Tang Soo Do vs. TKD?

Discussion in 'Korean Martial Arts - General' started by Blue Panther, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. tsd

    tsd Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    If I have offended you, I apoligize. I have not trained in Tae Kwon Do only Tang Soo Do, so I should have clarified my answer. The standard answer for the difference between TKD and TSD that I have heard are.......Tang Soo Do is not a sport, it will never be in the Olympics where as TKD is a sport and is included in the Olympics.

    This was no value judgement on TKD. All Martial Arts are valuable....the path of each is rich for all of us.

    Humblest Apoligies
     
  2. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,669
    Likes Received:
    245
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Wait, tsd, let's not go to the other extreme!

    First of all, you have a perfect right to have an opinion and to voice it. That is the fundamental premise of Martial Talk, I believe. I myself was a bit sharper with you in my previous reply than I should have been, because, while it bothers me to keep seeing this view of my art circulated, I understand that what you were doing was nothing more than repeating a very widespread—but unfortunately somewhat parochial—view of TKD. The fact is, there are plenty of people who have trained in a very limited, focused approach to TKD who probably would be in complete agreement with you (though they might well have never heard of TSD and wondered what that was all about). You should be aware that there is a major division between TKD as a combat art, one which resembles Shotokan karate to a great degree and shares many of the same kata and fighting interpretations for those kata moves, on the one hand, and TKD the Olympic sport, which operates under a scoring system that produces sparring matches with with no content relevant to self-defense combat. A lot of people think TKD is only the latter—but there are many myths and half-truths in the MAs, particularly about the supposed limits or failings of particular styles, and this is just one of them.

    Second, while I think your previous post incorporated a mistakenly narrow view of TKD, I would encourage you to keep posting, based on study and understanding of the history of the Korean MAs. Once upon a time, all the modern KMAs were called tang soo do or kong soo do, based on two different transliterations of kara te, `China hand' or `empty hand'. The kwan founders of the modern KMA were, every one of them, primarily trained in varieties of Japanese karate, and that's what they taught when they came home to Korea at the end of the 1930s. My own lineage in TKD, Song Moo Kwan, is a literal translation into Korean of Shoto Kan, for example, so named by Byung Jik Ro in honor of Gichin Funakoshi's training home and training hall, where he learned the karate that became the foundation of his school of KMA. In the Song Moo Kwan, people learned tang soo do—(Korean Shotokan) Karate. What happened, in very broad brushstrokes, is that the Kwan founders, under considerable pressure from the Korean defense ministry in the late 1940s and just before the Korean War, were under serious pressure to come up with a uniform syllabus and grading scheme, and agreed to form a unified organization to promote this über-syllabus—all except for Hwang Kee, founder of Moo Duk Kwan, who was also teaching karate, which he had studied in Manchuria under Gogen `The Cat' Yamaguchi, under the name tang soo do. Eventually the MDK split into a faction that went with the other Kwan leaders, and a faction that stayed with HK. The former became, after many false starts, the modern KTA and went the martial sport route (though the North American descendents of some of these Kwans, such as Song Moo Kwan, have stayed close to the tang soo do (karate) origins of TKD). But the HK faction of MDK stayed aloof from that tendency to a much greater extent—although, tsd, I note that there are an awful lot of Tang Soo Do tournaments listed on the Web! Is it not the case that TSD also has a sport component, I wonder? :wink1:

    The point is that TSD and TKD were once one and the same thing, and not all of TKD went the sport route. The `traditional' self-defense varieties of TKD look, so far as I can tell, an awful lot like TSD. And again, from what I can tell, the technical content of the two arts is virtually identical.

    In any case, please keep posting and do not feel you have to apologize. You didn't do anything you need to apologize for. If you're wrong about something, fine, you're wrong. Happens to me, and everyone else I know, all the time. Just keep an open mind and keep the historical record in mind, and learn what you can from the discussion.
     
  3. tsd

    tsd Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Exile,

    Thanks for the encouragement. And I would not let an RSVP stop me from posting. Every rsvp is an opportunity for thought and lessons.
    You are correct in that I was only "spouting a party line".

    When perspective students ask about TSD they always ask what is the difference between TSD and TKD and I respond......they are very much the same except for the "sport" aspect. The question is how to respond in a way that is applicable for the possible student. (This is almost always a parent asking about their childs training). I never respond until I discover if the parent has trained in the MA. This will allow me frame my response.

