A Good Sword Cut

A good sword cut has some interesting attributes. 1st when the body, mind, and technique are properly ALIGNED, the result is so effective that the cut slices the target with hardly any residual energy dispersed anywhere other than through the cut, resulting in the top section of mat remaining in what appears to be suspended animation (instead of flying away). 2nd is when the blade cut is true, there is hardly any resistance felt – actually to the point of where nothing is felt at all! Just a slice through the wind.

I have always had a deep appreciation for the sword as quality technique is absolutely apparent every single cut, and it is not one’s muscle or smarts that will get you results. Truly – mind, body, emotions must be congruent toward a single purpose. Practice hard everyone – 정신일도하사불성!

Essential HRD Technique

One of the classic & essential HRD techniques – from Green Sash! Since I first learned this one, now 21 years ago, I was always impressed with its simplicity and effectiveness. Opponent grabs your lapel getting ready for an attack which incidentally brings you close to easily swing an arm around to smack & grab their carotid artery, which with an immediate pull pins their head close to you allowing for a throat grab followed by smashing takedown and choke pin! HRD at its finest!
In martial arts today, there is so much focus on sport & athleticism. Of course fitness is healthy and sport great to challenge competitive skill evolution especially for beginners, however, the roots of martial arts have always been direct combat. Psychological combat that precedes an imminent encounter and then the physical encounter itself, which we must remember does not have any rules. Once set in motion, you only have one true goal which is self-preservation and/or the protection of one’s kin. If you can de-escalate the situation psychologically you are always better off – however – when the line of aggression has been crossed (because yes, there are evil people out there), be prepared to act decisively and defend your own!!! (***of course with the minimal amount of force necessary to control the situation***)

Reacting versus Responding

Reacting versus responding to situations is actually a heavily layered topic, and one’s capabilities to navigate the subject vary greatly depending on time and place. One unique component is in regards to culture. So much of our life perspective is based on the familiar habits of finding our place in the larger social group context. The status quo is powerful, and the horizontal craving of acceptance often dominates the majority of one’s actions. This occurs so much so, that rocking the boat is extremely difficult even when popular opinion is bankrupt in virtue.

However, a positive culture can also inspire and uplift. On the martial art journey, the group culture of warmups, drills, and pattern synchronization consistently helps beginners adapt to a heightened sense of focus and gain skill advancement through technical immersion. These kinds of drills also help wake a person up from their isolated daily grind, by naturally setting those concerns of the day aside while one feeds off the energy of the group in the moment of the particular task.

Balance in all things once again is apparent, and while group culture can often be corruptible through focus on habitual reactions of the echo chambers, the natural competition of the individual striving for their own excellence in terms of performance is undeniable. This is why I have always had respect for the martial art culture. One must always prove virtue through performance, technical understanding, and respectable attitude, yet must also work harmoniously with peers. Even while they try their best to defeat you, one’s ability to respond with quality actions will add positive energy to the tribe.



Achieving a state of balance occurs when one can make countless minute adjustments simultaneously. One side pulls in, while another pushes back, all while we struggle to maintain a continuous position. We know that the better one’s posture is, the easier it is to balance, however, I find it interesting that children must “settle down” to find their posture & balance while adults must “settle up” to gain their posture & balance.

Either-way, at first it is hard, but through vigilant breathing you will be able to settle into your posture and stay balanced.

Black Belt Heart 2

Being a Black Belt “AT HEART” means more than just an emotional state. When the martial artist speaks about this, meaning resonates more on a state of one’s clarity and awareness of the present moment. While the beginner is simply reacting to situations with muscle and emotional defense, the advanced student is relaxed and absorbs the situation with much greater efficiency and effectiveness. This is not just regarding technical maneuvers…… We can say that the advanced person put in more practice, more hours of sweat, so they are more capable to deal with the match and confrontation, however, I have seen many students who have put in lots of “time” yet REACT as a beginner would with either tension, force, and/or submission to the situation at hand (in matches, in professional life, & personal life)….. The Black Belt heart is deeper though in that no matter how much mat time you have, with humility and openness you can bring forth a mentality which allows you to truly RESPOND to situations rather than simply react. Of course training and experience builds a better situational vocabulary, yet everyone can put into practice a proper state of mind and strive for a Black Belt heart no matter your rank and no matter where you are. This open yet focused – humble yet determined state of mind is always there and waiting for the brave to put into practice. Yes, it is hard to depart from a lifetime of habitual reactions and the drives of our subconscious, however, a true response to any situation requires genuine clarity and awareness in the present moment.


