the friendly place to condition your mind, body & soul
Hwa Rang Kwan MArtial Arts Center
  • © HRK 2019 • 90 WELSH STREET SF CA 94107 0



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 President Grand Master D. K. Shin


Hwa Rang Kwan, the oldest Korean martial arts center on the West Coast, was founded in May 1965, and began its current incarnation in 1971, when a young master named Dong Ki Shin arrived in San Francisco from his home in Seoul, Korea.

Now a 9th Dan Black Belt in both Taekwondo and Hapkido, Grand Master Shin has spent over 60 years studying and teaching both Korean and Chinese martial arts. As a combat instructor, Grand Master Shin was responsible for training the famed Tiger Division of the Korean army, the legendary Green Berets of the U. S. Army, and divisions of the U.S. army. He is also credited with introducing the people of Vietnam to the art of Taekwondo.


Grand Master Shin is known to his students as Wonsanim. This honorific means Head of the Circle, reflecting his belief that Hwa Rang Kwan is akin to a family circle, and true to this ideal, a friendly family atmosphere has always been a crucial characteristic of Hwa Rang Kwan schools.


Since April 2001 the flagship Hwa Rang Kwan school in San Francisco has been owned and operated by one of Wonsanim's senior students, displaced East Londoner Master Steve Rapport.

Master Steve began studying Taekwondo, Hapkido and Kumdo (Korean sword) under the eagle eye of Grand Master Shin upon his arrival from England in 1992, and by 1995 he had attained 1st Dan Black Belt and begun teaching three classes a week.

Master Steve credits the 'family circle' philosophy of (now semi-retired) Grand Master Shin as his guiding light in creating the wonderful thriving community that can be found within the walls of his own Hwa Rang Kwan school.
Hwa Rang is not a study of fighting principles, but a study of philosophy
Hwa Rang Kwan President Grand Master D. K. Shin


Hwa Rang Kwan - literally, The School of Flowering Youth - is named after the Hwa Rang, the most famous warriors of ancient Korea. The Hwa Rang were young sons of noblemen in the Kingdom of Silla during the Three Kingdoms period (around the late 6th century). They studied music, dance, literature and Chinese medicine, in addition to armed and unarmed combat.

The Hwa Rang 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. Despite their youth, the Hwa Rang fought with dignity and nobility and became legendary warriors, eventually bringing an era of epic conflict to an end by unifying Korea.

It is these noble, honorable Korean warriors that we acknowledge every time we step into Hwa Rang Kwan.

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