A Successful Buddy Week
We want to congratulate our students for making month's Buddy Week
a success. We had a total of 32 guests attend classes with us, and
even though it was not quite as big as last year's buddy week, it
was still an excellent turn out and great effort by all our students.
Congratulations to Sebastian Loo and Fernando Ceballos for winning
the Buddy Week contest. Each of them brought 4 guests to the dojang.
Sebastian has won 3 private lessons with the instructor(s) of his
Fernando wins the Knife Fighting, Danbong and Handgun Fighting Styles
We also wish to acknowledge all students who contributed
to the effort, by bringing guests to classes...
February TGT Dinner at the
The Teuk Gong Team gathered in the shortest month of the year in
the highest place we could find (in Los Angeles!) Tony and Natalie
Diaz opened their home, a few blocks from the West Coast Hwa Rang
Do Academy to the Special Forces for an evening of fraternity, fun
and food! Though Chief Master Lee couldn’t attend, the senior
students amongst the TGT facilitated the action in his absence.
Since good nutrition is part of good physical (and mental) health,
TGT always brings more than enough food for the gathering, to ensure
that everyone has plenty to partake in! From Chilean (and Peruvian)
delicacies to platters of cold cuts; from fried catfish to Caesar
salad; from meatballs to pork tenderloin, there was plenty to dig
in to for every palate and preference.
The copious and varied meal served to underscore the lesson we learn
and teach each Saturday at TGT class, and as assistants during classes
during the week. No matter how strong we are as individuals, our strengths
can only be complemented and enhanced when we work with other like-minded
individuals and are focused on a common goal. Each month when we gather
is a delicious reminder and reflection of our collective strength,
and our common purpose.
From the collective to the competitive, the evening devolved and
revolved around several games as well. The children present partook
in Korean jacks, and also played a few rounds of spoons. The adults,
meanwhile, took their chances with the cards and some impromptu games
of chance. Everyone, though, took the opportunity to enjoy the company
of the people surrounding them. It was a wonderful evening all around.
A Free Community and
Public Service for the Greater Los Angeles Area
"Monthly Hwa Rang Do® Self-Defense Class
Schedule, Location & Details for 2009 Can Be Found Below..."
Learn Simple, Easy and Effective
Self-Defense Techniques from Grandmaster Taejoon Lee, 8th Degree Black
Teenagers & Adults, Men & Women are Welcome!
No Martial Arts Experience Necessary!
Recently, we’ve received many inquiries from the public regarding
Hwa Rang Do’s self-defense techniques, classes and their availability.
Up until now, the instruction on Hwa Rang Do’s self-defense
techniques have been taught within the context of a more comprehensive
curriculum, instructional DVDs via Fighting Styles, annual world-wide
seminars and private training with the US Military.
There are many other benefits one gains by practicing Hwa Rang Do,
including physical fitness, agility, flexibility, personal growth,
martial arts competition, weapon fighting and even spiritual growth,
in addition to being a very effective system for self-defense and
Hwa Rang Do and the US Special Forces
Hwa Rang Do has had a long and distinguished history with the United
States Armed Forces and foreign militaries. In the 70’s, decorated
veteran and US Special Forces instructor Michael Echanis (3rd Degree
HRD Black Sash), whom was personally trained by Hwa Rang Do founder
Dr. Joo Bang Lee, was responsible for the training of Navy Seals,
Green Berets and other Special Ops service men.
Michael Echanis & his Special Forces Team
Echanis also oversaw the development and training of the entire Nicaraguan
armed forces in the mid to late 70’s.
More recently, Chief Master Taejoon Lee instructed at the Western
Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC), which is where
American, Central American and South American armed forces and law
enforcement agencies send their elite soldiers and agents to be trained.
Master Lee also has the distinct honor of being awarded one of the
highest honors given to a civilian, an Ambassador of Goodwill to the
WHISC, which was awarded to him by Colonel Richard D. Downie, PhD.
(whom is also a Hwa Rang Do® Black Sash, trained by Master Lee).
Many of our members and instructors have served honorably in the armed
forces and many law enforcement agencies, making excellent use of
their Hwa Rang Do® knowledge.
Community Service - Free Self Defense Classes Available to the Public
So as word continues to spread about the history and application of
Hwa Rang Do® for the purposes of combat and self-defense, we are
interested in meeting the needs of the public.
At the same time, we are NOT interested in going into the “self-defense
business”. We are in the business of empowering people through
consistent training and dedication.
