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10/23/2003 9:55am,
The rising of the Taenam

Born November 9, 1914 in Jang Dan- Kyong Ki province, where the DMZ now resides, Hwang, Kee held true to his original name, Taenam, which meant "starboy", as he rose to the heights of being one of the most famous martial arts instructors and innovators still alive.

Grandmaster Hwang, Kee's first exposure to martial arts took place in the month of May in 1921 during the Dan-O festival, which is the national May festival. He came upon a fight that pursued between a single man and eight other opponents. The eight young men attempted to beat the single defender who avoided and counter attacked with various kicks. The young would-be attackers fell one by one. The crowd dispersed with some saying, "That was taekkyon." While others said, "That was ship pal ki." Hwang, Kee was so impressed by this that he followed the man from a distance and discovered where he lived.

It was several days later that Hwang, Kee went back to the man's house. There he sat on a hill and observed the man and a partner practicing foot and hand techniques. He recognized it as the same techniques that the man used during his confrontation with the young men. He often revisited that sight and watched and imitated the moves that he saw performed by the man. One day Hwang, Kee wanted to receive formal lessons from the man, so he went to the house and asked. Much to his disappointment, the man refused to teach him due to Hwang, Kee's young age. This did discourage him, however he continued to visit the same spot and practice, by himself, what he saw the man doing. This had a great influence on Hwang, Kee to devote himself later to the art that is now known as Soo Bahk Do Moo Do Kwan.

The Manchurian Connection

In May of 1935, Hwang, Kee traveled to China where he worked for the Manchurian railroad. During the past 20 years, Hwang, Kee practiced and trained himself in the martial arts whenever the opportunity arrived; however he never had any formal training. It was in 1936 that Hwang, Kee had his first formal martial arts lesson from a local well renowned martial artist, Master Yang, Kuk Jin. Due to his work schedule at the railroad, Hwang, Kee would practice every other day.

Master Yang trained Hwang, Kee in the arts of Seh Bop (method of postures), Bo Bop (method of steps) and Ryun Bop (method of conditioning). He also trained him in "Dham Toi Sip E Ro" and "Tae Kuk Kwon," which were disciplines of form and its combat applications. Hwang, Kee remained a diligent and dedicated student to Master Yang until August of 1937 in which he had to go back to Korea for personal reasons. He returned to China in 1941 to visit and practice with Master Yang, but this would be for the last time, as China became a communist country and all communications between Master Yang and Hwang, Kee had come to an end.

Birth of the Moo Duk Kwan Forms

In 1939, Grandmaster Hwang, Kee began working for the Choson Railway Bureau. It was during this time that he was able to visit the library and read books on Okinawin Karate. It was through this study that he developed the forms for Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan. Pyung Ahn Hyungs, Bassai Hyungs, and Kong Sang Kun Hyungs may be practiced a little differently from the original Okinawin Pinan forms, but their origins stem from the influence of the Okinawin Karate books that Grandmaster Hwang, Kee studied.

Bringing It Together

It was November 9, 1945 when Grandmaster Hwang, Kee brought together his experiences in the martial arts. With his personal practice of Taekyon combined with the chuan'fa he learned from Master Yang and adding in the forms that he learned from the books, he founded the Moo Duk Kwan. Moo; Martial, Military, Prevent inner/outer conflict, Duk; Virtue, Ethics, Discipline, Kwan; Style, School, Institute, Moo Duk Kwan; "Style to teach Moo and Duk through training in the martial arts.

In 1957 he discovered a book call the Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Ji. This was to be a great discovery for him. This book was a historical document of Korean's martial arts. It was published 300 years ago and is the only known Korean martial art book from that era. Within that book he discovered the traditional Soo Bahk Ki (Hand Striking Technique) and Soo Bahk Hee (Hand Striking Dance). Hwang, Kee created the name Soo Bahk Do from both Soo Bahk Ki and Soo Bahk Hee. He combined both names through his belief that Soo Bahk should teach Moo Do (Martial Way) Philosophy of stopping inner and outer conflict.

