Tang Soo So is it really Shoto-kan or is it Korean

Discussion in 'Taekwondo' started by Charles Schmid Jr, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. Recently there was a heated debate at a tourament. The arguement was is Tang Soo Do really Korean? One instructor insisted it is Korean. During the board discussion, a lady stated that the Koreans changed things and added korean kicks and that made it Korean. Someone else made the statement that it was really Shoto-kan. This really got things going. A group of us got to watching the forms during the tournament and noticed that they were really Shoto-kan, but under different names. One form which was the symbol of the Snake, looked just like Bassai Dai(Which is a Shoto-kan kata). Needless to say no one wanted to talk any more about it. I have to agree that it is Shoto-kan. But each to his own.
  2. Pomar

    Pomar Initiate

    I am a practitioner of Shotokan Karate. My Sensei Francisco Miro, holds a 4th dan in Tang Soo Doo and a 3rd Dan is Shotokan Karate Do. Even though the forms are similiar, they are still diferent and unique. When I sometimes attend my Sensei's Tang Soo Do classes, I see allot of Korean influence. Yes, the Kata (in japanese) are called Poomsae (forms in korean) are Shotokan influenced, but those forms (Heian series of Katas) are taken from the Pinan Katas. Everything in the Tang Soo Do class is said in Korean. The Poomsae are called Pinan Sho dan (Shodan, nidan, sandan, yodan, godan) which is taken from Okinawan series of Pinan katas, that is where you might of seen Bassai Dai but in a Passai way, which is Okinawa kata form. So, yes, there is karate influence in Tang Soo Do. Even the name Tang Soo Do means empty hand way (like, karate do). But allot of there kicks are Tae Kwon Do influenced. Like everything in martial arts, there is influence from some other martial arts. Seriously, the white karate gi in Japanese Karate was added from Judo, Gichin Funakoshi (father of Shotokan) did this so the Japanese would consider Karate. Before that, the kanji symbols of Karate 空手 (Empty Hand) was Chinese hand or Shuri te (hand of Shuri, and Okinawa province) which is more of an original form of Okinawa Karate. The Shaolin Monks learned there Kung Fu from Bodhidharma a South Indian. So, I must say, that even though Tang Soo Do has Okinawa karate influence, it is still a Korean form of Martial Arts
  3. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    that is my understanding as well though i have not studied Korean combative closely...
  4. MadoreGojuRyu

    MadoreGojuRyu Master

    lol, did my post get removed?
  5. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    what was said friend?
  6. MadoreGojuRyu

    MadoreGojuRyu Master

    I had posted a response talking about how I believed Tang Soo Do is a Korean style with japanese influences, and posted a couple of links to wiki that had some very good information on it.

    I also stated that all styles are influences by others styles in some form or fashion. I study Goju Ryu and it is the combination of 3 styles itself, 2 are chinese and 1 japanese.....for some reason my post has disappeared
    Blade Maker likes this.
  7. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    that is odd, the vanishing post not what you've said. As a tangential question does hapkido fall under the same category, cause it looks a lot like aikido with teeth?
  8. MadoreGojuRyu

    MadoreGojuRyu Master

    apparently so http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hapkido whats pretty cool also, if you have ever seen any of the old billy jack movies. Bong Soo Han was the stunt double for billy jack and he was a grandmaster of Hapkido.
    Blade Maker likes this.
  9. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    I have not heard of billy jack before, i will have to look into that thanx
  10. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    I practice and have practiced Tang Soo Do since 1967. Tang Soo Do (Moo Duk Kwan) literally means Way of the China Hand, Moo Duk Kwan is "Institute of Martial Virtue", and Tang Soo Do was first coined about 1946. Tang Soo Do is a combination of Shotokan Karate and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu. In the US, Tang Soo Do preceded Tae Kwon Do with most of the early full contact fighters being Tang Soo Do practitioners, Chuck Norris, Bill Wallace, Joe Hayes, Freddy Prince, Gregory Hines, and my instructor John Santiago. Tae Kwon Do began to grow quickly in popularity with its introduction as an Olympic sport, and at that time it changed with most of the "combat" portions of the martial art de-empathized or not taught simply because of the Olympic certification. For example I was doing full takedowns, footsweeps, punching to almost full contact, NO instep kicks only ball of the foot, grabs, knife hand strikes, backfist strikes and contact to the face and head with feet and hands. Padding was limited to shin and hand padding with foam covered cotton. The kicks in Tang Soo Do are not Tae Kwon Do influenced as the source of almost all the Korean Foot fighting is Northern Shaolin Kung Fu based.

