Tang Soo Do

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by Red Harvest, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest Orange Belt

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    Anybody ever train in this art? I'm looking for some input from folks about their experiences with it. All I can really gather is it's Tae Kwon Do without being "pussified". Am I wrong? The web offers not much more than the history of the art.
     
  2. Human Bass

    Human Bass Black Belt

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    From what I've seen it's basically a korean karate, but they don't seem to focused on combat and full contact. I'd rather try Kyokushin.
     
  3. Corey Kuropas

    Corey Kuropas Banned Banned

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    Tang Soo Do is closer to Shotokan Karate then TKD.
     
  4. barnowl

    barnowl Green Belt

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    That is Chuck Norris's base. Like every other TMA it depends on the school. Because Tang Soo Do is a less common style it should be easier to find a good school than of more the more widely available ITF/WTF TKD families
     
  5. SamVDW

    SamVDW White Belt

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    I trained in Tang Soo Do for several months. I have also trained in Tae Kwon Do (two different schools), Aikido, Jiu Jitsu, and law enforcement combat techniques. I'm not an expert in any of these by any means, but I've experienced all of them for at least a minimum of several months each.

    What I was told by my Tang Soo Do trainers was that many years ago in Korea they didn't have a national fighting art. As the country searched for one, Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do developed into eventual front runners to be the "national fighting art". Tae Kwon Do eventually won out. The masters of Tang Soo Do looked to spread their art elsewhere. So they brought it to other countries like the United States.

    Tang Soo Do teachers tend to be "closer to the tree" as my teacher used to say. They have less degrees of separation from the creator of the original art than many other forms.

    In all honesty, I didn't find a huge difference between Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do at the lower levels. The strikes were generally the same with small variations that you might find between different schools or different masters. Maybe at the higher levels the techniques start to diverge?

    Remember, people bash on Tae Kwon Do a lot as an ineffective martial art. The base of the art can teach good fundamental kicking and punching. We have some Tae Kwon Do black belts that do well on our local mixed martial art scene (obviously they have all the other 'required' training, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, etc).

    All those jumping kicks that people bash on today were actually effective and useful... decades and centuries ago. They used them as a defense to knock opposing warriors off of horses. Not so useful today, but useful back then. They just don't tell you that in Tae Kwon Do school. They tend to be more for flash than effect today.

    If you're looking for a useful striking art, go for boxing, kickboxing, or Muy Thai. If you're just looking for something different than the traditional Karate, Kung Fu, or Tae Kwon Do schools, Tang Soo Do may sound different, but a lot of it is the same stuff. My master also used to say, "There are only so many ways you can punch and kick a person."

    The two Tang Soo Do schools I attended (same masters, different locations) were not as bad as some of the black belt factories you see out there today, like United Studios of Self Defense or West Coast Tae Kwon Do where I'm from. But it's not going to feel a whole lot different. I got lucky and found a master that had professional fight experience and was a black belt in multiple different arts. If you're looking for an 'authentic' martial arts feel, I'd say go that route. It's just harder to find because it isn't advertised.

    Hopefully that helps.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  6. MonkeyNuts!

    MonkeyNuts! Rear Naked Poker

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    I trained in Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan for nearly 6 years, got my 1st degree in it.

    TS, I assume you are talking about Moo Duk Kwan, since that is the predominant Tang Soo Do today. Following the end of the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1945, there were several martial arts academies that named their style "Tang Soo Do." The kanji for TSD is the same as karate; it's a generic term.

    During the Japanese occupation (1909-1945), Korean culture was suppressed, including their martial arts. Instead, Japanese culture, including karate, judo, and kendo, was imposed on the Korean people. Thus, once Korea was liberated, most of the academies that sprung up were heavily influenced by karate. Also during that time, Korean martial arts were differentiated and labeled simply by school name. Chung Do Kwan (Kwan means school), Chang Moo Kwan, Moo Duk Kwan, Oh Do Kwan are a few examples (there were 9 big ones).

    Moo Duk Kwan was founded by a man named Hwang Kee, who blended Northern Chuan Fa with Okinawan karate, and later on with his interpretations of the Moo Ye Dobo Dongji (Korea's oldest printed instructional on martial arts). Nearly all of the "Tang Soo Do" schools you see today stem from his lineage.

