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  1. #1
    Member johenora's Avatar
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    Default Authenticity of Korean Hwa Rang Do?

    Is Hwa Rang Do for real or fake? My friend Carlton Chambers a noted martial arts historian and archaologist says it was real at one time but it died and was resurrected in modern times as a warrior art by some Tae Kwan Do experts.
    How can we find out for sure? Does anyone know? Donn Draeger wrote little on this subject.
    Does the art have scrolls and a heritage line that is viewable and genuinely traceable like Gracie Jiu Jitsu?
    Also I saw a page which said it was the precursor to Daito Ryu because the so-called Japanese General Shira Saburo Yoshimitsu inventor of Daito Ryu was really of Korean heritage and Daito Ryu come from ancient Hwa Rang Do of the warrior Korean class and priests who may have been Buddhists and knew the Chinese classics like the Wu Pei Shi of the Ming Dynasty and the drawings of martial techniques are exactly the same from the 24 volume s of Wu Bei Shi (cica 1600) and inserted in the Daito Ryu book of the Japanese warrrior Kanskue Yamamoto of the Shingen Takeda Clan of Daito Ryu and also in the Hwa Rang Do books and Tang Soo Do martiasl art gup books.
    Any replies would be appreciated to confirm this important issue.
    John Denora,
    Nchijo Kore Dojo
    John Denora
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  2. #2
    Junior Member Kyuusaku's Avatar
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    Default Re: Authenticity of Korean Hwa Rang Do?

    Well, fake or otherwise, I don't think that your historian friend has it quite right.

    I don't think that there is any strong evidence that Hwarang martial arts ever existed, and Hwarangdo probably has little to do with Taekwondo.

    Go to the Hwarangdo homepage to see the creator's view on the history of the art (you probably have already?).

    So, does anyone know? Maybe the creator (Joo Bang Lee) knows.

    I think that the Daito-ryu and Hwarang link is rather flaky... Foremost, it is hard to say that 'Shinra Saburo' was Korean just because 'Shinra' was one of his names. He may have had some Korean connection, but who's to say?

    What are the Wubeishi? I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with this...

    Edward Cha

  3. #3
    DPM
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    In my little corner of paradise it is irrelevant. I don't study it myself, but I know several fine people who do. And the local school takes about 50% of the top trophies at the annual Cobra-Butterfly invitational tournament. As long as they are turning out good & responsible MA'ist, then I don't think the exact history matters too much.
    Last edited by DPM; 09-08-2003 at 23:10.

  4. #4
    Member johenora's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Authenticity of Korean Hwa Rang Do?

    Edward Cha writes in part:
    [i]Originally posted by Kyuusaku [/iI think that the Daito-ryu and Hwarang link is rather flaky... Foremost, it is hard to say that 'Shinra Saburo' was Korean just because 'Shinra' was one of his names. He may have had some Korean connection, but who's to say?
    -------Edward Cha
    Dear Edaward Cha:
    Now, I know there is much research to do to find the connection.
    --------------------------------
    What are the Wubeishi? I'm afraid that I'm not familiar with this...
    Edward Cha [/B]
    -----
    Dear Edward:
    Again I goofed and misspelled the words--sorry.
    Meant to write - WU PEI SHI. These are about 24 books written in China about 1600 regarding the history of the martial arts and are located at the Oriental Library, Chinese Section at Harvard University , Boston , Massachusetts.
    There are many similar diagrams and figures in the Japanese and Korean Martial art books.
    Who knows how these similarities resulted? It is an anomoly and mystery to me. But there are very strong similarities.
    There are also some similarities in an Okinawan martial art book called BuBeiShi. These things are significant but I do not know the connection. The martial art historical experts probably would know. I will admit I do not know why. But there is something to probably explain this
    The noted historian Pofessor Quenton Chambers may know, but I have not had a chance to see him and I will not be in contact with him until November 2003 at the Dragonfest gathering in the Los Angeles (Glendale area). I hope this helps.
    John Denora
    Nichijo Kore Dojo

  5. #5
    Junior Member jcwebster's Avatar
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    Default Hwa Rang Do