    To say that all TSD or all TKD schools are the same is like saying all women or methodists or muslims are the same. It is a sweeping generalization that serves propogandists, not a rich culture or society.

    But to say that at the root, all martial arts have some concept of Do and Harmony is not a dis-service. It is the truth I have come to know.
     
  4. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    41,259
    Likes Received:
    335
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Grand Prairie Texas
    This is the most mes conception with most people in the Arts, TKD was and still is a combat Art yes we have a sport side but so does TSD and Karate and MMA and Judo and Ninjutsu and all other Arts as well.

    I hope your mind and soul grows over the years to see this statement is just a bit off.
    Thank you
    Master Stoker
     
  5. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,669
    Likes Received:
    245
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    Very good comparisons, tsd. There is a huge range of opinions, perspectives and priorities concealed under these monolithic labels. Categorizing is a crucial part of our mental toolkit, it's a big component of our higher-order thinking ability; but like anything else that's a good servant, it generally makes for a bad master.

    And I don't really think you were `spouting' a party line&#8212;that too is too loaded a term. The fact is, a lot of TSD people in a sense seem to define themselves as not-TKD, and this is a very convenient basis for a distinction. It oversimplifies the situation seriously, as we all agree, but it does make the maintenance of a familiar distinction clearer.

    I have to say, my own view of TKD is an art which is a lot closer to the way TSD people seem to approach various aspects of their own art than what I think of as the Korean take on TKD. In my experience, TSD people have for the most part a much greater awareness of the `bunkai' aspect of their hyungs, and a much greater openness to the `upright grappling' components reflected in those hyungs&#8212;the pins, locks, taps and other controlling moves that are part of setting up finishing strikes. TSD people seem to be much more aware of the role of these moves in controlling the body configuration of an attacker so that what looks like a middle knife-hand block is actually a strike to the attacker's lowered, vulnerable throat&#8212;lowered, because the preceding `block' was actually a wrist trap + armbar/pin on the attacker's grabbing or punching elbow, and the pressure from the armbar has forced their head down, so that the middle `block' terminates exactly where their neck now is. Looking at some of upnorthkyosa's posts and video links, and much of the discussion around these, and the posts from Master Penfil, it's very clear that many TSDers are quite familiar with the concept of bunkai and how to evalute alternative bunkai in terms of the realism and effectiveness of the oyo they determine.

    Another respect in which some of us TKDers are envious of TSD is the latter's retention of the older Okinawan/Japanese kata&#8212;the Pinans, Bassai, Naihanchi, Rohai and others&#8212;as normal components of the syllabus. The ROK's TKD-control organizations have been on a systematic campaign over the past several decades to purge TKD of its Okinawan/Japanese heritage, a game they've played in a variety of contexts&#8212;from active mythmongering about the status of certain archæological sites on the Korean peninsula (as documented in Burdick's 2000 expansion of his 1997 Journal of Asian Martial Arts article, available at http://www.budosportcapelle.nl/gesch.html) as evidence for a putative unbroken link between modern KMAs and martial practices of the Three Kingdoms era, to first, the removal of the Pinan (Pyung-Ahn) hyungs from the TKD curriculum and tournament competition, and the subsequent marginalization of the Palgwes, which incorporate large chunks of the Pyung-Ahns and other O/J katas. Up to the present, at any rate, the TSD orgs seem to place much higher value on the Okinawan/Japanese MA foundations of TSD and the maintenance of its historical roots in traditional kata. Clearly, I'm not speaking for everyone who objects to the depiction of TKD as solely a martial sport. But a lot of those who do, I suspect, admire TSD's maintenance of its Okinawan/Japanese sources.
     
  6. Last Fearner

    Last Fearner 2nd Black Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2006
    Messages:
    712
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    18
    On the contrary, you have not offended me. I understand that you have been told something about Taekwondo that makes sense, and gives an easy reference to explain one difference between many TSD and TKD schools.

    Most of us in Taekwondo have heard statements like this which can be misleading, thus we might be quick to make a correction, but please do not feel as though I am upset with you or offended by your comments. Even in the above quote, the distinction that TSD does not tend to be involved in competitions, but TKD is often involved in the sport aspect, is stated with the misleading comment that "TKD is a sport."

