Hwa Rang Do has existed as a public martial art for over the
past 45 years since 1960.
Throughout this time there have been many people that have been affected positively
conecpts, principles, and philosophies that are encompased by this martial
art Hwa Rang Do.
This page is dedicated to giving a voice to all individuals,
of any rank, who wish to share their feelings about Hwa Rang Do and the impact
you have recieved on a personal level. Please feel
free and share a story or thoughts regarding your personal involvement with
this art and the positive impact you have experienced.
My name is Thomas Boegedal Soerensen. I have very recently started up Odense
Hwa Rang Do School, Odense, Denmark and I currently hold a HRD 2nd Dan. I recently
graduated The School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and is
settling down as an Licensed Acupuncturist and Hwa Rang Do Instructor (though
ALWAYS the student) in Denmark. My first - and many following - steps on the
Way were guided by SaBumNim Carsten Jorgensen of the Danish PonBu to whom I
owe a great many things. I was first introduced to Hwa Rang Do when I met SaBumNim
Carsten Jorgensen at the University of Copenhagen, Korean Studies Dept. in 1994
and was among his first four students at the Danish PonBu when it opened its
doors in 1995. I 1996 I moved to Seoul, Korea to pursue my first "career" -
Korean Studies. I was lucky enough to get a full scholarship from the Korean
government to study at Seoul National University. In Korea I was introduced
to KwanJangNim Lee Kwon of the Korean PonBu who became a mentor for me during
my stays in Korea. His generousity knows no boundaries – he opened his house
to me and treated me like his own kin teaching me techniques, meditation and
a great many other things. I lived at his DoJang for a couple of months in 2000,
before moving to Downey where I lived, studied Hwa Rang Do and Traditional Oriental
Medicine for about nine months under the guidance of DoJooNim. DoJooNim propelled
me out into my search for knowledge, wisdom and Traditional Oriental Medicine
at my first BB test in Downey in 1998 where he invited me to come stay at HQ
and learn acupuncture after a what-would-you-like-to-do-with-your-life-talk.
Extremely moved by DoJooNim's wonderful offer I decided that this was the way
to go and started, back in Denmark, to prepare for the move to Downey. The nine
months at HQ was the most significant nine months of my entire life to this
date – I just didn't realize this until little less than ago – 2 years or so
after my return from Downey!!! I received more wisdom from DoJooNim and KwanJangNim
TaeJoon Lee during my stay at HQ than I had gained through my life till that
point. However I did not understand what DoJooNim and KwanJangNim TaeJoon Lee
were doing for me at the time when I decided to leave Downey. I left before
time (I was supposed to be there for four years – how long it takes to become
an L.Ac.). distressed in my heart for various reasons I, mindlessly, ditched
students and instructors running away with a hurt ego! I came back to Denmark
and continued acupuncture studies, but for about two years I was going nowhere
with Hwa Rang Do – I couldn't really bring myself to do anything with it still
tormenting myself with my untimely departure from HQ. But then one cherry blossom
blooming beautiful morning in Hiroshima, Japan on a visit with my wife and daughter
to my parents-in-law I was reading a passage in a book (not a religious book)
that made everything fall into place for me. In a split-second I realized all
what DoJooNim and KwanJangNim TaeJoon Lee had been teaching me and I was struck
by a sudden feeling of wellbeing, relief and clearmindedness about the whole
thing that I had never experienced before. I suddenly saw everything clearly
and understood the teachings of Hwa Rang Do that DoJooNim and KwanJangNim TaeJoon
Lee had been passing on to me and, of course, all other students of Hwa Rang
Do. I started realizing that Hwa Rang Do really is The Way – not just rethorically.
