What is Tang Soo Do?

The 'China Way' of Korean Martial Art

Korean martial arts have an interesting history with its official establishment happening post World War II. During World War II the Japanese controlled much of Asia including the Korean peninsula prohibiting Koreans from doing a lot of things including practicing their own martial arts

Tang Soo Do is the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters Tang Shou Dao. Tang Soo Do literally means “China Hand Way” (the “Tang” refers to the Tang Dynasty). Outside of the Far East, the term “Tang Soo Do” has primarily become synonymous with the Korean martial art promoted by grandmaster Hwang Kee. The characters used to write Tang Soo Do changed from originally incorporating 'Karate' and 'Japan' (“The Way of Chinese in Japan' was one translation) to eventually setting on how it's written today. Tang Soo Do was also called 'Karate Do' for a time because of its similarities to Karate.

During the WWII Japanese occupation of Korea one of Tang Soo Do founders, Hwang Kee, left Korea to visit China. There he came into contact with different martial arts. Hwang Kee incorporated the flowing and graceful motions of the Chinese system with the linear, strong movements of Karate. This blend form was known as Soo Bahk Do, the predecessor of the Tang Soo Do that we know today.

Many different schools sprouted up post-WWII with different martial arts styles. After the Korean War ended a few more styles were established. In an effort to unify Korea, standard martial arts systems were formed with martial arts associations forming in the late 1950s; the first one the Korea Tae Kwon Do Association.

Tang Soo Do is a combat system that focuses on fitness, honor, control and self-confidence. An individual's advancement is done by training in the various methods of self-defense, philosophy and non-contact fighting. Tang Soo do has some aerobic elements so it's also great for weight loss and exercise.

Tang Soo Do doesn't get as much press as other martial arts, especially Tae Kwon Do, the most popular martial art in the world but it has a lot of offer students.

If you're interested in learning Tang Soo, Tae Kwon Do or any other of the martial arts that we teach please contact Kwons Black Belt Academy in Gilbertsville.

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