Tell Me About YOUR Tang Soo Do

dancingalone

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This is an open invitation for anyone training in Tang Soo Do to tell us (me) about your particular expression of Tang Soo Do. Do you practice AMERICAN TSD or Soo Bakh Do? What is different about your style? What do you like about it or what would you want others to know about your school?

Feel free to expand the thread into other directions as desired. This is intended to drum up any discussion about TSD in general.
 

kitkatninja

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...Do you practice AMERICAN TSD or Soo Bakh Do? What is different about your style?

The style or branch of TSD that I do is Moo Duk Kwon, not sure how it compares to other styles of TSD as this is the only style of TSD I've done. I can say that compared to the other styles of (Japanese) karate that I've done in the past, TSD (or at least my association) has a more indepth study of the application of forms.

...What do you like about it or what would you want others to know about your school?

The fact that it's not competition driven (some school's I've attended in the past have been) and that it's seems to be easier on my knees (I've got damaged knees).
 
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dancingalone

dancingalone

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The style or branch of TSD that I do is Moo Duk Kwon, not sure how it compares to other styles of TSD as this is the only style of TSD I've done. I can say that compared to the other styles of (Japanese) karate that I've done in the past, TSD (or at least my association) has a more indepth study of the application of forms.

Thanks for replying. Which association is this out of curiosity? I am encouraged to hear this.

Just a general comment of no real importance... all TSD imo would be appropriately called 'Moo Duk Kwan' since MDK was the original school.

The fact that it's not competition driven (some school's I've attended in the past have been) and that it's seems to be easier on my knees (I've got damaged knees).

I hear you! Good teachers tailor the material to the needs of the students. Sounds like you have good fit going.
 

kitkatninja

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Thanks for replying. Which association is this out of curiosity? I am encouraged to hear this...

KTSDA, we have links with WDSDU and SDSDF :)

Just a general comment of no real importance... all TSD imo would be appropriately called 'Moo Duk Kwan' since MDK was the original school...

Got you :)

I hear you! Good teachers tailor the material to the needs of the students. Sounds like you have good fit going.

Yeah, it's the first association that I've felt good at since leaving the first association that I joined (but had to leave due to moving), and I've tried quite a few...
 

JWLuiza

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Just a general comment of no real importance... all TSD imo would be appropriately called 'Moo Duk Kwan' since MDK was the original school.
This is not true. Several kwans used Tang Soo Do as a name of their martial art. Many were integrated into the TKD merger, but there are some out there that still do TSD that is not derived from the MDK. The VAST MAJORITY of TSD can trace back to the MDK though.
 
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dancingalone

dancingalone

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This is not true. Several kwans used Tang Soo Do as a name of their martial art. Many were integrated into the TKD merger, but there are some out there that still do TSD that is not derived from the MDK. The VAST MAJORITY of TSD can trace back to the MDK though.

That's true about other kwan leaders such as Won Kuk Lee using the Tang Soo Do name at one time or another. I wasn't thinking about them though because as you said they are TKD now, not TSD. All those using the TSD name NOW all descend from Hwang Kee or the MDK somehow as far as I know.
 

rainesr

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That's true about other kwan leaders such as Won Kuk Lee using the Tang Soo Do name at one time or another. I wasn't thinking about them though because as you said they are TKD now, not TSD. All those using the TSD name NOW all descend from Hwang Kee or the MDK somehow as far as I know.


We didn't. Though not many there are people out there who trace their primary lineage to guys like Won Kuk Lee but didn't jump on the TKD band wagon and use the TSD name. I had more in common with Shotokan than I did most of the TSD schools/organizations I visited or eventually trained in. I know GM trained in the MDK but he spent the bulk of his time under Won Kuk Lee and favored (completely as far as I know) his curriculum. I guess you could argue that since he had contact with MDK we must be descended from them but I think it might be slightly dishonest to sell what we did as MDK. I was taught who Won Kuk Lee was. I didn't know of Hwang Kee until I heard his name at a tournament.



~Rob
 

JWLuiza

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You can find some nuggets out there that exist. Muwubu here is an example. But yes probably effectively true statement since you basically have to hit the lottery to find non MDK TSD. My home school is close to this example. Kim Ki Whang taught Tang Soo DO, but did not teach in the Moo Duk Kwan style but there was a brief relationship with the Federation. We look more japanese in our approach because we have a large input from GM KKW and little input from the MDK Federation. We have several thousand students. Funny though our website references Hwang Ki as the founder for a simplicity of our history.
 

