• nelsonharrishn

SO WHAT’S THIS TANG SOO DO THING ALL ABOUT? (Intro)


We’ve had a lot of people join (& leave) over the ‘pandemic period’ (I might trademark that!) & as Instructors we’ve obviously not had as much student face-time as we would like, teaching online for significant chunks of this last year.


So I’m planning a series of posts covering some of the elements we might talk about in class & that are taught as part of our syllabus. You may have read that the ultimate goal of Tang Soo Do is to become one with nature. These posts will not be philosophical in nature, rather they will be technical posts about the different areas of training in Tang Soo Do. You may have also read that the purpose of Tang Soo Do training are ‘health’, ‘self-defence' and ‘to be a better person’. While this is also true, it is very vague & these are a series of catch-all terms for a range of the elements of your Tang Soo Do training. I want to show how the elements of Tang Soo Do make up a complete self-defence system. I’ve already posted about various physical & mental health benefits of martial arts so you can look at those blog posts separately.


Every martial art will claim to be the ‘complete self-defence system’ & many will often disparage others. I will not make comment on something I know nothing about. Each has it’s advantages & disadvantages & if you think it through philosophical, none will be the complete system, otherwise there would only be one martial art. Many martial arts grow from the same seed, so for one to claim precedence over another, especially when they come from the same source, is just plain daft. Besides, if you think about it… what makes a marital art effective? You!


I have often been asked ‘which martial art is best?’ or ‘which is the best for fighting?’ or ‘yes, but what happens if a person does this instead?’, so I want to show that Tang Soo Do is an effective form of self-defence by looking at the various different areas. However, you need to remember that every martial art is effective if understood and trained in properly, which comes down to the Instructor & the student, not the system. Who would win in a fight between a certain martial arts fighter and a Tang Soo Do practitioner? No idea & I don’t care. What I am bothered about is can you successfully defend yourself if you need to.


Let’s finish with an analogy that I have seen used many times before:


Two students are preparing to take medical school exams. Student A has the exact answers to the test & studies/memorises those questions/answers only. Student B takes classes for many, many years & learns about every subject covered. In the example above, Student A could be the ‘certain martial arts fighter’ and Student B could be a Tang Soo Do practitioner. Some martial arts prepare you for only one thing, to win a fight, & they do it quite well. Tang Soo Do practitioners are on a lifelong journey to gain wisdom and better themselves.


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