TANG SOO DO is a relatively new art influenced by Korean, Japanese and Chinese arts. The Korean portion has its origins in the martial traditions of the Korean peninsula during the Kokuryo Dynasty (AD 37-668). It was during the Silla Dynasty (AD 668-935), however, that an elite caste of highly skilled warriors emerged. From the south-eastern kingdom, these warriors soon conquered the neighboring kingdom of Baekje. The conquerors were known as Hwa rang which means “the flower of youth”.
These warriors were skilled equestrians, archers and swordsmen. They also showed great skill in unarmed combat. The close proximity of Korea to China lead to the constant influx of Chinese combat techniques, which were adopted by the Koreans in a characteristic way.
It was during the Kokuryo Dynasty (AD 935-1392) that a systematic development of the various aspects of Korean Military art occurred. The new martial system was called soo bakh do, and was taught to the military. The new art incorporated weapons, such as the sword, spear, bow and knife as well as unarmed close-quarters combat and grappling. Regular tournaments were held and the victors were promoted to positions of military importance. The art was extended and refined during the Joseon Dynasty (AD 1392-1910).
The Japanese invasion of Korea in 1907, brought an end to the ruling Korean Dynasty, and along with it, the warrior caste. During the occupation of Korea from 1907 until the end of WW II in 1945, the practice of Korean martial art was discouraged/illegal. The Japanese arts of judo, kendo, aikido and karate were introduced to Korea.
Shortly after the liberation of Korea from Japan, five martial art schools emerged in Korea: Chung Do Kwan (Won Kuk Lee), Yun Moo Kwan/Jidokwan (Chun Sang Sup), Chang Moo Kwan (Lee Nam Suk and Kim Soon Bae), Moo Duk Kwan (Hwang Kee), and Song Moo Kwan (Ro Byung Jik), each practicing a unique Korean blend of Chinese (Kung Fu), Japanese (Karate) and native Korean (Soo Bakh) arts.
The Moo Duk Kwan established by Grandmaster Kwang Kee, who had fled to China during the occupation to avoid Japanese persecution. While in China, he complemented his studies of Soo Bakh Do and Japanese Karate by studying the Chinese martial arts (Kung Fu, Wushu etc.er of youth”.
During the late 1950’ s and early 60’s the Korean government attempted to unite all Korean styles under the name Tae Soo Do, but this failed. Eventually the government united many Korean arts under the name Taekwondo. This was not universally well received, and Grandmaster Kee along with the grandmasters of many other styles broke away. He renamed his school Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, which means “the way of the (Chinese) hand”.
In 1957, Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim, DAN #38, student of Grandmaster Hwang Kee, began teaching Tang Soo Do to American G.I.’s stationed in Korea. A former student and karate pioneer in America, Dale Droilliard convinced Grandmaster Kim to come to America 1969. He then set up the World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation, which currently had associations in 36 countries world-wide. Grandmaster Kim passed away January 9, 2007.
Grandmaster Boliard who trained in Tang Soo Do, under the instruction of Jae Joon Kim since its founding in American in 1969 founded the Mu Sa Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation in Oct 2001.