Makalakumu

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I learned Soo Bahk Do back in the day, but my teacher dropped his school from the Moo Duk Kwan federation so that we could develop the Bunkai for our forms and be more independent. The federation really wasn't helping us and we felt that their standardized material was of particularly low quality. That was in 2000 right before I tested for my black belt. My Tang Soo Do looks like this now...

Pinan Nidan opening sequence

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x4DCzm7NpPo

Pinan Nidan three part turn

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x4DCzm7NpPo

Throws identified in TSD kata

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x4DCzm7NpPo
 

OldKarateGuy

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I'm World Tang Soo Do Association, founded by the late J C Shin. GM Shin came to the U S as Hwang Kee's representative in 1968, and broke away in 1982. So we are MDK/SBD in origin, although I think that WTSDA and MDK have evolved differently over the years. WTSDA looks very shotokan-like, although there are some obvious and system-wide differences, while I think MDK these days is looking more Korean and less Japanese-like, in forms anyway. WTSDA is mid-sized, I'd say, advertising 165,000 students and 500 to 600 studios world-wide. Our biggest student base is in the U S, but we do have a number of foreign schools. At our last every-other-year World Championships, we had about 2,000 competitors, so a good sized tournament. Two years ago, I think in my ring, we had students from Poland, Great Britain, Thailand, South and Central America, and states from all over U S. In the ring I judged in, we had division winners from GB, Denmark, Sweden, Puerto Rico, Honduras and a number of U S states.
GM Shin passed away recently, and the death of the founder and leader is always an opportunity for mischief and change. Hopefully, we'll hang together. At the same time, we are facing some challenges in whether to maintain a more traditional feel, or becoming Americanized (for lack of a better term) in forms and competition. That question is unresolved, and may take years before we really know which way the orgnization is going.
My first style - and maybe still my favorite - is JKA Shotokan, so my school probably looks much more shotokan than the average WTSDA studio. Aside from technique, the WTSDA is a great family organization. Mr Shin was a very personable, values-oriented man, and the Association reflects that.
 

Kframe

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Umm im confused, but your links must be broke. They bring me to youtube but instead of your videos i get a list of a bunch of other peoples videos. Nothing related to what you said your linking to. Maybe its my browser. Not sure whats up.

I learned Soo Bahk Do back in the day, but my teacher dropped his school from the Moo Duk Kwan federation so that we could develop the Bunkai for our forms and be more independent. The federation really wasn't helping us and we felt that their standardized material was of particularly low quality. That was in 2000 right before I tested for my black belt. My Tang Soo Do looks like this now...

Pinan Nidan opening sequence

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x4DCzm7NpPo

Pinan Nidan three part turn

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x4DCzm7NpPo

Throws identified in TSD kata

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x4DCzm7NpPo
 

FrontKick-Jab-Punch

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Gee, thanks for asking! ; )

I like to think I'm really traditional, but I think that's more mindset than technique, because I learned American TSD (which by definition would be less traditional than its pure, korean counterpart). I started taking in the 1980s from one of Chuck Norris' last studios... he literally closed my studio down when he moved to Texas to make "Walker" and I was lost and adrift for a few years - luckily, I already had my black belt by then and so I at least had a firm base and could practice on my own until I found somewhere else to go.

Norris' current system is a modified, hybrid art that still uses TSD as its base but incorporates lots of stuff from other systems, most notably grappling (he calls his system "Chun Kuk Do" (literally, "Chuck's Way"... kidding). I'm a member of his organization (The United Fighting Arts Federation) and practice the additional forms that entails (e.g.,
... start at 0:30 to avoid half a minute of robotic walking up to judges and yelling the name of the form), but I stick mainly, when I teach, to the original TSD I learned as a kid before CN added and remixed stuff.

The differences I see between my art and other American Tang Soo Do are minimal. Instructors often feel the need to put their personal stamp on traditional forms, or reinterpret them in a new way that suits them best (e.g., do you take a "cheat" step in pyong-an sahm dan prior to the first inside crescent kick or do you do it from the standing position, with both feet together?). Meh, it makes little difference, although my tendency is to want to stick with what was originally done - at least with forms. I can see that fighting has modified a lot over the years and we've learned new things and need to incorporate new strategies and methods - but forms are our last link to old traditions, and I feel as though they at least ought to remain unchanged.

