When is Tang Soo Do no longer Tang Soo Do?

zDom

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I remember not long after my friend, Tim Wall, joined up with the U.S. Chung Do Kwan , GM Ed Sell asked him,

"Why do you guys wear Tang Soo Do uniforms?"

:)
 
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How is GM Sell doing?

The last time we were together was at the EFC convention in Ft. Lauderdale in 1989 or 1990.

Are you still a member of his association?

Do you train in Ann Arbor with the Hefner's?

I was in their school last April. I had gone with my girlfriend to Ann Arbor for dinner. After dinner we went for a long walk around town and found the school. We had a good conversation with one of the Hefner's (I don't recall his first name).

We were watching the class (along with twenty or thirty other spectatators. He walked up to me from out of left field, greeted me and than asked; so where do you teach? I found that pretty impressive. there must have been at least 50 students training on the floor. He looked at me from across the room and was able to determine that I was an instructor...
 

zDom

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(response via private message so as not to highjack)
 

VNoble21532

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I am doing my best to try to understand what was in Grandmaster Hwang Kee's head when he set all of this in motion. I think that those principles are TSD in a pure form. The forms have great significance, and we must all realize that there are Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, Korean, and now American influences. We can never agree as long as we choose to argue about this stuff.
I'm not real smart, and neither do I have any answers to this TSD question. I do feel that we should take a step backwards towards the beginnings when we were more together and the feeling of TSD was fresh. I liked it when we referred to each other as blue belts. We WERE fresh.

V. Noble

TANG SOO!!
 
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What KJN Hwang Kee passed down to us in TSD was the shell of the system originally taught in Okinawa...

This is an old conversation that has often times upset many who have ONLY trained in TSD and never cross trained in any systems that came before TSD.

Hwang Kee trained under Lee Won Cook after Master Lee returned from Japan. While in Japan, Master Lee, along with General Choi Hong Hi and other Korean practitioners trained in Shotokan under Funakoshi, Gichen. They earned their Nidan (2nd degree black belt) ranking prior to returning to Korea.

Master Lee founded the Chung Do Kwan. He was teaching Shotokan as he had learned it from Funakoshi, but called it Chung Do Kwan.

Funakoshi was a student to Anko Itosu, one of Okinawa's most prominent instructors, and the creator of Pinan/Pyong Ahn series, as well as Bassai-Sho and Naihanchi Nidan and Sandan.

Funakoshi had never learned the Bunkai for the kata. He was not interested in the Bunkai. His intention was to teach a system that would promote good health and character. He was firmly against fighting.

Funakoshi's senior student was Shiguro Egami. Egami authored the book "Karate-Do Beyond Technique". In this book Egami wrote; the master (referring to Funakoshi) never taught us Bunkai, as he had himself, not learned it from Itosu prior to coming to Japan.

This is an important piece of the puzzle that you are trying to put together. If you follow the lineage of our system, and when I say; "our susyem", I am referring to all of the instructors in the line dating back to those who created the forms/Hyung/Kata that were incorporated by Hwang Kee in his original curriculum, the Bunkai was cut off with Funakoshi. Lee could not teach it to Hwang Kee because he couldn't learn it from Funakoshi. Hwang Kee couldn't teach it to usm as he never learned it from Master Lee.

If you want to learn the Bunkai you must find those who train in the older systems from Okinawa that have passed it down in their lineage. That is what I have been doing for the past 39 years.

Contact me if you are interested in discussing this further...
 

Dana

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Jay wrote: "Hwang Kee trained under Lee Won Cook after Master Lee returned from Japan. While in Japan, Master Lee, along with General Choi Hong Hi and other Korean practitioners trained in Shotokan under Funakoshi, Gichen. They earned their Nidan (2nd degree black belt) ranking prior to returning to Korea."

You know, I could certainly be wrong, but there is some unsubstantiated information in this quote. First, where is is documented that GM Hwang studied at the TSD CDK? I know that one CDK practitioner (GU) stated this after his "Interview" with Lee, Won Kuk, but I've never seen this anywhere else. I'd love to know if this is corroborated elsewhere.

