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The Art of Tang Soo Do

In 1968 Master Jae Chul Shin came to the United States of America as the U.S. representative for the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association. He formed the United States Tang Soo Do Federation in Burlington, New Jersey. The organization expanded to all parts of America and foreign countries. This traditional and classical art was quickly accepted and soon grew in popularity throughout America and the world. After 14 years of Tang Soo Do promotion in the U.S.A. and the world, the organisation was re-organised to fit new demands internationally and domestically. On November 13th 1982, a charter convention for the World Tang Soo Do Association was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At the charter convention a new constitution was passed, a new logo and insignia were selected, the uniform and belt system were revised, and new organizational standards were adopted. Most importantly, Master Jae C. Shin was recognised as Grandmaster of the World Tang Soo Do Association. With the proclamation of three mottos, Traditionalism, Professionalism and Brotherhood, the advent of the World Tang Soo Do Association evoked the interest of many international martial artists, whose genuine interest was in the Art, and was not sports oriented.

In the past three decades, the Association has expanded from 17 member studios to 400 plus, from 164 charter members to over 150,000 members. As of 2010, the following global locations are training under the banner of the World Tang Soo Do Association; Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, England, Germany, Greece, Guam, Holland, India, Italy, Korea, Mozambique, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Rumania, Russia, Seychelles, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Uruguay and the U.S.A. For the purpose of guidance and regional management, there are 21 region which make up the World Tang So Do Association. The martial art of Tang Soo Do is relatively modern, but it's roots lie in the ancient Korean art of Soo Bahk Do, which can be traced back many centuries. Tang Soo Do is a style composed from three major areas and styles, which are Soo Bahk Do (60%), Northern China Kung Fu (30%) and Southern China Kung Fu (10%) Literally translated, the word TANG means T'ang Dynasty of China which reflects the shared cultural background between China and Korea. SOO means hand, but it implies fist, punch, strike or defence. DO means way of life or art. Thus TANG SOO DO means the korean classical martial art which was influenced by the T'ang method of martial art. The final translation can be put together as the rather poetical - WAY OF THE CHINA HAND

Tang Soo Do is both a 'hard' and a 'soft' style of martial art, with the hard external influence coming from the Soo Bahk and the soft internal from the Northern Chinese systems. Both of which can easily be recognised in the Hyungs (forms) that are practised within the style. The purpose of Tang Soo Do training is not for fighting, but to perfect techniques which will enhance your total self. If the occasion arises when you must defend yourself, of equal importance is the development of the proper spirit to supplement the physical skills which are attained. Tang Soo Do is a classical martial art and it's purpose is to develop every aspect of the 'self' in order to produce a mature person who can totally integrate his intellect, emotions, body and spirit.

Kwan Chang Nim Shin, J Chul

Grandmaster Jae C. Shin, the founder of the World Tang Soo Do Association, was one of the leading figures of martial arts in the world today. Sadly Grandmaster Shin passed away on Monday 9th July 2012. He has left us a legacy, his dream, the World Tang Soo Do Association which we now have to nurture, promote and continue to build.

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 Grandmaster Hwang Kee, a 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-defence, 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 honoured 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. Grandmaster 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 favourite 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.

On July 17th 2010 Grandmaster Shin received his ninth Dan, following a proclamation containing 100,000 signatures of W.T.S.D.A. members. This took place at a very moving ceremony during the 2010 World Championships, which some of us were fortunate enough to attend. Not only did Grandmaster become ninth Dan but Master Beaudoin was also presented with his eight Dan at the same ceremony.

Kwan Chang Nim Beaudoin, Robert E.

Grandmaster Robert E. Beaudoin started his study of the Martial Arts in 1960-61 while in the U.S. Air Force studying Chinese at Yale University. He earned his Black Belt under Master Jae Chul Shin while in Korea in 1962-63.

Dr. Beaudoin taught thousands of students in the Waterbury area for more than thirty-five years and promoted over three hundred Black Belts and ten Masters. His students have been from all professions and walks of life, and from four to seventy years old.

