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What exactly is Taekwon-do?

Taekwondo is a modern Korean martial art, known for dynamic kicks, and quick footwork.
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What do our students say?

Read why students started and why they Keep Training

Giving Back to the Community

Our taekwon-do schools do not make a great deal of money, but we are glad to donate our time and services. For school and library fundraising auctions, we typically donate a month’s free lessons and a uniform to be auctioned off. We also are always willing to give demonstrations at these fund-raisers. If you know of a school, community program or charity that is having an auction, please feel free to contact us. We are open to any organization that is local and fosters values such as education, self-reliance, tolerance and social justice.

Our community outreach efforts include providing free lessons to the clients of agencies that assists homeless and street youth and being the martial arts component of the Police Athletic League’s “violence-free” Spring Break week for at-risk youth. We also have contributed to auctions at Albertina-Kerr, the Waldorf School, All Saints School, Abernathy, Buckman, Sunnyside, Irvington, Astor, Laurelhurst and Beverly Cleary public schools.

The Hwa-Rang Foundation

This non-profit foundation was formed in order to bring martial arts to children from low-income families. The benefits of doing so include physical, mental, and ethical development of these children.

Hwa-Rang’s most common translation is “Flowering Youth”. The Hwa-Rang Warriors were an elite corps of young men (and in rare instances, women) trained in both the fine arts and the fighting arts. They were precursors to the Japanese Samurai. Unlike the Samurai, however, selection to the Hwa-Rang was based more on merit and less on lineage.

The Hwa-Rang were credited with uniting the three kingdoms of Korea. Their stated goal was furthering the well being of the entire country. They were highly literate, but also fierce warriors. They were involved directly in civic affairs and contributed to the culture of Korea with songs, dances, paintings, and poetry.

Though these are far different, more egalitarian times, it nevertheless is possible to adapt the Hwa-Rang model to the 21st century. Obviously, there will be differences. We recruit from all economic levels of society. We accept males and females equally. We will not be preparing children for wars or military campaigns.

We will be developing leaders and model citizens, who will understand that in return for the training they receive, they must give something back to their communities. This may seem too much to expect from a couple of martial arts classes a week, but as students progress in the traditional martial arts, they are expected to become more socially aware and committed. Most martial arts organizations have a credo that exhorts students to contribute to the well being of humanity. For example, the Taekwon-do black belt oath includes the vow: “to be a champion of freedom and justice and to build a more peaceful world.”

For more information, or to make a donation, please contact:

Gil Johnson
Hwa-Rang Foundation
2940 SE Belmont St.
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: (503) 736-9634