What is Tang Soo Do?

No retreat in battle: Alexandre Bernard, Sam Dan

Tang Soo Do is a Korean style of martial arts and has its roots in Soo Bahk, Kwon Bop and Tae Kyun. It is based on classical form rather than on competition or sports form, with a repertoire of techniques far greater than many other arts. Although it is widely acknowledged that Korean styles have lifted high kicking to an art form, many styles in which kicking is favoured have lost a significant part of their hand attack and defence syllabus. This is not the case with Tang Soo Do – the complete syllabus of hand strikes and blocks is retained. Higher ranking belts compliment their empty hand knowledge with weapons training, using weapons such as bo staff, knife, sword, and spear. In addition to the diverse kicking and striking techniques, self-defence moves including joint locks, throws and sweeps are also taught.

The Tang Soo Do that we currently practice developed from Soo Bahk Do with part of this diverging to become Moo Duk Kwan. Current Tang Soo Do is a composite of 60% Soo Bahk / 30% Northern Chinese (Hard) / 10% Southern Chinese (Soft). Our kicking techniques have Soo Bahk origins and form the basics of Tang Soo Do. The Chinese influence introduces further hard and soft elements with the soft flowing movements from southern China.

Tang Soo Do is a martial art with the aim of developing every aspect of the self to form a mature personality, united in intellect, body, emotions and spirit. The martial arts training of Tang Soo Do helps to balance body and soul and therefore to live a healthy and fulfilled life – A Way of Life for every age group and gender.

Foto: M. Loracher