Also, the only person who said General Choi trained SDK with Funakoshi was General Choi, who conveniently "lost" his supposed 2nd dan certificate so no one ever saw it. Again, I'd love to know if this was corroborated anywhere.

Now, I'll concede the major point of lineage!!! :)

Dana
 

chrispillertkd

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Also, the only person who said General Choi trained SDK with Funakoshi was General Choi, who conveniently "lost" his supposed 2nd dan certificate so no one ever saw it. Again, I'd love to know if this was corroborated anywhere.

Actually, Gen. Choi said that he learned karate while in Japan from a fellow Korean while living in Kyoto. He did say that he had occasion to train at the Shotokan, and I have seen a picture of him there. But he never claimed to be a student of Funakoshi's as far as I know.

Pax,

Chris
 

Victor Smith

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Tang Soo Do is just another name for martial arts. If you think specifically in terms of "what is tang soo do and what isnt" than you will always be limited. If you let go of this idea you find that Tang Doo Do is everything, not just martial arts. It is a way of being.
 

Rumy73

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Actually JT, I think that most organizations regardless of art strive for standardization for their member schools.

My point was that as an art, TSD seems to have more room for differences and that it may have been GM Hwang Kee's intent that it should be that way.

Miles


My understanding is that GM Hwang Kee actually wanted a unified approach. This was one of the impetus behind the founding of Soo Bahk Do.
 

puunui

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You know, I could certainly be wrong, but there is some unsubstantiated information in this quote. First, where is is documented that GM Hwang studied at the TSD CDK? I know that one CDK practitioner (GU) stated this after his "Interview" with Lee, Won Kuk, but I've never seen this anywhere else. I'd love to know if this is corroborated elsewhere.


Is this Vallaincourt? You can find a reference to it also in General Choi's autobiography if you don't want to believe me.
 

kbarrett

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Tang Soo Do has been and always will be Tang Soo Do, it may change over time and place, and will differ from association to association, and with more schools take little kid it may not be the same as it once was, but no the less it's still Tang Soo Do. I think Master Jay S. Penfil say's it the best, read what he wrote and your answer will be right in front of our faces.

Ken Barrett
 

Black/Red Block

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I loved Tang Soo Do when I used to train in it. I was "pushed out" when my Instructor advised me I should take up an "Black Belt Instructor's Course" for a special price of "瞿10,000.00" He started to introduce this programme and that programme, Direct Debits etc. Increased the grading fees soooooo much it was embarrassingly expensive

He became a McDojo, A belt factory, A Pyramid selling system where the product was Martial Arts. He was looking at the money removing the Ethics of Tang Soo from the style. I can't forgive him for this.

So in answer to your question "When is Tang Soo Do no longer Tang Soo Do?"

Its when the Instructor(s) see it as a money cow and lower the standards etc. and look at what's in it for them not what can they give to the art!
 

DennisBreene

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Hwang Kee actually described aspects of Tang Soo Do as water flowing downhill (I paraphrase). The water forms rivulets and flows around obstructions, converging and diverging in its path. Master Hwang expected those that followed him to adapt to changing needs and encouraged it.
Dennis
Actually JT, I think that most organizations regardless of art strive for standardization for their member schools.

My point was that as an art, TSD seems to have more room for differences and that it may have been GM Hwang Kee's intent that it should be that way.

Miles
 

DennisBreene

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I've always wondered why schools insisted on numbering their one-step-sparring and self defense techniques. We were not taught that way and I don't have the disconnect of remembering technique #3 before employing it. The technique flows from the attack and the defense flows as the attacker flows. Simple and straight forward as you master a technique. And I agree that less is usually more. That is the Tang Soo Do I learned. Much repetition of graduating difficulty. You didn't test until Master Roberts told you to test and he did not tell you to test until you were ready.
Dennis
JT,
With respect to the Chil Sung and Yuk Ro series, they are considered Soo Bahk Do, not Tang Soo Do.

