The History of Tang Soo Do
The martial art known as Tang Soo Do is relatively modern. However, its basis, the Korean disciplines of Soo Bahk, and the Tae Kyun, dates back many centuries. Tang Soo Do is a composite style influenced by the Northern Chinese arts, the Southern Chinese arts, and the Okinawan discipline of Karate.
The Chinese influences were as follows: Basic Training (Seh Bop-method of postures, Bo Bop- method of steps, Ryun Bop-method of conditioning), and form and combat applications, (Dahm Toi Sip E Ro, and "Tae Kuk Kwon"). The Okinawan influences were primarily a result of the Japenese occupation of Korea from 1910-1945. The term "Tang Soo Do" was the name Grandmaster WonKuk Lee, founder of Chung Do Kwan originally applied to his art. After a meeting with Mr. Lee in 1947, Kwan Jhang Nim Hwang Kee decided to integrate the art of "Tang Soo Do" (Okinawan discipline of Karate) into his Hwa Soo Do discipline. Our kicking techniques, for which Tang Soo Do is recognized, are based on the ancient Korean style of Tae Kyun, which were later formalized by Grandmaster Hwang Kee, founder of the Hwa Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan style. Tang Soo Do is both a hard and soft style, deriving its hardness in part from Soo Bahk and its soft from the Northern and Southern Chinese systems.
Although Tang Soo Do and its great combat applications can be adapted to competition, it is not a sport. As a classical martial art, its purpose is to develop every appect of the "self" in order to create a mature person who completely integrates intellect, body, emotions, and spirit. This integration helps to create a person who is free from inner conflict and who can deal with the outside world in a mature, intelligent, forthright, and virtuous manner. The Mi Guk Kwan name gives us a direction where we can blend the philosophies of the East and the West, and a vehicle through which we can focus our mental training and foster the American way of life.
Tang Soo Do is the technique, Mi Guk Kwan is the philosophy. Tang Soo Do technique requires the mental discipline that Mi Guk Kwan offers. The two combined produce the total integration of mental, spiritual, and physical development, which increases the benefits of each. From their harmony an awareness of being is created that makes Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan training a valuable art form.