    I appreciate your taking time to clarify the meaning behind your earlier post, and I also wish to clarify that it is this incorrect statement that confuses some people. TKD is not a sport. It is a term used to describe a variety of historical contributions to what we accept as a National Martial Art in Korea. TKD can, and is played with rules as a sport, and that aspect is often referred to as the "National Sport of Korea." However, the term "Taekwondo" has many definitions depending on what is the context and intent of the user of this word, and which era in history to which it is being applied.

    As we basically understand (from what little resources are available) any fighting system which has ever been used in Korea throughout history has likely come from both natural development of a native people protecting themselves, and learned influences from outside sources which may have had successful advances in technical content. I would not say that it came from one source, but most likely began as a native system of defense for those who first migrated into the Chosen peninsula. As it grew and developed over centuries, it most likely received the heaviest influences from Korea's closest neighbor, China.

    Korea's indigenous Martial Art curriculum may not have looked much like the modern curriculum of Karate, Judo, Kung-fu, Tang Su Do, or Taekwondo schools of today, but it was unique enough to draw attention from outsiders. The Hwarang Youth group held the core concepts of what I believe a Martial Art truly is. Combat skills change over time. They are modified and updated as needed, but the deep essence of character building, devotion to core beliefs, protection of one's country, one's self, and others is combined with this unique method of stances, blocks, hand and foot strikes, grappling and throws with an in-depth understanding of the human anatomy that makes it so effective.

    Throughout Korea's history, this training method has been labeled by many names. Some of those names were vague, general terms that described peculiar movements more than the entire art, while other names rose to the top in common usage. Tang Su Do (or commonly "Tang Soo Do") was one of them. At one time in recent history, the naming of Korean Martial Art, and acceptance of common terms among fellow countrymen in Korea became a huge issue, and a National debate.

    When the term "Taekwon-do" was first submitted (allegedly by General Choi, Hong Hi of the Oh Do Kwan and Korean military fame), it was voted upon and agreed to by a select few recognized and established leaders of Martial Art schools in the post WWII era. However, it was more or less forced down the the throats of everyone else, thus many did not accept the term since accepting it also implied consent to be regulated under the authority of the main Taekwondo governing body. Politics became more important than, and obtrusive to the original intent of unifying the various Kwans for the benefit of Korea's National Culture, pride, dignity, lost history, and new found freedoms.

    To that extent, many people today rightfully consider that TSD and TKD were originally the same thing under two different names. To that definition, and focus on that specific point in history, I would agree. However, there was a desire of the founding Kwan leaders and Korean Taekwondo Grandmasters, as well as the Korean government to research and bring back the real heritage of their own ancestors. Those ancestors who fought off invasions from larger, stronger, and more well-organized armies for centuries.

    With that intent the term "Taekwondo" was shifted by the authorities in Korea (both within the Taekwondo community and the government) to mean "all of Korea's historical Martial fighting skills, moral culture, and national unity which persevered from the days of the three kingdoms, through three major dynasties, and kept the Korean people intact through nearly 50 years of oppression, domination, torture, and a military occupation that allowed the Koreans to live, but attempted to wipe out their very identity. It is not the technical content, forms (kata/tul/hyung/poomsae) that identifies Taekwondo, but the existence of a nation that endured because of their fighting spirit, tenacity, honor, and perseverance.

    Therefore, the temporary influence of Japanese Martial Art (Judo, Shotokan, etc) must be recognized for what it is to Taekwondo as a national historical art - - a period in history in which one national culture was force to share a page in the history books with another national culture. Like the curve of an archer's bow - - starting in one place, being warped off to another, then returning to its original path. One can look down from the top of the bow to the bottom, point to this curved direction and say "see the angle over there where the bow comes from?" without noting what is down further, beyond the curve created by the forced strain of the archer's draw.

    Tang Su Do can be compared to Taekwon-do on a level of modern interest and application, where some TKD instructors are "hard-core, old-school, Reality Based" self defense, and others are completely sport, fitness, fun, or baby-sitting for "Karate-Kids." Some schools have a healthy balance of combat and sport, but the main difference between TSD and TKD, is dependant upon each instructor. The process of changes in politics and organizational structure, leadership, etc. is a path from Post WWII until today, that TSD and TKD have traveled separately but in many parallel ways.

