WHAT IS TANG SOO DO?
Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art which teaches empty hand and foot fighting, fighting forms, self-defense, and weapons. Tang Soo Do also teaches people to live a healthy and harmonious life. This ancient martial art traces its lineage back 2,000 years to the Korean peninsula.
In today's society, there is no doubt that martial arts training is on the rise and that people are becoming more interested in learning self-defense skills. Tang Soo Do is an extremely effective method of self-defense. But there are many other reasons why men, women and children from all walks of life have taken up Tang Soo Do training. This ancient form of martial art is known for having the most effective training methods for self-discipline, self-confidence, physical fitness, stress management and the ultimate form of self-defense techniques. We are proud to announce that 35% of our total membership includes women, children and older adult students. Our students range in age from 4 years old to 78 years old.
Whatever brings each of us to Tang Soo Do, we all set goals in our training; BLACK BELT or MASTER. But, Belts only symbolize the goal, they are not the goal itself. The real value of Tang Soo Do is not the belt you earn, but the changes that occur within you, in your quest for them. These changes include the betterment of your mind, body and spirit and the development of individual character and respect for others. The true goal of Tang Soo Do training is to use the lessons you learn in the studio to enrich every part of your life.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF 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. respectively.
Following 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 World Tang Soo Do practitioners are striving to maintain traditional values of respect, dicipline, 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 demands internationally, and on November 13 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.
As of 1996, the new organization has grown at an outstanding rate to reach over 100,000 members in 36 countries and thousands of students are training in the following countries; Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, England, Germany, Greece, Guam, Holland, India, Italy, Korea, Mozambique, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Rumania, Russia, Scotland, Seychelles, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Uruguay and the U.S.A. For the purpose of guidance and regional management, there are 20 regions.
WHO IS THE GRANDMASTER?
Grandmaster Jae C. Shin is the founder of the World Tang Soo Do Association, and is one of the leading figures of martial arts in the world today.
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.
By the time he was 1st Dan, he had already started his teaching career as an assistant instructor at the central gym. After that, he taught at Korean University, Seoul Central YMCA, various colleges, and many police and military institutions. His many years of teaching experience and his extreme dedication have added to his scientific and unique methods of teaching Tang Soo Do. His six fields of expertise include self-defense, forms, breaking, weapons, health care, and meditation. He has evolved these separate arts into one of the finest and most effective martial arts; The World Tang Soo Do system.
When he was recruited to the Korean Air Force in 1958, he had his first experience teaching American soldiers. After receiving his Master's degree in Political Science at Korea University, he came to the United States in order to extend his instruction of foreign students in 1968.
The year he came to the United States of America, Black Belt Magazine honored him for all time by devoting a full chapter to him in the book, "20th Century Warriors," putting him in the company of the most legendary martial arts figures ever. Grandmaster Shin, one of the most respected and well known masters in this century, is one of the few masters who has devoted his entire life to the traditional martial arts. In addition to insisting on disciplined, rigorous training and exacting techniques, he has always preached that the true value of martial arts training is in the application to everyday life. Teaching children is one of his favorite pastimes and he has become an expert in child development. His advice to his Black Belt instructors is good advice for teachers of all kinds, "When examining your abilities as an instructor, examine your young student's manners, attitudes, school reports and health conditions. Their improvements should mirror your own."
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.
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