    Lee, Joo Bang was an early student of Choi, Yong Sul in Korea. Lee's Hwa Rang Do is a combination of Choi's Hapki techniques and Chinese martial arts. Lee did the same thing with Hwa Rang Do that In, Hyuk Suh did with Kuk Sool Won. In, Hyuk Suh learned Hapki techniques from his brother (In, Sun Seo, current Head of the Korea Kido Association) who was also an early student of Choi. In, Hyuk Suh was also a Chinese Chaun Fa practitioner. Kuk Sool Won is mostly a combination of these two influences. The history of these two arts (Hwa Rang Do and Kuk Sool Won) was re-written to erase any Japanese influence. If you watch Lee, Joo Bang or In, Hyuk Suh you will imediately recognize Choi's Hapki techniques. From what I understand there is not much written about the Hwa Rang warrior's system of fighting. There is no doubt in my mind that they probably did have a fighting system(s) that included weapons as well as hand-to-hand but there is no proof that the system(s) that they (Hwa Rang Warriors) used resembles any thing close to Lee's (Hwa Rang Do) or In's (Kuk Sool Won). Both Lee, Joo Bang and In, Hyuk Suh both claim to have spent some time learning "secret" arts from a monk. It was not unusual at the time for Choi's students to "add" to and "rename" the system. Ji, Han Jae did it with his art "Hapkido" which is much different than what Choi originally taught.
    Last edited by jcwebster; 01-16-2004 at 13:56.

  6. #6
    Junior Member jcwebster's Avatar
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    Default Differences?

    Has anyone studied both arts (Hwa Rang Do & Kuk Sool Won) enough to make a comparison? What are the differences? Just curious.

  7. #7
    Junior Member rjrkihap's Avatar
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    From my understanding, which stems from the knowledge we are required to learn about each hyung, Hwa Rang Do is the art preformed by the Hwa Rang youth group which originated in the Early 7th Century in the Silla Dynasty of Korea. The Hwa Rang youth group eventually became the driving force for the unification of the three kingdoms of Korea....{basic knowledge for our promotion test}

    While studying Hapkido, I was told (and read) that the Hwa Rang youth group eventually traveled to Japan and preformed for the royalty. It was from the Hwa Rang Do that the Japanese developed Aiki Jujitsu (sp). This again is what I have been told. I wasn't there so I don't know for sure, but I do know that from Aikido, Hapkido evolved. So we are lead to believe that Hwa Rang Do was the original basis for modern day Hapkido. Again, do not take what I have offered as undisputed fact, but rather one possible interpretation.

    Ron
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  8. #8
    Junior Member jcwebster's Avatar
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    Default To rjrkihap:

    There was a group of Korean warriors called the "flowering youth" and it is almost certain that they practiced a wide range of combat arts such as the sword, knife, spear, etc. as well as empty hand techniques. After all, a warrior's job is to be proficient in fighting. While the history of the Flowering Youth may be basic knowledge for your promotion test it doesn't necessarily mean that it is factual.

    There is no historical references that even suggest that any of the flowering youth members ever went to Japan to perform for the royalty. As far as Hwa Rang Do being the predecessor of Aiki-Jujutsu I say impossible. The odds of Lee Joo-Bang being the only modern student and successor to the Hwa Rang Do lineage are very small. It is interesting that his brother (Lee Joo-Sang) who was also supposedly trained by the same monk only refered to his art as Hapkido and not Hwa Rang Do. The fact is that there is actual proof that both of these men were high ranking practitioners of Hapkido under Choi Yong-Sul. Now if Aiki-Jujutsu came from Hwa Rang Do then the techniques would be very similar. So, why would a guy who was a Hwa Rang Do master need training in Hapki-yusul (Aiki-Jujutsu) from a master (Choi) that learned his techniques in Japan if it was identical? And, by the way, Hapkido did not come from Ueshiba's Aikido it came from Takeda's Aiki-Jujutsu. Both Ueshiba and Choi were trained by Takeda.

    Basically, what has happened here is that Lee Joo-Bang learned Hapki-yusul from Choi and then decided that he wanted to branch out on his own to teach his version of martial arts. In Hyuk-Suh (also a student of Choi) did the same thing with Kuk Sul Won. Ji Han-Jae did the same thing with Hapkido. There's nothing wrong with going out on your own however, there is something wrong with lying to your students about your history because you are ashamed that your art came from Japan. If you don't believe that Lee Joo-Bang can be deceiptful then why does he not give any credit to Choi for teaching him Hapki-yusul? He did learn Hapki-yusul from Choi which you can easily research and confirm. Instead he wants to make his students think that he's the only Grand Master of a Korean martial art that's thousands of years old. Sounds good on paper if you like fiction.

