Tang Soo Do

Discipline
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COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:South Korea
TIME OF ORIGIN:c. 1945
PRACTISED:Approx. 72 years
FOUNDERS:

Hwang Kee, Won Kuk Lee

FOCUS: 

ALSO KNOWN AS:Dang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do
PARENTHOOD:

Chuan fa, Shotokan Karate, Subak

DESCENDANTS:

Chun-Kuk-Do, Kajukenbo, Moo Duk Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, Soo Bahk Do, Taekwondo

OLYMPIC SPORT:No

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Discipline
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NATIONALITY:
DATE OF BIRTH:
AGE:Approx. 72 years
BORN:

Chun-Kuk-Do, Kajukenbo, Moo Duk Kwan, Oh Do Kwan, Soo Bahk Do, Taekwondo

RESIDENCE:-
ALSO KNOWN AS:Dang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do
OCCUPATION:

JOB TITLE:

Chuan fa, Shotokan Karate, Subak

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Discipline
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COUNTRY:South Korea
LOCATION:-
FOUNDED:c. 1945
OPERATIONAL:Approx. 72 years
FOUNDERS:

Hwang Kee, Won Kuk Lee

ALSO KNOWN AS:Dang Soo Do, Kong Soo Do
SECTOR:

DESCRIPTION:

Chuan fa, Shotokan Karate, Subak

WEBSITE:

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Tang Soo Do

Summary

Tang Soo Do was developed in Korea, and is a martial art which is a fusion of different ancient fighting techniques commonly found in traditional fighting art of Subak, Shotokan Karate, Kung Fu, and Taekkyeon. Tang Soo Do includes sparring contact sports events, where the contact level is controlled and moderate. The practitioners conclude that the sparring events are meant for people to gain a better understanding of the techniques, and be mentally prepared to execute focused body manoeuvres in crunch and stressful situations.

History / Origins

ETYMOLOGY

Tang Soo Do’, is the Korean version of ‘Hanja’ characters, and the Chinese call it ‘Chinese hand way’, ‘Tang’ being added to felicitate the patrons and its founder the Tang Dynasty. Simply put it would mean, ‘The way of the Chinese hand.’ Though, Japanese prefer to interpret the characters as ‘karate-do’.

BEGINNINGS

The trail leading to the origin of Tang Soo Do has gone cold, which gives room for speculations. Japanese Karate experts are adamant that the credit for this martial art should go to them. While some say the Oscars should to go to Okinawa, and some want it for the Chinese. Let the sleeping dogs lie, carrying forward, as the times changed, so did Tang Soo Do’s traditional names. And, it changed names like, Soo Bahk, Hwa Soo, Kwon Bop, and Taek Kyun.

It is also believed that the techniques of this martial art are as old as the human race. Coming to more recent times when Korea was occupied by Japan between 1910 and 1945, different martial arts of Korea were banned. However, they were still secretly practised, and some generous Japanese Karate practitioners also shared their techniques with the underground schools. But once the peninsula was liberated from Japanese occupation, different martial art schools sprung up, and it is said that Won Kuk Lee, the founder of Chung Do Kwan, for the first time uttered the words ‘Tang Soo Do’, to refer to the Korean martial art which had the blend of different fighting techniques, and the name stuck.

PRESENT DAY

During the course of time, Tang Soo Do had its share of rough patches, and owing to inner conflicts, various members of Tang Soo Doo broke off. But Moo Duk Kwan today continues to represent Tang Soo Do in the same spirit as founded by Hwang Kee, and is headed by Hwang Kee’s son, Hyun Chul Hwang. The Amateur Athletic Union Taekwondo, has embraced Tang Soo Do hyeong in competitions, and organises point-sparring for various traditional Korean fight styles. Chuck Norris added new dimension to Tang Soo Do by evolving a new style, Chun Kuk Do, from it.

FOLKLORE

By the late 1930s, Hwang Kee had become proficient in the native Korean fighting styles of Soo Bahk Do, and Taekkyeon. Then the era of Japanese occupation began, and they tried to cripple the regional martial arts by imposing imprisonment penalties for anyone practicing them. Hwang kee could not remain unaffected by these, and he ended up drawing the attention of the Japanese secret police in 1936, and was eventually forced to flee on foot to Manchuria. Later one night he scaled the Great Wall of China, and entered China where he was destined to stay for next 20 years. There the Master Yang, the martial art expert of China, taught Hwang Kee a northern fighting style, Yang Kung-fu. Later, when World War II ended, so did Hwang Kee’s exile and he returned to his homeland.

Post independence, the suppressed martial arts sprung up again, with different kwans highlighting their techniques, and Hwang Kee did his share of developing a version of Tang Soo Do, which ended up becoming ‘Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan’.

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Practices

PHILOSOPHY

The philosophy of Tang Soo Do was scripted long ago by none other but the greatest monk of his times in Korea, Won Kwang. Those principles eventually became the backbone of this martial art. They include following points:

  • Be loyal to your country, and prove worthy of your salt.
  • Show respect and obedience to parents and elders.
  • Be loyal with friends.
  • Battle is one way that is forward, never step back.
  • Exhibit wisdom and honour while fighting.
TECHNIQUES

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TRAINING

Tang Soo Do’s boundaries are limitless, and are not confined to some specifics. The forms vary between different federations. All the movements which are defensive or offensive are said to be mostly derived from Shotokan Karate kata. Traditionally, Tang Soo Do is said to exist in 9 forms, and these are incorporated in Tang Soo Do training schools curriculum, and, when mastered, these earn the trainees the midnight blue belt.

Tang Soo Do also involves one-stop sparring techniques, which are uniquely choreographed movements for defence to evade a single step attack. It is performed in pairs, with practitioners beginning with a bow, and one person performs attacking strikes, while the other one fends it off with a sequence of premeditated techniques.

Free sparring in Tang Soo Do is another popular feature, and is like a competitive match which has point system.

RANKS & GRADING

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WEIGHT CLASSES

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Rules / Rulesets

RULES / RULESETS

This is an honourable sport and the participants are expected to show respect, compassion, and appreciation to their opponents. The sparring competitions are judged by point system, and the first person who scores 3 points is the winner. Alternatively, whoever scores more points in a bout of 2 minutes, wins. Both rear-kicks and rear-arm hand techniques are worth 1 point, so are the lead kicks and hand techniques. You can score them with higher value if you incorporate jumps and spinning kicks while executing your movements, though. Open-hand techniques are not allowed, expect for ridge-hand and leg sweeps.

The scoring manoeuvres should be distinct, and they should have some force behind it, along with sufficient footing. Like, for the score to be counted in a pump-kick action, it should be executed from a solid base, with the erect body posture, and with enough force, or the technique is not considered worthy of a score.

Organisations & Historical Places

ORGANISATIONS

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HISTORICAL PLACES

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Popular Culture

POPULAR CULTURE

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Useful Links

USEFUL LINKS

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References

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