What is Tang Soo Do | American Family Martial Arts
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Angela Clark Tripp reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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This place is amazing! As an adult student never having been involved in any type of sports, I was scared. I have been a member almost two months now, and I have gained so much self confidence and many many self defense skills!!! They do not make you feel worthless, unskilled, or unqualified to be there. They welcome you with open arms, are friendly, encouraging, and make you feel like you are the most amazing, talented person in the world every time you walk out of class. I went there looking for friends and ended up gaining a family!!! I would highly recommend this place to anyone! It doesn’t matter your age, athletic ability, or skill level because you go at your own pace. You will get pushed at times only because they see the potential that you don’t, but when you complete the task... it feels amazing! I truly look forward to many more years of growing here!

Elise Hill reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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Class was great because we tried new things. My favorite thing yesterday was playing the game and earning my star on my stripe.

Rachel Pantinople reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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My son had gained so much self confidence after attending only 4 weeks of classes. His level of respect and discipline continues to increase as his training does. The instructors and staff are great with the kids and go above and beyond to make sure they know your child’s needs.

Amber Navarre Llewellyn reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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Great group of folks running this business. My son loves coming to karate here. I've never seen him so excited about anything, and we've tried several sports and activities. Says a lot about AFMA. Very impressed with all of the instructors. They have patience and go the extra mile for those with special needs as well, making it possible for those individuals to participate like everyone else (just from my observations). That's one of the things I love about this place. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to try out karate. They make it a fun environment to learn.

John Buker reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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They have the best teachers and, friendly service, and they can go with your schedule.

Pramodin Pradeep reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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My son got confidence, overcome shy and is developing leadership qualities. He completed one year at American Family Martial Arts. Now he is in green belt. He loves karate and it's his passion. I recommend other parents also to join their kids to AFMA.

Lauri Liljeberg reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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Mr. Foreman thought of an effective way to get the kids to think independently vs. following others. He gave them each different moves in Korean. We also like how he gives pneumonics for them to remember the words and actions. Evidently it's working and our girls are enjoying the classes very much!

Dee Gabrielle reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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Visited yesterday! My son will begin lessons Tuesday! We are really excited and everyone there is so nice and they work so well with the kiddos. The instructors seem to really enjoy the kids, while teaching life skills.

Jessika Efferson reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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My boys have been members of American Family Martial Arts for the past 3 years. It has been absolutely amazing for them.The instructors are knowledgeable and know how to work with students. The instructors not only make them better martial artists but also better people. My oldest son has special needs. SBN Tullier and Mr. Foreman have been great with him. They are patient when they need to be and understand my son's needs. Since my boys have been taking karate their anxiety level has lowered and their confidence has soared. It has been a pleasure to be part of the AFMA family.

Stacie Crake reviewed American Family Martial Arts
5
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Mon son has gone got almost a year and he loves it. The instructors are greatand really know how to handle the kids. I definitely recommend it for beginners up!

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What is Tang Soo Do

You’ve probably heard of Tae Kwon Do. Maybe even Kung Fu. What in the world is Tang Soo Do martial arts?

American Family Martial Arts practices a style of karate called Tang Soo Do. It is a Korean form of martial arts or karate. Karate generally refers to a Japanese based style of martial arts. The full name of the art is actually Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan. One of the more famous practitioners of Tang Soo Do is Chuck Norris.

Moo Duk Kwan is actually the name of the school that Grandmaster Hwang Kee founded in 1945, when he took a new approach and applied scientific method to traditional martial arts, thus establishing the modern art of Tang Soo Do.  A “kwan” in Korean literally means a building or hall, but when used in martial arts refers to a school or clan of martial arts who follow the same style.

Moo Duk Kwan roughly translates as “Military-Style School”, and some organizations that teach Tang Soo Do refer to their art in this way as a reflection of the original philosophy of intense training for self-defense.  The majority of those that call it Moo Duk Kwan are practitioners in Korea where the Moo Duk Kwan was founded.

During the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910–1945), Korean culture, including military history and martial arts, were destroyed or heavily restricted. During this time many Koreans were exposed to Okinawan martial arts such as Karate-Do. As the Japanese moved deeper into the continent, Karate was adopted and practiced from the philosophical perspective that reflected the traditional Korean martial arts such as taekkyeon and subak as well as traditional Chinese martial arts studied by Koreans in Manchuria and China.

One of these people was Hwang Kee who is credited with founding what we call Tang Soo Do sometimes called Soo Bahk Do.  During the Japanese occupation, students were forced to train in secret.  Hwang Kee left Korea at this time and ventured into Manchuria. There he came into contact with the Chinese Tung System.  Hwang Kee eventually incorporated the flowing and graceful motions of the Tung system with the linear, strong movements of Karate Do and the diverse kicking of taekkyeon. This blend resulted into what is currently known as Soo Bahk Do.

Tang Soo Do is the most common name for our art. Firstly, because it is the original name by which Grandmaster Hwang Kee called the art upon his return to Korea and the founding of the Moo Duk Kwan.  The other reason for the popularity of Tang Soo Do for the name of our art is because it is the name that was in use by Grandmaster Hwang Kee when various instructors left his organization to form their own.  And by the way “tang” is pronounced “tongue” like in your mouth not the tang of a knife.   And “do” is pronounced like doe as in a deer.

“Do” (pronounced like doe a deer) roughly translates as “The Way” and “Soo” (pronounced like sue) translates “Hand”.  There is debate around the word Tang, which some say translates “Strike and Defense” while others say it is merely a reference to Grandmaster Hwang Kee’s stay in China during the Japanese occupation, where he was studying the Tang styles of Chinese fighting.

You may be wondering where the name Soo Bahk Do comes in.  Soo Bahk Do roughly translates “The Way of the Unarmed Weapon” or “The Way of Unarmed Combat”.  Grandmaster Hwang Kee changed the name of the art within the original organization in the late in the twentieth century.  Soo Bahk Do is name that more closely follows the tradition of Korean martial arts as Soo Bahk was the name of the style that Grandmaster Hwang Kee was a master of before his stay in China.

Why do you see different spellings for Korean words? It’s because the Korean sounds don’t translate directly to English pronunciation and some people hear a “d” sound and some people hear a “t” sound.

When you enter or exit the dojang (training hall) at American Family Martial Arts, you will hear & see students bow and say Tang Soo! It’s our unique way of giving a spirit yell!

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