History of Tang Soo Do

A brief history of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan (Korean Martial Art)

Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan

It is important to understand that Tang Soo Do is the Art you are now studying, and Moo Duk Kwan is the style. Tang Soo Do is the technical side: the Moo Duk Kwan is the philosophical side of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan. Tang Soo Do is based on an ancient Korean martial art of Soo Bahk Do. The name ‘Bahk’ originated in the age of Chun Chu (2700 years ago) according to the Moo Yei Dobo Tong Ji (One of the oldest records of Korea’s martial arts). Soo Bahk Do (combat with bare hands and feet) is the only Korean martial art handed down from the Ko Ku Ryo Dynasty thereby making it the oldest Korean martial art (approx. 2.000 years old).

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What is Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan?

Moo Duk Kwan means ‘Institute of Martial Virtue’. It is the scientific use of the body in methods of self-defence. Combined with a strict philosophy guiding the practitioner towards discovering their full potential. Tang Soo Do forges a body towards gaining ultimate use of its faculties through intensive physical and mental training. It is an art of self defence and philosophy that’s secrets cannot be bought at any price other than serious and rigorous training. It is an art tempered on the lawns of Buddhist monasteries against the steel of wandering bandits and on the fields of combat. Its history is a long and honourable one, and you are now part of it.

What are the origins of Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan?

In Korea the indigenous arts of self defence (Soo Bahk Ki and Tae Kyun) were combined with other fighting principles (Northern and Southern Chinese Kung Fu) and moral guidelines such as the philosophy of Do (Tao), No Ja (Lao Tzu) and Lee Do Ja (Confucius) by Grandmaster Hwang Kee into what is now known as Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan. This combination of techniques and philosophy resulted in the development of a form of self defence and mental conditioning unrivalled in the modern world.

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The founder of the Moo Duk Kwan, Grandmaster Hwang Kee created the Moo Duk Kwan on November 9th 1945. Grand Master Hwang Kee was first inspired to study the Martial arts in 1921 when he was about seven years old. At a traditional Festival called “Dan O” he was visiting a nearby village where they had archery, wrestling and many other festivities. As Grand Master was enjoying the festival a group of seven or eight men had a dispute with another man. Suddenly the group of men attacked the lone man. who began evading and counter attacking with his feet. eventually defeating the group of men. This ability to defend oneself against several attackers so impressed Grand Master that at that moment he knew he wanted to learn the martial arts.

For several years Grand Master Hwang Kee studied and researched every available source. and at the age of 22 he was recognized as a Master among other martial artists. In May of 1935 Grand Master began working for the Korean railroad company which allowed him to travel. In May of 1936 he met a Chinese Kung Fu master named Yang. Kuk Jin. Grand Master trained with Master Yang until 1946. at that time China became a communist country. The training consisted of Seh Bop (postures). Bo Bop (steps). Ryun Bop (conditioning) and Hyung (Forms) with their applications.

In November 9th 1945 Grandmaster Hwang Kee founded the Moo Duk Kwan. The basic ideal of the Moo Duk Kwan is the development of its participants. Strong individuals in Spirit and Body make strong communities. strong communities make strong nations. Strong and peaceful nations make a strong and peaceful world.

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