Hwa Rang Do Technique Structure

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In Hwa Rang Do is a martial with over 4,000 techniques, as well as 108 weapons. These are taught in a progression as a student gains sashes (items to signify skill level attained), with many of the more difficult ones only taught after a black sash is achieved. Due to the extensive nature of the curriculum, typically attaining a black sash may take between 8 – 15 years. More dedicated students may possibly achieve it in less.

The Sashes:

In Hwa Rang Do, practitioners are given sashes to signify their progression through the martial art. Before first dan (first black sash), the belt order goes from white to half-black:

  • White Sash: Coo Kub (ninth grade)
  • Orange Sash: Pal Kub (eighth grade)
  • Yellow Sash: Chil Kub (seventh grade)
  • Green Sash: Yuk Kub (sixth grade)
  • Purple Sash: Oh Kub (fifth grade)
  • Blue Sash: Sa Kub (fourth grade)
  • Brown Sash: Sum Kub (third grade)
  • Red Sash: E Kub (second grade)
  • Half-black sash: Il Kub (first grade)

After receiving a black sash, a practitioner earns the title Jo Kyo Nim (or alternatively, Yu Dan Ja), and can now be an instructor. In addition, every degree of black sash has its own title, and shows a respective knowledge level. Note that there can only ever be one ninth degree and one tenth degree at any one time.

  • Cho Dan: first degree black sash. Title: Jo Kyo Nim (Assistant instructor)
  • E Dan: second degree black sash. Title: Kyo Sa Nim (Instructor)
  • Sam Dan: third degree black sash. Title: Sa Bum Nim (Head Instructor)
  • Sa Dan: fourth degree black sash. Title: Susuk Sa Bum Nim (Chief Instructor)
  • Oh Dan: fifth degree black sash. Title: Kwan Jang Nim (Master)
  • Yuk Dan: sixth degree black sash. Title: Kwan Jang Nim, or Dosa (Master)
  • Chil Dan: seventh degree black sash. Title: Su Suk Kwan Jang Nim (Chief Master)
  • Pal Dan: eighth degree black sash. Title: Kuk Sa Nim or Chong Kwan Jang Nim (Grandmaster)
  • Gu Dan: ninth degree black sash. Title: Kuk Sun (Head Grandmaster)
  • Ship Dan: tenth degree black sash. Title: Do Joo Nim (Supreme Grandmaster, Owner of the Way)

The Physical Techniques: During the course of study up until black sash, a practitioner will learn a long form, eight basic techniques, around 30 “one step sparring” techniques and about the same number of self-defense techniques, and some short forms, every sash level. In addition, three main weapons will be taught: The Ssang Jyel Bong (nunchaku), Jang Bong (long staff), and the Gum Mu (sword).

Defense against other weapons, such as the knife, are also taught, but training with those weapons does not occur until black sash. Hwa Rang Do students will also have extensive study in grappling, joint manipulation and submission fighting, and new curriculum rollouts allow studying kumdo and weapon fighting earlier in the program.