Question on Hwa Rang Do?

Discussion in 'Korean Martial Arts - General' started by Tensei85, May 29, 2009.

  1. Tensei85

    Tensei85 Master Black Belt

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    Just a question for any practs of Hwarang Do:
    What are the basic Poomsae (or Hyung) forms that are utilized?
    Do they resemble TKD forms? Or are they totally different?
    I've seen a little Hwarang do in the past but not too much.

    Thanks for any and all help,
     
  2. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    Just the standard disclaimer before I start: I am not and never have been a member of the World Hwa Rang Do Association and am not certified through that organization.

    Now, given there are plenty of threads here on MT regarding the political quagmire involved in even discussing the art, I will answer your question to the best of my ability.

    There is one long form (hyung) for each color rank and they are named after the nine virtues in the Hwarang Do O Kae - Humanity, Justice, Courtesy, Wisdom, Trust, Goodness, Virtue, Loyalty, and Courage.

    There are also weapon-specific forms and short forms (midway between basic combination and a long form).

    I have not personally seen any TKD forms - not even the Hwarang form - that resembles HRD forms, though I have seen some Kuk Sul Won forms that have parts which look awfully familiar.
     
  3. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    I know this tread is a couple years old, but just in case people are interested, there is no relation between Hwa Rang Do and Tae Kwon Do in regards to their history and there forms are nothing alike, nor is the philosophy behind them alike.

    If you want a breakdown, you can check out the Wikipedia page here:

    Hwa Rang Do - Wikipedia

    Or the main website here:

    Tae Soo Do Color Belts | World Hwa Rang Do® Association
     
  4. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Interesting you would say " nor is the philosophy behind them alike. " since General Choi references a lot of the philosophy of the Hwa Rang as part of the history of his art as well as naming a pattern "Hwa Rang".
     
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  5. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    By philosophy, I meant the areas of focus in the technical aspects of the art. Sorry, I should have been more clear on that.

    Tae Kwon do is a very hard style. Hwa Rang Do has hard elements, but there are many soft elements as well. A good example of this is how blocks are performed. In Tae Kwon Do, the blocks are treated basically like hammer fist strikes in order to potentially disable an opponent so they're no longer to continue to attack you. In Hwa Rang Do, we use a lot of parry motions in order to redirect the attack so we can either come in with our counters or set up our throws and takedowns. And I am not saying that Tae Kwon Do doesn't parry or Hwa Rang Do doesn't do hard blocks, just that one prefers to focus more on one aspect of the other.

    As for the Oh Kae, Dojoonim has made is clear that there is a difference between the ancient Hwarang and modern Hwa Rang Do. Hwa Rang Do is not exclusive to the Oh Kae which is part of the national Korean heritage. So if what I said got skewed that direction, I apologise. That was not my intention.

    Sent from my XT1096 using Tapatalk
     
  6. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    I'd love to see some examples of Hwa Rang Do - I've never heard of it before. Are you aware of any videos that are reasonable representations of the techniques? I'm especially interested in seeing the throws and takedowns.
     
  7. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    I can show you some highlight videos, although WHRDA likes to show more the "flashy" stuff then the basic fundamentals that we spend most of our time working. Another good place to check out is CyberDojang. CyberDojang is a online resource for Hwa Rang Do students as well as others who are interested in the art. The basic membership is free and it has a bunch of really interesting stuff in it. Here is the link:

    http://cyberdojang.com/

    As for the rest of what we do, here are some examples off of YouTube:

    This video shows one of our younger students performing one of the long forms from our beginner level program:



    This is a video that was made back in the 80s or 90s for a TV show. One of our instructors about 2:25 minutes into the video performs part of one of our color sash forms from the intermediate level ranks and there are some highlights of some of other "flashy" techniques. The first part talks about who the Hwarang were.



    This video shows some of our point sparring tactics in setting up throws and take-downs:



    Here are some stuff with our advanced sparring program:



    And this is a video on take-down chains with our Gotoogi program (ground fighting):



    There is a bunch of other stuff, but this will give a basic overview.
     
  8. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    In addition, here are some highlight videos from some of our tournaments:

    Our advanced sparring, Yongtoogi:



    Some of our stick (Bongtoogi) and sword sparring (Gumtoogi) from a couple years ago:





    I would show Gotoogi, but all the stuff I am seeing is beginner level stuff or instructional. It basically is the same as Ne-waza techniques in Judo or BJJ.
     
  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thanks! A lot to chew on there. I watched part of the takedowns - saw a couple of techniques we use, and a couple I remember from Judo, I think.
     
  10. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    Our take-downs are very similar to Judo. Our founder studied Judo under his father when he was a kid and as he got older, he made modifications to his throws based on what he learned form other teachers and what he found worked. One example I know of a difference is how we perform our outside leg sweeps (Osoto Gari in Judo). Judo points the toe and swings back with the leg to sweep theirs out. We slip our foot along the backside of the leg above the knee and then kick back like a back kick. Both work, but they utilize different muscles to do so.
     
