Hwarangdo has several meanings, depending on the context that you use the word, but generally it is used to identify the martial art system that was established in the 1960's by Dr. Joo Bang Lee.
Hwarang do is based upon the combat skills and teachings of the Hwarang System called Um Yang Kwon. Handed down for 58 generations, the roots of Hwarangdo is based 2000 years in the past during the Silla Kingdom.
The students of Hwarangdo were called Hwarang (Flower Knight) comprised of two groups; “Hwarang” (Flower Man) the leaders and youths from royal family members, and “rangdo” (fellows) the students, disciples, soldiers, and were generally of the civilian class. Their training consisted of their renowned empty hand system that blended hard and soft, linear and circular techniques. The Hwarang also learned 108 different weapons as well as military policies, strategies, medicine, healing, dance, song, science, and literature.
Hwarangdo was more than a system of martial arts or a belief, it was an entire culture. Through King Taejon of the Chosun Kingdom era, the institute of Hwarangdo was disbanded and the leaders of Hwarang lived in seclusion. For more than 600 years, the Hwarang System of martial arts went unknown to the public until Dr. Joo Bang Lee, under the tutelage of Suahm Dosa, re-introduced it as Hwarang musool. In this, he structured the ciriculum into various categories of learning. Under the Mu Sool (martial way)category is nae kong (internal power), wae kong (external power), mu gi kong (weapon power), shin kong (mental power. Under the In sool (healing way) category is ji ap sool (acupressure), chim gu sool (acupuncture), yak bang bop (herbal medicine), hwai bop (special aids), ki ryuk sool (ki power healing). In all, there are 280 different categories and over 4,000 techniques. Hwarangdo is more than just a combat system.
It is the Way of Hwarangdo, a system filled with understanding, brilliance, honor, and love.