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On this page, we will offer to you, the many different aspects and interpretations of the philosophy passed down through several generations of Tang Soo Do instructors.  We are not saying that any one of these particular tenets is the “correct” one, or the “only” one.  What you’ll see is that all of these words and phrases have one thing in common; the fact that they all guide the practitioner to live an honorable life, to respect themselves and others, to stand up for what’s right, to be truthful, etc.  Regardless of the doctrine that you may subscribe to or agree with, all of these words of wisdom are worthy of our time.  When reading some of the words that were written hundreds of years ago, be mindful of the fact that some people lived with the daily threat of attack from neighboring villages, regions or countries.  Fighting for their lives was the very reason that most of the Asian Martial Arts exist.  There were no “point karate” matches or “sport karate” games back then, only a fight for their lives when warring factions attack, thus the references to the taking of lives in combat and how important it was to do so honorably.


  • Be loyal to one’s country.
  • Be obedient to parents and elders.
  • Honor friendship.
  • Kill only in justice and with honor.
  • Never retreat in battle.


  • Every member should seek the truth and practice it.
  • Promote the highest moral character through the training of Tang Soo Do.
  • Respect and obey your parents, teachers and seniors.
  • Love your country and contribute to your community.
  • Develop both great confidence and humility, and practice both inside and outside of class.
  • Do your best to promote intellectuality.
  • Do not hesitate to sacrifice yourself for justice.
  • Do you utmost to develop Tang Soo Do as the most popular martial art in the world.
  • Develop your endurance, and be calm and humble in mind.
  • Always remember that the ultimate purpose of Tang Soo Do is to promote both physical and mental health.


  • Be loyal to your country.
  • Be obedient to your parents.
  • Be loving between husband and wife.
  • Be cooperative between brothers.
  • Be respectful to your elders.
  • Be faithful between teacher and student.
  • Be faithful between friends.
  • Be just in killing.
  • Never retreat in battle.
  • Accompany your decisions with action and always finish what you start.



  • Reverence for nature.
  • Physical concentration.
  • Courtesy.
  • Modesty.
  • Thankfulness.
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Cultivation of courage.
  • Chastity.
  • Be strong inside and mild outside.
  • Endurance.


  • Exhalation. (Ki-Hap)
  • Focus of sight. (Shi Sun)
  • Continuous balance in movement.
  • Flexibility of the body.
  • Correct muscle tone for power.
  • High and low speed techniques.
  • Exactness of techniques.
  • Adjustment for proper distance.
  • Proper breathing for endurance.
  • Conditioning of hands and feet.


  • The purpose of training should be for the enhancement of the mental as well as the physical self.
  • Sincerity is necessary.
  • Effort is necessary.
  • Consistent scheduling during practice.
  • Do your best while training.
  • Train in the basic spirit of the Moo Duk Kwan.
  • Regularly spaced practice sessions.
  • Obey the word, without objection, of instructors and seniors; look and learn.
  • Don’t be overly ambitious.
  • Pay attention to every aspect of your training.
  • Pay attention to the order of training.
  • Get instruction, step by step, in new Forms and techniques.
  • Try to conquer yourself when you feel idleness.


  • Integrity - sound moral principle, uprightness, honesty, and sincerity.  All Tang Soo Do practitioners must strive to be honest, sincere, noble, and upright.  The virtue of integrity serves as the foundation upon which all others stand.
  • Concentration - is the focusing our minds.  It is one of the most important elements and requirements in Tang Soo Do.  It starts with "paying attention" followed by avoiding all other thoughts and rejecting outside interference.
  • Perseverance - the determination to persist in spite of obstacles or difficulties.  The highest goal is always located behind steep peaks which cost you pain and sacrifice.  In Tang Soo Do, an enduring willpower should be cultivated.
  • Respect and Obedience - is a tolerant and sincere effort to understand and appreciate the customs and the values of other people. Students should be able to subordinate their own personal ego or vanity to the instructor and to the Toe Chang rules.
  • Self-Control - control over oneself, desires, actions, or emotions is needed to reach that higher level of cultured character.  Students should not lose prudence, but should discover self first and learn to control that self.
  • Humility - a winning power against arrogance.  Humility does not make enemies, it brings you a winning sense and superior feelings.  Blocking this virtue is to be selfish and egotistical in attitude.  Be humble and continue to correct yourself, not others, then you will achieve your humility.
  • Indomitable Spirit - is a ceaseless struggle with adversity and it is one of the most essential elements in making you a success.  Life is full of trials and hurdles to overcome.  A Tang Soo Do student has an unflinching determination.

"8 KEY CONCEPTS" (for the modern practitioner)

  • Courage
  • Concentration
  • Endurance
  • Honesty
  • Humility
  • Control of Power
  • Tension and Relaxation
  • Speed Control


(based on the “10 CREEDS OF TANG SOO DO”)

  • Be loyal to one's country:  Sacrifice to fulfill your duty to your country and your people.  This is based on the spirit of Hwa Rang.
  • Be obedient to one's parent and elders:  Children should be dutiful to their parents and parents should be charitable to their children.
  • Be loving to one's husband or wife:  From the mother's body develops man's happiness, as harmony and affection form love between the sexes.
  • Be cooperative to your brothers:  Hold together with cooperation and concord.
  • Be respectful to elders:  Protect the rights of the weak with courtesy and modesty.
  • Be faithful to your teacher:  Learn the truth through practice of duty, loyalty, and affection.
  • Be faithful to friends:  Honor friendship and be peaceful and happy with harmony and faith towards all mankind.
  • Face combat only in justice and with honor:  Be able to distinguish between good and bad with fairness and rightfulness.
  • Never retreat in battle:  Sacrifice for justice with capability and bravery.
  • Always finish what you start:  Move to action with sureness and with hope.
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