A Week in the Life of Hwa Rang Do Club Luxembourg (Part 2)
Published in Budo International April 2019 Issue
First Core Class of the Week Curriculum:
- Gibon Kwonbop – Basic Striking Combinations: There are set number of Gibon Kwonbops in both Tae Soo Do and Hwa Rang Do. They are only an example of how hand strikes and kicking can be combined to create an effective striking arsenal. Half of these combinations are practiced in each class. Students are encouraged to development their own combinations for self-practice.
- Mugi Hyung – Weapon Forms: There are three different categories of weapons taught in Tae Soo Do as an introduction. It is designed to familiarize them with weaponry in preparation for Hwa Rang Do as well as for the weapon fighting.
- Beginners – Jointed Weapons Category: Ssangjyelbong (Nunchuku)
- Intermediate – Blunt Weapons Category: Jangbong (Long Staff)
- Advanced – Bladed Weapons Category: Janggum (Long Sword)
- Ilbodaeryun – One Step Sparring: This is Static Training with pre-determined moves practiced with a partner, learning various ways to defend against punches and kicks.
- Hoshinsul – Joint Manipulation Self-Defense Techniques: This can be practiced in both Static and Dynamic Training. It is practiced with a partner, learning how to apply effective joint manipulation techniques against various attacks, including grabs and holds.
(Tae Soo Do Joint Manipulation Instructional Video Series are available on Budointernational.com)
- Gotoogi – Grappling: Beginners train in position grappling and the Intermediate/Advanced train in submission grappling with takedowns and throws. Each techniques are taught meticulously, which is practiced with a partner. Then, they are allowed to free-spar in a controlled supervised environment.
Our method of grappling differs from other styles in that our form of grappling is focused on more of a combative practical nature, than sportive competition. We want to offer more the practice of takedowns and throws and then learning to submit as quickly as possible on the ground. Therefore, there is more time spent standing, giving greater opportunity to apply throws and takedowns (i.e. jumping guard is frowned upon) and we do not focus heavily on fighting from seated position vs. a standing opponent.
The most important aspect to learn in grappling is learning to relax and not panic in disadvantaged positions with the understanding that there is always a way for escape as well as learning how to take advantage of your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses without force, but with fluidity and precision.
Second Core Class of the Week Curriculum:
- Gibon Kwonbop – Basic Striking Combinations: The second half of these combinations are practiced.
- Hyung – Open Hand Forms: These are combinations of movements according to each rank much like a long dance or gymnastics routine, to help the students learn their perspective stances, blocks, strikes, and kicks with the fundamental goal of improving their balance. Forms lay down the foundation and are essential for creating a strong martial artist.
- Joksul – Kicking Test Combinations: Kicking is one of the hardest components to learn to do well and requires much practice. These Kicking Combination are created to help the students develop better, stronger kicks and they are performed in their belt testing as well as board breaking.
- Daeryun & Yongtoogi – Standup Sparring: These are also trained Statically and Dynamically. The students are taught how to move effectively in relation to their opponent, how to close the gap, and learning the most effective ways to land their strikes on their opponent with control and accuracy. However, the most important concept to be learned in sparring is the idea of “Self-Control,” to control the self mentally, physically, and emotionally. And, that one has no control of anything external to the self. Only by self-mastery, can we overcome the external obstacles.
Third Class of the Week – Mugi Daeryun (Weapon Fighting):
This third day of Weapon Fighting completes our holistic training in the comprehensive Martial Art of Hwa Rang Do. It is divided into two different categories and is alternated every other week.
- Gumtoogi – Sword Fighting: Gumtoogi is our version of sword fighting using the bamboo sword by not only attacking the traditional target areas of the head, wrists, body, and throat, but also allowing strikes to the legs as well as applying spinning/rotational attacks which allows for the full expression of Hwa Rang Do’s multifaceted, comprehensive system.
Diversity of Swords: Gumtoogi is the application and fighting with all types of edged weapons. We also utilize swords of various lengths and combinations.
- Jang Gum – Long Swords
- Ssang Gum – Twin Medium Swords
- Combination – One Short & One Long
- Gum Bangpae – Sword & Shield (In the works)
- Jang Chang – Spear (In the works)
- Dan Gum – Knife Fighting (In the works)
(Gumtoogi Instructional Video Series are available on Budointernational.com)
- Bongtoogi – Stick Fighting: Bongtoogi is our version of stick fighting using rattan sticks by attacking to target areas of the head, wrists, body, and throat, but also allowing strikes to the legs as well as applying spinning/rotational attacks which allows for the full expression of Hwa Rang Do’s multifaceted, comprehensive system.
Diversity of Sticks: Bongtoogi is the application and fighting with all types of blunt weapons. We also utilize sticks of various lengths and combinations.
- Jang Bong – Long Staff
- Ssang Bong – Twin Medium Sticks
- Jung Bong – Medium stick or Baton
- Bong Bangpae – Stick and Shield (In the works)
Enter the Dojang:
You enter into an unassuming building from the elements of the weather, walking first into the changing room. There you strip away the conventions of modernity, transforming yourself to an ancient Hwarang warrior as you put on your uniform, thinking of all the countless hours of sweat, harsh self-criticism, and hard work. Finally, you wrap your color belt around your waist, reflecting on your present rank and humbled by how much more you must learn.
Everyone quietly enters the Dojang (Training Hall), barefoot, as to not corrupt the space with the dirt of the world and all the stains gathered from trudging in stress, in the hustle and bustle of daily life. They stop at the entrance to pay respect to the art, the history, and the tradition with a small bow, putting them in a state of humility and reverence.
8th Dan Grandmaster Taejoon Lee, the President of the World Hwa Rang Do Association, who currently teaches at the club in Luxembourg calls everyone to attention, directing them to their perspective lines, depending on rank and readies them for meditation. All the students are seated in their meditation position with their eyes closed, focusing on their breath with Grandmaster Lee’s voice echoing in the background.
“Breathe in deep and with every exhale rid yourself of all your tension, your worries, and concerns. Clear your mind and organize your thoughts as clarity in mind creates clarity in action. The only thing that is important is this moment, the present. The past is only a fleeting memory and the future is just a fantasy; this moment is all that is real. What you do today will determine your history and create your future. Imagine that with every class you are born and you die. Imagine as though the beginning of each class is the beginning of your life and at the end of each the class is your death. In this way, you can practice each and everyday how you want to live, how you want to be remembered, and everything requires practice, perfect practice.”
Creating the proper frame of mind is one of most important things one can do before embarking on any task to ensure success of outcome. Once the students have cleared their minds and prepared themselves for learning, then they are now ready for training.