I learned the first four hyung while I was in the Federation. When we left the Federation I discontinued teaching them, and I have not spent time learning the last three or any of the Yuk Ro Hyung. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want too, or that I won’t. I just feel that with all that I have at this time to work with,

The important thing for me, that I see lacking in most associations is the depth of understanding that one should strive to develop. Too many practitioners learn the rudimentary movements, and never get any further. They want to learn more, so they add another hyung to their curriculum. They memorize a new pattern of movements and THINK that they have grown… MORE is not always better.

I knew a guy a couple of years ago that taught Kuk Sul Won. He was a Som-Dan. He invited me and some other instructors to a testing and demonstration that was held here in my area. The grandmaster came in from Texas. We went, we saw, and we left extremely disappointed. The testing requirements for each rank were some vast in number of techniques, that none of the students had the time to truly understand any of them. They were able to grunt through the testing with the bare minimum of ability one could imagine… everyone passed.

He invited us down to his school to do some training with us. My training partner, Sifu Bruce Silver (Classical Wing Chun) was there. The instructor asked Bruce to spar. Bruce tried to decline in order to spare him the embarrassment of being beaten on his own floor in front of his students. He insisted, and Bruce beat him from one side of the room to the other several times. At the end, he was on the floor crying like a baby, in front of his entire student base. He stated that he was training for 16 years, and new over a thousand techniques. How could you beat me so badly? Bruce explained to him that he would have been much better off learning a dozen techniques properly, and how to apply them than simply memorizing a thousand techniques that he couldn’t use to save is life.

In this case, less is more (better)

If I take the time to learn a new hyung, and it doesn’t really have anything new to teach me; just another combination of the same techniques over and over again, what am I really learning?

There was a time when those who trained with the hyung that we use only learned between one and maybe five hyung in their whole life. These practitioners were not competing in tournaments with the knowledge that they gained from their training, they were going out in the world and using it to save their lives or the lives of their loved ones. They could not afford to have, simply a superficial understanding of the techniques comprised in their hyung. They had to have such a deep understanding, and ability to put them into action that, if they missed, it meant loss of life…

Think of it this way; would you rather:
A) Poses the ability to defend yourself and your loved ones against anything that attacks you,
B) or fill your head with so much material that when that point in time comes (G-d-forbid) that you MUST have the necessary skill level to survive the attack or die, you are too confused by the volume of moves to choose from, and the necessary muscle memory was never instilled in you?

A or B??? You choose…


I have to start class now.


Yours in Tang Soo Do,


Master Jay S. Penfil


TANG SOO!!!
 
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ShotoNoob

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Funakoshi was a student to Anko Itosu, one of Okinawa's most prominent instructors, and the creator of Pinan/Pyong Ahn series, as well as Bassai-Sho and Naihanchi Nidan and Sandan.

Funakoshi had never learned the Bunkai for the kata. He was not interested in the Bunkai. His intention was to teach a system that would promote good health and character. He was firmly against fighting.

Funakoshi's senior student was Shiguro Egami. Egami authored the book "Karate-Do Beyond Technique". In this book Egami wrote; the master (referring to Funakoshi) never taught us Bunkai, as he had himself, not learned it from Itosu prior to coming to Japan.

This is an important piece of the puzzle that you are trying to put together. If you follow the lineage of our system, and when I say; "our susyem", I am referring to all of the instructors in the line dating back to those who created the forms/Hyung/Kata that were incorporated by Hwang Kee in his original curriculum, the Bunkai was cut off with Funakoshi. Lee could not teach it to Hwang Kee because he couldn't learn it from Funakoshi. Hwang Kee couldn't teach it to usm as he never learned it from Master Lee.

If you want to learn the Bunkai you must find those who train in the older systems from Okinawa that have passed it down in their lineage. That is what I have been doing for the past 39 years....Contact me if you are interested in discussing this further...
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Why I consider the Korean TKD & TSD under the umbrella of traditional karate.... This Master has done some research, in more detail than I was aware of....
 

Laplace_demon

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Allow me to play devil's advocate with some of those that have responded. How many of you would consider Tae Kwon Do to be Tang Soo Do?
.

I would in the case of ITF. The isolated techniques are largely the same, patterns are not.
 

