Tang Soo Do
Tang Soo Do (TSD) is a traditional Korean martial art, with influences from
Okinawan / Shotokan Karate, as well as the northern China martial arts.
Tang Soo Do is best known for its beautiful kicks, which are coupled with
strong hand techniques to create a complete empty-hand self-defense style.
Tang Soo Do focuses on three main aspects of personal
- Body - develops coordination, flexibility, speed, power, stamina, etc.
- Mind - develops focus, concentration, confidence, self-esteem
- Spirit - develops the intangible qualities such as integrity,
humility, leadership, and an indomitable spirit that leads to success.
The physical aspect of martial arts is the most familiar to the general
public. We have all seen movies of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and other
great martial artists showing off their speed, flexibility, power, and
technique. At Carlsbad Tang Soo Do, we teach and explore all of these
physical aspects to the body. Although not everyone can be as fast as Bruce
Lee, or as flexible as Jet Li, we enable everyone to fulfill their potential.
We train the body through a variety of exercises and techniques:
- We always stretch before and after our workouts, to build flexibility.
- Line forms increase coordination and muscle memory through repetition.
Proper technique is vital to generating speed and power.
- Punching and kicking drills with a target build power and stamina.
- We teach how to fall and roll, which is always a useful skill to have.
Students learn how to control their bodies to minimize impact and
reduce injury in unpredictable situations.
- One-step sparring teaches timing, distance, and technique.
- Hyungs (forms) allow students to bring these aspects together into a
fluid set of movements. This is where a student may express more of
their personality and interpretation, through the choreographed set
of basic movements.
The mind is a powerful weapon, and one that will be used more often in the
modern world. While a strong body can help one fight once a conflict has
started, the mind can help prevent the conflict from appearing in the first
place. How many times have you walked into a building, and made a mental
of the emergency exits? Or scanned the passerbys on the street to assess
their threat level to you? By being more aware of our surroundings and
situations, we can take control of our fate.
There are many aspects to training the mind, which start from learning
confidence and self-esteem, to achieving concentration and focus, and finally
reaching enlightenment through meditation and breating exercises. As we
gain physical strength and ability, we must be sure to make equal
improvements in our mind to properly wield those tools. Power without
control is dangerous; thus we make sure to develop both in parallel.
Spirit is one of the intangible characteristics that is cultivated more than
it is taught. A person's spirit is a core part of their being, and it is
very difficult to train or change it. The best we can do is to encourage
its growth and adaptation in certain directions. The best analogy to this is
the bonsai tree. We can trim and encourage it to grow in certain ways, but
ultimately the tree decides what path it shall follow.
For more information on the history and technical aspects of Tang Soo Do,
please take a look at the following links: