What is Tang Soo Do?

[What is Tang Soo Do?] [Purpose of Training in Tang Soo Do] [About the WTSDA] [About Shin, Jae Chul, Kwan Chang Nim] [CTSDA Lineage]

What is Tang Soo Do?
Literally translated, the word "Tang" means T'ang Dynasty of China, which reflects the shared cultural background between China and Korea (617-907 AD). "Soo" means hand, but it implies fist, punch, strike, or defense, and "Do" means way of life or art. This ancient form of martial art which traces its lineage back 2,000 years to the Korean peninsula, is a method of empty hand and foot, and weapon fighting, based on the scientific use of the body in self defense.

Physically, Tang Soo Do is based on the principles of yielding, circular motion and penetration. However, as an art, Tang Soo Do combines all aspects, such as effort to live with developmental principles, defensive and offensive skills, handling weapons, developing power, and living a healthy and harmonious life, physically and mentally. Conceptually, it is a defensive martial art, and should never be used violently or excessively.

Tang Soo Do is also a harmonious training of body, mind, and spirit. When anyone reaches this higher state of achievement, mysterious levels of mental and physical strength can be achieved that even modern science cannot comprehend. Tang Soo Do is not a sport, and is much more than self-defense. Its most important aspect is a way to enter total tranquility - Moo Shim - which is the most powerful and peaceful state of being. A Tang Soo Do practitioner's ultimate goal is not only to possess excellent techniques, but, more importantly, to develop and perfect one's character as well.


Purpose of Tang Soo Do Training

In today's hectic society, there is no doubt that we need self-defense skills. Equally important are physical fitness and methods for the release of daily stress---No matter whether you are seeking self-defense, better health, physical fitness or discipline, our Tang Soo Do can meet your needs. However, Tang Soo Do has its own unique character which differentiates it from any other form of martial arts or martial sports. Tang Soo Do not only teaches physical techniques but also trains us to practice "DO" way of life through practice of the five virtues; "IN" -humanity, "UI"-righteousness, "YIE"-etiquette, "JI"-wisdom and "SHIN"-trust. When we reach the ultimate level of "DO", we can live in perfect harmony with the laws of nature.


About The World Tang Soo Do Association

The World Tang Soo Do Association (WTSDA) is comprised of 500 member schools, as well as over 100,000 students and instructors from 6 continents and 36 countries. The WTSDA is led by Jae Chul Shin, an 9th degree black belt and Grandmaster of Tang Soo Do. Grandmaster Shin is recognized around the world as an authority on Tang Soo Do.

The WTSDA serves students and their instructors by providing a strong professional network of like-minded martial artists dedicated to improving the art. In addition, the WTSDA organizes several Tournaments and Clinics for all members to participate in.

The WTSDA divides countries and states into administrative regions. Columbus Tang Soo Do Academy is part of Region 22, which is composed of all studios and clubs in Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

For Further information on the WTSDA, please visit http://www.wtsda.com/ (Link opens in new window.)


About Grandmaster Shin, Founder of the WTSDA
photo of Grandmaster JC Shin
Grandmaster Jae C. Shin is the founder of the World Tang Soo Do Association, and is one of the leading figures of martial arts in the world today.

He was born in Korea in 1936, and began his long and distinguished career in martial arts at the age of twelve. During his childhood, an unknown monk initially inspired in him a strong desire to learn martial arts. Later, he joined Seoul Moo Duk Kwan central gym and began serious study under Doju Nim Hwang Kee, founder of the Korean Moo Duk Kwan system.

By the time he was 1st Dan, he had already started his teaching career as an assistant instructor at the central gym. After that, he taught at Korean University, Seoul Central YMCA, various colleges, and many police and military institutions. His many years of teaching experience and his extreme dedication have added to his scientific and unique methods of teaching Tang Soo Do. His six fields of expertise include self-defense, forms, breaking, weapons, health care, and meditation. He has evolved these separate arts into one of the finest and most effective martial arts; The World Tang Soo Do system.

When he was recruited to the Korean Air Force in 1958, he had his first experience teaching American soldiers. After receiving his Master's degree in Political Science at Korea University, he came to the United States in order to extend his instruction of foreign students in 1968.

The year he came to the United States of America, Black Belt Magazine honored him for all time by devoting a full chapter to him in the book, "20th Century Warriors," putting him in the company of the most legendary martial arts figures ever. Grand Master Shin, one of the most respected and well known masters in this century, is one of the few masters who has devoted his entire life to the traditional martial arts. In addition to insisting on disciplined, rigorous training and exacting techniques, he has always preached that the true value of martial arts training is in the application to everyday life. Teaching children is one of his favorite pastimes and he has become an expert in child development. His advice to his Black Belt instructors is good advice for teachers of all kinds, "When examining your abilities as an instructor, examine your young student's manners, attitudes, school reports and health conditions. Their improvements should mirror your own."

He raised three Mottoes for his leadership of nearly 8,000 black belt members: TRADITIONALISM, PROFESSIONALISM AND BROTHERHOOD and he brings these qualities with him wherever he travels and teaches. Grandmaster Shin is respected as a true leader, teacher and master of masters.


About Grandmaster Robert Beaudoin

Grandmaster Robert Beaudoin is a charter Master of the World Tang Soo Do Association and is the father of traditional Tang Soo Do in New England.

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1942 and grew up in Connecticut. After joining the Air Force and being selected for a special language program at Yale University, he was stationed at Osan Air Base in Korea and got his first taste of the martial arts. In 1962 he began training in Tang Soo Do under Grandmaster Jae C. Shin. This date marks the beginning of a student/teacher/friend relationship the two would share for more than 50 years. On May 12, 1963, Grandmaster Beaudoin tested for his black belt in Inchon, Korea in front of Grandmaster Hwang Kee and Grandmaster Shin.

After returning to the United States, he set up his first school in Roswell New Mexico while finishing his time in the Air Force at Walker Air Force Base. The school proved so successful that it expanded beyond just the service men and included wives and children. Upon completing his military service, he returned to Connecticut and opened the Academy of Karate in 1965. Meanwhile, he married JoAnn Conway, with whom he raised Jennifer and Eric, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Connecticut, a Masters degree from Trinity College, and completed his Doctorate in Education from Argosy University in Sarasota, Florida.

After Grandmaster Shin came to the United States in 1968 and opened his school, Grandmaster Beaudoin would regularly drive to New Jersey with groups of his students to continue his training and friendship with Grandmaster Shin. In July 1971, Grandmaster Shin promoted Grandmaster Beaudoin to the rank of Master in a special presentation by removing his own Master’s belt and tying it on Grandmaster Beaudoin. During the succeeding years his studio grew, and through his efforts and those of his students Tang Soo Do spread throughout the New England region.

Grandmaster Beaudoin combined his martial arts teaching experience and his Doctorate in Education by starting the Quality Training and Consulting business, conducting leadership training programs for private and public organizations. He has served as a college professor at the University of Connecticut, an adjunct professor for Post University, Illinois State University, and the University of New Haven. His combination of leadership and teaching skills has helped him develop the ability to teach students from Tiny Tigers to seniors.

Grandmaster Beaudoin was promoted to the rank of 8th Dan at the 2010 World Championships at the same event where Grandmaster Shin was promoted to 9th Dan. Throughout his martial arts career loyalty has been one of the central tenets of his training and one of the primary attributes he has passed onto his students. As he begins his tenure as Grandmaster of the World Tang Soo Do Association, he has asked for unity and loyalty among all Masters, instructors and students in order to continue the vision of our founder, Grandmaster Shin.


CTSDA Lineage
Hwang Kee (Doju Nim, founder of modern Tang Soo Do) -> Shin, Jae Chul (Kwan Chang Nim, WTSDA) -> Master Michael White (Appalachia TSD, Phillipsburg, PA) -> Master Simone Genna (Buckeye TSD, Columbus, OH) -> Thomas Marker (CTSDA) -> Ms. Kelly Burke (CTSDA)