Grandmaster Beaudoin taught many of his own classes including Tiny Tigers, Little Dragons, Advanced Children and Cho Dan Bos, as well as the Black Belt Excellence class. He also conducted the Masters Forum and special clinics...

On July 17th 2010, following a proclamation signed by over 100,000 members of the World Tang Soo Do Association, and after 28 years as head of our association, Grandmaster Shin accepted the honour of ninth Dan at a special ceremony held at the World Championships in Greensboro North Carolina. Making way for Master Beaudoin to be promoted to 8th Dan Grandmaster.

On July 9, 2012, Grandmaster Beaudoin assumed the role of Grandmaster and Interim President of the World Tang Soo Do Association after the passing of our founder Grandmaster J C Shin. He presided over the opening of our own headquarters, fulfilling Grandmaster J C Shin's dream. He continued in this role with great dedication until his sudden passing in early 2020.

He was due to be promoted to 9th Dan Grandmaster at a ceremony later that year at the World Championships but received the honour posthumously with the iconic black and red belt being presented to his family. Grandmaster Strong took over as the lead of the association at that time.

Kwan Chang Nim Strong, William R

Grandmaster William R. Strong, Ku Dan, or 9th degree Grandmaster, received his current rank of Kwan Chang Nim at the US National Championships in Pennsylvania on October 9th 2021.

As well as a martial artist, Grandmaster Strong is also a Professor of Geography and Chair of the Department of Geography at the University of North Alabama. He has achieved the Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP) certification.

Grandmaster Strong's martial arts career began in 1964 in Austin, Texas at the Jhoon Rhee Institute of Tae Kwon Do. The martial arts were very new to the USA in the 1960's and out of sheer curiosity about the legendary feats accomplished by martial artists Grandmaster Strong signed up Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee was on the test panel for his very first grading.

In the early 1980’s, he became a member of the US Tang Soo Do Association and eventually received his Sah Dan Masters rank. Around the mid-1980’s he joined the World Tang Soo Do Association and Tang Soo Do has been his principal martial arts since that time but over the years he has also studied Hapkido, Aikijitsu, Aikido and Shotokan.

Grandmaster Strong now operates the North Alabama Tang Soo Do studio in Florence, Alabama. His family also train with his wife holding the rank of Cho Dan and daughter’s Rita having E Dan and Morgan having the rank of Sam Dan.

Boo Kwan Chang Nim M Khan

Boo Kwan Chang Nim Mujahid Khan is currently recognised as a 8th Dan (Pal dan 팔단) Instructor in the World Tang Soo Do Association. He has been training in the Martial Arts for over 48 years and has received many awards, including Instructor of the year 1987 and many other commendations and appreciation awards from the Association

Master Khan is the regional director for region #11, which encompasses Western Europe. He is married with three children. The whole family practises Tang Soo Do. His wife Dawn is a Oh Dan Master, daughter Noreen is also an Oh Dan Master, daughter Aisha is a Sah dan Master, and the newest recruit, youngest daughter Safiya is an E dan.

"I teach every class myself, from basic warm-ups to the end of class", says Master Khan. "I feel that students pay for my instruction and they should receive it".

Some of Master Khans favourite quotes are :

"Nothing is too difficult for a sound mind"

"Tang Soo Do IS NOT a destination, it is journey"

My name is Mujahid Khan and I was born in Kashmir, Pakistan. I came to live in England in October 1970 when my parents emigrated here. My current rank is Pal Dan. I received my Master's belt in July 1989 in Holland at the European Championship that year. I was honoured to be presented my Master rank in front of all the European members. It was a privilege to have it presented to me by Grandmaster Shin. The feeling was indescribable, as I was the first European Master in WTSD at the time. It was a dream that I never thought would become reality!

I am the currently the European Director for Region #11 which covers all of Western Europe. I am also the Chief Instructor for Great Britain TSD. I run my own studios in Alconbury (An American Air Force Base) Huntingdon and St.Ives. All my studios are in the Cambridgeshire area. I am married with 3 daughters. My wife Dawn is an Oh Dan Master, my eldest daughter Noreen is also an Oh Dan Master, Aisha is now a Sah Dan Master and our youngest, Safiya is an E Dan. We go as a family to teach and train EVERYDAY! Dawn, Aisha and Safiya assist me regularly in teaching my classes as well as practicing TSD for themselves.

