The Korean Martial Art of Wha Rang Do
by Bjorn Kristiansen
these are our two teachers; to the left, the 2nd Dan, and to the right, the 1th Dan.
My name is Bjorn Kristiansen. I practice Wha rang do in Denmark where I live. I am currently an exchange student in Montana, U.S.A, and am going to practice Tae Kwon Do while I am here. I am looking forward to trying something new, but for now, I wanted to tell you about the Martial Art of Wha Rang Do.
I have been practicing Wha Rang Do for a couple of years now, and have always loved it. We, at least in the club I am in, have a really great connection. When in class, we do of course concentrate and show great respect for our trainers, but after training we can still joke around and have fun with them. We also arrange several trips and have Christmas dinners and stuff like that.
Wha Rang Do is, as Tae kwon do, a Korean martial art. They got very little in common, though.
It is not as well known as Tae kwon do or Karate, but it is known for being the most comprehensive martial art there is. The art itself include more than 4000 techniques, including locks, throws, ground combat, punches, kicks, blocks and weapon blocks, and 108 different weapons like nunchuks, swords, staffs and even a few firearms.
We do involve a lot of the Korean language to, like names of the kicks and stances and different moves, and also the teacher's title.
The ranking goes from the white belt, to the 10th Dan black belt. there is only one person who can rightfully wear the 10th Dan belt, the man who reintroduced Wha Rang Do to the world; Dr. Jo Bang Lee.
In most other systems, getting a new rank or a new belt is not that hard, but it is very challenging in Wha Rang Do, as you have to learn and memorize a lot of things. In all of Europe, the highest (active) ranked is 2nd Dan. In Denmark we also got an inactive 3rd Dan who visits us once in a while.
Great to hear from you and many thanks for a really informative and interesting article about this great and little known Korean Martial Art. I'm sure our visitors will love reading about it. It sounds like a really comprehensive martial arts system.
Maybe once you've done some taekwondo training you can let us know how the two arts compare?
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