Martial Arts Book Review: The Ancient Martial Art of Hwarang Do; Volume Three by Joo Bang Lee

Shawn Kovacich
 


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Being the author of several books on the martial arts and fighting, I am always looking for books of exceptional quality to add to my library. If I have a book in my library, it's definitely worth owning. One such book is Joo Bang Lee’s, “The Ancient Martial Art of Hwarang Do; Volume Three. "

This volume, like the other two in the series, starts out with an outstanding section that gives you a detailed look at the history of Hwarang Do and its progression over the centuries from ancient times to the present day. You are then presented with the theory and internal dynamics which make up this very impressive art. The basic principles of training sections were also very good and offered excellent advice that should be implemented during training. The following is a brief overview of each chapter in the book and what it contains.

11. Weapons:

a. This section begins with a brief discussion on the history of weapons concerning the art of Hwarang Do and then goes into the 20 basic weapon types that are studied in this art form. The author notes that once you have mastered the 20 basic weapon types, you can then eventually master the 108 weapons studied and used in Hwarang Do.

b. This section continues with the basic blocks, strikes and applications of the short stick. This is usually an oak stick approximately 6 to 8 inches in length with a cord attached to one end.

c. The next section comprises various defenses against the sword, stick, and cane. This is followed with 10 self-defense techniques that can be used against an attacker armed with a knife. This section concludes with a brief segment that demonstrates to you four different defenses you could use against an attacker armed with a handgun. This particular segment is one I didn’t care for because it was too brief and did not include any of the basic information that you should know before even considering such a move.

12. Throwing Techniques:

a. This section starts off with some basic principles involved in throwing and the recommendation that you should learn how to fall and roll first, before learning how to throw. Sound advice!

b. This next section demonstrates and briefly explains how to execute 6 basic throws in Hwarang Do. It then does something really unique and not found in very many books, which is how to defend against someone who is trying to throw you.

13. Choking Techniques:

a. After a brief segment on the basic principles of choking, the author demonstrates 5 basic choking techniques.

14. Opponent Control:

a. Following a brief segment on the basic principles behind controlling an opponent, this section gives you 7 examples of controlling or restraining an attacker.

b. In this section, the author also demonstrates for you 7 different examples of defenses that could be used against two attackers. Following this he also demonstrates 1 example of defending yourself against three attackers at one time. These examples are intended to be just that, examples. They are not intended to be duplicated move for move.

15. Vital Points:

a. Although this section of the book was rather brief, the basic principles and the philosophy that the author relates to the reader is, in my opinion, not only very professional, but also the mark of a true master of the martial arts.

b. The author continues with this section by demonstrating some basic techniques applied to certain vulnerable areas of the body.

16. Charts of the Meridians of the Body:

a. This section shows detailed charts mapping out the meridians of the body that correspond to the major internal organs.

One of the things that I particularly liked about this book, and the others in the series, is the fact that there are no “sport” techniques in these books. All of the techniques shown are meant to be used in actual combat and self-defense situations. When you look at the art of Hwarang Do, you could make the comparison that this art form includes not only the strikes and kicks of Tae Kwon Do, but also the throwing and grappling techniques of Judo and the joint techniques of Aikido. Hwarang Do is truly a well-rounded and complete martial art.

This and its two companion volumes were some of the first books that I ever purchased years ago when I was in high school and starting to learn about the martial arts. These books give a very good overview on the art of Hwarang Do and are very informative. If you are interested in this art form, or any of the Korean arts, I would definitely put these books on your too buy list.

Shawn Kovacich has been practicing the martial arts for over 25 years and currently holds the rank of 4th degree (Yodan) black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Shawn has also competed in such prestigious full-contact bare knuckle karate competitions as the Shidokan Open and the Sabaki Challenge, among others. In addition to his many accomplishments, Shawn is also a two time world record holder for endurance high kicking as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. Shawn is the author of the highly acclaimed Achieving Kicking Excellence™ series and can be reached via his web site at: http://www.kickingbooks.com

To learn more about the author or HwarangDo, please visit this web site at: World Hwarang Do Headquarters

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