What is Tang Soo Do?

Tang Soo Do is an ancient martial art that originated 2,000 years ago in Korea. Tang Soo Do is a method of empty hand, foot, and weapon fighting based upon the scientific use of the body in self-defense. Technically, Tang Soo do is based upon the principles of yielding, circular motion, and penetration. Applications of these movements to a human’s weakest points (vital points) will have no equal power or effectiveness.

The reputation for superior kicking techniques and development of the legs is another proud asset of Tang Soo Do. As a student, you will learn to use your hands and legs in such a manner as to simulate actual combat with an armed or unarmed opponent. With these skills, we guarantee you a method of self-defense that has no equal. Today, the techniques and philosophy are still taught as they were in ancient times, although the system has adjusted to the physical needs of modern lifestyles. Most of all, this mysterious art is designed to develop individual character, mental strength, integrity, and respect for others.


Master’s Corner – The Dobok Never Comes Off

The uniform, training suit, karate gi, as it may be so affectionately called, has been properly deemed the “Dobok” in the Hangul Language.

This in itself is a composite word, “Do” for way of life and “bok” for apparel. Since the Do Bok is the apparel you wear when training or practicing your way, its care and meaning are very important.

Similarities can be found between the current dobok and ancient Korean traditional clothing. Today we maintain the white color to denote purity, reverence for life, and the commitment to avoid bloodshed and violence.

​Wow! It says it all right there.

As the old saying goes, action and thought are inseparable. Also, the outside appearance and inside attitudes are closely linked. What does this mean? Basically, when you look your best you feel good, as well. Keeping this thought in mind, it is so important to always appears in class with your uniform clean and pressed and with the proper trim for your rank affixed. 

I was at a seminar in Marietta, Ga many years ago and overhead one of the masters make a profound statement, “The Dobok never comes off”.

​Being a young and somewhat naive dan member I couldn’t appreciate how profound that statement really was. It wasn’t really explained that day at all and I wasn’t comfortable enough that day at all and I wasn’t comfortable enough to ask for an explanation. Over the years that profound statement rang ever so clear in my heart.

Just look around, why do we wear white, why do we wear midnight blue dan belts, what does is mean to be a dedicated martial artist? Grandmaster Hwang Kee was once quoted as saying, “a person is at his best when he is helping others”, let’s throw that into the mix too. Could this have been what the senior master had alluded to that day in Marietta, GA? Remembering the invaluable lessons we learn from training in the dojang!

Why we wear the color white! Reverence for life and the commitment to avoid bloodshed and violence. We also learn about respect, humility, and developing physically, mentally, and spiritually, combined with a willingness to always help others inside and outside of the dojang.

All of this from donning a baggy white uniform?

It is true! For a dedicated martial artist, all of the attributes that baggy, white, sometimes uncomfortable uniform have come to represent don’t ever vanish just because the uniform is hung up in the closet.

Never! For those chosen few the Dobok never comes off. Think about it!


Until next time… Tang Soo

GM Michael Baird