MOO DUK KWAN vs TANG SOO DO

Discussion in 'Korean Martial Arts - General' started by NinjaJax, Feb 27, 2009.

  1. NinjaJax

    NinjaJax Yellow Belt

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    I hold the rank of First Dan in Tang Soo Do. Since I moved, I have been out of practice. Recently a Moo Duk Kwan school opened nearby. Coincidently a Tang Soo Do school opened up as well. Just wondering if there is much difference between these 2 styles? If there is, will I have a hard time adjusting if I decide to study Moo Duk Kwan?

    Thanks
     
  2. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    I have heard that Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do was Tang Soo Do.

    But as they are different organizations I would expect they have different techniques for belt requirements.


    Thanks
     
  3. astrobiologist

    astrobiologist Brown Belt

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    My suggestion: Go to both schools and see what you think. Ya know, meet the instructor, watch a class, join a class if they'll let you for a sample workout... Stay objective and remember what it is that you need for your training.
     
  4. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    Well, how different they are first depends on what organization of Tang Soo Do you came from.

    Second, let's clarify what the difference between TSD and MDK is. When TSD was founded in 1947, it was called Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan. The Moo Duk Kwan was one of the original 9 kwans, Tang Soo Do was the style of MDK. Over the last 50 years, the Moo Duk Kwan has very slowly fragmented. Over the course of time, the official "parent organization" changed its name from Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan to Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan - largely for copyright reasons. You see, the words Tang Soo Do are a literal translations of the chinese characters for Karate. Soo Bahk Do is a less generic term. When that change was made, the senior masters who framgented from the parent organization for a variety of reasons, took the name Tang Soo Do for their organizations.

    So fast forward to today. Right now, the United Stated Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation is still alive and well in the US. The World Moo Duk Kwan is also alive and well and has many child organizations in many countries. The US SBD Fed and the Wrold MDK is still run by the Hwang Family, namely Hwang Kee's (the founder of TSD) son, HC Hwang.

    As the other oganizations have fragmented off of the WMDK, each has taken on slight stylistic differences. It is the same art, same basic style, but with minor variations.

    The MAJOR variations that you will find in the Moo Duk Kwan:
    1) Standardized ho sin sul and ill soo sik
    2) The use of the yuk ro and chil sung hyungs
    3) A slightly softer, chinese approach than many of the other organizations who have stayed more Japanese in application

    You will find most of the same hyung, kibon dongcha, etc, but it will take a while to get caught up with the new hyung, hosinsul and illsoosik if you choose to move to MDK.

    One caveat....there is nothing wrong with the other organizations. You will hear that they "no longer have access to the founder" through his son....but honestly, they are all headed by very senior MDK practitioners who are excellent martial artists. The quality of the school is determined by the instructor, not the organization.

    I would be happy to answer any more questions on the subject. I have trained with several different organizations still within the TSD style, so I have some different perspectives.
     
  5. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    EXCELLENT point. Decide based on the school and instructor - not the organization.

    One point of warning though. Your rank may or may not be accepted in either school. There are A LOT of politics - more than you can EVER imagine - within the TSD community. Your rank may be denied based solely on who you train with.

    That is the one advantage that I have found of getting my dan certification with the Korean Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Association....it is recognized almost universally by any TSD school. At least, I haven't found one yet that doesn't. But I've heard of a lot of TSD schools that turn down rank from other TSD orgs. That's an "n of one" though.
     
  6. astrobiologist

    astrobiologist Brown Belt

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    That may or may not be a consideration. It depends on the type of school and the instructor. If I were to start training at another school, even if it is a TSD school, I would expect to begin at white belt. I may advance faster than others, but I would in no way expect to be recognized by the highest rank I hold in my personal training. Though I am a third dan in TSD, I am a 9th kyu in Jujitsu, and when I move to Colorado I will begin anew at a new school.

    I suppose after someone passes 4th dan or so, it may be more respectful to accept them at their rank when they join a new school. At my level of training though I would prefer to earn recognition by an instructor, especially one who has not known me during my prior years of training.

    But I guess that's my personal take...
     
  7. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    I fully agree with your position. I've started over in TSD 4 times so far and have done so willingly each time. Although I must say that it is nice to not have to now.....it makes it much easier to drop in and train with people.

    I'm about to move to Florida and will start over.

    The warning is more of a be prepared kind of warning. A lot of people would just expect rank to transfer and that's not always true, whether they like it or not
     
  8. NinjaJax

    NinjaJax Yellow Belt

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    Thank you for the info. I was not expecting to start off at my 1st Dan rank at either school. I believe strongly in the tenet of humility. I would expect to start off as a white belt. If the instructor feels that I can move up through the ranks faster than others...great for me. But I would not have any problem moving through at a normal pace starting from 10th gup.
     
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  9. Master K

    Master K Green Belt

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    One other thing should be added...Tang Soo Do is not only Moo Duk Kwan. The Chung Do Kwan also practiced Tang Soo Do. Overall there are some major differences between the Soo Bahk Do group and those that are independent. The Moo Duk Kwan is using and emphasizing different forms than the original Tang Soo Do forms. I don't feel like the details will help you a whole lot, but if you did have a 1st Dan in Tang Soo Do, then you probably will be more familiar with the older cannon of forms rather than the newer sets that are emphasized in Soo Bahk Do. And as a result, it may be easier to get up to speed with the older set. Of course that depends on when you received your 1st Dan.