    The national term of "Taekwondo," on the other hand, is completely different from TSD, Shotokan, and any other Martial Art, because it is intended to not be limited to defining one system, but incorporating all of the systems of Korean Martial Art in one. It is to say that everything which has been used in Korea's history is the constant, unchanging core of this national art of Taekwondo, and everything that Taekwondoists observe others doing which might influence modifications in our strategy and technical curriculum are peripherals that change over time.

    I hope this explanation gives you yet another perspective from which to draw when discussing the comparisons of TSD and TKD with your students.
    :)

    Respectfully,
    CM D.J. Eisenhart
     
  7. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    13,887
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Hawaii
    There are always going to be schools/organizations that blur the distinction. This is because of the shared history that is pointed about above.

    There are differences though, big differences, when you look at the general patterns.

    The generalization that TKD is more of a sport and TSD is not, holds up under that level of scrutiny. In the big picture, the majority of TSD schools do not have sport focus that TSD does.

    Another big difference is the fact that most TSD schools are still practicing the old shotokan forms. Most TKD schools have cycled through at least one series of new forms.

    And then there are the rules for sparring. In most TKD schools, you see very few hand techniques, the head is not a target for the hands, and the players mostly use their feet. In TSD schools, the head is wide open and the tends to be more mixed.

    Another difference is the focus on kicks. TKD will overwhelmingly use kicks. It will be 90% of what you do in most dojangs. And the variety of kicks will be extensive. TSD has many of these kicks, but they are not the focus of the art. Most TSD schools will spend substantially more time on other things.

    So, how does this all answer the question TKD vs TSD? IMHO, if you want to learn how to use your feet like a boxer uses his/her hands, then a TKD school will probably do that for you. If you would like to be a bit more well rounded, then try TSD.
     
  8. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,669
    Likes Received:
    245
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    We aim for head, neck, groin. And it's not exactly sparring...

    Obviously a certain amount of restraint is needed training this way.

    We train kicks extensively because they're harder than other techs, given balance and coordination issues. But they make up the minority of our techs.

    You have to ask, certainly. But there are TKD dojangs which focus on the complete set of fighting techs, if you're persistent. It's true, though, that a given TKD school picked at random is probably a good deal more likely to be sport-oriented than a similarly chosen TSD dojang.

    Still, the technical content of the two is almost completely congruent. The deciding issue is what kind of training regime the dojang owner determines for the syllabus.
     
  9. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    13,887
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Exile - my comments were meant to be a general observation. I do understand that there are exceptions to the rule.

    I would say mostly likely. In fact, in my city, EVERY TKD dojang teaches Olympic TKD. It's not 9/10, its every single one. For those of you who practice in a dojang different form this, I think you truly are a rare breed...and I'm not being insulting. It's just my observation.

    The technical content has a lot of differences. TSD doesn't have as many kicks and doesn't focus on them to the almost complete exclusion of other techniques. Most TSD has more hand techniques and most TSD has a very basic joint locking and takedown syllabus. Most TSD still practices the old Shotokan forms.

    With that being said, if you were to walk into a TSD and a TKD dojang, IMHO, the chances are is that you would find something a lot more distinct then what is presented above.
     
  10. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    10,669
    Likes Received:
    245
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    We're probably a bit unusual, I'll certainly grant that—very happily!




    We do some of those too—the Pinans (in their Pyung-Ahn guise), Rohai, and a couple of others. And we work on the joint-locks, traps and other controlling moves that are implicit in the hyungs. I can't say we're completely hyung-based in our curriculum, but a lot more so than the usual TKD school.

    I've seen a number of TSD classes and have always been impressed by the attention given to self-defense. My conclusion is that eventually TKD will go the way of judo entirely unless that part of the TKD world which still practices it as a karate-based SD system actually splits off from the Korean über-orgs which have dominated and diluted the art for their own purposes, and reconstitutes itself as a separate instantiation of the original art taught and developed in various forms in the old Kwan system—informed, in addition, by the work of the progressive realistic bunkai group and its TKD wing (Simon O'Neil, Stuart Anslow primarily).

    I just wish I were a few decades younger... it's something I'd have been willing and able to get involved in in a big way...
     
