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-type training of martial arts.
Hwa Rang Do is the most comprehensive, well-rounded martial art in existence. It is the mother art of other systems and the graduate program to Tae Soo Do. Completing a black belt in Tae Soo Do grants you access into Hwa Rang Do at the third rank.
Though the martial art of the Hwa Rang was created 1,800 years ago, religious persecution forced the secrets of the art to be passed down secretly from one monk to one disciple for 600 years until 1960. In 1960, Supreme Grandmaster Dr. Joo Bang Lee created and founded the martial art Hwa Rang Do, which combined his knowledge of martial art with the spirit and philosophy of the Hwa Rang.
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 a martial sport of 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 also be 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 and oversees the Madison East and West dojangs. 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.
Instructor Charles Dean
Second degree black sash and head of the Hwa Rang Do Madison West Academy. His title is Kyo Sa Nim
Instructor Billie Buss
Second degree black sash and instructor at the Hwa Rang Do Madison East Academy. His title is Kyo Sa Nim.
The UW-Eau Claire Hwa Rang Do community is different than any other school in the Midwest, and perhaps the world. The trait that separates us is the dedication and self-accountability of its students. Academies normally have a black sash at the head of the school. This is a method of quality control, ensuring that anywhere in the world that you learn Hwa Rang Do and Tae Soo Do is following the same standard.
In the last 18 years, UWEC has seen several head instructors, but not every head instructor is a black sash in Eau Claire. While the Eau Claire instructors are allowed to teach Tae Soo Do, they are required to travel for their own training as a Hwa Rang Do student. This dedication creates a unique community in Eau Claire of driven individuals.
Our current head of the club is Instructor Trevor Hanson. He took over charge of UWEC Hwa Rang Do in June, 2012. Instructor Hanson has been in Hwa Rang Do for over 10 years and is a great asset as an instructor and mentor!