WHAT IS TANG SOO DO?
The very first evidence of this ancient form of Korean martial arts appeared during the Three Kingdom era (57 BC-935 AD) as Hwa Rang Do. Since then, 2,000 years have passed. The indigenous martial arts quietly developed through generations of the Korean people. During some eras it flourished and other times it diminished, according to the political, economic or cultural environment. The art was known by various names throughout the eras as Hwa Rang Do, Moo Sul, Kyuck Too Ki, Soo Bahk Ki, Soo Byuck Ki, Taek Kyun, etc. Following the 1945 Korean independence, the Korean martial arts were again merged and flourished throughout the entire Korean Peninsula. Many organizations were founded with various names such as Soo Bahk Do, Tang Soo Do, Tae Soo Do and so on. At the beginning of the modern era of the Korean martial arts, Tang Soo Do was the most popular term for these arts, however, at that time, the Korean political leader was concerned about establishing Korean value based on Korean nationalism. The political leaders recognized the popularity of Korean martial arts around the world, but were opposed to the use of the name Tang Soo Do for the art, as it sounded like a Chinese martial art, because the first word “Tang” could be interpreted as representing the Chinese Tang Dynasty (617-907 AD). In 1964, a government sponsored small group created a new name for the Korean martial arts: Tae Kwon Do.
The World Tang Soo Do Association still respects the original term, Tang Soo Do, and intends to preserve its heritage and value as a traditional way or path. Unfortunately, many Tae Kwon Do instructors did not maintain the traditional values of the true martial arts. Instead, they converted to a sport as they have progressed to the internationally recognized sports arenas such as the Olympic games.
This was considered to be a great political achievement, to bring strength and prominence to the Korean government in International politics. True Martial Arts lovers had no place within these Tae Kwon Do dojangs to continue to pursue traditional martial arts because they abandoned many valuable aspects of true Martial Arts to become a simple competitive sport. We, as Tang Soo Do practitioners are striving to maintain traditional values of respect, discipline, self control, self improvement, etiquette and ultimately live a healthy and harmonious life, physically and mentally.
FROM THE BIRTH OF THE WORLD TANG SOO DO ASSOCIATION TO NOW
In 1968 Master Jae Chul Shin came to the United States of America as the U. S. representative for the Korean Tang Soo Do Association. He formed the U. S. Tang Soo Do Federation in Burlington, New Jersey in 1968. This traditional Korean Martial Art was quickly accepted and soon grew in popularity throughout the World. The organization reformed to fit new international demands, so on November 13th and 14th, 1982, a charter convention of the World Tang Soo Do Association was held in Philadelphia, PA., USA. With the advent of the World Tang Soo Do Association, Tang Soo Do began a new era of development as a traditional martial art.
PURPOSE OF TANG SOO DO TRAINING
In today’s hectic society, there is no doubt that we need self-defense skills. Equally important are physical fitness and methods for the release of daily stress—No matter whether you are seeking self-defense, better health, physical fitness or discipline, our Tang Soo Do can meet your needs. However, Tang Soo Do has its own unique character which differentiates it from any other form of martial arts or martial sports. Tang Soo Do not only teaches physical techniques but also trains us to practice “DO” way of life through practice of the five virtues; “IN” -humanity, “UI”-righteousness, “YIE”-etiquette, “JI”-wisdom and “SHIN”-trust. When we reach the ultimate level of “DO”, we can live in perfect harmony with the laws of nature.
GRANDMASTER JAE CHUL SHIN
Grandmaster Jae C. Shin is the founder of the World Tang Soo Do Association, and was one of the leading figures of martial arts in the world.
He was born in Korea in 1936, and began his long and distinguished career in martial arts at the age of twelve. During his childhood, an unknown monk initially inspired in him a strong desire to learn martial arts. Later, he joined Seoul Moo Duk Kwan central gym and began serious study under Grandmaster Hwang Kee, a founder of the Korean Moo Duk Kwan system.
He raised three Mottoes for his leadership of nearly 8,000 black belt members: TRADITIONALISM, PROFESSIONALISM AND BROTHERHOOD and he brings these qualities with him wherever he travels and teaches. Grandmaster Shin is respected as a true leader, teacher and master of masters.
GRANDMASTER ROBERT E. BEAUDOIN
Grandmaster Robert Beaudoin is a charter Master of the World Tang Soo Do Association and is the father of traditional Tang Soo Do in New England.
He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1942 and grew up in Connecticut. After joining the Air Force and being selected for a special language program at Yale University, he was stationed at Osan Air Base in Korea and got his first taste of the martial arts. In 1962 he began training in Tang Soo Do under Grandmaster Jae C. Shin. This date marks the beginning of a student/teacher/friend relationship the two would share for more than 50 years. On May 12, 1963, Grandmaster Beaudoin tested for his black belt in Inchon, Korea in front of Grandmaster Hwang Kee and Grandmaster Shin. Grandmaster Beaudoin was promoted to the rank of 8th Dan at the 2010 World Championships at the same event where Grandmaster Shin was promoted to 9th Dan.
GRANDMASTER WILLIAM “BILL” STRONG
Grandmaster Strong began his martial arts training in Tae Kwon Do through the Jhoon Rhee Institute in Austin, Texas when he was an undergraduate student at the University of Texas. He received his 1st Dan from the Alabama Karate Institute in 1974 and his 2nd Dan from the Kuk Ki Won in 1977, both in Tae Kwon Do. He achieved his 3rd and 4th Dan from the Korean Tang Soo Do Association, Moo Duk Kwan, headed by Hwang Kee, President in 1981 and 1983 respectively. In 1986, he joined the World Tang Soo Do Association and achieved 5th through 7th Dan promotions from Grandmaster Shin and 8th Dan from Grandmaster Robert Beaudoin in 2014.