The Hwa Rang Do Meng Sae is the most important part of Hwa Rang Do. At the beginning of the art 1800 years ago, the sons of the noble class were recruited to become Hwarang warriors. Today, some martial arts have lost integrity and honor, but our founder, Supreme Grandmaster Dr. Joo Bang Lee, emphasizes becoming a true martial artist. Becoming a true martial artist means developing good character.
In his Millenium Message, Dr. Joo Bang Lee said, "Martial art training is not focused on just winning fights, but is focused on building a good character through the vehicle of combat skills." Honor and integrity of character are emphasized through the five rules and nine virtues of the Meng Sae.
The Hwa Rang Do logo is a symbol called the Um-Yang. The symbol is a representation of the two forces of nature that are constantly counteracting, and it is the same principle as the Yin-Yang in Chinese philosophy. For every force in the world there is another that balances it out, and without this harmony, the world would be filled with chaos.
The principle of Um-Yang is important to our training in Hwa Rang Do and Tae Soo Do. We study both hard and soft techniques, practice both linear and circular movements, and we push and pull. Um-Yang also has importance as martial artists in our daily lives. It is important to recognize that there is both good and bad in the world, strong and weak, large and small. It is through understanding of the principle of Um-Yang that we can begin to create a larger understanding of our nature as a whole.
Um is broken down into three elements:
The three elements of Yang are opposing elements to Um:
Within Hwa Rang Do are four divisions of power. Nae Gong is the study of internal power and a method for developing awareness of your energy body. Wae Gong is the study of external power. This involves forms of manipulation Ki energy through striking, joint manipulations, throwing, and falling. Moo Ki Gong is the division of weapon power and involves training in techniques with weapons as an extension of your body. And finally, Shin Gong is the division of mental power as a manipulation of Ki energy, including bone setting, acupuncture, concealment, inducing sleep, telepathy, and much more.
At the beginning of class, we spend time meditating. For preparing for class, meditation is to clear the mind, but more importantly it is to develop your awareness of your energy body. Hwa Rang Do absorbs ideas and principles from the three main Eastern religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. In Daoism, your energy body includes a number of meridians that carry Ki energy through your body to your organs and bones. This energy enters the body through a point called Dan Tien which is the area of the body just below the belly button.
The goal of meditation is to develop an awareness of the Ki energy that is flowing throughout your body. This is the division of power called Nae Gong, and study of Ki development can allow you to eventually perform feats that seem super-human. Throughout Hwa Rang Do, you are continually exposed to more Nae Gong techniques.
Of the meridians that run throughout your body, there are a special type called acquired meridians. These evolve and develop as you age into adolescence and then adulthood. There are five sets of acquired meridians called Elemental meridians, one for each of the five elements in Eastern thought. Each of Earth, Wood, Water, and Metal have two meridians while Fire has four. These meridians carry their associated Elemental Ki throughout your body.
While we have all five of these versions of Elemental Ki in us at all times, some exist in higher quantities than others. These imbalances of Ki create various emotions, ailments, and diseases. Part of Nei Gong is to learn to balance each of the five elements within your energy body. Subsequently, there is a creative and destructive process that occurs to convert one type of Ki to another.
Through mediation and breathing exercises, you can awaken the pathways and begin to feel the effects of different types of Ki.
It is important to be mindful of how we learn as a student. Hwa Rang Do establishes seven principles of training to help guide students to being the best student they can. They are: