A brief history of Tang Soo Do
Tang Soo Do is the Korean pronounciation of the Chinese Tang Shou Dao, which literally translated
means "China Hand Way".
Tang Soo Do is a traditional Korean martial art which teaches self-defence, fighting and weapons.
Tang Soo Do was introduced to the United Kingdom by Master Kang Uk Lee who, in 1974, was invited to organise the United Kingdom Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Federation. In 1989, Grand Master Lee founded the International (UK) Tang Soo (Soo Bahk) Do Federation (ITSDF). Tang Soo Do classes are available throughout the United Kingdom and the world and is proving to be a highly successful and ever growing martial art.
Tang Soo Do teaches mental and physical training which involves the application of co-ordinated agility, dynamic mobility, power, whole body endurance, flexibility and special awareness to complex body movements. These include stances, patterns (forms), breathing exercises, self defence, hand and foot techniques, sparring and free fighting.
Tang Soo Do is suitable for both sexes from the age of five upwards and provides a firm basis for personal advancement, fitness and health. Tang Soo Do follows the traditional path of self control by instilling self discipline and social responsibility in its members.
In today’s modern world, more and more people are learning self-defence. Tang Soo Do is a very effective method of self-defence. But there are many other reasons why men, women and children have taken up Tang Soo Do training. Our martial art provides skills such as self-confidence, self-discipline, physical fitness, flexibility, co-ordination and respect.
The London Blackbelt Acadamy (LBBA) and Master Kieran Mackey (5th Dan) is dedicated to the provision of high quality Korean Martial Art education and training. The club aims to strengthen its contribution to the international provision of higher Tang Soo Do education/training and to develop further its national and international reputation.
The club atteneds both national and international compertitions throughout the year.
The very first evidence of this ancient form of Korean martial arts appeared during the Three Kingdom era (57 8C-935 AD) as Hwa Rang Do. Since then, 2,000 years have passed. The indigenous martial arts quietly developed through generations of the Korean people. During some eras it flourished and other times it diminished, according to the political, economic or cultural environment. The art was known by various names throughout the eras, such as Hwa-Rang Do, Kyuck Too Ki, Moo Sul, Soo Bahk Ki, Soo Byuck Ki, and others.
Following 1945 Korean independence, the Korean martial arts were again merged and flourished throughout the entire Korean Peninsula.
Many organisations were founded with various names such as Soo Bahk Do, Tang Soo Do, Tae Soo Do, etc... At the beginning of the modern era of the Korean martial arts, Tang Soo Do was the most popular term for these arts, however, at that time, the Korean political leader was concerned about establishing Korean value based on Korean nationalism. The political leaders recognised the popularity of Korean martial ads around the world, but were opposed to the use of the name Tang Soo Do for the art, as it sounded like a Chinese martial art, because the first word ''Tang'' could be interpreted as representing the Chinese Tang Dynasty (617-907 AD).
In 1964, a government sponsored small group created a new name for the Korean martial arts: Tae Kwon Do. We still respect the original term, Tang Soo Do, and intend to preserve its heritage and value as a traditional way or path. Unfortunately, many Tae Kwon Do instructors did not maintain the traditional values of the true martial ads. Instead, they converted to a sport as they have progressed to the internationally recognised sports arenas such as the Olympic games. This was considered to be a great political achievement, to bring strength and prominence to the Korean government in International politics. True Martial Arts lovers had no place within these Tae Kwon Do dopants (Training Halls) to continue to pursue traditional martial arts because they abandoned many valuable aspects of true Martial Arts to become a simple competitive sport.
We, as Tang Soo Do practitioners are striving to maintain traditional values of respect, dicipline, self control, self improvement, etiquette and ultimately live a healthy and harmonious life, physically and mentally.
How it all started
Philosophy of the Belt System
Our Tang Soo Do belt system in its progress from white to black represents the cycle of the seasons. Each colour stands for a specific stage of achievement. In this way, we realise an essential concept of Oriental philosophy, i.e., that which is born must grow, reach maturity, die, and leave behind the seeds of a new birth.
Beginners belt colour. White represents a primitive stage of achievement. Thus, the seed as it lies dormant beneath the snows of winter.
Orange represents new growth which appears in spring. Our Tang Soo Do knowledge begins to reveal itself.
Green represents the speedy development of youth as summer arrives,
Brown represents power, stability, agility, weight and wisdom.
This is a stabilising stage, both mentally and physically, analogous to the plants which curtail their growth and prepare to flower in late summer.
Red represents blood, life, energy, attention and control. The student's power and techniques begin to bloom and ripen.
Dark blue represents maturity, respect, honour. Our dark blue belt is given to the Cho Dan Bo or black belt candidate. He must now prepare mind and body to attain black belt.
Black represents mastery, calmness, dignity, sincerity. Black belt is the final stage of one life cycle and the beginning of the next. Thus, we see that it is not only the end of one stage but, more importantly, the beginning of a path which leads up through the ranks of the higher black belts to true mastery.