But we also understand that in the current economic climate there
are many who want or need to have basic understanding of self-defense
skills, but may not be able to afford it.
So as a community service, the West Coast Hwa Rang Do® Academy
in West Los Angeles, will be holding monthly self-defense classes,
available to the public free of charge. These classes are available
to everyone regardless of financial situation, gender or martial art
Classes will be held monthly per these dates and times:
8/22/09 2:00 - 3:00 pm Saturday
9/19/09 2:30 - 3:30 pm Saturday
10/17/09 2:30 - 3:30pm Saturday
11/14/09 2:30 - 3:30pm Saturday
12/05/09 2:30 - 3:30pm Saturday
The classes will be held at
West Coast Hwa Rang Do Academy
11304 1/2 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA. 90064
As far as attire, a plain t-shirt and sweat pants (or workout pants)
are fine (no shorts). Try not to wear shorts if you can help it.
Class space is limited, so please call today 310-473-6233 RSVP and
confirm your attendance to lock in your spot. First come, first serve.
To learn more about Hwa Rang Do, you may visit our website at http://www.hwarangdo.net
You may also visit us on YouTube at http://youtube.com/WCHwaRangDo
to watch over 40 video demonstrations of Hwa Rang Do in action.
We look forward to seeing you in class!
On Behalf of:
Grandmaster Taejoon Lee
P.S. The purpose of these classes is for the greater benefit of our
communities and those in attendance. We reserve the right to refuse
entrance and instruction to anyone, if we feel that their presence
compromises our ability to deliver on this commitment.
Two Instructors Come
to the West Coast for Intensive Training
Hwa Rang Do’s Power of Transformation
(Photo Caption: Ins. Bret Spoehr (left) and Ins. Victor Garcia (right),
enjoying a cultural experience, dining at a traditional Korean BBQ
The West Coast Hwa Rang Do Academy, under the tutelage of Grandmaster
Taejoon Lee, transforms the lives of the individuals who commit themselves
to training there. Knowing this truth, it is no surprise to students
when they are joined on the mat by instructors from across the country
and abroad. Sabumnin Brett Spoehr, a 3rd Dan Black Sash from Florida
and Kysosanim Victor Garcia, a 2nd Dan Black Sash from Leon, Mexico,
recently spent a few weeks with Kuksanim at our dojang, and their
presence was a true validation to Grandmaster Taejoon Lee’s
ability to use Hwa Rang Do to transform people’s lives.
The black sashes were truly remarkable people, gracious and humble
in their training, even as they were generous with their corrections
and assistance. This is something I have found to be the case with
anyone who spends any significant time training in Hwa Rang Do. The
Art may attract great people, but more importantly, it transforms
the potential in individuals who are not so great into reality. It
also constantly demands great people to become magnificent!
Instructors Spoehr and Garcia are both great people and the two comments
they shared with me time and time again was how lucky we are at the
West Coast Hwa Rang Do Academy to be able to train so closely with
Grandmaster Lee every day, and how impressed they were not only with
the character of students at the academy but also the extremely high
expectations they’re able to meet on an ongoing basis.
(Photo Caption: Joey Klein pulled out a friend’s BMW M6
to escort Grandmaster Taejoon Lee and his Instructors to a wonderful
Korean feast. Pictured here from left to right - Victor Garcia, Rocco
Serra, G.M. Lee, Joey Klein, Bret Spoehr.)
Throughout these several weeks that I have assisted in their training
at the dojang, I came to really appreciate our school in a whole new
way. I have trained at other martial arts schools in the past so I
certainly know how very rare and special our dojang is, but having
the opportunity to observe the transformation Grandmaster Lee and
our dojang manifest in people is priceless. Both Instructors Spoehr
and Garcia would agree with me that because of the influence that
not only Grandmaster Lee had on them, but also the astounding care
they received from our students at the school, they did not leave
as the same people they arrived as.
A great teacher in my life once told me that a good teacher is able
to influence change in their students in such a way that when the
student transforms and achieves levels of greatness and magnificence
the student believes they did it on their own and owns that self transformation
fully. I would say that this happens at the West Coast Hwa Rang Do
Academy regularly and that Grandmaster Lee and the dojang truly embody
the above definition of a good teacher, and also creates wise students
who know to give gratitude to the source of their astounding and consistent
Joey Klein – Tae Soo Do Head Instructor