[Tang Soo Do] What is Tang Soo Do?

Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by Marakusu, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. shaolin_hendrix

    shaolin_hendrix Hooray for Zoidberg!

    The oldest records of MA are in Africa and Europe.
  2. Topher

    Topher allo!

    I was think India or Africa. If we go by EternalRage's idea that you have to base it from its origin then Tang Soo Do is based on Okinawan Karate, which itself might be based on Chinese arts, so we could say that TSD is rooted in China. But then Chinese styles might come from India or Africa to we could also say that TSD came from there.
  3. Andy Cap

    Andy Cap Valued Member

    I agree.
  4. EternalRage

    EternalRage Valued Member

    Lol ok now we're getting into semantics and "what is origin" and all that. Pretty much what I'm talking about is - there is a point in history where TSD MDK was created. Before this time in history, it did not exist. That's what I say is origin. So, Hwang Kee put together TSD MDK sometime around November 1945. The bulk of it he got from Okinawan Karate. Simple as that.
  5. EternalRage

    EternalRage Valued Member

    I swear if i didn't know any better I'd say the whole lot of you are messing with me just to see me squirm...
  6. Topher

    Topher allo!

    Even though his training was from China? He only added the Okinawan elements because he had too. His training was still rooted in Chinese arts, so i think that was still his emphasis, which must have have had an effect in his later teaching. I wonder what it would have been like had his original style been sucessful.
  7. Andy Cap

    Andy Cap Valued Member

    I have wondered the vey same thing. What a difference it would have been.
  8. EternalRage

    EternalRage Valued Member

    Probably would have been more Kung Fu.
  9. gaelicsolus

    gaelicsolus New Member

    For the record, English does not come from Latin. It has been influenced by Latin, sure, but English is a Germanic language. Languages that come from Latin are the Romance languages: one of these, Norman French heavily influenced English. Irish is a Celtic Language of the Gaelic, as oppose to Bretonic, strain. As stated, the Irish have their own dialects of English. However, no way will someone tell you that there is an unbroken lineage of a dialect of English spoken in Ireland that does back to ancient days. And nobody calls the English that people speak in Ireland simply "Irish". They call it English. To them, they have their own version of English, but ultimately it's the language another people calls their own. The language the Irish call their own is Irish.

    If by proverbial analogy, the Koreans wish to call their version of another's language their own, re-label it and somehow revise its history by connecting it with their own to form an unbroken heritage, that's their business. I know where the forms I practice come from, some in practically unchanged design, (as I won't get to the Chinese boxing derived ones until 6th degree) and I know that the martial art I practice is probably in the form it is because it was preserved in the USA instead of evolving into Soo Bahk Do or TKD as it largely did in Korea. But, every class I speak Korean and recognize the founder of my school as Hwang Kee, a Korean. And I believe Hwang Kee did get formal karate training, even though it was in Korea and called by labels such as "Kong Soo Do" or "Tang Soo Do" instead of "karate". Maybe it was just a small part of Hwang Kee's knowledge. However, that's mainly the portion of his knowledge that I have come to study in taking Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan.
  10. KingofHearts

    KingofHearts New Member

    Dear EternalRage, I didn't mean to get your feathers in a bunch. LOL.
    What I was meaning is backed by many of the other posts, by saying that TSD goes back 2000 years due to its stylings not its name. The MA itself with its base movements can be traced back 2000 years. Right up to the point it was labled TSD as well as MDK. Sorry for the mess, though it did get every one talking.
  11. EternalRage

    EternalRage Valued Member

    Yea that's what we were debating. I don't think you can trace it back 2000 years. There is no unbroken lineage of passed knowledge from teacher to student from ancient Korea to today. The system of TSD did not exist before 1945, it was the brainchild of Hwang Kee. Now if you want to get into semantics, "what is martial arts", "what is origin", "martial arts are all from China", and anything of that sort, don't bother, those statements are circular and don't really address the issue that...

    ...No direct lineage of teaching from ancient Korea till today exists. It was developed from Okinawan Karate. Look at an Okinawan/Japanese Karate school, and then watch a TSD school and they share a high frequency of homology that can't be found in any other comparison of TSD to whatever MA. Does it make it less efficient? No. Does it make it less worth to learn? Absolutely not. Is this a product of politics and Korean schools trying to establish a long heritage for advertising or whatever purposes, and does it hurt the traditions and artistic side of the system? Yep.
  12. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    So, out of interest; what is Soo Bhak? Didn't Hwang Kee invent that as well? So are Soo Bhak and Tang Soo Do the same or different?
  13. EternalRage

    EternalRage Valued Member

    After GM Hwang Kee's dealings with the Korean government concerning the TKD movement, many of his practitioners had broken off and made MDK TKD or independent TSD MDK associations. Once he had finished his studies of the Muye Dobo Dongji, he renamed the system to "Soo Bahk Do" (June 30, 1960) to distinguish what he was doing from everyone else.