Mostly, I just miss the days when black belts looked like black belts because instructors weren't afraid to fail their students. I understand that this is a lot of people's livelihood, but it just kills me when I see a "black belt" at a studio that looks like they ought to be maybe a blue belt at best. Luckily for me, I teach at a University (i.e., a college) and - since the school has already gotten all the tuition they want from my kids - I can fail 'em all I want to and make sure I'm creating real quality martial artists without worrying about my income. It's a luxury, I understand. But I also think it's really a necessity, lest a) our art become more and more watered-down by embarrassing "black belts" and b) our students grow a false sense of security regarding their own abilities to defend themselves if needed.

Off that horse. I think I think I've answered your question and probably then some, eh? ; ) Nice meeting you!

FKJP
 
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SahBumNimRush

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Wow, I must have been absent when you originally started this thread, but since it's being revisited, I'll throw my take into the mix.

My KJN refers to our art as Moo Duk Kwan Taekwondo, however, we practice all of the old Tang Soo Do forms, one steps, etc.. . We do not practice the Chil Sung, Yuk Ro, Hwa Sun form sets that came about much later.

My KJN's name can be found in the Moo Duk Kwan family tree that is in Kang Uk LEE's book, "Tang Soo Do, The Ultimate Guide to the Korean Martial Art" right beside his childhood best friend; GM Kyongwon AHN, and GM Ki Whang KIM.

I like MDK TSD/TKD, in that I feel there is a deep rooted history in the arts techniques through our hyung. The forms are of Japanese/Okinawan descent, so I can delve deeper into my own art through studying the parent arts. I know that modern TKD's forms were created without applications in mind, so that would limit the use of modern Poomse.

I like the totality of my art. Albeit a dominant kicking/striking art, we practice locks, throws, and chokes, as well as kneeling, sitting, and ground fighting as well as standing sparring.

Plus it was the only martial art in my hometown back in the 80's, so I didn't have a choice, it was MDK TKD or nothing at all. I was just fortunate enough to be blessed with a very traditional teacher with his own traditional association of branch schools.

Since, FKJP brought up his background, I will throw this out there too.. . One of CN's top students was an ex student of my KJN; Danny Lane. For those of you who read TKD Times back in the day, there was quite a stink over it. Danny had a falling out with my KJN over money (Danny wanted a larger cut from his students of his branch school), and left to go with CN. He published a disparaging article in TKD Times about my KJN, which brought a quick retort from my KJN and a retraction from DL and an apology from CN. I'm not sure what Danny or Chuck is up to these days or what the status of their relationship is.
 

OldKarateGuy

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@ dancingalone -

Turnabout is fair play. Are you a TSD practitioner? What branch are you in, your lineage? I see Goju in your profile. Which line of Goju, if you don't mind my asking? How does Goju, particularly the stances, compare with TSD?
Thanks.
 
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dancingalone

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@ dancingalone -

Turnabout is fair play. Are you a TSD practitioner? What branch are you in, your lineage? I see Goju in your profile. Which line of Goju, if you don't mind my asking? How does Goju, particularly the stances, compare with TSD?
Thanks.

No, I am not currently a TSD stylist, but I am a friend of the art. I did study for a time with CS Kim Kwan Jang Nim decades ago so I am not unfamiliar with his version of the system. I have many friends within TSD and from time to time I do take my students to friendship tournaments run by TSD people. Really I keep a foot in a bunch of different camps as I also have dans in aikido and taekwondo and I operate a TKD dojang for my living.

My Goju-ryu is Jundokan with some additional Shoreikan sets added in. My sensei was a student of Miyazato Sensei and he knew and respected Toguchi Sensei too.

I don't think I could really compare Goju with TSD meaningfully. They are quite dissimilar in my perspective though certainly I think both are great arts in their own right.
 

DennisBreene

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When I started training at 16, the only martial art was the new "Karate" studio in town. The master instructor was a 5th Dan Hawiian who had a 2nd Dan in Kajukempo from Master Emperado and subsequently started training in Moo Duk Kwan while stationed in Korea under Hwang Kee. At the time, the liason between Moo Duk Kwan associations in the US with Korea was Kim Ki Hwang from Maryland. We practiced the forms essentially as can be found in Hwang Kee's books. Stances for forms were low, kicks were high and one step sparing had a distinct free form approach after the initial counter (affectionately called "if you want tos") based primarily on the evolving targets of opportunity. It probably looked more like Shotokan with high kicks than the modern Tae Kwon Do. Our now Grand Master freely admitted that there were times when he could not be certain where the Tang Soo Do left off and KajuKempo began with regards to sparing and self defense; over the many years his style had blended in these areas. I feel fortunate that my training was essentially 2 generations from three great Masters and the founders of two major schools (Hwang Kee and Emperado). It does however mean that I am now old.
 

SahBumNimRush

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When I started training at 16, the only martial art was the new "Karate" studio in town. The master instructor was a 5th Dan Hawiian who had a 2nd Dan in Kajukempo from Master Emperado and subsequently started training in Moo Duk Kwan while stationed in Korea under Hwang Kee. At the time, the liason between Moo Duk Kwan associations in the US with Korea was Kim Ki Hwang from Maryland. We practiced the forms essentially as can be found in Hwang Kee's books. Stances for forms were low, kicks were high and one step sparing had a distinct free form approach after the initial counter (affectionately called "if you want tos") based primarily on the evolving targets of opportunity. It probably looked more like Shotokan with high kicks than the modern Tae Kwon Do. Our now Grand Master freely admitted that there were times when he could not be certain where the Tang Soo Do left off and KajuKempo began with regards to sparing and self defense; over the many years his style had blended in these areas. I feel fortunate that my training was essentially 2 generations from three great Masters and the founders of two major schools (Hwang Kee and Emperado). It does however mean that I am now old.

I am guessing that you are referring to Master James Roberts Jr. I remember seeing GM Ki Whang KIM at all the tournaments back in the 80's, he was a very respected and respectful gentleman. I still see GM Roberts at a few tournaments here and there, although I have not had the opportunity to have much interaction with him. Master John Critzos frequented my KJN's tournament for decades, and still bring his Naval Cadets to compete. I am sure you are proud of your heritage, as your KJN produced some of the biggest names in early American TKD/TSD competition. Mitchel Bobrow, Mike Warren, Albert Cheeks, John Critzos.. .

There used to be (maybe still is) a gentleman on here, who also trains at one of GM KIM's schools, possibly Albert Cheeks school? KingHercules. I believe his name is Hercules Manago-Baxter, are you familiar with him?
 

DennisBreene

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I am guessing that you are referring to Master James Roberts Jr. I remember seeing GM Ki Whang KIM at all the tournaments back in the 80's, he was a very respected and respectful gentleman. I still see GM Roberts at a few tournaments here and there, although I have not had the opportunity to have much interaction with him. Master John Critzos frequented my KJN's tournament for decades, and still bring his Naval Cadets to compete. I am sure you are proud of your heritage, as your KJN produced some of the biggest names in early American TKD/TSD competition. Mitchel Bobrow, Mike Warren, Albert Cheeks, John Critzos.. .

There used to be (maybe still is) a gentleman on here, who also trains at one of GM KIM's schools, possibly Albert Cheeks school? KingHercules. I believe his name is Hercules Manago-Baxter, are you familiar with him?
I'm familiar with GM Cheeks but not with Hercules Manago-Baxter. Unfortunately, I let the martial arts slide when medical school and my subsequent career became more demanding. One of the many mistakes someone my age has to admit to. I train with GM Roberts Jr. when I get back to the east coast now but I was trained by his father GM Roberts Sr. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have happened on GM Roberts new school opening (and demonstration) the day after watching karate on Wide World of Sports. Ultimately my entire family joined the school (7 of us) and 6 achieved Dan ranking (my mother is 4th Dan and we still don't mess with her at 82).
 

SahBumNimRush

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That's the great thing about martial arts! My dad and I started in '85, my mom and little brother joined 6 months later, and my little sister was born into the arts.. . All of us are Dan ranked. My father is a 6th dan, and my mom and I are both 5th dans.

Thank you for sharing, I was unaware that Master Roberts was primarily trained in Kajukenbo, although it makes sense with him being from Hawaii.
 
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