ShotoNoob

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THIS TIES TO MY POSTS AT THE "SHOTOKAN FOR SELF DEFENSE" THREAD.
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WHAT IS THE 'ESSENCE" OF TRADITIONAL KARATE
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I questioned K-MAN about the "essence" of traditional karate. The essence of traditional karate to me, is a conceptual definition first. The essence of traditional karate is not about lineages, structure and lists of physical techniques. Inclusion and divergences among kata, hyung, poomse, forms, etc. various karate styles, Okinawan goju ryu v.s japanese goju kai, etc.
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Using the global question put forth in this thread, here is how I would lay the foundation for defining Tang Soo Do. By it's essence.
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Agreed ShotoNoob, it's interesting to think about the origins. Without a doubt Hwang Kee was influenced by dojo precepts (a.k.a. dojo kun or dojang hun) used in Japan and Okinawa by all the famous Japanese style founders such as Mabuni, Miyagi, Toyama and Funakoshi....

Don't confuse the 10 Articles of Faith on Mental Training with the 8 Key Concepts.

There is also Hwang Kee's 5 Moo Do Values (Moo Do for the Japanese stylists is Bu Do - Martial Way).

5 Moo Do Values:
1. Lyok Sa (History)
2. Jong Tong (Tradition)
3. Ki Kahng and Chan Kyong (Discipline and Respect)
4. Chul Hak (Philosophy)
5. Ki Sool (Technique)

Again, for reference the 8 key concepts are:
1. Yong Gi (Courage)
2. Chung Shin Tong Il (Concentration)
3. In Neh (Endurance)
4. Chung Jik (Honesty)
5. Kyum Son (Humility)
6. Him Cho Chung (Control of Power)
7. Shin Chook (Tension and Relaxation)
8. Wan Gup (Speed Control)

I'm currently researching these origins. I put it on my back burner but this thread is useful! If you have any insights share away :)
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For brevity, I limited my take on "essence" to the 5 Values and 8 Key Concepts. These to me, define the training exercises, all the physical form should be based & built on these.
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The problem comes in that these are generalizations, and deal with intangible mental skills which can only be inferred through the physical actions. The benefit to these is that we see that physical form of the martial techniques is based on a subject these principles. The physical form is secondary to intangible qualities of the human being.
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BTW: Notice that "Technique" is only 1 of 5 Core Values. This is why I took up a simpler form of traditional karate.
 
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Oldbear343

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(1) Not I. For the most part, they practice different hyung, have different stances, and even wear different uniforms.

Then there's tournament TKD, which is even less like traditional TSD in that it's become no longer a martial art but a sport. I don't train in TSD to be able to win a tournament fight. I don't train to become the best. I train to improve myself (one word) and improve my self (two words). Sure there's the self-defense part, but the philosophy is of improving the self as opposed to destroying the enemy. It's Mr. Miyagi vs. the Kobra Kai.

Granted, there are some more traditional schools that blur the line, but even so, TKD and TSD are two distinct arts.

(2) Same goes for karate and TSD, though with the addition of different striking principles. In karate, kicks are low, used minimally for strikes to the knee, foot, leg, what have you. In TSD, foot techniques are just as important as hand techniques. The philosophies have diverged enough that I see TSD and karate as two similar, but distinct, martial arts.

(3) Not familiar enough with the concept of Ryu Pa to make a judgment call there. I personally don't think so, since TSD also incorporates a few things from Chinese martial arts, as well as, by necessity, whatever forms of KMA were around at the time, which would have influenced the founders of modern TSD.
This is a little over generalised IMHO - there are many ryu's/flavours of karate, and although some, like goju, use many low kicks, many others emphasise high kicks....
 

TSDTexan

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Greetings to everyone

Patrick,
This is a question that so many are asking, but to understand the true answer, all one has to do is read KJN Hwang Kees book; TANG SOO DO-SOO BAHK DO.


Lets all open our books to page5 at move to the bottom right side of the page and read:
1. Tang Soo Do (weaponless fighting) began with the first human on earth.
2.
Regardless of when and where, combat ultimately originated with Tang Soo Do.
3.
Tang Soo Do is the ultimate art because weapons are temporary instruments at any time and place.

