Why study Hwa Rang Do®? Time is short, for us, for our children. Why make time and sacrifice to study any martial art, especially HRD?
Not for you? Actually, HRD may not be for you. If you’re interested only in getting in shape, toning up, and looking good, then join a gym or buy some barbells or just stop eating when you’re full. Although HRD will put you in top physical condition, that is not its central point. Also, if you’re interested in bloodsport, in learning how to bludgeon someone senseless so that you can feel good about yourself, HRD is not for you. Although HRD being the most comprehensive martial art with the most extensive curriculum will effectively teach you how to defend any form of altercations and how to confront violence, it does not relish in causing pain or bloodshed.
So, then, why?
Why study Hwa Rang Do®?
It is to CONQUER YOURSELF.
Surrender your fears. We are all filled with fears. We knew them as children: Fear of others, of falling, of hurting, of monsters, and of the dark. As adults, our fears don’t disappear, they just transform. We can’t admit them since we are supposed to be adults, so we hide or repress. But the fears, they lurk—not in the dark, but in the darkness. And, like invisible cages of the mind, fears trap us in inertia, bad relationships, bad situations, valleys of weakness. In this state, we don’t live everyday: we instead die a little everyday.
Secure your birthright. As human beings, freedom is our birthright. But freedom is threatened by fear. To defeat fear, we need self- confidence. But not the kind promised today, on television, by charlatans and salesmen pitching self-esteem in a bottle or a book. True self-confidence does not come from simply telling ourselves that we are great, having parents tell you that we’re great, having sycophants ingratiate us with compliments. This simply creates deluded individuals, believing that they deserve everything notwithstanding their basic incompetence. And they know deep inside that they are frauds. True self- confidence, leading to freedom, can only be earned through relentless physical training under the guidance of an ethical tradition. By doing what we swore we could never do, we become proof of self-transformation. Through these lessons, earned piecemeal, through bruises and sweat, we cut through self-doubt to earn our confidence.
Lead all others. And if you should become one of the few, the one in thousands who achieves a Black Sash, you will have become a leader. The world is desperate for leadership. Everyone is weak. We succumb to the coercion of others or the seduction of baubles and material greed. When crisis comes, we are desperate for a hero. That hero must bear the weight of thousands. But only when one has conquered one’s own demons can one be that hero, the one to lead all others. The strength immanent from one who has conquered himself/herself is obvious. Others will follow.
Become. Why study HRD? To become fully human, surrendering your fears, securing your birthright of freedom, and flourishing into one who commands without having to speak a word. That is why HRD. By force of will, you conquer yourself. In so doing, you become a flowering exemplar of humanity, of God’s creation.
This is HRD’s challenge.
Heroism lives in each one of us.
It is your calling.