The purpose of Hwa Rang Kwan is to develop mind and body harmony, and by doing so achieve perfection of the human spirit.
Hwa Rang Kwan is the oldest Korean martial arts center on the West Coast. The school was founded in San Francisco in May 1965, when Rev. Chung Ryul Song gave the name to the Korean Youth Group on Polk Street that was run by the former Korean Association President Min Hwi Rhee. At the same time, the young Master Dong Kie Shin opened a Hwa Rang Kwan dojang (studio) in the Miadong district of Seoul, Korea.
In 1971 Master Shin arrived in San Francisco, and he continued his training at the Polk Street Hwa Rang Kwan studio. Eventually Master Shin became a 9th Dan Grand Master, and he opened several more schools under the Hwa Rang Kwan banner. The downtown San Francisco school moved several times over the years, and in April 2001 Master Shin sold the school to one of his senior black belts, Master Steve Rapport. In August 2012 the school moved to its current location in SOMA.
The school is a beautiful 4800 sq ft building in San Francisco's SOMA neighborhood, only four blocks south of the Market St/4th Street intersection. The main floor, which we mostly use for our Taekwondo classes, has a 1500 sq ft workout area equipped with new state-of-the-art Dollamur Flexi-Roll mats, and a wall of full-length mirrors. Upstairs we have a second huge gym, approximately 1200 sq ft and with four heavy bags, which we use for our Kickboxing classes, and a third small mat of just over 500 sq feet, which we mostly use for private lessons.
The building has three restrooms (two with tiled showers), and we have a treadmill and a bench/dumb bells.
Flowering Youth? Hwa Rang Kwan - literally, The School of Flowering Youth - is named after the Hwa Rang, the most famous warriors of ancient Korea. The young sons of noblemen in the Kingdom of Silla during the Three Kingdoms period (around the late 6th century), the Hwa Rang studied music, dance, literature and Chinese medicine in addition to armed and unarmed combat. Despite their youth they became legendary warriors. They were also enlightened individuals, schooled in both Confucianism and Buddhism. The latter philosophy encouraged them to develop and refine their ki, or internal energy, and enabled them to enter battle with a refined spiritual purpose. The Hwa Rang fought with dignity and nobility, and eventually brought an era of epic conflict to an end by unifying Korea.
"Hwa Rang is not a study of fighting principles, but a study of philosophy"
Hwa Rang Kwan President Grand Master D. K. Shin
TRADITIONAL: Hwa Rang Kwan students learn the traditional Korean martial art of Taekwondo (The Way of Foot and Fist Fighting), a hard style which consists of fast and powerful strikes with hands and feet. The school also offers a great Kickboxing program for those seeking physical fitness and self-defense, with ten classes per week.
PERSONAL ATTENTION: The program of martial arts at Hwa Rang Kwan is suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical ability. Most classes are open to all belt levels, but instructors ensure that each student receives personal attention and that exercises are tailored to the individual's needs.
TAEKWONDO CLASS STRUCTURE: Most classes start with basic techniques and forms practice, followed by a variety of activities such as kicking or footwork drills, partner drills, and work with focus pads. Light-contact sparring drills are often included at the end of class, and there are serious sparring classes on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings for those who wish to pursue this area of their training.
BENEFITS: Studying at Hwa Rang Kwan improves students' fitness, flexibility, balance, and coordination, but martial arts provides more than just a workout. As students progress, they develop their internal power and work towards physical, mental, and spiritual improvement.
If you would like more information about any of our classes, please call Master Steve Rapport at 415.495.2025, or send him an email, and arrange to come in for a tour and to take a class.