We often see in many traditional Taekwodo clubs that Poomsae and long stance defence moves are also performed , this is in fact Tang Soo Do . Some one training in Olympic Taekwondo probably won't ever experiance it but old school Taekwondo clubs often include Tang Soo Do Poomsae ( forms or Kata ) , it's on this page we delve deeper into Tang Soo-Do a art which precedes Taekwondo and influenced it's birth.
Tang Soo -Do is a Korean Martial art which has it's roots in Subak and Chinese arts of the North of China. It's Poomsae share many similarities to Karate Kata and even are in fact adapted Karate Kata from the likes of Shotokan Karate.
Tang Soo-Do in Korean has the meaning of '' The Way of the Tang Hand'' . And Tang Soo -Do in Japanese translates as Karate -Do.
The founder of Tang Soo Do is one Won Kuk Lee born in 1907 in Hanseong Korea. He was lucky in being from a well to do family.
When later on the Japanese Occupation of Korea came about it made learning the arts quite hard as all martial arts where banned in Korea. But being of his families stature he was able to travel to Japan for studies.
It was here he would take up Karate under Gichin Funakoshi , the founder of Shotokan Karate and also a great Jujutsu master.
In fact Won Kuk Lee was one of the first students of Funakoshi's Karate and the first who was not of Japanese origin.
On his return to Korea he wanted to teach his art but found the occupying Japanese difficult to deal with. Eventually he did get his wish and set up school under the name of Chung Do-Kwan..
When Korean independance came , Won Kuk Lee carried on teaching his art and it became quite revered through out Korea. But after being asked to head the Ministal of Internal affairs by the goverment and refusing Lee was branded a traitor in league with the Japanese and imprisoned, this was in 1947 . When released in 1950 he packed his bags and left Korea to live in Japan. Leaving his Schools under the leadership of his best students of which Duk Sung-Son was one .
Won Kuk Lee did make visits to his students for events and to see how the schools where doing . In 1976 he immigrated to the USA .
Here he took a back seat taking up other hobbies and sometimes giving interviews .
As a pioneer of Korean Martial arts Won Kuk Lee will go down in history in revitalsing Martial arts in Korea after the Japanese occupation , it's seems a shame he was persacuted by his own people in the end and felt it nessasary to leave his homeland.
Won Kuk Lee passed away in Virgina USA in 2003 , he was 95 years old.
The Late GrandMaster Won Kuk Lee
10th Dan Tang Soo Do
4th Dan Shotokan Karate
Tang Soo-Do in action
When it comes to Tang Soo -do in the modern era , it is the style Tang Soo-Do Moo Duk Kwan that many will be familer with.
A man by the name of Hwang Kee born in 1914 in Korea , again like Won Kuk Lee from a wealthy family and was lucky enough to get a good education.
In his early years he studied the Korean art of Taekyon .
Of course in occupied Korea the Japanese had outlawed the practise of Martial arts . In a bid to avoid imprisonment Hwang Kee packed his bags and left for Manchuria to work on the railroad.
But his experiance of the area which was under Japanese rule left him wanting to escape again , he decided on China and scaled the Great Wall to get in to China . It was whilst here that he managed to find a Chinese Martial artist by the name of Yang to teach him Northern style Kung Fu.
A feat in it self as the Chinese did not like to teach there arts to non Chinese .
After the War he returned to Korea , here he wanted to set up his own Martial arts school based upon his time learning different arts. This was easy for him but getting students was another matter , then in the 1950's he named his school Tang Soo -Do Moo Duk Kwan , people where familer with the Tang Soo Do name and this brought students to his door.
Hwang Kee believed that no one can reach perfection in the arts and thus the highest rank wore a Midnight Blue Belt as oppossed to a Black Belt . In 1995 Hwang Kee renamed his art to Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan .
Grand Master Hwang Kee passed away at the age of 87 in 2002.
One of his early students was one Master Jae Chul Shin the founder of the World Tang Soo Do Association and the teacher of one Carlos Ray Norris better known as Chuck Norris .
Tang Soo Do emblem
Notice how it bears a resembelance to the ITF logo for Taekwondo.
Grandmaster Hwang Kee
The Principles of Tang Soo Do are pretty much like those used in Taekwondo and although some minor differences their meaning is roughly the same.
1- Be Loyal to your Country
2- Obediance to Partents and Elders
3- Respect to Instructors and Seniors
4- Self Control
5- Never misuse ones art
Above - The History of Moo Duk Kwan by Grandmaster Hwang Kee , A good read if you can track it down.
Here we have the Korean words whcih might be used at the clubs you might attend. These are not all exclusive to Tang Soo Do but are used in across all Korean arts except for the obvious ones.
Moo Duk Kwan - A style of Tang Soo Do
Soo Bajk Do - Ancient name of Tang Soo Do
Kwan Jang Nim - is used for the Chief Instructor , as far as I know Korean arts don't have the various titles associated like Japanese arts and have a less complex range of titles much like the Chinese arts.
Sa Bom Nim - For Qualified Instructors , much like Sensei in Japanese or Sifu in Chinese .
Kyo Sa Nim - Assisstant Instructor. again much like in Japanese arts where a Black Belt does not make you a Sensei , this has to be earned , a First degree Black or Midnight Blue belt has reached a expert level of the art. He still has a lot to learn to achieve that higher plane where it's ;ess about the fighting art but about guiding other students to their goal of being the best they can.
Kam Sa Hap Ni Da - Thank You
Do-Jang - Traning Hall , in Japanese this is a Dojo , in Chinese it's a Kwoon.
Do Balk - Training Uniform , In Japanese Gi , Chinese would use Saam
Kee Cho - Basic Moves
Hyung - Kata for Japanese or Form for Chinese
Poomsae - is a combination of Hyung and Basics .
Yes one of our banner stars and Champion Tang Soo Do exponent Cynthia started training Tang Soo Do from a young age , being a forms and weapons champion five times , she got the call for Hong Kong and became the only Caucasian to have leading heroic roles in Hong Kong films.
Also having trained in other arts such as Kung Fu Cynthia is a Champion in pushing self defense for women and currently teaches in California and does Seminars World wide.