The BeeRyong Bong
"Staff of the Flying Dragon"
BeeRyong (Flying Dragon)
The symbol of the dragon has been a major part of Chinese and Korean philosophy and culture for centuries. The dragon is so important in the Asian culture that during the year of the dragon (every twelve years) the birth rate increased dramatically so that children can be born under this symbol of power. The dragon is also seen throughout much of the art and architecture of the Asian culture.
The dragon as a symbol in Songham Taekwondo was introduced with the inauguration of the first Songham Grand Master on June 9, 1990. It became the symbol of the Grand Master and was represented in a staff dubbed the "BeeRyong Bong" (staff of the flying dragon). The dragon is a symbol of power and peace in the Korean culture. The Korean legend of the BeeRyong is described as follows:
All the dragons grow and develop at the bottom of a special lake. When one dragon has achieved far above all the others, he is given a special pearl symbolizing that he can now fly from the depths of the lake into the world above. He is given power over the elements and is sent on a mission to bring peace to man. There is only one of these dragons alive at any given time.
It is said that this special dragon fashioned a staff in which his power and leadership rests. Upon the dubbing of the first Grand Master, the dragon passed the staff to the Grand Master symbolizing the unity between the two with the desire to spread Taekwondo throughout the world in an effort to bring peace to all mankind.
This portion of the staff tells the history of traditional Taekwondo from its earliest recorded history 1300 years ago to the inauguration of the Grand Master in 1990. The story is told in bas-relief, depicting different scenes of significant events.
The entire staff has 99 ounces of gold located throughout. It was fashioned in KyungJu, South Korean.
Rules: No person touches the staff with bare hands except Grand Master and those becoming Masters in the Master's Ceremony. Three people equaling the rank of koo dan (ninth degree) are required to carry the staff in ceremonies.
Information quoted from The Way of Traditional Taekwondo Volume A.