Black Belt Heart

As students progress from beginner to the advanced stages of the martial arts an important transition must take place prior to reaching black belt. It is the transition of turning on or off one’s potential or even character depending on circumstance. When we line up to match it is easy to be focused and determined, however, when walking down the street, shopping at a grocery store, or among friends/acquaintances/strangers a different state of mind naturally is present for most people. While we do not need to carry fear or extreme intensity everywhere we go, the true Black Belt will remain a Black Belt AT HEART whether they are on the mat or off it, where the novice mind still fluctuates in personality depending on circumstance.

Tae Soo Do – “The Way of the Warrior Spirit” – is essentially this lesson of carrying one’s title, potential, and best character front and center no matter the circumstance of life.

Musa Challenge Tournament is November 12th

Musa2016-Flyer-SMOur annual interschool tournament is coming up on Saturday November 12th.  Exiting event in which students can compete in forms, weapon forms, sparring, grappling, and weapon fighting.  It’s the Olympics of the martial arts!  Practice hard everyone and we all look forward to the showcase!

All information and details about the event can be found BY CLICKING HERE

Afterschool Program Resgistration Open!

That’s right everyone, we are past the half-way mark of summer so it’s time to get in your registrations for the afterschool program!  Our unique program is a complete blast for the kids, and the training & leadership development unmatched!  Very hard to believe that so much happens each and every day.  For all returning students just drop off your registration forms, and if you are someone new interested just contact us to setup a time for a tour and see what all the excitement is all about.

Lastly, please remember that we do have limited space in this program and will most likely reach full capacity right away!  So, while all returning students have a space, all new people are welcome on a 1st come 1st serve basis.  And then once program full, we will add additional people to a wait-list.

Have a great end of the summer, and look forward to seeing the kids back on the mats!


Important Announcements

Important Announcements!
June Test, TSD Black Belt Graduation, 15th Year Anniversary Party, & Summer Schedule Updates

Hello Dojang!

Afterschool is a wrap, but everything keeps rolling right along here at the dojang!  Summer camps START next week, and YES we do have some more space in all of the sessions, but these next couple are almost full.  If you want to jump in please register ASAP!!!  Otherwise, here are the other important items for everyone:

June Belt Test

June test is NEXT week, please get ready for those of you who are strong on your levels!

Kid’s Test – Friday June 17th – 4:30 to 5:15 PM (no spectators)
Adult & HRD Test – Saturday June 18th  10:30am
EVERYONE SPARRING, GRAPPLING, BELT CEREMONY – Saturday May 21 – 11:30 to 12:30pm (family & guests welcome)
TSD Black Belt Graduation 12:30pm
15th Anniversary Party 1pm to ……. whenever ^^

If you are not sure if you or your child is ready to test please speak directly with your (or your child’s) instructor.  For kids, parents please connect with Mr. LaFave before or after class or via email at daniel@hwarangdomn.com  –  and he can provide specific feedback as needed.

*Please also get your test forms & fees in asap

TSD Black Belt Graduation Ceremony

A Tae Soo Do Black Belt Graduation will be held at 12:30pm on the 18th, after the regular belt test.  Come show your support and congratulate Solveig, Ava, Chay, Merik, & Hamdhi for making it through the Tae Soo Do journey!  This group has come a long way since they first began the martial art journey years ago, and it is exciting to see how far they have come.

Along with the Black Belt presentation the candidates will be putting on a demonstration of some of the many things they have learned through their Tae Soo Do training.

15th Anniversary!

The Party will take place immediately after the graduation and will be a pot-luck style gathering so please bring something to share with the rest of the group. Feel free to bring your family and friends for this special event to watch the graduation as well as connect with others from our school celebrating the time that Instructor Sirny first began teaching here in the Twin Cities area 15 years ago.