    In the early 1950s, the Korean government decided it was time to revitalize the "Korean nationality" that was raped by Japanese occupation. A Korean general by the name of Choi Hong Hee proposed the idea of merging the many kwans under one banner, and thus Tae Kwon Do was born. This obviously created alot of internal conflict in the schools, since there were those that didn't want to unify, and those that did. Hwang Kee tried to keep TSD MDK separate, but even his school split down the middle, and that's why sometimes you see "Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do."

    TSD MDK for the most part is far from TKD, and it is true that the former is closer to karate (technically Okinawan, not Shotokan), since they adhere to the same kata (Pinan, Tekki, Bassai, Kusanku, Jinto, etc). To be honest, it's hard to say which is less "pussified", at least in the US. They have both been plagued with McDojo and bullshido. There's so much variability in the two systems, but definitely you can say like any other "TMAs", they suffer the same weaknesses in general - more dead training, less resistance/pressure testing.
     
  7. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest Orange Belt

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    Awesome info. I appreciate it!!! I am really just looking for something different and possibly a bit more "traditional". There is a genuine TSD school here locally which is run by a 7th dan master. We workout at the same gym in the mornings and he struck up a conversation about martial arts with me. He also teaches a self-defense class which encompasses a few different styles. He offered me a discounted rate to train if I would be willing to bring some basic ground fighting skills to his self-defense program. I was just kind of mulling it over and looking for info.


    "There are only so many ways you can punch and kick a person."


    Loved this!!! Too true.
     
  8. tsdnoob

    tsdnoob White Belt

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    I certainly don't have the experience that you do - I have only been training TSD for about a year and a half, but at least at the school I go to, we spar every class (katas on your own time). Like many other striking arts (I guess trad boxing is an exception), the sparring is with control, at least to the head, and most people don't try to bust your ribs (though I have bruised mine three times so far).

    Anyway, it may depend on the place - there are a lot of really fit guys where I go that kick my ass every time - I love it. If it didn't challenge me, I wouldn't want to do it. It seems just as alive as the judo randoris I have seen (not yet participated being even more new at judo). I am sure that competitive MMA places are more alive, but as a middle age guy, I am not sure I can take more alive yet. Maybe I am just a pussy :redface:

    I don't see how it can hurt to check out a class.
     
  9. MonkeyNuts!

    MonkeyNuts! Rear Naked Poker

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    A typical TSD curriculum usually includes soo gi, jok gi, hyung, ill soo sik, sam soo sik, sparring, and hosinsul. The soo gi and jok gi traditionally is done in lines against air. Padwork with those techniques generally revolves around body shields and clapper pads, neither of which is as useful as padwork found in muay thai or boxing. Not to mention some of those classical techniques and stances simply aren't practical.

    The hyung, ill soo sik, sam soo sik, and hosinsul are usually choreographed routines.

    Thus the bulk of the typical TSD MDK curriculum is minimal pressure testing/resistance training. Now an instructor can obviously emphasize whatever components of the curriculum he desires, but generally speaking, the sparring tends to take a back seat, given that most associations have become family friendly or simply do not give it considerable attention for whatever reason.
     
  10. tsdnoob

    tsdnoob White Belt

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    I don't even know what those things are (except sparring). I guess our class is non-traditional - not sure whether it is moo duk kwan (just checked the website - Kaizen Karate, Silver Spring, MD). Our stance for most techniques is usually chungul (one leg forward, not square like Kima horse stance). We definitely practice some techniques against air, then take turns on the techniques against partner who just defends. Then we do drills with a partner with limited techniques (toe to toe), and then spar.
     
  11. chaospfa

    chaospfa Blue Belt

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    Tang Soo Do literaly means Chinese hand art, Tang reffering to the Tand dinesty, Soo means hand, thus way of the Chinese hand. TSD sparring is quite similiar to WSF Shotokan sparring, full contact to the body, light contact punches to the head and full contact open hand techniques and kicks to the head. TSD is a good art to train striking and their are two guys on my local MMA scene who have TSD and judo as their striking and grappling bases.
     
  12. hughes fan

    hughes fan Silver Belt

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    I go into my kickboxing class right before these people come out and honestly it looks like they just stand in line and throw punches and kicks to mid-air. I don't think it looks too good or is effective and the reality is that there are a lot of little kids and old men and women rather than serious fighters.
     

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