School of Judo, Karate & Hapkido
128 Post Road, Darien, CT. 06820 ● Call us (203) 655-8518
Tang Soo Do
Karate is a martial art that contains many different styles. Tang Soo Do, the style taught at Lee’s School of Judo, Karate & Hapkido, can trace its origins to the Three Kingdoms in Korea, beginning with the Shilla Kingdom in 57 BC. Practiced by Buddhist monks, it was quickly incorporated by the army, which used Tang Soo Do competitions as a way to attract and recruit soldiers.
But the concepts underlying Tang Soo Do are more than military. Tang Soo Do incorporates the idea of victory without combat. (Once engaged in combat, however, the practitioner must commit himself or herself to win at all costs.) A modern translation of this idea might be “The best defense is a good offense.” A person trained to fight is less likely to be attacked than a person who has no defensive skills. A person trained to fight is also better able to use self-restraint because this person has the confidence to take the time to assess a situation before rushing in with an attack.
Honor is another ingredient. Fighting must be justified and ultimately result in improved conditions for everyone. To fight (or choose not to fight), a person must be strong both physically and mentally. This requires training.
Respect is also part of the creed of Tang Soo Do. Practitioners of this art respect their parents, their teachers, their peers, their enemies, the earth and themselves. To live this concept also requires training. To this end, all students at Lee’s School must learn and try to live the 10 articles of faith of Tang Soo Do:
(1) Be loyal to your country. (2) Obey your parents. (3) Cooperate with your brothers and sisters. (4) Love your spouse. (5) Be faithful to your friends. (6) Respect your elders. (7) Be faithful to your teacher. (8) Never use your knowledge without cause. (9) Never retreat in battle. (10) Always finish what you start.
The study of Tang Soo Do begins with physical training. Stretching, a healthy cardio-vascular workout, and the development and enhancement of coordination all change and tone the body, and is the foundation for learning the kicking, blocking, throwing and punching techniques of Tang Soo Do. Physical conditioning is accompanied by mental training as each individual learns to try harder, to keep trying, to surpass self-imposed limitations. Both forms of training result in a balance of physical and mental skills and combine to create a way of life that is based on honor, good health and respect.