  11. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    41,259
    Likes Received:
    335
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Grand Prairie Texas
    Upnorth you can still teach Olympic style TKD and also have a combat side of TKD as well, but for the most pert you are right 99.8 will and does teach just Olympic style.
     
  12. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Messages:
    13,887
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I would never imply that it couldn't be done and hopefully, in the future, more dojangs would teach both.

    In the end, I think that there is a place for one side or the other or dojangs that cross train.

    It all depends on what you want...

    TSD is a lot harder to generalize then TKD. You pretty much know what to expect when walking into most TKD studios. That IS NOT the case for TSD. The curriculum is very often instructor driven, even within TSD organizations that have some standardization. And this varies by degree. Some can be more instructor driven and some is less, relying more on standardization.

    This kind of makes TSD training a crap shoot. You don't know what to expect until you walk through the door.
     
  13. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Messages:
    41,259
    Likes Received:
    335
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Grand Prairie Texas

    Very well said
     
  14. ewright909

    ewright909 White Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Maryland
    Tang Soo Do focuses a lot more on power. Tae Kwon Do focuses mostly on speed.
    Tae Kwon Do is mostly known as a sport while Tang Soo Do is not.
    Tae Kwon Do uses more narrow and higher stances while Tang Soo Do uses the traditional lower and wider stances.
    Tae Kwon Do uses alot of fast, high kicks, but Tang Soo Do uses kicks, punches and strikes equally.
     
  15. KabutoKouji

    KabutoKouji Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    18
    when saying TKD is a sport or mainly a sport, surely that only applies to WTF?
     
  16. KabutoKouji

    KabutoKouji Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    18
    then again I'm not sure what the ratio of ITF to WTF is in TKD as a whole
     
  17. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,933
    Likes Received:
    2,960
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    That's odd... I've been training TKD since 1969. I've authored two books on Moo Duk Kwan TKD. My Kwanjangnim was a direct student of GM HWANG, Kee. Based on that, I have to say that every single thing you've written here is incorrect, when speaking about TKD as a whole. Some of it may arguably be true when speaking of subsets of TKD, but no more than that.

    Since there's no such thing as WTF TKD, this is a meaningless statement.
    Prior to the Generals death in 2002, the ITF was the second largest TKD organization, behind the Kukkiwon. Given all the splintering that has occurred since his death and the fact that there are at least three different groups all calling themselves the ITF, this is no longer true. The KKW remains the largest single org. I suspect that the USATF (one of the ITF splinter groups based in the US) may well be the second largest at this point, but I am not sure.
     
  18. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2,354
    Likes Received:
    261
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Suffice it to say that this is an opinion held by some. Others like myself consider TSD to be one of the roots of TKD but never once and the same thing. That would be like saying cricket and baseball were once the same, or Rugby and American Football.
     
  19. KabutoKouji

    KabutoKouji Green Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    22
    Trophy Points:
    18
    but there are major differences between WTF and 'Chon Ji' based/ITF TKD aren't there, or do you mean as in WTF is not a form of TKD at all?

    I had left TKD by the time of General Choi Hong Hi's death, I did not realise there was even more splintering after it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  20. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    13,933
    Likes Received:
    2,960
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    I think it's safe to say that TSD is one of the roots of TKD, or that it is the root of one BRANCH of TKD. Certainly not TKD as a whole. I'd that if TKD as a whole has any one 'taproot', it's Shotokan Karate.

    There is no such thing as WTF TKD. The WTF is a sports governing body that oversees the promotion of the sport of TKD as it is used in the Olympics. The WTF sets no training standards. It has no curriculum. It awards no rank. It has no schools. It is not a form of TKD.
    While many people confuse Kukkiwon TKD (Or Kukki TKD) and the WTF, the two are in no way synonymous.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
can u mix tang soo do and shotokan
,
is tae kwon do the same as tang soo do
,
tae kwon do versus tang soo do
,
tae kwon do vs tang soo do
,

taekwondo vs tang soo do

,
takekuando vs tansudo
,
tang soo do versus tae kwon do
,
tang soo do vs
,
tang soo do vs shotokan
,
tang soo do vs tae kwon do
,
tang soo do vs tae kwon do sparring
,

tang soo do vs taekwondo

,
tang soo do vs tea kwon doe
,
tang su do vs