    As always I would suggest visiting both schools before making any decisions. Best of luck to you, and please let us know posted as to your progress in the martial arts.
     
  10. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    Master K,

    I had never heard the Chung Do Kwan did a form of Tang Soo Do, can you provide more history or reference to this? There is still a very strong following the Tae Kwon Do Moo Duk Kwan, which is the result of the Kwan Unification in Korea, but Hwang Kee split off and took his Tang Soo Do with him.

    Also, I know that there are a lot of ideas about the difference between TSD and SBD floating around....because I had heard them! But to be perfectly honest, your Hyung will transfer. We (Soo Bahk Do) still do all of the Kicho Forms, all of the Pyang Ahns, Bassai, Naihanchi, Sip Soo, Rohai, etc etc. The "classical" forms are still a part of our curriculum. But the Chil Sungs and Yuk Ro forms are also added. There is slightly more chinese influence to SBD and generally more exaggerated use of Hu-ri. The Tang Soo Do schools that I was a part of were a bit more hard than SBD, but the essence is still the same.
     
  11. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    MB, I'm wondering if the confusion here may not be due to the kind of generic use of Tangsudo/Kongsudo as the literal translation of 'karate' into Korean back in the early Kwan era days. Everyone was teaching tangsudo back then, because what they were really teaching was the Shotokan/Shudokan they had brought back from Japan. It was only later that Tang Soo Do became the name of the Hwang Kee 'brand', in the difficult years before and after the enforced Kwan unification.

    If that's the case, than the Tang Soo Do the CDK is supposedly associated with is just the same tangsudo that the Song Moo Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan and the other 'original 5' were teaching in the late 1940s and early '50s... just Korean karate, 'cause that's all there was, way back in the day.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  12. MBuzzy

    MBuzzy Grandmaster

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    Bob, that is a great interpretation. I hadn't considered that the Hanmun for Tang Soo Do is the same as the Kanji and Chinese for Karate and that in the early days, it was used as a generic name. I was actually just having a discussion with my Gumdo instructor about the Kwan unification and what Kwans were still around and practicing and how things have shaken out.....50 years later.
     
  13. DMcHenry

    DMcHenry Blue Belt

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    The Chung Do Kwan was the first dojang to open and the first to use the term Tang Soo Do in Korea after WWII. When Hwang Kee first opened the Moo Duk Kwan, he used the term Hwa Soo Do to describe his art, which failed several times. He later changed to use the art that the Chung Do Kwan and others were using.
     
  14. Master K

    Master K Green Belt

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    Master Mac is correct. Thanks for posting the answer. I was a bit swamped yesterday and never made it back to give him an answer.
     
  15. carlos_tsd

    carlos_tsd White Belt

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    Moo Duk Kwan is traditional Tang Soo Do, they just changed the name. Most tang Soo do schools changed slightly. I would go for the tang Soo do school as moo Duk Kwan changed their forms.
     
  16. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    You're replying to a thread that has been dead for 11 years, so I suspect your advice will not help them much.
    Your lead statement is also factually incorrect.
    Moo Duk Kwan is a school, and has little to do with the actual art taught. There are branches of the MDK that teach Taekwondo (these are the earliest branches, mostly those who stayed with the Unification when GM HWANG, Key left), there are branches that teach Tang Soo Do (these are the branches that followed GM HWANg, Key when he split off from the Unification movement and split from him later), and there are branches that teach Soo Bahk Do (those who split off with GM HWANG and stayed with him beyond the name change from TSK to SBD). The largest of these three basic groups is those that teach TKD.
     
  17. carlos_tsd

    carlos_tsd White Belt

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    Well you are wrong moo Duk Kwan is pretty much tang Soo do and the main in tsd. Taekwondo is not real moo Duk Kwan . They just use the name. My instructor was in moo Duk Kwan so I know what the hell frickin moo Duk Kwan is. I don't appreciate that you give that attitude. And tell me why are you even on this page if it's 11 years dead.
     
  18. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    As someone not involved in any of this, what are you saying he is wrong about? Are you suggesting that moo duk kwan is not a school that branched off into multiple styles? Are you suggesting that Hwang Kee had nothing to do with the establishment/shaping of TKD?What makes real MDK, and what makes it so that TKD'ists don't practice that and just use the name?
     
  19. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    If you're going to claim the One True Path, then that would be Soo Bahk Do, since that is what GM HWANG, Kee called it. You know. The man who founded the Moo Duk Kwan.
    However, the reality is that all three branches (TKD, TSD, SBD) all exist, with the TKD branch being by far the largest. As for TKD MDK being "real", it certainly is. My Kwanjangnim trained directly under GM HWANG until GM HWANG chose to leave the unification movement. 2/3 of the Moo Duk Kwan remained with the unification movement, including my KJN. He's a native born Korean with a 9th Dan from the Moo Duk Kwan. I'm a relative newbie, with only 50 years experience (albeit not all in the MDK traditions).
    Don't take my word for it, though. I'm a solid proponent of research. Go do some research into the history of the Moo Duk Kwan. You'll find that the information I've offered is correct.
    Now calm down, kid. You'll hurt yourself.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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  20. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    Because he's a moderator and you had already re-opened the thread? Because he's explaining to you what you did?123
     
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