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What Is Tang Soo Do?

Literally translated, the word "Tang" means T'ang Dynasty of China, which reflects the shared cultural background between China and Korea (617-907 AD). "Soo" means hand, but it implies fist, punch, strike, or defense, and "Do" means way of life or art. This ancient form of martial art which traces its lineage back 2,000 years to the Korean peninsula, is a method of empty hand and foot, and weapon fighting, based on the scientific use of the body in self defense.

Physically, Tang Soo Do is based on the principles of yielding, circular motion and penetration. However, as an art, Tang Soo Do combines all aspects, such as effort to live with developmental principles, defensive and offensive skills, handling weapons, developing power, and living a healthy and harmonious life, physically and mentally. Conceptually, it is a defensive martial art, and should never be used violently or excessively.


Tang Soo Do is also a harmonious training of body, mind, and spirit. Tang Soo Do goes beyond the development of a healthy body, and develops healthy minds and healthy spirits as well. Tang Soo Do is not a sport, and is much more than self-defense. Its most important aspect is a way to enter total tranquility - Moo Shim - which is a powerful and peaceful state of being. A Tang Soo Do practitioner's ultimate goal is not only to possess excellent techniques, but, more importantly, to develop and perfect one's character as well.

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