We look forward to a wonderful time together, and THANK YOU so much for your support of our school over the years!!!


Summer Schedule Updates

Since Afterschool is not in session, and a number of people have travel plans, there are just a few little updates in terms of class schedule.  Almost all regular classes continue on as normal, so just so you have it all in one place, the levels & times for training are as follows effective immediately:

Tigers – ALL RANKS – Tuesday & Thursday 4:30 – 5:10pm
Juniors BEG Ranks – Tuesday & Thursday 5:15 – 6:10pm
Juniors INT & ADV Ranks – Mondays & Wednesdays 5:15 – 6:10pm
Acrobop Tumbling & Gymnastics – Fridays 5:15 – 6pm

Adult & Teen BEG Ranks – Tuesday & Thursday 7:15 – 8:10pm
Adult & Teen INT & ADV Ranks – Tuesday & Thursday 6:15 – 7:10pm
Adult & Teen ALL Ranks – Monday & Wednesday 6:15 – 7:10pm | Saturday 11:45 – 12:45pm
Adult & Teen Meditation & Weaponry – Saturday 10 – 11:30am

Summer Camps

The staff has been getting ready for the all the details regarding our exciting summer camps!!!  This year has six sessions – and each week will be unique in terms of its martial art training, leadership development, and crafts/projects.  Along with some weekly archery and playtime too, the summer camps have been completely awesome and we are very much looking forward to the sessions this year.

There is still space available, but we know the registrations start coming fast this time a year – and remember – we do have LIMITED capacity for our camp sessions.  If you needed more information just visit http://tlksummercamp.com/  for the full scoop on the sessions & details!


2 for 1 ADULT & TEEN Enrollment Special!


Have you been hiding away in your home all winter? Are you looking for a great way to re-energize yourself and thaw out from the deep freeze? Spring is almost here and during the month of April the Hwa Rang Do Minneapolis Academy will be running a 2 for 1 special on ALL NEW Adult & Teen enrollments. Activate yourself through our complete martial arts program!

spear-Preston-Alyssa-SMWhile our Children classes are close to capacity, we have some new openings in the Adult & Teen Levels.  No excuses folks – It’s time to JUMP on in with this rare special tuition opportunity – offer expires April 30th!

One of the unique traits of our school is that we offer a complete two-tiered program for both experienced and beginner students. This way no matter what previous training you may or may not have, you will not feel overwhelmed or stuck in a rut. Due to the comprehensive degree of the Hwa Rang Do curriculum, you could study for a lifetime and still continuously develop your skills!

We also offer an unparalleled array of classes and martial art topics. No other school in the region offers all areas of the martial arts from kick/punch striking, grappling & submissions, take-downs & throws, total self-defense, extensive weaponry including actual weapon vs. weapon matching, meditation and healing! Yes, all under one roof – it is possible to become a Complete Martial Artist!

The skills practiced in the martial arts taught at our school provide a solid vehicle for one’s personal development on many levels. Integrating and finding balance between the mental and physical sides of our life is very important no matter what situation you may find yourself in, and the training you receive here is sure to help you come closer to a good healthy state of balance.

  • Learn to Defend Yourself: The martial arts and Hwa Rang Do in particular is unlike other hobbies or sports in that you can learn valuable skills that can save your life someday.
  • Get in Shape: Escape the monotony of repetitive exercise and learn something new everyday as you get in the best shape of your life.
  • Enhance Self Esteem & Confidence : Gain better understanding and control of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Embrace the “I can” attitude in your everyday life.
  • Self-Discipline: Gain more control of your life by learning to become mentally focused and more responsible.
  • Stress Management: Revitalize your body and recharge your spirits as the physical, breathing and visualization techniques of Hwa Rang Do provide an outlet for mental and emotional tension.

Find a Friend or Find a Family Member and
Jump on in for this Special 2 For 1 Deal!

Give Us A Call (612) 824-KICK (5425)
Drop Us An Email

To Setup a Tour And Sign-up Now!

***DETAILS:  2 Person Enrollment for the Price of 1 is for new ADULT & TEEN student enrollment only (AGES 13 AND UP).  Offer expires April 30, 2016