I used to believe that Hwa Rang Do was the Way now I feel it and have gained
a better understanding of The Way!!! So, ever since, I have tried to live by
that realization drawing on my experience in from both Downey but also my studies
of Shin Gong and In Sool that keeps me on track. Today I can honestly say that
I am 100 percent committed to striving for betterment in the The Art and The
Way I owe my understanding of life and my future to Hwa Rang Do and to DoJooNim
who took me in as his son and never stopped giving me his support and love even
though I failed to maintain my duties at the Downey PonBu and failed to realize
what he, so selflessly, was trying to do for me and to KwanJangNim TaeJoon Lee
for also taking me in as his family continually helping me and all other Rang
Do guiding us not to stray The Way. I can never fully repay this gift I have
received, but I dedicate my life to striving to live as a Hwa Rang continuously
bettering myself and pass on both In Sool and Mu Sool aspects of our wonderful
Art, The Way of the Hwa Rang in great respect and love for all instructors and
masters that have given me a sense of direction in life and in appreciation
of the hardships that all students of Hwa Rang Do must go through in order to
realize that Hwa Rang Do truly is The Way and then start treading it. This letter
cannot in anyway fully express my gratitude towards DoJooNim, KwanJangNim TaeJoon
Lee, KwanJangNim Lee Kwon, SaBumNim Carsten Jorgensen and all other Hwa Rang
that have taken me under their wings while teaching me to fly... I still don't
get that much height.... icon_smile.gif Also I would like to thank students
that I have met and taught in Denmark and not least in Downey and also JoKyoNim
Scott Knox and JoKyoNim Jesus Hernandez for their support when I was at Downey!
Every morning I wake up is another chance at further development – every day
is simply beautiful! Hwa Rang forever! Humbly, Thomas Sorensen Odense Hwa Rang
Do School, Denmark L.Ac. & Tui Na Massage Therapist http://www.mu-in.com
Thomas Soerensen <email@example.com>
Odense, Denmark - Saturday, November 27, 2004 at 22:34:32 (CST)
hello all in 1982 i join hawrangdo in downey i had the honor to learn from
Supreme grandmaster and master john huppuch. due to a knee accident i was unable
to return however, recalling his teaching about how everone is special that we
are like an unploish rock we have to bring out it's beauty applys to everyting
in life we have to bring out it's beauty. you never loose what you learned it
just comes back to you when you don't realize it. i am 50yrs old now and i feel
it's time to go back, i only wished i never should have waitted so long. i hope
i still have my membership or got to start from the begining anyway it's worth
every second of your life thank you so much and hope to see you all back
henry ortega <firstname.lastname@example.org>
los angeles, ca USA - Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 00:49:21 (CDT)
I would like to thank Do Joo Nim for bringing Hwa Rang Do to this country. It has been a very rewarding experience for me to be able to study such a comprehensive martial art. It has been a pleasure to get to know the many fine people associated with Hwa Rang Do and Tae Soo Do. The Korea trip last summer was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to see the heritage of Hwa Rang Do. I urge everyone to make the next trip, you do not want to miss it! Thank you to all the instructors who push our limits and prove that we can do more than we think we can.
Thank you to Master Elliott for his tireless efforts in teaching all of us in the Phoenix Academies. Steve Denuit Phoenix, AZ
Steve Denuit <email@example.com>
Glendale, AZ USA - Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 00:23:46 (CDT)
Dear Hwa Rang Family, Once again I am writing in this guestbook. I would like
to congratulate those who participated at the half black testing in Sarasota,
FL. Just one more belt and a new generation of Florida black belts will be born.
I'm almost turning into a black belt. A black belt is still a belt. I still have
more to learn. I find myself at Hwa Rang Do more and more often, helping out,
learning, etc. The one reason why I go to Hwa Rang Do more... is family. They
are like family to me. I would like to honor my instructor, because Hwa Rang Do
would not be the same without him. Jessie Vi is my friend, my instructor, and
my brother. I would like to honor Master Ki Tae Yum for showing me that you can
push yourself more than you think. Doing stretching and allowing him to push me
down showed me that, there is no limit to what we can do, we just need to attempt
it. Instructor Michael, who will correct and enhance my knowledge of Hwa Rang
Do. Lastly, the Hwa Rang Do school, I thank them. From little ninjas to adults,
Hwa Rang Do would not be the same without them. HwaRang Kam Sa Hap Ni Da
Don Nguyen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sarasota, FL USA - Monday, April 19, 2004 at 15:50:22 (CDT)
I am a white sash at the Hwa rang do Ann Arbor club. And think this site is
awsome. Also thank you for letting us at the Ann Arbor club see pictures of Instructor
Doty on your site. Hwarang Forever!
Ypsilanti, Mi. USA - Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 02:51:49 (EDT)
Hwa Rang Do... wow.. all the traditions, and history behind it, never ceases to amaze me. Besides being one of the most complete, and comprehensive martial arts today, just the thought that the techniques have been cultivated, and used since the time of Christ. I had the priviledge of studying Hwa Rang Do at it's headquarters in Downey, CA, when i was a child. I still remember the wonderful times spent training there. The comeraderie of fellow students, the loving guidance, and wisdom of all the masters. The best thing about the whole experience was meeting Do Joo Nim, and also Master Huppock..(not sure about spelling). They were always there for support, and also as inspirations for all of us. I first started Hwa Rang Do because of a recommondation from a family friend who himself was a master. I got up to green sash, and had to quit cus of personal problems. I started up again, a few years later, in my freshman year of high school, and trained until my senior year,(at that time, i enlisted into the US Army). No matter how many years passed, my thoughts always returned to Hwa Rang Do. Even til this day, i always feel pride when someone mentions it. As a matter of fact, i plan to start up again, once i get done with transfering to a UC.
Even with all the great memories i have, the one that will stand out in my mind the most is this; A few years ago, one of our family friend's passed away from a terrible accident that occured when he was closing his business. I was home on leave, and i was shocked, and saddened, to hear that this person had passed away. Luckily the funeral was a few days later, and i was able to attend. Surprisingly, i saw EVERYONE of the instructors, and Do Joo Nim at the funeral. He was there consoling his one time students, and also the mother... very touching site to see.... I dunno why there are people out there who try to slander the respected name of Hwa Rang Do, and also our leader Dr. Joo Bang Lee, but to the people who know him, and also about Hwa Rang Do, there should be no doubt in their minds. Kudos to everyone in Hwa Rang Do, and also for their success.... i will pray for your continued success.
Mark Kang <email@example.com>
Downey, CA USA - Monday, March 17, 2003 at 19:26:31 (EST)
Hwarang, Do Joo Nim, Cheif Master Lee, Master Kijek, instructors, and fellow students. I been involved in the martial arts since I was eleven years old and have never seen anything as amazing and inspiring as the art of Hwa Rang Do. From the inner most roots of my spirtit and the bottom of my art, thank you to Supreme Grandmaster for sharing this wonderful system with us! Hwa Rang Do, is not just something I do, it is how I live, and I am better person for it. This art is the rich soil from which I continue to grow and it will always be a part of my life. This world and country can be very confusing, and our lives are constantly filled with impure disctractions that shade the true meaning of life, to grow. Hwa Rang Do provides all that one needs to cultivate his spirit, his mind and his body. It is the spring board we depseratly need to launch ourselves above ordinary life and become the warriors of our time. The challenges we face today are very different from the ones faced by the original Hwarang warriors, but 2000 years later this amazing art/way of life is as effective as ever. With only five rules and nine virtues as a guidline one can find all the wisdom one needs to become a true warrior. That is because Hwa Rang Do is the embodiment of all that is just and true, and thanks to Do Joo Nim and Master Kijek I live my life that way every day. I would like to thank Master Kijek personally for taking me into his arms like a son and sharing his amazing skills and wisdom with me. Sir, you have a way about you that I admire deep within my heart. Through your words and your actions you have risen so many people to a level they have never expected of themselves and that has given them values and self confidence, the most valuable gifts one could ever hope to receive. Your hard work and dediccation are a model all should strive to achieve, and I promise you I will. Hwa Rang Do has found a home deep within my spirit and I can feel it growing, warming my body and heart and filling me with an energy I never felt before, and I'm just getting started. I would like to remind all my brothers and sisters in the Mid-West to take some time each day and in your heart thank Do Joo Nim, Cheif Master Lee, and Master Kijek for all they have done and continue to do for us. HWARANG! We are a family, never forget that. Live like warriors in all that you do, and never forget we are the future of Hwa Rang Do, with that in mind live well and never stop Learning.....my love to you all, Keith.
Madison, WI USA - Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 11:42:18 (EST)
I have been in a few martial arts but nothing like this.
It is the best art I've ever been in.
Hwa rang Forever!
Ypsilanti, M.I. USA - Thursday, January 23, 2003 at 11:46:56 (EST)
When I was about 11 years old, a few martial artists came to my Cub Scout troop and did a demonstration for us. I asked to be one of the ‘volunteers’ for part of it, and this giant of a man (who was a black belt) lit a birthday candle, and had me hold it in my mouth. Then he threw a kick that never touched me or the candle, but came so close to my face with so much speed that it put the candle out!
I've wanted to study martial arts ever since that day…however, like so many other people, I grew up a very busy kid! Between school, piano lessons, football practice, choir, college internships, etc…I never found time to start studying an art. But a few months before my 25th birthday, I finally reached a point where my life settled down a bit – and I started searching…
I knew that I needed to get on a regular exercise program (because let’s face it guys, once you hit your mid-twenties – if you’re not careful, you end up spending a lot of money buying pants with bigger waistlines!) I also had never been in a street fight (thankfully, I still haven’t), and there was a big ‘question mark’ in my mind, about my ability to defend myself. Because I’d worked for a gentleman who was a black sash in Hwa Rang Do, I called the Madison East School, and set up an appointment to come and learn a little. “Who knows,” I thought to myself, “maybe I’ll tone-up and learn how to kick some butt!.”
That was a year and a half ago…since then, through the kindness of this art’s leadership, my patient instructors, and my supportive classmates – I am in the best physical condition of my life and I understand more (with every class!) about defending myself when hostile situations occur. But the funny thing is – my motivation for studying Hwa Rang Do has shifted from my original goals. Tonight, I’m going to class because I’m becoming more humane in my perception of the world around me, finding myself increasingly tolerant and capable of dealing with my own everyday struggles, and learning to be more generous with the love I show to my family.
Many thanks and my warmest regards to Grandmaster, Master Lee, and Master Kijek,
Nathan Marks <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Madison, WI USA - Monday, October 21, 2002 at 17:53:52 (EDT)
I have been involved in organized sports for over 25 years and have shared many experiences with my teammates and coaches. However none has been as physically challenging or emotionally rewarding as my acceptance into Master Won Hee Lee's Hwa Rang Do school and more importantly into his life as a friend. Our culture, our lives, our skin colors are a world apart and yet we are great friends. He is the most humble, patience, kind-hearted, giving person I have ever known. He is also the quickest, strongest, most agile man I have ever met and I walk in the circle of professional atheletes. Master Lee is at a different level that with time and diligence I can only hope to attain. It is a true honor to know him and I am so grateful that he is here in the NY metro area.
Thank you Master Lee.
Mark Thomas, Rank: Half Black
Do-Jang: World Martial Arts Institute, Pal.Pk.,NJ
Mark Thomas <email@example.com>
Teaneck, NJ USA - Wednesday, October 16, 2002 at 14:45:42 (EDT)
I just wanted to say that i am very happy for what Hwarangdo
has done for me and my hole lifestyle.I have some back and
neck problems, from a traffic incident i was in when i was at
work.Until now there actually havent been any medical or
other kind of help that have help my problems.Shure for a short period of time, but when i started in my Hwarangdo training at Mr.Carsten Jorgensens
Dojang, I could feel after a short period of time, that my Back and neck whas getting better.I have to train regularly
of course, to keep my back and neck problems down, but it is a great relief, that i dont have to wake up in the morning, and not to beable to get out of the bed.I am also
more happy, it affects not only your body but also your mind, now i have started to work again, and it is easier for my wife and children to smile again!.I cant wait til the day come, when it is my turn to see you Grandmaster Do joo nim, and Master Henry T.Lee.
My deepest respect
Kam sa hap ni da
Student kenneth jensen/blue belt
kenneth jensen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
soborg/copenhagen, n/a Denmark - Wednesday, September 11, 2002 at 10:04:24 (EDT)
Dear Dr. Joo Bang Lee, I want to thank you for what Tae Soo Do has done for
my daughter and I. My 6 year old daughter and I had very little interests in common.
The only time we ever seemed to talk was when we fought over turning off the T.V.
when she was watching her favorite shows. We decided we wanted to dedicate time
each week to spend together doing something. We decided that martial arts would
allow us to do this and help us get in better shape. I searched all over to find
a martial arts school that would allow both my daughter and I to train together.
We found one of your Hwa Rang Do academies run by Mr. Sanchez in Hanford, California.
We went to observe the class and I was impressed with the way he worked with both
the children and adults. Everyone seemed to enjoy his training. He is strict but
makes it fun for everyone. We signed up shortly afterward and have been participating
for three weeks in his Tae Soo Do class. My daughter and I are now getting along
great and enjoying the time we spend together. I also have found my wife and I
don’t have to constantly ask her to do things at home over and over. She is more
disciplined and respectful in the home. We are now closer than we ever were before.
It was a minor sacrifice scheduling in the time each week for practice but it
has been well worth it. We are losing weight and have higher energy levels. I
wish I had been able to do this when I was her age and I look forward to my other
daughter who is one and half joining us in a few years. Once again thank you for
developing Tae Soo Do and for what it has done for my family. Feel free to use
me as a reference for your system of martial arts system.
Jason Orton <email@example.com>
Stratford, CA USA - Monday, July 08, 2002 at 11:02:56 (EDT)
People find certain appealing qualities in specific martial arts than others. I had waited a long time before I found an art that truly is what a martial art should be. I am just starting out, tested for pal kub on 3/25 and have a long but exciting journey ahead of me, but with the guidance of my instructors and the encouragement of my senior-ranking peers, I know I will suceed. I would like to thank Do Joo Nim, Master Kijek, Instructors Spoehr & Ochalla, Miss Caroon, and the rest of my higher ranking peers: Keith, Billy, Fred, Ryan...others that I may have missed-respectively. These people, and many more, have made it a great welcome for me. I am very lucky to have someone lead me here. HWARANG!!
Sean Kelley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Madison, WI USA - Tuesday, May 28, 2002 at 01:47:43 (EDT)
I am not a person of many words but, when I speak it comes from the heart, and from the very bottom of my heart I want to express my gratitude to the person I admire the most, my Supreme Grand Master. Dr Joo Bang Lee, Sir for all the time you have spent with me, for your listening and concern, for your guidence, your trust in me. THANK YOU SIR.
I also have the need to let you know that I will try my very best not to dissapoint you, and do my part to help you spread this beautiful martial.
I also want to extend my gratitud to the Masters, and Instructors that have helped me get where I am now Thank you
for your teachings. Hwa Rang!!
Jesus Hernandez <email@example.com>
Downey, CA USA - Saturday, May 11, 2002 at 02:10:14 (EDT)
I would like to take this time to thank Dojoonim and the world hwarangdo association. a couple weeks ago, i had the opportunity to go for my 1st degree blackbelt in hwarangdo. I feel very fortunate to find hwarangdo that keeps my korean tradition strong. Hopefully, i can help my fellow hwarangdo brothers and sisters to enjoy and feel the experiences that I had. Hwarang!!!
Taehoon Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Chandler, az USA - Tuesday, April 23, 2002 at 02:00:07 (EDT)
I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to all my Hwarang
brothers and sisters out there. We are all so lucky to have
found Hwa Rang Do. I would like to thank Do Joo Nim for sharing this
wonderful art with the public, but yet still maintaining the art's
integrity and tradition. Too often today martial art's lose their
identity, but not us. Thanks to the efforts of Do Joo Nim and the
association Hwa Rang Do has been preserved for many generations to come.
I just tested for my 1st dan last week. I can't explain how proud
I am to be part of such a great system and martial art family. It is my
hope we all strive to keeping Hwa Rang Do growing and while still
keeping its integrity and tradition. HWARANG!
Brandon Cozad <email@example.com>
Phoenix, AZ USA - Monday, April 22, 2002 at 10:16:19 (EDT)
Hwa Rang to all Midwest students. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank
the person responsible for the success of the Midwest HRD Academies. Kwan Jang
Nim David Kijek. As someone who used to train with him back in his college days
I can testify to his substantial skills. Even at that very young age Kwan Jang
Nim was an extremely dedicated/talented Martial Artist. He would have excelled
in ANY martial art he would have chose to undertake...he possessed all the tools.
Ultimately with thank Do Joo Nim of course for providing us with this rich heritage
but let's not forget who's responsible for the enormous success of the Midwestern
Academies. Without Kwan Jang Nim's dedication to excellence and perseverance in
training there wouldn't be HRD in this part of the country. There would be no
unit of incredibly talented Black Sashes that the Midwest enjoys. There would
be no web pages...no testimonials... no do po's! ;) Kwan Jang Nim is the embodiment
of the Meng Sae. We are very lucky to have Master Kijek present in the Midwest
and Hwa Rang Do is lucky to have Master Kijek. I feel very lucky that I had the
opportunity to work out with, and eventually be taught by Master Kijek...and call
him friend. Once again I say to all the folks here in the Midwest that...you have
no idea how fortunate you are to have Kwan Jang Nim to guide your studies in HRD.
He is second to none. HWA RANG!!!!!!!!!!!!...and thank you Sir. Mark
WI USA - Saturday, March 23, 2002 at 13:49:04 (PST)
It all started by pure chance. I had been very sick and was searching for something to restore to health. So, thinking about something soft, I went to the gymnasium. There the receptionist told me about a new Martial Korean Art, Tae Soo Do.
I must confess I was first at all attracted by that “Korean”. I love all the things from Asiatic places, so I tried, and it was worth it.
Since then, I’ve understood that Tae Soo Do was what I was searching for not because it was Korean but because it was an Art, which gave me the strength to begin again.
Now I practice every day in the Dojang and also when I can at home.
I’m not already good but I know I will do better. And as soon as my health allows me, I will take my first examination. I’m happy about the results I’m obtaining, putting all myself in what I do and being helped by my Instructor Marco Mattiucci, who I want to thank.
I’m not longer a baby, but I remember when I was a little girl I used to sit near the Christmas tree, just feeling happy for the silence and the little electric noise of the intermittent tree lights.
It is this image I want to leave you saying especially to our Great Master Do Joo Nim:
Rome, Italy - Thursday, December 20, 2001 at 09:38:02 (PST)
studies, and completing degrees. I am one of these, and I know I am speaking for
many of us when I thank Hwa Rang Do for the courage and perserverance it took
to accomplish our goals. This art trains far more than the body, for as we pursue
the Art, we internalize the traditions of excellence expected of the Hwa Rang
warriors. There were many late nights of studying, when the only thing I wanted
to do was quit and go to sleep. The spirit of the Hwa Rang kept me focused, for
we do not retreat in the face of the enemy. Thank you, Do Joo Nim, for bringing
this art to the world, so that a student in a small town in the Midwest has the
opportunity to become what she dreams. Hwarang!
Inst. Diane Spoehr <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Madison, WI USA - Tuesday, May 22, 2001 at 08:16:40 (PDT)
This letter is not only to the Hwa Rang Do headquarters but also to those who may not have had it easy in life, all my life I've lived with asthma which nearly killed me on two occasions and have never been the biggest or strongest of people, but through dedication and a caring instructor I overcame all obstacles and have never been bullied again without even throwing a single punch, I'm currently a purple belt, but haven't attended class in 2 years due to college but will earn my first dan some day and but I still train every day, thank you for teaching me that dedication and character will always carry with me in life
Daniel Fields <email@example.com>
Broken Arrow, OK USA - Thursday, April 19, 2001 at 22:10:56 (PDT)
To all my hwarang family through out the world,
god bless everyone.
keep the mind body & spirit clean and true
we have the best martial arts in the world today and always. It is the key to the universe that unlocks the door to truth. we are in the path of our greatness.
Instructor Anthony Vargas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New York, Bx USA - Monday, April 16, 2001 at 15:22:49 (PDT)
Hwa Rang Do Joo Nim!!
Thank you for providing this testimonial page, so that all of us who have been so positively influenced by Hwa Rang Do and your teaching, can express our sincere appreciation. You are a wonderful leader and have given us all a shining example of what it means to be a modern day Hwa Rang Doist.
When I came to you in 1989, I was desperately searching for a legitimate, true martial art that was not watered down. I had been training in a martail art that claimed to be Hwa Rang Do. After spending 10 years in that program, I came to understand what I had been learning was a fraudulant system that was not based on honor and tradition, but rather ego and fighting. Rather than dwell on the negative betrayed feelings I had about that teacher and system, I decided to look to the true source of Hwa Rang Do..... You.
When I contacted HQ, I was extremely pleased with the understanding and care you and Chief Master Lee showed toward me and my situation. Eventhough I was scared to death to admit to you that I had been studying a "pirate" Hwa Rang Do system, you both made me feel comfortable and at home.
Since then you have changed my entire life! I would have never believed that Hwa Rang Do would have the following in the Midwest that it does today. Thanks to you and Chief Master Lee, thousands of people have had an opportunity to participate in "True" martial art of Hwa Rang Do.
Hwa Rang Do is the jewel in this messed up (commercialized) world of martial arts. With so much "junk" out there, people can easily see the Hwa Rang Do difference once they enter our Do Jangs. It is because of your leadership that the world can experience a "true" martial art system.
Your love and compasion have positively affected me, my family, and my students. In addition, your teachings affect the lives of everyone we(your students) come in contact with. For that, everyone should be thankful.
The Five Rules and Nine Virtues are universal in their message. Being a Christian, I am constantly questioned about the conflict between Christianity and Eastern religions. My answer is simple, the Hwa Rang Do Meng Sae is in total harmony with any religion I would ever want to be associated with. I believe that the Meng Sae is consistant with my Christian faith. The teaching of Hwa Rang Do allow me to be a stronger, healthier, more focused, and more disciplined individual. By instilling these principles in my life, I have been blessed many times more than I feel I deserve.
Sir, you are a great man, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to know and train with you.
Thank you for all you have done to preserve this one true martial art. I will be forever greatful.
With Love and admiration,
Master David Kijek <email@example.com>
Madison, WI USA - Friday, April 13, 2001 at 13:46:31 (PDT)
Hwa Rang Do Joo Nim!!! Greetings from the Midwest! I've been studying Tae Soo Do now for about a year and a half, and I have been reading almost everything you've been putting on the website. You have said that other arts have become watered down and that many of these so-called arts are just going through the motions when it comes to the philosophies and attitudes held by the true arts. I was unclear about that idea until last night after class. Sometimes we have to share our workout space with the other martial arts club on campus. As I was talking with my instructors I noticed the other club's head instructor sparring with his students. This wouldn't be a cause for concern if it weren't for the fact that he was doing nothing more than beating them up mercilessly even when they had their backs literally to the wall. It was then that I realized exactly what you have been preaching about the purity of art and why all Hwa Rang Do instructors are certified through you and you alone. This other instructor was teaching street fighting and nothing more. It is a distinct privelege to be taught by the wonderful instructors here in Wisconsin. They are also a source of great inspiration. Thank you for everything.
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Hwa Rang Do/Tae Soo Do Club
Chris Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eau Claire, WI USA - Thursday, April 12, 2001 at 15:22:11 (PDT)
Hwarang, Do Joo Nim,
I spent the past weekend in Chicago, at a national collegiate conference for computer professionals. The minute we arrived, my team had to board a bus to our competition; what should have been a one hour trip took 2 1/2 hours; the driver was lost in Chicago! The contest should have started at 7p.m., but it began at 8p.m. and went to 1 a.m.! We had no dinner, no sleep, and we competed against 37 colleges in a difficult area of computer programming, on the energy from an orange and a bag of Garditos.
The next day my teammates told me it was my calm good humor and patience that kept them on track and helped them focus. They attributed this to my Hwa Rang Do training! They were correct, it is thanks to you, Sir, that three beginners were able to succeed in overcoming adverse conditions and do our job. I knew I could not retreat in the face of this enemy, and so I set my mind to do the work at hand, and took my team with me.
The benefits of Hwa Rang Do are far-reaching, often affecting even those who do not train. Do Joo Nim's teaching has reached across the country, to touch people who have never met him. We who train in this art are privileged, and blessed. This is only one instance of the influence Hwa Rang Do has had on my life; I am a far better person for my training, and yet I am barely beginning, only first dan. It is no small thing to be Hwa Rang, and I thank you, Do Joo Nim, for all you have done to bring this opportunity to me.
Inst. Diane Spoehr
Diane Spoehr <email@example.com>
USA - Monday, April 02, 2001 at 07:34:16 (PDT)
I would like to extend my greatest and sincerest thanks for the opportunities
you gave me over the past year and a half. I will truly cherish the time I spent
at headquarters with you for the rest of my life. It was truly an eye opening
experience, and the perspectives you gave me about Hwa Rang Do and the traditional
way and values of living the life of a martial artist, specifically a Hwa Rang
Doist, will forever echo in my breath. DAEDONHEE KAMSAPNIDA!!!!!
I would also like to congratulate everyone who participated in the Midwest
Championships this year. It was a wonderful event, and it was great to see so
many faces returning to the action once again. I really look foward to future
years of this tournament. This will sure become an incredible championship in
the near future! Great job to everyone who helped out. Keep up the hard work
and train hard, because now, it looks like there is some more competition in
the neighborhood :-)
Hwa Rang Forever!!!
Instructor Dylan Sirny Hwa Rang Do Minnesota Academy
Instructor Dylan Sirny <firstname.lastname@example.org>
USA - Thursday, March 08, 2001 at 14:25:39 (PST)
To: Hwa Rang Do World Headquarters,
Life, how it should be lived. To always strive for balance and perfection.