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  11. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    Those are two different throws. ;)
     
  12. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    Since they are done differently, then technically yes, they are different. :)
     
  13. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

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    I have heard the opposite, and that the Hwa Rang Guard were weapons specialist, never taught Karate to the kiddos, and it is just a fancy name for Korean Martial arts. :D
     
  14. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    Well I hope the Hwarang Guard didn't teach Karate to the kiddos, there is a few hundred year difference going on there, not to mention a few miles..... And a large body of water....... :joyful:
     
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  15. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    T.O.D. just might just might be yanking your chain
     
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  16. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    Just a little...

    Sent from my XT1096 using Tapatalk
     
  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    See, I can buy the founders early training in Judo and Kendo. But as soon as we get into mystical monks trained in thousand year old arts that nobody else knows, I see red flags just go shooting up the pole. The claimed history smacks of the efforts by early TKD pioneers to link their art to ancient Korean arts. It was baloney, of course.
     
  18. shesulsa

    shesulsa Columbia Martial Arts Academy

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    To be fair ... there are still places in the world even today where people live in extreme seclusion.
     
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  19. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    Absolutely and I don't blame you. The ancient lineage stuff flew up my flags when I first started too. I had years of TKD kickboxing training before HRD and I had heard the stories your talking about as well. I still run into it, although not as much as I used to. When my friends introduced me to HRD and I heard the same stuff, my response was "Awe, you need to believe pseudo-history to justify your training. That's so cute...." (Yup, that was me in my early 20s). But the diversity of stuff we do in HRD is what drew me in, not to mention the community of the local club that I eventually became the Head Instructor of. My involvement with HRD forced my TKD friends, including my little brother, to actually look into the history (which left most of them quite jaded and some quit training because they felt they were lied to) and it forced me to dive into the history as well.

    If you look at the environment in the martial arts community in the US during the 70s, people either wanted to be the next kickboxing champion, a solder of fortune, or a Kung Fu fighting version of Doctor Strange. The ancient mystical stuff got people excited because it was exotic and when Asian martial artist came into the US and tried to explain what they did, most folks would have lumped it into one of these 3 categories regardless. HRD, because of our focus on meditation and the Suahm Dosa story got lumped into the Doctor Strange group.

    In addition, the sense of nationalism in Asian countries is nuts. China, Korea, and Japan flavor everything with it, even their history. To be honest, they are as bad a biblical archeologist in the west and I am grateful for the resources from the Korean Studies department at Harvard University. They brought a clarifying perspective to my research. From what I have seen, Korea in post Japanese occupation was scrambling to reestablish their identity. Everyone wanted to connect to some "golden age" in their past to provide a rock for them to stabilize their sense of who they were and what they stood for. The Silla and Koryo Dynasties was perfect for this and this happened nation-wide, it was not just in the martial art communities. To be honest, the only martial art group in Korea that did not do this was the Hapkido community, but that was because Choi Yong-Sool was adamant about his Japanese training and he put his foot down on the manner. Otherwise they would have done the same thing as everyone else did.

    Bring this back to HRD, when I first started, HRD's involvement with Hapkido and Kuk Soo Won was not talked about except behind closed doors. Later it became obvious that there were some interpersonal issues going on between Dojoonim and the rest of the Hapkido founders which fueled this. Then in 2005, WHRDA sent a demo group to Korea to make a presentation to the Korean government. My instructor and several friends of mine got to go and I was upset because I did not have the cash to participate. But after the trip, the organization started to publically open up about what happened in the 60s and they didn't reject what they had already said about their history, they just filled in a bunch of gaps that clarified much confusion. From what I have seen, except for some variations of who did what that lead to events of the time, the stories are pretty much on point with each other at this point between Hapkido, Kuk Soo Won, and Hwa Rang Do. Dojoonim made it clear that Suahm Dosa was someone who his father brought into the picture and he was training them in elements of traditional Korean culture, which makes sense with the environment in Korea during the post Japanese occupation. This included meditation, writing, tea ceremonies, etc. It also included methods of fighting and self-defense. He also reinforced that Suahm Dosa clamed the connection to the ancient Hwarang, and since everyone, not just martial artist, during the time was swept up in the post occupation nationalism......

    Most people in HRD today are not in the art because of the Suahm Dosa stories. They consider it part of the "lore" but that is as far as it goes. They train because they love the values of the community, which lies in the Meng Sae, they love the core belt and sash material, and/or they love the application programs. Many of them also enjoy studying Korean culture and language, as well as Asian philosophy. The art provides a vehicle and a community to do all of these things. My personal view is that I do believe that Dojoonim had a teacher he called Suahm Dosa and I think this teacher was a major inspiration for him for what was to become Hwa Rang Do. As for the rest of it, people are smart and can decide for themselves what they believe. As I told my assistant instructor when the question of the Suahm Dosa story came up, "Our job is not to convince people that these stories are true. Our job is to present the information and make sure the students are getting the best possible training they can have and to make sure we are actively working to cultivate the Meng Sae, because that is what lies at the heart of what we do."
     
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  20. thanson02

    thanson02 Green Belt

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    And they are not very good at recording or keeping records of things.
     

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