Tang Soo Do is a style of modern Korean martial arts that involves attacking and defending -- similar to karate. While the Korean Peninsula has paved the way for countless martial arts over the years, Tang Soo Do is arguably one of the most important and influential styles. Today, tens of thousands of men and women from across the world actively participate in it. To learn more about Tang Soo Do, including five fun facts that may surprise you, keep reading.
#1) It Combines Elements of Other Martial Arts
Tang Soo Do isn't an entirely unique style of martial arts. It actually borrows principles and teachings from nearly a half-dozen other martial arts, some of which include karate, subak, kung fu, taekkyon and shotokan.
#2) It Uses a Colored Belt System
Like karate, Tang Soo Do uses a colored belt system in which practitioners begin with a white belt and gradually work their way up to a black belt. The colored belt system was originally created by Jigoro Kano, founder of Judo, but has since made its way into other styles of martial arts, including karate and Tang Soo Do. It's a simple and effective way for practitioners to show their skill and experience in a particular martial art.
#3) Chuck Norris Creates His Own Style of Tang Soo Do
No, that's not a typo. American actor, filmmaker and martial arts expert Chuck Norris actually created his own unique style of Tang Soo Do. Known as American Tang Soo Do, it was created by Norris in the mid-1960s. Like traditional Tang Soo Do, it features a vast curriculum consisting of basic forms, intermediate forms, advanced forms and miscellaneous forms. American Tang Soo Do also uses the same colored belt system as its counterpart, with practitioners beginning with a white belt and progressing to a black belt.
#4) No Head Contact
When watching a Taekwondo match and a Tang Soo Do match, you may notice that the two look strikingly similar. They both involve practitioners who attack their opponent and defend against their opponent's attacks. However, Tang So Doo is unique in the sense that it doesn't involve head contact. Rather, practitioners are only allowed to strike their opponent's body.
#5) It's Organized
There are organized Tang Soo Do matches available for practitioners looking to compete in this martial art. The Korea Taekwondo Association is one of the largest organizers of such competitions. Previously known as the Korean Tae Soo Do Association, it organizes, hosts and manages a variety of martial arts competitions, including Tang Soo Do.