  9. #9
    Junior Member rjrkihap's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info James. It seems the history of the martial arts is riddled with confusion. I really need to do much more research. Do you know if a youth group calling themselves Hwa Rang ever actually existed in the early 7th century? I have read about Taek Kwon being the original martial art of Korea upon which Tae Kwon Do takes some of its roots, but was there any other ancient Korean art similar to Hapkido that could have influenced modern day Hapkido or did the entire basis for Hapkido originate from Aikido?

    Thanks again for all your information.

    Ron Rohde
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  10. #10
    Junior Member jcwebster's Avatar
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    Default Hwa Rang Do:

    I do believe that there are historical records that confirm that there was an actual group of warriors called the "Flowering Youth" however, it is unknown what techniques they used.

    Taek Kwon? I believe you are referring to the old Korean form of foot fighting "Tae Kyon" which did influence Tae Kwon Do. According to my Master (S.K. Yang) Tae Kyon is still practiced in Korea but only as a dance and not as a martial art.

    There probably were early Korean martial arts that incorporated joint locks but to what extent is unknown. The joint locks in Hapkido, Hwa Rang Do and Kuk Sul Won are all definately from Choi Yong-Sul's Hapki-Yusul (Aiki-Jujutsu). Ji Han-Jae was a Tae Kyon practitioner before he met Choi so he naturally added the high kicks and jump kicks to his style (Sin Moo). Most Hapkido Masters today in the USA were initially trained in Ji Han-Jae's style of Hapkido (Han Bong-Soo for one). In Hyuk-Suh's martial art (Kuk Sul Won) is a combination of Choi's Hapki-Yusul, Chinese Chaun Fa, and Gumdo. In Hyuk Suh never actually trained under Choi but his brother (In Sun-Seo) did. In Hyuk-Suh would practice Chinese Chaun Fa during the day and then his brother (In Sun-Seo) would teach him Hapki-Yusul at night. He combined these into his own art. Lee Joo-Bang actually trained under Choi for many years before starting his own martial art (Hwa Rang Do). Look at the histories of Hwa Rang Do and Kuk Sul Won and see how similar they are. Also, notice that there is no mention of Choi, Hapki-Yusul, or Hapkido on any of their english websites. However, it is widely known in Korea that these arts were taken from Choi's Hapki-Yusul. Ask any Korean Hapkido Master about Hwa Rang Do or Kuk Sul Won and they will tell you that they are only different versions of Hapkido. Lee Joo-Bang's brother (Lee Joo-Sang) and In Hyuk-Suh's brother (In Sun-Seo) both claim that they were primarily trained in Hapki-Yusul but for some reason the founders of these two arts deny any influence from Choi. Again, it is easy to research this and confirm via pictures and interviews that Lee and In both were heavily influenced by Hapki-Yusul. Compare their joint locks to Hapkido's and you will see no difference. This is not a coincidence. Lee and In wanted to remove any link to Japan from their styles. This meant that they could not be associated with Choi because he was definately a product of Japanese martial arts. Lee and In wanted arts that they could say were only Korean with no influence which would be ok if it were true.

    Most people don't care about the histories of their art initially. But, after you really get into an art and have invested a lot of your time to it you will find that you care more and more about your roots. You will want to know the truth about where you come from and your masters. I just feel that a lot of Kuk Sul Won and Hwa Rang Do students are going to feel like they were lied to. Maybe it's not that big of a lie but it is a lie still. And, if a master will lie to you about one thing then he is capable of lying to you about another thing.

    Also, remember, Hapkido did not come from Aikido. Ueshiba and Choi both trained under Takeda. Both arts were started around the same time frame. Choi did not train in Aikido! Choi trained in Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu. There are some similarities but they are both uniquely different. Choi taught Hapki-Yusul (Aiki-Jujutsu) when he returned to Korea. Choi's Hapki-Yusul is not the same as KHF Hapkido. If you want to know more about Hapki-Yusul you should refer to Grandmaster Kim Yun-Sang's website (www.hapkiyusul.com). Grandmaster Kim is teaching the art exactly as he was taught by Doju Nim Choi.

    Take care.

    JC

  11. #11
    Junior Member rjrkihap's Avatar
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    Thanks once again JC. Great info. A couple more questions if you don't mind. Are Hapkido and Hapki Yusul the same thing? GM Bong Soo Han states in his bio that he trained under Yong Sul Choi, and Choi developed Hapki Yusul which as you stated was based on Japanese Aiki-Jujutsu. Am I correct so far? Also, is Aiki Jujutsu to Aikido as Jujutsu is to Judo? Is Aiki Jujutsu similar to Jujutsu as we see it today? I was told that Jujutsu, Aikido and Hapkido were basically "cousins" of each other because of the similarity in technique, is this correct? One last question, from GM Bong's web site, Yong Sul Choi is said to be the creator of Hapkido, then where does Ji Han-Jae fit in? I didn't quite catch whether or not Ji Han-Jae and Choi were both students of Takeda?

    Thanks again for you information. You've been a great help.

    Ron Rohde
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  12. #12
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    The Hwarang warriors and their deeds are well known in Korea - Koreans love history, and in terms of war they used to do pretty well for themselves, at one point extending their territory far into China.

    Hwarang-do as an indepenent art does not and never did exist in Korea. If you were to find a Hwarang-dojang in Korea it would probably be an American import! Some TKD or Hapkido dojangs sometimes use the characters "Hwa-rang" for their dojang name - but that is just it - it is just a name, nothing more than if a Scotsman called his dojang or business 'Wallace Dojang' or 'Wallace Business" (of Braveheart fame).

    The Hwarang were a group of successful young warriors, no doubt well versed in the military arts as stated above. So, if you want to mimick them, you should get yourself a horse, a bow, and a bunch of arrows. Next comes a sword and shield etc etc. Then you band together and attack your neighbours, chop them up, then claim their land to expand yours.

    Hwarang-do in the USA was made in the USA by Koreans (explained above) who studied Hapkido and other arts. They never studied anything called Hwarang-do because it does not exist.
    Last edited by rupertmja; 04-08-2004 at 23:42.

  13. #13
    Junior Member jcwebster's Avatar
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    Default Happy Easter

    To: rjrkihap

    Hakido came from Hapki-Yusul which came from Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu. Choi Yong-Sul was taught Aiki-Jujutsu from Takeda Sokaku in Japan. Choi returned to Korea after WW2 and began teaching Dai Dong Ryu Hapki-Yusul which is the Korean translation of Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu. GM Han Bong-Soo was an indirect student of Choi and was primarily trained by Choi's senior student (Ji Han-Jae). Han Bong-Soo now has his own organization (International Hapkido Federation) and Ji Han-Jae has his own organization (Sin Moo Hapkido). Naturally GM Han and GM Ji have different ideas about how they want to teach their version of Hapkido. So, GM Han no longer claims any affiliation to GM Ji because afterall they are basically each others competition. GM Han only claims that Choi was his teacher but this is not exactly true. Check out www.hapkido-info.net and take at look at the Hapkido Family Tree.

    You are right in that Aiki-Jujutsu is to Aikido as Jujutsu is to Judo as Hapki-Yusul is to Hapkido. Aiki-Jujutsu is a style of Jujutsu. If we were to organize these arts like a family Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu would be the father and Aikido and Hapki-Yusul would be the children. As far as Korean lineage Hapki-Yusul would be the father and Hapkido would be the son. Choi taught Hapki-Yusul which is the Aiki-Jujutsu that he learned in Japan. According to many of his students he did not add any techniques or weapons. Hapkido is a product of Ji Han-Jae who added the high kicking techniques that he learned from Tae Kyon as well as weapons. Remember that techniques are not the primary differences between a Japanese "Jutsu" (Yusul) and "Do". In fact most of their techniques can look quite similar. You have to look at the philosophies. The "Do" philosophy is much different than the "Jutsu" (Yusul) philosophy. Aikido, Judo, Karate-do, Taekwondo and even Hapkido are all concerned with the development of the practitioner's mind, body and spirit which in turn will make him a better human being. Take a look at any of these systems' philosophies andyou will see what I mean. The techniques that Choi learned from Takeda were samurai arts which meant that they were techniques specifically intended to help warriors survive on the battlefield. Takeda was a samurai and although he must have had his own philosophy about his art it was most definately nothing like Ueshiba's cult like religious ideas (Omote religion). Read about Ueshiba and you will see what I mean. A good book about him is the one written by his son (Kisshomaru Ueshiba). The founders of Judo (Jigoro Kano) and Karate-Do (Gichin Funakoshi) were educators and intended their arts to be practiced by everyone (even children) to make them better citizens. Kano and Funakoshi were not necessarily concerned about self-defense for citizens but instead wanted to improve ones body and mind. A good book about all three of these Masters is (Three Budo Masters by John Stevens).