    "Most" of the early advanced Tang Soo Do forms are Shotokan in origin. The forms I was taught are Taega 1 through 3 forms, Pinyan 1 through 5 forms, Kibon 1 through 5 forms (only TSD), - Black belt forms - Basai, Chogi 1 through 5, Chinte, Shipsu, Tiashiho 1 through 3, and Korreo.

    Finally, the word "Do" in Korean does NOT mean the same as it does in Japanese. In Japanese there is a firm difference between a "Do" and Jutsu", as their intent and what is taught have different reasons of existing. The "Do" in Korean martial Arts CAN mean a Jutsu art, ie a combat art NOT a sport art.
    Mr.Bond and Blade Maker like this.
  11. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    Bob barker is a black belt in tang soo do as well.
  12. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    Actually Bob Barker has a Red Belt (equiv Brown Belt) in TSD not a Black Belt.

    More trivia, the Korean "Black Belt" is actually a very deep Blue and is not actually "Black" in color.
  13. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Samurai

    Tang Soo Do, Moo Duk Kwon's Black belt is actually called "Midnight Blue" as black symbolizes death or the end of something and midnight blue is of the sky. Master Fahy
  14. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    The problem with the "wikis" is that it is all user contributions. It is truth and fact based on what, measured against what? I have the same issues with the fact check sites, they are nothing more than opinion provided as fact. I am an Early American, Constitutional, and Military Historian and Analyst, some of what I read on those sites are better than a SNL skit.

    A lot of people have a real problem isolating the difference between opinion (or interpretation) and fact.
  15. MadoreGojuRyu

    MadoreGojuRyu Master

    this might help also. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0359147/ Are you asking about Bong Soo Han being the stunt double or a grandmaster of Tang Soo Do or just making a comment about wiki? I know to always do my own checks if something on wiki seems kinda wishiwashi
  16. Michael Spivey

    Michael Spivey Warrior Monk

    Just about the wki, my Tang Soo Do instructor, John Santiago , knows Master Bong Soo Han and for a while studied with Master Han, at the same time studying with Dr Richard Chun of NY. Grand Master Chun now advertizes his style as Tae Kwon Do, but in the early 60s it was Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan when my instructor was there. He left NY and Master Chun and moved to the Upland/Ontario California area where I met him and began studying Tang Soo Do from him in the late 60s. John has been my instructor and lifelong friend.

    The picture below is of John Santiago and was given to Ty Aponte USKL in 1988. I know Shihan Aponte very well.

    [​IMG]
  17. Im Kanbukan Tang Soo Do. Tang Soo Do is pretty much "Korean Karate" with heavy influence from Shotokan. Tang Soo Do came out of Moo Duk Kwan, One of the original schools teaching Karate in Korea which came from Shotokan. But over the years it developed into what we see today with a fusion of Korean concepts and culture.
  18. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    Shotokan was my first style (way back in 1981), and I have a 3rd degree in Tang Soo Do. My thoughts are this, changing the packaging on rice doesn't change the rice, or where it was made. Even if you add a bit of flavoring, it is still the original rice. So of course you can call it a Korean art, and of course they are going to also. Fact is, Tang Soo Do used to be even more Shotokan-like in the beginning, but they changed it more and more as time went on, to make it uniquely their own. Tang Soo Do is the Korean translation of the chinese characters for Karate-do, which used to mean way of the chinese hand before they brought it from Okinawa to Japan, as at the time there was a lot of anti-chinese sentiments going on.

    Now, the Tang Soo Do I practice is a lot more traditional, therefore more Shotokan-like, than any other that I have seen. I would not say that it was "significantly" different that Shotokan, I would say it was "significantly" LIKE Shotokan (which is one of the things that got me on the path of trying to figure out why they were so similar)! And I think a lot of people would say that the forms do define a traditional style, they say it is the art's "heart", and does define it's origins, because that is where it originated from.
    Mr.Bond likes this.
  19. Franco

    Franco BUDO

    Are there any Hapkido techniques in Tang Soo Do? And how different is it from TKD?
  20. Eric Dufurrena

    Eric Dufurrena The Iron Fist of Fun

    I did hapkido at the same time, so I would be inclined to say there was as close to none as you can get. I assume you are talking about the joint lock and throwing techniques, as the punches and kicks are pretty much the same. That being said, arts evolve all the time and I would not be surprised if you found a striking style that added throws and joint locks.
    Franco likes this.

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