused, saying that his family held him in shame and
that he could not accept. He returned to his mountain once again to live out his life as a hermit monk.
These stories, which became part of the Korean folklore and heroic legend, were not idle fairy tales, but models of the martial
code of chivalry. This code evolved into a system of ethics and morality that was essential to the Hwarang warrior's mentality.
The ego and self-interest was never sufficient to sustain such a commitment.
The development of a code of ethical behavior was achieved by the monk Won Kwang Bopsa. He told his young disciples
Hwarang - Kwi San and Chu Hang, "The society of the Silla people already had five rules called Sae Sok Ohkae, but I command
you to give these five rules to the Hwarang warriors for their rules of life." From this point on these five rules are called the
Hwarang Ohkae. These five rules have been passed down and held by the Hwarang warriors from every generation since Won
Kwang Bopsa first gave them to his two Hwarang disciples.
The End of an Era
This Hwarang system was passed through the Koryo dynasty. However, the name of this system was changed to kuksondo and
pungwealdo during this time. Even so, this system existed in the same capacity until one Hwarang Jang Gun (general) Sung
Gae Yi (or Lee) took over the Koryo kingdom and established the new country of Chosun (1392 AD). The third king of Chosun,
King Tae Jong (the fifth son of Sung Gae Lee) destroyed the Hwarang system when he initiated a policy that ordered all of the
independent Jang Guns' (Hwarang generals) personal soldiers to be under his control. King Tae Jong was afraid of the power
that the individual Hwarang generals had. King Tae Jong believed that the possibility of another strong Jang Gun attacking his
reign was great. So this policy was created in order to destroy all of the power that these individual Jang Guns held. This act
eliminated the Hwarang system from the public which was based on the relationship between the Jang Gun and his soldiers.
After giving the king their soldiers, some Hwarang generals left the kingdom. They left society and turned to mountain life or
became monks. It was almost 600 years that the Hwarang system and these Hwarang combat skills did not exist in the public
society of Korea. The combat skills of the ancient Hwarang were only passed secretly from one monk to one monk, until they
were passed to Suahm Dosa. He is the 57th generation Hwarang title holder and master of the secret ancient Hwarang combat
skills called Um Yang Kwon . He in turn, passed these secret skills to two young boys, Joo Bang Lee and his brother Joo Sang
Movements - 29
Ready Posture - CLOSED READY STANCE C
HWA-RANG is named after the Hwa-Rang youth group,
which originated in the Silla Dynasty in the early
7th century. The 29 movements refer to the
29th Infantry Division, where Taekwon-Do
developed into maturity.
|Rare International Tae Kwon-Do (ITF) video produced with the GENERAL CHOI on North
Korea, you can see Grand Master Park Jung Tae, Grand Master Choi Jung Wha and other
masters of the ITF performing tuls and explaining the movements of each tul.
Hwa-Rang and Choong-Moo
Ready Posture - CLOSED READY STANCE C
1.Move the left foot to B to forma sitting stance toward D while executing a middle pushing block to D with the left palm.
2.Execute a middle punch to D with the right fist while maintaining a sitting stance toward D.
3.Execute a middle punch to D with the left fist while maintaining a sitting stance toward D.
4.Execute a twin forearm block while forming a left L-stance toward A, pivoting with the let foot.
5.Execute an upward punch with the left fist while pulling the right side fist in front of the left shoulder, maintaining a left
L-stance toward A.
6.Execute a middle punch to A with the right fist while forming a right fixed stance toward A in a sliding motion.
7.Execute a downward strike with the right knife-hand while forming a left vertical stance toward A, pulling the right foot.
8.Move the left foot to A forming a left walking stance toward A while executing a middle punch to A with the left fist.
9.Move the left foot to D forming a left walking stance toward D while executing a low block to D with the left forearm.
10.Move the right foot to D forming a right walking stance toward D while executing a middle punch to D with the right fist.
11.Pull the left foot toward the right foot while bringing the left palm to the right forefist, at the same time bending the right
elbow about 45 degrees outward.
12.Execute a middle side piercing kick to D with the right foot while pulling both hands in the opposite direction and then
lower it to D forming a left L-stance toward D, at the same time executing a middle outward strike to D with the right knife-hand.
13.Move the left foot to D forming a left walking stance toward D while executing a middle punch to D with the left fist.
14.Move the right foot to D forming a right walking stance toward D at the same time executing a middle punch to D with the
15.Move the left foot to E turning counter clockwise to form a right L-stance toward E while executing a middle guarding block
to E with a knife-hand.
16.Move the right foot to E forming a right walking stance toward E while executing a middle thrust to E with the right straight
17.Move the right foot on line EF forming a right L-stance toward F while executing a middle guarding block to F with a
18.Execute a high turning kick to DF with the right foot and then lower it to F.
19.Execute a high turning kick to CF with the left foot and then lower it to F forming a right L-stance toward F while executing
a middle guarding block to F with a knife-hand. Perform 18 and 19 in a fast motion.
20.Move the left foot to C forming a left walking stance toward C while executing a low block to C with the left forearm.
21.Execute a middle punch to C with the right fist while forming a right L-stance toward C, pulling the left foot.
22.Move the right foot to C forming a left L-stance toward C while executing a middle punch to C with the left fist.
23.Move the left foot to C forming a right L-stance toward C while executing a middle punch to C with the right fist.
24.Execute a pressing block with an X-fist while forming a left walking stance toward C, slipping the left foot to C.
25.Move the right foot to C in a sliding motion forming a right L-stance toward D while thrusting to C with the right side elbow.
26.Bring the left foot to the right foot, turning counter clockwise to form a closed stance toward B while executing a side front
block with the right inner forearm while extending the left forearm to the side downward.
27.Execute a side front block with the left inner forearm, extending the right forearm to the side downward while maintaining a
closed stance toward B.
28.Move the left foot to B forming a right L-stance toward B at the same time executing a middle guarding block to B with a
29.Bring the left foot to the right foot and then move the right foot to A forming a left L-stance toward A while executing a
middle guarding block to A with a knife-hand.
END: Bring the right foot back to a ready posture.