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What is Tang Soo Do?

Tang Soo Do is a karate-based Korean martial art incorporating fighting principles from subak (as described in the Kwon Bup Chong Do), as well as northern Chinese martial arts.

The techniques of what is commonly known as

Tang Soo Do combine elements of shotokan karate, subak, taekkyon, and kung fu.

It includes stances, patterns of moves (hyungs/forms), self defence, hand and foot techniques, sparring and free fighting.

Tang Soo Do follows to the traditional path of

self-control by teaching self-discipline and social responsibility to its members.

Family Martial Arts practices Tang Soo Do in over 23 centre across the north-west of England

A Brief History of Tang Soo Do

Tang Soo Do is a Korean martial art whose roots date back some 2,000 years and is based upon techniques adopted from Chinese warriors of the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD). These techniques were then merged with native Korean fighting arts, such as Soo Bahk Ki and Tae Kyun to form Tang Soo Do. Tang Soo Do literally means ‘China Hand Way’.

The study of martial arts of Korea was halted during the Japanese occupation (1907 - 1945) as Korean culture was suppressed. After World War 2, several Korean martial arts school (Kwans) emerged, including Moo Duk Kwan, headed by Grandmaster Hwang Kee. In 1961, various schools merged to the Korean Taekwondo Association; however, Jang Rip Ja Nim (Founder) Hwang Kee’s Moo Duk Kwan school did not unify and stayed independent.


Tang Soo Do Moo Do Kwan (as it is now referred to) is two different entities complimenting each other - the art of Tang Soo Do and the style (or school) of Moo Do Kwan - but Grandmaster Hwang Kee developed both.

Many things influenced Grandmaster Hwang Kee as he developed Tang Soo Do Moo Do Kwan, including:

  • At the age of 7, watching an old man defend himself against 7 or 8 younger men who attacked him at a festival. Grandmaster Hwang Kee watched this man for many years and learnt much about Tae Kyun

  • Studying a range of martial arts, becoming recognised as a ‘master’ at the age of 22.

  • Studying in china in the 1930s under Master Yang Kuk Jin, learning from Master Yang’s concern for humility and the improvement of the human character. This formed the basis of the Moo Duk Kwan in 1945

  • Translating the ancient book of ‘Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Ji’, bringing the ancient Korean martial art of Soo Bahk Ki back to life


Tang Soo Do spread to the USA in the 1970s and to the UK in the 1980s. Many organisations that teach Tang Soo Do can trace their lineage directly back to the original Moo Duk Kwan and Grandmaster Hwang Kee. Grandmaster Hwang Kee personally promoted Mr Salter to Master in 2000, assuring us that Family Martial Arts Centres are practicing the art as intended.

Here's a bit about us...


Year Established


Full Time Centres


Part Time Satellite Centres



* Mar 2020

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