I started TSD in early 1974 in a village called Buckden in Cambridgeshire. A friend of mine whom I worked with was practicing TSD and introduced me to it. My first instructor was an American serviceman by the name of Stephen Coleman. He was a 2nd Dan in TSD. I remember him well. He is a very big man with OUTSTANDING Martial Arts ability.

I hold various different fund-raising events mainly in aid of the World Headquarters Building Fund. The most unique one I have held is an auction to raise money for the Headquarters Fund. I auctioned my personal belongings, some that were VERY sentimental, like my 5th Dan Master's Sword that I received during my promotion ceremony. I have also auctioned my Master's belt and some other special items. One which I'll never forget is the dobohk I wore in the making of Kwan Chang Nim's Volume 3 Book-DAE RYUN. We raised over $7000.00 at this one AUCTION!!

Lastly I would like to share a few of my personal beliefs. They are that the success to Martial Arts is to persevere and not to look back. Remember too that you only get out of your training what you PUT INTO IT!! Success comes through a positive mind. Always try to be positive in whatever you may do and you will one day achieve your goals.

Master C Carter

Born: 30/ 07/ 1959
Home: St Ives near Huntingdon
Occupation: Technical -Coordinator
Hobbies: Going to the cinema, Listening to a wide variety of music
Club location: Grafham Village Hall, & Over Hills School. Kimbolton

Started training - January 1975 received first colour belt, Acquired 1st degree Black Belt 1981.

Gained Masters Belt July 1994.

Promoted to rank of 7th Dan (Chil Dan 칠단) August 2021.

Have been a referee since 1983 and judged competitions national and European , World Championships Have entered various championships and achieved medals as a colour belt.

The importance of Tradition - Manners are extremely important to teach your son or daughter. Unfortunately these are being lost through a changing society. World Tang Soo Do promotes these manners in the class by bowing. If this etiquette is abandoned a large essence of martial art is lost

We wouldn't get away with teaching the way we were taught- Children learn with abundance when having fun and enjoy what they do. Keeping to a pattern during class is important and teaching basics is critical at a young age.

The higher and more years you commit, train and work with World Tang Soo Do the more intrigued we are to find the values of martial art we belong to. To totally understand any Martial Art , time energy and sacrifice for many years is needed to be attained by the practitioner.

Practice Hyungs- It is my feeling that when you practice any hyung even for many years, there is something special and different learnt each time and appreciated.

As we know not all occupations suit everybody, but looking at World Tang Soo Do many students that practice and train with us make World Tang Soo Do practical for all.

I philosophically associate Masters of World Tang So Do with qualities of bamboo these being loyalty perseverance, unselfishness. Once it has matured the parent bamboo only gives the best quality food to the young shoots and not for itself. They are known to live close together just like a large family giving the appearance of proud, rigid but flexible.

Master Tim Butcher

Club location: Hanham & North Common, Bristol
Started training - , Acquired 1st degree Black Belt.
Gained Masters Belt July
Profile to be updated in the near future.

Master Dawn Khan

Rank and Date of Rank: 5th Dan (O Dan 오단), October 2017

Region, Studio Name and Location: Region 11 Great Britain Tang Soo Do

Contact Information: (011) 44-1480 451621

Master Phil Wiskin

Born : 1965.

Home : Ramsey, Cambridgeshire.

Occupation :.

Hobbies :.

Club Location : Ramsey Leisure Centre, & Upwood Primary School..

Started training in martial arts in 1987 (Modern Contact Karate). He joined the World Tang Soo Do Association in 1989 and achieved his Black Belt in 1992..

In 1996 he achieved his second Dan, testing again in 2000 to reach the rank of third Dan. Master Wiskin is the first British Master to take all of his Master Candidate tests in Europe, having achieved Certified Master Rank in December 2007..