    Was Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu like the Jujutsu that we see today? Well, I can assure you that Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujutsu is still going strong all over the world but it is nothing like the popular Brazilian Juijutsu. Brazilian Jujutsu is really Judo. Judo was brought to Brazil by one of Kano's head Judo Instructors. Some of the early Brazilian practitioners added some punches and kicks and began calling it BJJ but if you look closely it is mostly Judo ground fighting (Ne-Waza) with some punches and kicks thrown in. BJJ guys hate to be told that and always deny it but if you ask most of them who brought their art to Brazil they will most likely say "I don't know but the Gracies learned it from a Jiujutsu Master". Wrong he was a Judo Instructor sent to Brazil by the Kodokan to spread Judo.

    Who created Hapkido? Well, Ji Han-Jae blended Tae Kyon with Hapki-Yusul and created Hapkido. Lee Joo-Bang blended Hapki-Yusul with some other arts and created Hwa Rang Do. In Hyuk-Suh blended Hapki-Yusul with Chinese Chaun Fa (Kung Fu) and created Kuk Sul Won. There are countless others. So who created Hapkido? Ji Han-Jae. What did Choi create? Absolutely nothing. Choi learned his art from Takeda and that's what he taught in Korea. Choi did not invent anything. Just remember, just because you make your own art doesn't mean that it's any good or that it's better than the original art(s) that you learned. Choi obviously was satisfied with Hapki-Yusul and did not feel the need to change or alter it in any way. From what I've researched Choi was a very impressive martial artist and if Hapki-Yusul was good enough for him then it's definately good enough for me.

    One more thing. You will see that everyone refers to Choi's art as Hapkido. I asked my Master (Yang Seung-Kyu) about this. He told me that the names Hapki-Yusul or Hapkido are not important in Korea. The techniques are where you will see the different influences. Also, most people, especially outside of Korea do not understand the whole Hapki-Yusul and Hapkido history so most Masters will just refer to their art as Hapkido. This does not mean that they are practicing the KHF (Korea Hapkido Federation) style (acrobatics, high kicks, etc.). They just use the name Hapkido because it's easier than explaining the differences to everyone who probably don't care anyway. Also, the name Hapkido is more popular so it is better to use that name for business purposes. My Master uses the name Hapkido but his uniforms have the Hapki-Yusul writing and he teaches strictly Hapki-Yusul as taught to him by Grandmaster Kim Yun-Sang and Choi Yong-Sul.

    By the way, there was another Korean Master that trained with Takeda at the same time as Choi and he is now teaching in Korea. However, Ji Han-Jae never trained with Takeda he was Choi's student.

    If you would like more info on my master check out:
    www.master-yang.com

    Take care,

    JC

  14. #14
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    Dear Folks:

    As a veteran of more than a few of such discussions may I counsel caution as you proceed. The original question started with the questions as to whether Hwa Rang Do is "real or fake". The fact is that it is both-- and neither.

    1.) There is no historical documented basis for the Hwa Rang warriors. We know that they are made reference to in a number of writings since the Yuan Dynasty starting in the 13th century. Thats as much as we know. We can make some educated guesses such as "they were warriors so they must have learned about weapons" but we do not know their training methods, or their techniques.

    2,) Since the Hwa Rang warriors are closely tied to Confucian and Buddhist codes through oral tradition it is not unusual to have Korean institutions invoke those warriors as representative of those codes. There is no patrilinear relationship between modern practitioners any more than there is patrilinear connections between institutions that invoke the patriotism of the Minutemen who stood at Concord against the British in the Revolution.

    3.) Hwa Rang Do is widely known for the excellent technicians its training produces and the heavy emphasis they place on sound conduct according to the O-Gae. This is not a function of being related to some 7th century Korean Frat. Its a matter of hard training done regularly.

    4.) I wish I had a nickel for every person who works to validate what they do by identifying connections with some well-known personality. It doesn't help that Koreans have modeled playing fast and loose among their association with well-known people. We know only that Choi learned "something" while he was visiting Japan. What he brought back to Korea he called "yawara." Fine. Unless people are going to swear allegianxce to the DRAJJ organization, I don't see the point in playing this up. I also don't see a reason for ignoring the Chinese influences into the same family of arts.

    One last thing. I would also be pretty careful about making statements about what something "means" when transliterating among the Pacific Rim cultures. Unless someone is facile in Korean, Japanese and Chinese -- both old and new---- the best we can hope for are just guesses at what much of what is written means. It also doesn't help to perform these functions through an English "lens", yes?