    In terms of physical techniques, Soo Bahk Do and Tang Soo Do are separated depending on when the master/instructor left GM Hwang Kee's federation. Some have parts of the studies of the MDD, such as the Chil Sung and Yuk Ro forms. Other differences are little idosyncracies in execution, the SBD Federation makes changes on a regular basis on advisement from their technical and senior advisory councils.
  14. Alexander

    Alexander Possibly insane.

    Ah... So.

    It becomes clear - thanks for that.
  15. CCG2

    CCG2 Valued Member

    Tang Soo

    Based on my experience when I was an 8th Gup (orange belt I think) a while ago, it's similiar to Tae Kwon Do and Karate. Most of my kicking skills I got from my time there. I didn't see any grappling except for some uh, wat do u call those? Ho Sin Sool (sorry for the mispelling) or something like that techniques which were basically just for self defense. They taught escapes from chokes and wrist grabs and such. Definitely try it out if you'd like to develop some nice kicks and learn some Korean while you're at it.
  16. Student of Life

    Student of Life New Member

    History lesson... along with the politics

    The founder of Moo Duk Kwan, Hwang Kee was born during this era of strict Japanese control, on November 9th, 1914. Hwang was born Hwang Tae Nam, son of Yi Dynasty scholar Hwang Yong Hwan. Hwang’s first exposure to martial arts occurred at the age of seven, when he observed a tavern keeper defend himself against several young ruffians. He overheard several witnesses describing the techniques that the man used as being Tae Kyon. Hwang Kee was so impressed by the performance, that he sought out the tavern keeper and asked him to become his teacher. Hwang was turned away because his young age. Hwang was not easily discouraged and found a vantage point on a hilltop from where he could see into the man’s courtyard and observe his practice. There, Hwang imitated the man’s various movements. It is not clear how long Hwang actually maintained this practice regimen, how much, or how effectively he may have learned martial arts skills with this method. This was Hwang’s only martial arts training until he was in his early 20’s.
    Hwang Kee had a strong desire to have a formal teacher, and to formally study traditional martial arts. However, this was difficult due to the restrictions put in place by the Japanese during the occupation. In 1935, after graduating from high school, Hwang traveled to Manchuria and found employment with the railroad. In May of 1936, while working at the Chao Yang Ch’uan Railway Station in Manchuria, Hwang met a Chinese martial arts master whom he referred to as Yang Kuk Jin. Some believe that this may have been Yang Zhen-Gou (Yang Jeng-Kou), of the famous Yang family of Tai Chi Ch’uan. Under the guidance of Yang, Hwang Kee studied DhamDoi Sip E Ro (12 Step Springing Legs), and Tae Geuk Kwon (Grand Supreme Fist). Hwang stayed in Manchuria until 1937, when he returned to Seoul. Hwang Kee returned to China only once more, in 1940, to again train with his Master Yang for three months. Hwang never saw or spoke with Master Yang again after that last training session.
    Hwang Kee had his first exposure to the Japanese style Karate Do (called Tang Soo Do in Korean) forms in 1939, when he found Japanese texts on Okinawan Karate while studying in the library of the Cho Sun Railway Bureau. Hwang Kee eventually added the forms that he had studied from these textbooks into his particular version of Tang Soo Do, and refined them encountered other Koreans who had studied Karate in Japan.
    On November 9, 1945, Hwang Kee opened his first Moo Duk Kwan Dojang (Training Hall) in a space located at the Ministry of Transportation in Yong San Gu (Dragon Mountain District). He called his art Hwa Soo Do (Flowering Hand Way), in reference to the Hwa Rang warriors of ancient Korea. His teachings were based primarily upon the Chinese techniques that he had learned from Master Yang. Hwang’s initial attempts to open a school were unsuccessful, his first two groups of students all eventually quit. The Koreans, having lived under Japanese rule for 35 years, were not familiar with non-Japanese martial arts, and therefore, Hwang had a difficult time both attracting and retaining students.
    In 1946, Hwang Kee meting with two Koreans who had both earned dan (black belt) rank while studying in Japan, and who both operated schools that taught versions of Japanese Karate. These instructors were Chun Sang Sup of the Yeon Moo Kwan, and Lee Won Kuk of the Chung Do Kwan. Impressed by the success of these two masters, Hwang Kee began to rethink his approach.
    In 1947, Hwang Kee made one last final attempt to open the Moo Duk Kwan, this time he offered a blend of Chinese and Japanese techniques, and used the more familiar Japanese/Okinawan style forms. In addition, Hwang began to call his art as Tang Soo Do (China Hand Way), a term coined by Lee Won Kuk. This name was more familiar to the Korean people, being the Korean pronunciation of the characters for the term “To-te”. With these changes in place, the Moo Duk Kwan began to experience success.
    Hwang Kee discovered the Moo Ye Dobo Tong Ji (Illustrated Manual of Martial Arts), in 1957, at the National Library in Seoul, Korea. Based upon references within the text, Hwang began to use the pseudonym Soo Bahk Do (Hand Fighting Way) along with Tang Soo Do to refer to his art. The two names were used interchangeably until 1995, when Hwang officially dropped the Tang Soo Do name in favor of Soo Bahk Do.
    In 1945 when Korea was liberated from the Japanese at the end of World War II, several Korean martial arts schools, known as “kwans” began to emerge. In the beginning, there were five kwans: (1) Chung Do Kwan, founded by Lee Won Kuk, (2) Moo Duk Kwan, founded by Hwang Kee, (3) Yeon Moo Kwan (later changed to Ji Do Kwan), founded by Chun Sang Sup, (4) Chang Moo Kwan, founded by Yun Byong In, and (5) Song Moo Kwan, founded by No Byong Jik. Rivalries and political infighting eventually developed among several of the kwans during the years of internal instability following the Korean War (1950-1953). On April 11, 1955, a conference of several of the kwan leaders and prominent martial artists was held in an effort to unify all of the kwans together under one umbrella organization. They decided to refer to their arts generically and collectively under the name of Tae Kwon Do (Foot Fist Way or Way of the Hand and Foot), a name suggested by General Choi Hong Hi, an influential political and military leader. On September 14, 1961, the member kwans were officially consolidated with the support of the Korean government, as the Korean Taekwondo Association (KTA), and they established their headquarters at the Kuki Won (National Technique Organization) in Seoul.
    Hwang Kee did not agree with the decision to consolidate and withdrew from the negotiations early on. Hwang remained autonomous and continued to call his art Tang Soo Do. Some time later, the Ji Do Kwan also withdrew from the Tae Kwon Do movement, and aligned with Hwang Kee’s Moo Duk Kwan under the banner of the Dae Han Soo Bahk Do Hoi (Greater Korean Hand Strike Way Association). A faction of the Moo Duk Kwan, headed by Hong Chong Su, broke away from Hwang Kee’s school, to form a branch of the Moo Duk Kwan aligned within the KTA. This branch would later call itself Tae Kwon Do Moo Duk Kwan. Because the term Tae Kwon Do was being used by all of the other kwans, the term Tang Soo Do became almost synonymous with the particular lineage and style of the Moo Duk Kwan school.
    Rivalries eventually developed between Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do. Factions within the Tae Kwon Do movement, allegedly supported by the Government, attempted to block the Soo Bahk Do Hoi from operating sucessfully. In 1975, this dispute went before the Korean Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Hwang Kee and the Moo Duk Kwan.
    The Moo Duk Kwan continued to grow, and eventually began to establish schools within the United States, by means of U.S. Servicemen who had trained at one of the several Moo Duk Kwan dojangs in Korea. Shin Jae Chul was sent to Springfield, N.J. to officially establish a United States branch of the Moo Duk Kwan, known as the U.S. Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation. In 1978, Hwang Kee sent his son, Hwang Hyun Chul to the U.S. to take over as the head of the Federation.
  17. Pyro45

