During the three kingdoms period, the Hwarang, elite Buddhist youth order of the Silla Kingdom, who were educated in academics, art, and martial arts. Most of these youth came from families of noble status, and was voluntary like the Shaolin.
According to Joo Bang Lee, in 1942 a monk (Suahm Dosa) took he and his brother in to train them. They lived in North Korea, but escaped to another location in the mountains when the Communists gained power.
Joo Bang Lee and his brother were hapkido instructors in Korea, and made their own syllabus for Hwa Rang Do, which they brought to the US in 1972.
Hwa Rang Do covers submission, joint manipulation, striking, and grappling. The nunchaku (Ssang Jyel Bong), long staff (Jang Bom), and sword (Mok Gum) are taught as weapons. However, there are 108 weapons studied in this art. There are many techniques, forms, one-steps, and self-defence techniques. Self-defence against weapons is included, for example knives, but training with them is not included until the practitioner reaches black sash.