When I was younger I would dream of becoming a warrior, a man who knew the truth
about the ways of the world . A just man, a protector of the weak, that is what
Hwa Rang Do means to me. To be humanity, justice, courtesy, wisdom trust goodness
virtue, loyalty, and courage personified, living and breathing. Hwa Rang Do
teaches me how to become the best man that I can, to reach the pinnacle of my
potential emotionally, mentally and physically. While on my journey, my quest
for balance, to guide as many other men and women as I can on their own personal
journey. To share with them the knowledge, the fruits of life , the truths that
have been entrusted and shared with me by my guides, teachers, and master. Simply
put hwa rang do is about growth, understanding, balance, and the sharing of
this knowledge, the preservation through becoming a teacher, a mentor. At this
point in my understanding of life, and Hwa Rang Do, this is what Hwa Rang Do
means to me. I know that in a short time from now I will grow as a person and
Hwa Rang Do will take on a more powerful and matured meaning in my life. Without
Hwa Rang Do there is no growth, no understanding. Without Hwa Rang Do I am a
foolish boy with no direction or purpose, through my training I am becoming
a man, with direction and understanding. I have heard wise men say that it is
only through great wars, and suffering that we are able to truly know peace,
I believe this to be true...
West Coast Hwa Rang Do Academy
Shaun Friedberg <email@example.com>
USA - Friday, March 06, 2001 at 16:05:21 (PST)
To: Hwa Rang Do World Headquarters,
I would like to send a message to my Instructor, Susuk Sa Bum Nim Lenny
Scimeca of the Long Island Do Jang. Sir, you have been an amazingly powerful
influence on me. You have show me the kind of person that I want to be; the
things that I can accomplish in my life, and the kind of martial artist that
I should be in order to give the honor to this art. I hold you in the highest
regard and give you the utmost respect. You have given your students nothing
but kindness, compassion, discipline, dedication, and loyalty. I can only try
to make valiant attempts to repay you for all your gifts of humanity you have
given your students. Thank you Sir.
Luciana Greenidge <firstname.lastname@example.org>
USA - February 28, 2001 at 16:42:43 (PST)
To: Hwa Rang Do World Headquarters,
I am so surprised that my country, Korea, had the most complete martial
art of all. I always thought it would be one of Chinese Kung-Fu or Japanese
arts. I am also saddened that many Koreans do not know this fact and turn to
learn other Korean arts such as TaeKwonDo. I personally had a chance to visit
Grandmaster Yum's school in Union City, N.J. about 10 years ago when I was not
interested in martial arts. If I had known more of HwaRangDo, I would have definitely
studied the art. I am a Korean immigrant and just became a medical doctor. I
finally have some money to learn martial arts and an orange belt in TaeKwonDo.
But, I have been looking for more complete art. After surfing the Internet for
several months I am totally convinced that no martial art in the world offers
such a complete training in all aspects of self-defense. As a medical doctor
I am very attracted to the oriental medicine aspect of the art. I decided to
learn this art for the rest of my life.
Kyungho Choi, MD <email@example.com>
USA - January 17, 2001 at 20:58:26 (PST)
To: Hwa Rang Do World Headquarters,
Hwa rang do is one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in
my life. I live 60 miles from the academy in Arcata, ca, and have not been able
to attend in two years. :( Instructor Daniel Perez is an AMAZING person and
teacher, a role model to anyone who comes in contact with him. Hwa Rang Do helped
me come out of a shell I had been in my entire life~ being a blue belt right
now, and almost going off to college, I WILL obtain my black belt someday. I
want to tell anyone who reads this, that Hwa Rang Do has given me so many things,
and someday I will try to repay it by having my own academy.
Stephanie Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
USA - January 17, 2001 at 16:59:22 (PST)
To: Hwa Rang Do World Headquarters,
I have been doing HWA RANG DO for about a year, since then I got stronger
both physically and mentally. I was bullied, when I started Hwa rang do scared
away the people that have bullied me and since I started doing this wonderful
martial art they don't even look at me cross eye. THANK YOU HWA RANG DO AND
THANK YOU INSTRUCTOR FOR GIVING ME CONFIDENCE.
USA - December 3, 2000 at 02:47:34 (PST)
To: Hwa Rang Do World Headquarters,
I came to America as the first generation of immigrants in my family. My
parents started their lives here working two jobs a day, seven days a week.
I usually stayed with my uncle's family obeying their rules without much of
a family for myself. When I accidentally discovered that there was a Hwa Rang
Do school in my neighborhood, I found not only a place of training but also
that family which I have sought for. It is no accident that now my parents work
less and we are a family once again. I thank Hwa Rang Do and Mr. Kijek for giving
me the chance to be accepted somewhere when I had nowhere to turn.
Fei Xiao Academy of Hwa Rang Do, Madison, WI <email@example.com>
USA - October 25, 2000 at 17:27:50 (PST)