"and now you know the rest of the story"

Since that time of developing the Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan, there have been many significant changes in the Korean martial arts. One particularly was the formation of Taekwondo. The younger generation of students felt that it was wiser to go with the other kwans in the forming the new art. With the formation of Taekwondo, came a split in the Moo Duk Kwan family due to political pressures from the government. This is why there exists a Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan as well as Taekwondo, Moo Duk Kwan. On July 13, 2002 Dojunim Hwang Ki passed away in his home in Korea. His son Master H.C. Hwang ascends to Kwan Jhang Nim of the Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan

Recommended Reading:

The History of Moo Duk Kwan by Hwang Kee

Soo Bahk Do Vol. 1 by Hwang Kee

~ Placed references in article

10/23/2003 10:55am,
do you have any bibliographical references? I'd like to read more on this.

10/23/2003 11:08am,

I added the refrences.

10/23/2003 11:11am,

10/28/2003 4:09pm,
Like to see Tang Soo Do gets a mention, just out of interest are there any other Tang Soo Do'ists around here?

10/28/2003 4:32pm,
One here

10/28/2003 4:42pm,
spiffy, i'm pretty new to it so i'm interested to know how well known it is. I've been training for roughly 6 months and just graded to yellow belt (8th gup). So where abouts you from?

10/28/2003 4:45pm,
Originally posted by hull123
Like to see Tang Soo Do gets a mention, just out of interest are there any other Tang Soo Do'ists around here?

I studied it for about 5 years receiving my 1st dan back in 1988. I still practice the forms but don't go to any formal classes.

10/28/2003 5:27pm,
I'm in the N. va area.
Did TSD till I was 15, took a break, Back into it, planing on going for my dan in a few months.

It's pretty well known in the MA community. Most non-MA people have no clue about it. All they know is Tae kwan Do and karate.
If I have time, I explain it to them

jing shen gou
11/07/2003 11:08am,
I'm a TSD person myself.
I have been training in it for the past 2 2/4 years,
maby a bit more, it'll be 3 in feburary.
but mostly of and on since this past august.
Glad to see somthing that resembles the actual occurance,
but you forgot the Wu T'ang connection.
If you look at the overall, at places it resembles Wu T'ang Taiji.
I would know, thats somthing else I'm studying.

11/07/2003 11:41am,
Well, the chuan 'fa that DJN Hwang Kee practiced may have had connections to it, but I never read anything specifically saying that he studied Wu T'ang Taiji, nor did I see anything about him even listening to the Wu Tang Clan music for that matter :D. Anyway, if you have some documentation to the the connection, I would love to read it. Thanks.

11/25/2003 9:24am,

My teacher was around and used to visit and watch the other kwans of martial arts in Korea in the early 1950's. His opinion of Moo Duk Kwan was that, "They must not have very many forms or techniques, because they were just jumping around and fighting all of the time." He mentioned that there was only one school (kwan) that demonstrated any Chuan-fa techniques and influence, and isn't wasn't Moo Duk Kwan.

R. McLain

11/25/2003 9:44am,
Most of the forms done in the MDK were taken from a book on Okinawin Karate. I believe once you get into the upper ranks will you see any Chuan'fa forms or techniques being added into forms.

11/25/2003 9:49am,
On the taiji similarity, in Miguksaram's article, he states:

>Master Yang trained Hwang, Kee in the arts of Seh Bop (method of postures), Bo Bop (method
>of steps) and Ryun Bop (method of conditioning). He also trained him in "Dham Toi Sip E Ro"
>and _____"Tae Kuk Kwon,"_____

"Tae Kuk Kwon" is the sino-Korean vocabulary for "Tai Ji Quan". So actually it is consistent with what you have heard. The taiji being from wudang or not is another story, but the existence of it in Mr. Hwang's training is recorded here.

Taiji is supposed to have originated with Wudang taoists, but I think that is a whole can of worms unto itself.

11/25/2003 10:41am,
Thanks Rainfall

11/25/2003 10:42am,
:) No problem.