History of TANG SOO DO
The meaning of Tang Soo Do
Tang Soo Do is derived from the Tang dynasty of China. Soo means hand, and Do means way of life, or art. Tang Soo Do is primarily a China influenced martial art and literal interpretation is The Way of the China Hand. Tang Soo Do implies self defense by a means of the hand and feet without the use of material weapons.
Tang Soo Do like all martial arts or developed over a very long period of time. The ancestral art can be traced back to ancient China. There are almost as many theories about the beginning of the various martial arts as there are martial arts.
It appears clear that most martial arts stem from the era in which they were developed and were dependent upon the knowledge, skills, and need of the kingdom from which they developed. Speaking from the modernistic approach, we can identify Tang Soo Do as being developed in Korea. There were many Masters of the Chinese based art. Korea was occupied by the Japanese from 1909 to 1945 at which time the Japanese forbid the practice of martial arts. After the restriction was lifted, several martial arts schools emerged as follows:
Schools & Masters
- Moo Duk Kwan – Hwang Kee
- Chi Do Kwan – Kwai Byung, Yun
- Chung Do Kwan – Duk Sung, Son
- Song Moo Kwan – Byung Jik, No
- Chang Moo Kwan – Nam Suk, Lee
- Yun Moo Kwan – Sang Sup, Chun
The man who developed Tang Soo Do as we know it was Grand Master Hwang Kee. He developed the first three forms known as the Kee Choo Hung forms, and derived the balance of the forms from a book by Mr. Idos called the Pynung Ahn forms. The Pynung Ahn forms are used by several styles of martial artists and in each style the techniques used within the Pynung Ahn forms is based upon the martial art utilizing the form.
In 1969 Grand Master Jae Joon Kim, a former student of Grand Master Hwang Kee in Korea, established the first Tang Soo Do Federation in the United States. Under his guidance and leadership, Grand Master Jae Joon Kim established a global organization known as the World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation with students in 33 different countries and federation schools in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Chili, Panama, United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, South Africa, Malaysia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, as well as Korea.
Grand Master Sam Frazier received his first six Dan promotions from Grand Master Jae Joon Kim. Upon the death of Grand Master Jae Joon Kim, Grand Master Frazier and Grand Master Bonnie Welch established the World Martial Arts Testing Authority, Inc. Grand Master Frazier established United States Tang Soo Do, Inc. in 1996 and thereafter became partners with Grand Master Bonnie Welch. The World Martial Arts Testing Authority, Inc was formed and dedicated to his memory and to continue the traditions and training of his gifted efforts and his gifted efforts for all martial artists. The corporate officers of United States Tang Soo Do, Inc. and World Martial Arts Testing Authority, Inc. elected to keep Grand Master Jae Joon Kim’s traditional teaching methods, philosophies, and training methods and forms intact and to continue his work.