In that same year he attained his Black belt he took over the Ramsey Tang Soo Do club from John Hanson (USAF retired) . Master Wiskin said he has seen the Ramsey Class grow well over the years and has achieved a good status of student – both for grading and competition. He has had the privilege of tutoring a dozen students to Black Belt level over the years of instructing..

Over the years I have enjoyed competing, and fell honoured to have achieved national Grand Champion twice. Master Wiskin’s eldest son trains with me Dominic (20) and is a 2nd Dan.

Favourite aspects of tuition –.

Self Defence techniques and use of pressure points.



Training and watching the children students grow and flourish with their newly acquired knowledge and abilities.

Master Noreen Khan

Profile to be updated in the near future.

Master Rommel Bernarte

Master Bernarte received his 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Mike Allen

Master Allen started training in 1993, after his son developed an interest in Tang Soo Do, rather than sit and watch he decided to join in.

Master Allen is an I.S. Process Coordinator whose main interest, after his family and work, is Tang Soo Do. Master Allen attained his Cho Dan (1st Dan) in 1997, E Dan (2nd Dan) in 2000, Sam Dan (3rd Dan) in 2005, and Sah Dan (4th Dan) in 2012.

Master Allen has competed in Regional, National, European and World Championships being placed in the 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007 competitions, taking the gold medal in Weapons in the 2003 Europeans. Master Allen has also had success in the World Championships, in 2004 Florida he achieved a Silver Medal in Weapons and in 2006 California a Gold Medal in Weapons., 2008 Bronze Medal in Weapons and Hyungs, 2010 Silver Medal in Weapons, Bronze Medals in Hyungs and Sparring.

Master Allen’s teaching style leans towards the technical side than the physical side of Martial Arts, while believing strongly in a class format that includes a physical work out, he believes that there is a lot more that instructors can and should be passing down to their students. Balancing the physical and technical aspects is one art an instructor must master to succeed.

Master Allen’s passion lies with the Weapons used in our martial art, and he strives to expand his knowledge of the subject, with a view to broadening the understanding and abilities of his students.

Master Allen started teaching at Impington in 2001, along with his wife, and since that date the club is very proud to have produced over 20 Dan Grades, and has students to the rank of Sam Dan training and teaching their own clubs.

Master Allen’s favourite saying is “Always expect the Unexpected.”

Master Allen received his 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Martin Silk

Master Silk received his 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Ben Harper

Master Harper received his 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Sally Sweeney

Master Sweeney received her 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Les Hartt

Master Hartt received his 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Rob Wotton

Master Silk received his 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Andrew Silk

Master Silk received his 4th Dan promotion in Wales in August 2012 and can be seen here receiving his Master belt from Grandmaster Beaudoin at the Europeans, Munich, Germany in 2013.

Master Lesley Allen

Mrs Allen started training in 1995 after spending two years on the sidelines supporting and watching other family members.

Mrs Allen is a pharmacy dispenser whose main interests, after her family and home are Tang Soo Do and Photography. Mrs Allen attained her Cho Dan (1st Dan) in 1999, E Dan (2nd Dan) in 2002, and Sam Dan (3rd Dan) in 2006, and Sah Dan (4th Dan) in 2014.

She is a member of the GB Championship Committee, helping to organise the GB Competitions.

Mrs Allen started the Cambridge Club in 2004 and since that date the club has produced 12 Dan Grades with more still to come.

Master Rachel Woodford

Master Gill Innes

Master Ashley Robertson

Master Robbie Tyler

Master Jemma Morgan

Master Paul Turton

Master Paul Ireson

Master Ace Rosillo

Master Aisha Khan

Master Samual Hazelden

Master Alexandra Woodford

Master Paul Townsley

Master Steve Paddock

Master Donna Harvey

Master Catherine Smith

Master Indy Bening

Master Nigel Crockett

Master Tracy Digby

Master Jordan Chappell

Master Collin Silk

Master Mohammad Shahid

Master Kristain Reed

Master Rachel Crockett

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