(turn to page 6)
4. Tang Soo Do itself has no rules and regulations, and is free. It is infinite in technique
5.
Tang Soo Do is the instinctive martial art of the human, which is the ability to use the body like a weapon.
6.
Tang Soo Do is an art eternally inseparable from the human body


Located just below these statements on page 6, and one picture on page 7 we see three pictures that depict different ideas of what KJN Hwang Kee viewed as examples of Tang Soo Do.

Picture #1. What appears to be a Neanderthal Man defending himself against a leopard. (The caption states: Illustration of ancient wild animals fighting)
Picture #2. What might be two Chinese warriors on horseback. One holding a spear, the other is holding what is known as a Kwon-Dao. (The caption states: Illustration of ancient fighting techniques)
Picture #3. This is a picture of a Sherman Tank (Caption states: Illustration of modern fight techniques)


To sum up what I get out of this, and what I got from brief conversations with KJN Hwang Kee back in 1984, it was he belief that tang Soo Do began with the first conscious action of the first human being that raised his or her hand in defense against man or beast.

Hwang Kee did not create any of the hyung that were originally used to incorporate Tang Soo Do as his system. They all, without exception, came from Okinawan Karate. He learned them from other Korean instructors who traveled to Japan during the Japanese Occupation of Korea and earned their knowledge and rank from Funakoshi (Founder of Shotokan).

Lets now move to page #8:
Chapter II
Tang Soo Do
Culture and History:

This page starts with:

It is regrettable that it is necessary to mention that some leaders in the martial arts invented the origin of their art, which is not proper or reasonable , neither for their own honor nor as an introduction for their students.

This is a key statement, as KJN Hwang Kee is clearly admitting here that what he taught came from other sources and was assembled by him and given his own flavor.

KJN Hwang Kee brought in his own unique characteristics to make the system his own. If I choose to bring back the principles and concepts taught in the generations of systems that pre-date Tang Soo Do (as KJN Hwang Kee taught it) would what I teach still be considered (by KJN Hwang Kee) TANG SOO DO???

If we read what KJN Hwang Kee wrote, and respect his open minded way of perceiving what HE considered to be TANG SOO DO, what I teach has to be TANG SOO DO.


If I train with senior ranking masters and grandmasters from many systems (that all use the same hyung/kata), learn all of their principles and concepts and determine that there are some that work far better than others and choose to teach those principles and concepts in my school, I see that as being true, and responsible to myself and to my students.

If I find through the course of my journey that there is a better way to execute a technique, or a way that works better is certain situations, and I choose to ignore it and just keep on doing what has been passed down to me by my seniors because I am told too, I see that as being false to myself, and more importantly to those who trust in me to deliver the very best material that I know exists!!!

Integrity is something that we all talk about, but, in this world, few truly follow through with. I bring integrity to the table EVERY DAY, to EVERY CLASS, to EVERY STUDENT

If anyone thinks that what I teach is not TANG SOO DO, walk into my dojang and prove me wrong

Here is the final piece to the answer for the question that you have asked:

Tang Soo Do is no longer Tang Soo Do when you choose to lie down and die without putting up a fight.
Never retreat in battle!!!

If you raise you hands in defense against man or beast, you are performing TANG SOO DO

I dont care if you learned the technique from Hwang Kee, Tatsuo Shimabuku, Gichen Funakoshi, Mohammad Ali, or the street fighter down the block!!!

KJN Hwang Kee said it as clearly as I need it to be said. He stated, in his mind, that he:
1.
doesnt know who was the first Tang Soo Do practitioner,
2.
what country he/she was born in,
3.
who he/she was defending against,
4.
why he/she was being attacked,
5.
if he/she chose to use a stick or a rock as defensive tools,
6.
and so on


Its all TANG SOO DO. The questions to ask are:
1.
Who do you choose to follow, and for how long?
2.
At what point in your training have you learned enough to move to the next step and bring together all that you know and devise your own way?
3.
If you do devise your own way, should your instructor feel insulted, and kick you out for doing things differently that he does them?
4.
Should such decisions end long standing relationships?


So many questions, so little time

Do you catch my drift???



Yours in TANG SOO DO,


Master Jay S. Penfil


TANG SOO!!!


Thank you for saying this.
 
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