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  15. #15
    Junior Member rjrkihap's Avatar
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    Yes Mr. Sims, I do apologize for taking this topic off track. Indeed we began discussing the authenticity of Hwa Rang Do as a Martial Art. I do want to thank Mr. Webster for sharing his knowledge. It seems the more you learn the more you want to know. If I have any further questions with Hapkido, I will try to post them in the correct subcategory.

    Ron Rohde
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  16. #16
    Michael Becker
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    I found the following information quite intresting.

    http://www.hwarang.org/Ancienthistory.html

    The website was set up by Bob Duggan, a former senior student of the school. Politics aside, Mr Duggan provides a logical arguement in favour of hwa rang do, as taught by Joo Bang Lee, being a modern invention.

    http://www.hwarang.org/Personal.html

    Mr Duggan speaks very highly of Joo Bang Lee's ability, not so regarding his ethics.

    Whatever the truth of the matter, politics can be a dirty business...

  17. #17
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    Dear Michael and Ron:

    Just a quick comment regarding the use of the term authenticity.

    Many times it seems that people choose to use only a single approach to authenticating the material they teach. This approach is usually to invoke membership in some lineage that has stood the test of time. For my part, my dispute with GM Lee is not over the lineage he has. My dispute is over the lineage he has elected to construct. In my own case I am two teachers removed from GM Choi yong Sul. I don't pretend otherwise and when my students ask I don't construct some romantic story reaching back to the Hwa Rang warriors. I think research would support aspects of the Hapkido arts going back into the 19th and 18th century but I don't invoke that as part of my tradition, thought I DO continue to research it. I would have been a whole lot more comfortable had GM Lee simply stood on what he knew and what he wanted to teach rather than construct some story representing him as the 57th GM (inheritor) of an obscure, non-specific tradition in order to grow his organization. Just thinking out loud. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

  18. #18
    Michael Becker
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    I completely agree with you Bruce.

  19. #19
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    Just read those two links a couple of posts above - very interesting. The "Cult of Personality" that people like to talk of in reference to the mad dictator up north (Kim Jeong-il) is common everywhere in modern Korean society, even Korean society in the USA, it seems. In martial arts, sports teams, schools, or business the top dog does his best to 'expand his position' and push way beyond the boundaries of truth. There is another word for this - "Confucianism". In part it helps make Korea strong, but at the same time, it places a spanner in the works. Sometimes, it is quite bizzare to live here

  20. #20
    Banned - Membership Revoked
    Name
    Bruce W Sims
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Lindenhurst, Illinois
    Martial Art
    Hapkido
    Age
    63
    Posts
    76

    Default

    Dear Rupert:

    At the risk of inciting a response from the KMA community in general I would like to refocus a bit. For myself, I am not sure we can lay the woes of KMA leadership solely at the door of Confucianism. Certainly there is a foundation in this belief system but I am more dismayed with what the Korean culture has done with it. By this I mean that I can't think of a single belief system, educational or governmental approach, a business or economic model over which the Korean culture does not immediately splinter into a myriad of sects, groups, or movements. We Westerners are fond of generalities in that we seem to paint all Oriental cultures with broad strokes like "consensus-building" and "fealty". The fact is that the Koreans never pull-together as a nation, in that we are not dealing with a single culture but rather a constellation of tribal or clan followings. We Westerners have not developed a decent model for dealing with tribal models even though we have been confronting such societies for the last 500 years. If anyone were to need evidence we have only to look at the African colonization of the 17-to-1900-s, the genocidal policies of the American West, the Australian policies against Aborigines, and the current campaigns in South America against the tribes of the Amazon jungle. And I wouldn't get me started on the violence in the Middle East as it is quite plain that my own countrys' government has little or no appreciation for the organizational dynamics of the tribe as it deals with Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Finally, I submitt that when the East/West Germans chose to recombine their countries it happened in a matter of months. The Korean people have not been able to bring an end to the Korean War--- even on paper-- let alone re-unite their country. This sort of small-minded, mean-spirited selfishness keeps Korea constantly in turmoil as individual groups vie only for what they want and not whats best for the country. To my mind, what we see in the KMA is only a cultural extension of the country's mentality. Joo Bang Lees' HwaRangDo could easily be seen as little more than a transplant to a new country seeking to put down roots. FWIW.

    Best Wishes,

    Bruce

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