A special event took place last month as Ji Han Jae carried out a seminar for students of Ronald Christopher Garland, the owner of Executive Martial Arts. Besides providing a rare opportunity for direct tutelage under Jae, this was no ordinary seminar on account of the presence of the formidable duo of Jae and Garland, who hold the highest titles in Sin Moo Sam Rang Do (shin-moo-som-rong-do). The resurgence of Sam Rang Do began when Jae was trained in Sam Rang Do Tek Gi (Tae-gee) by a man known as Taoist Lee, who taught Jae in meditation, the use of the Korean long staff and short staff, in addition to the array of kicks unique to the style. Employing what he had learned from Taoist Lee, as well as the prodigious instructor Choi Yong-Sool, Jae is credited as being the primary developer of Hapkido, and the founder of the World Sin Moo Hapkido Federation. He can also be seen as a character in the movies Game of Death – in which he famously fought Bruce Lee- as well as Hapkido, a.k.a. Lady Kung Fu, among others.
In 2014, Jae passed Sin Moo Sam Rang Do over to internationally renowned Chris Garland of Nashville. Jae has claimed many times that Garland is beyond comparison in his skill sets, while stating that he is “two or three times” better than Jae himself was in his prime. Students and seminar hosts throughout the world seek Garland’s teachings, who is also a premier go-to instructor in the arena of military and law enforcement. Furthermore, he spent considerable time training in Japan and Korea under the instruction of more than a few exceptional teachers. Throughout his 40 years of practicing and living martial arts, Garland has also received high degree levels in Taekwondo, Yudo, and Kendo, in addition to the highest degree one can obtain in Hapkido. He is considered Dojunim of Sin Moo Sam Rang Do, the title formerly held by Ji Han Jae, who’s now addressed as Sunsanim.
What makes Sam Rang Do special or distinct? One may ask. For starters, it is one of three primary systems from which all Korean styles developed. The style was practiced by warriors of the Paekche dynasty, one of three kingdoms that reigned during “The Three Kingdoms’ period” in Korea, which lasted from approximately 18 B.C. to 660 A.D. Dojunim Garland adheres seamlessly to the multi-faceted, battle-ready tradition of these warriors by incorporating all weapons and modes of self-defense practiced by the outstanding warriors of old into his training syllabus, with emphasis on practicing several techniques in a fluid sequence that accounts for multiple aggressors, rather than just working on one-on-one drills, or on one technique at a time. While the training can be high-impact and physically demanding, there is another side to the art requiring a light torch, and a sensitive understanding of one’s own body, as well as their training partners.
Executive Martial Arts is opening its doors to the public in a manner that hasn’t been done in years. Open classes for adults and children will be available, as well as a class dedicated to Swordsmanship, which includes Asian-style fencing, practice with a wooden sword, and drawing a sword with a blunt blade, all of which ultimately leads to cutting from the draw with an actual sword. Those seeking private lessons will have the opportunity to learn on a more personal, thorough, and intensive level. People of all ages and physical conditions are welcome. Executive Martial Arts can be contacted at 615-294-6347, or through the website: sinmoosamrangsool.com