    Pyro45 New Member

    If you could, what are the sources of your information?
  18. Student of Life

    Student of Life New Member

    Source: the encyclopedia of the 21st century... dogpile, google, yahoo... but the information you seek was originated from the link below:

  19. DCombatives

    DCombatives Valued Member

    Ok, I can see this thread is a couple months old, but I after reading it thru, I can't help but stick up for the slightly caustic Eternal. I started in TSD years ago, but when I enlisted, I had to give it up. My first base was Kadena on Okinawa, where I started training in Seidokan. The master of the system, Shian Toma, was amazed that his new white belt already knew all of the Pinan Kata. I don't care where, how, who, or why anybody did anything: there is no doubt TSD is heavily influence by Okinawan Karate.

    Perhaps a little history lesson can shed some light on the subject. Japan invaded, conquered, and colonized Korea in the early 20th century in what can only be described as one of the most brutal occupations in history. Korean culture was suppressed in all forms, and Japanese culture to include martial arts, was crammed down the people's throats. As a result, the Korean people have a hatred of the Japanese that exits to this day. Growing up I had a friend who was Korean who's mother used to say he could bring him a woman of any ethnicity as long as she wasn't Japanese. GM Kee could never admit to having a Japanese influence on his art and hope to have anyone follow him. Culturally it would have been as taboo as admitting to being a slave owner or a member of the KKK. Instead, GM Kee claimed a Chinese lineage which was much more acceptable to the Korean people.

    What really amazes me is that this thread has been going so long and been so hotly debated. No one with any objectivity could fail to see the connection between TSD and the Okinawan systems. If anything, the debate should be about GM Kee's claims to have studied in China. There's very little beyond his own claims and annecdotal evidence to suggest that happened.
  20. Cuchulain4

    Cuchulain4 Valued Member


    I study under 10th Dan Grandmaster Kang Uk Lee, who studied directly from Hwang Kee in Seoul, and we are told that Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do is:

    60% Soo Bahk
    30% Northen Chinese
    10% Southern Chinese

    TSD is both a hard and soft style, derriving hardness from Soo Bahk, and soft flowing movements from Northen Chinese systems.

    Which style of karate is it supposed to be like? i always thought Karate systems used very deep rooted stances to fight, not at all like the back stance we use. I can definately see Karate in the basic forms but the later ones look alot more chinese influenced to me.

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