Difference Between Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do

Discussion in 'Tae Kwon Do' started by Bgajdor1, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. Bgajdor1

    Bgajdor1 Valued Member

    I was wondering if anyone could outline the differences between Taekwondo and Tang Soo Do. I have heard that Tang Soo Do works more on hands and puts a heavy emphasis on poomsae/forms, but I'm not sure how valid this claim is.

    This is purely for curiosity's sake, but what are the big differences between these two arts?

    ~ Ben
    MDTKD_21 and Anthony Pratt like this.
  2. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    Functionally not a lot, they just have different forms.
  3. Instructor_Jon

    Instructor_Jon Effectiveness First

    I can't think of a single 'big' difference. Forms and lineage to some extent. I would wager there is more difference between the way individual schools are taught from each other than differences between the styles themselves.
  4. JSKukkiKicker

    JSKukkiKicker Valued Member

    I am Kukkiwon Taekwondo and I have a friend who is Tang Soo Do. Forms of course. The major difference is how we perform our moves.

    My kicks are more snappy (still hard and heavy) a little faster.
    I also spend more time drilling sports based drills like double to quad roundhouses in a line. These drills are great for sports, but do not translate directly to self defense. I usually attack in a straight line, then angle, then attack again.
    I am always basing my thought process on kicking distance.
    I have virtually no hands. Sitting into a horse stance and punching is not sufficient.

    His kicks still get pretty quick. They are much more powerful. He uses his whole body to throw techniques.
    He cuts into angles while throwing attacks. He uses the angles for power.
    His hands are closer to boxing hands.

    My work outs are more cardio based and intense, we just throw techniques and refine over time. Also, I don't gas out

    His are more hard and heavy, slower paced and very technique oriented. Step by step, self defense based.

    Not all TSD is like that, but his org is.

    TKD, dont pick the first school you see, seriously, look around and try out

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  5. Bgajdor1

    Bgajdor1 Valued Member

    I've actually found a great Taekwondo school to attend in Ithaca. It's an hour drive, but it's worth it. I'm training Haidong Gumdo at a different Tang Soo Do school. And was just curious about the fundamental differences between styles. Thanks for outlining that for me. I appreciate it.

    ~ Ben
  6. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    CW TKD I'm guessing?

    An hour? Make sure your tank's got enough for the round trip as ga$ i$ a bit above the norm here. Thought you'd like to know.
  7. Bgajdor1

    Bgajdor1 Valued Member

    Thank you. I gas up in Binghamton though. It is CW Taekwondo. Are you familiar with it? Or are you a student there?
  8. evva

    evva Valued Member

    Tang soo do practioners throw their hip into kicks a lot more than TKD,sidekick is a classic example.I reckon TKD generates a lot of power via the speed and velocity where as Tang Soo Do use raw hip power along with velocity.
  9. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Whilst this may be true for some TKD it isn't the case for all :)

    I think primarily TSD is closer to the karate roots of TKD than modern TKD. As I understand it they perform the shotokan kata for example.

  10. wmks shogun

    wmks shogun Valued Member

    Hi all!
    Since I have Dan rank in both (though actively only really do TKD anymore) I would weigh in.
    Tang Soo Do (Way of the Chinese Hand) is a Korean variation of Japanese Shotokan. Now, over the years it has found parts of its own identity apart from Shotokan, though they do still practice variations of the Shotokan forms:
    Korean / Japanese
    Kicho / Taikyo (might be spelling that one wrong)
    Pyong Ahn (1-5)/ Heien (1-5)
    Bassai(or Passai) / Bassia Dai
    Nihonchi (1-3) / Tekki (1-3)
    Jindo / Gankaku
    Sip Soo / Jitte

    Just to name a few.

    Tae Kwon Do came about when the Koreans decided that what they were practicing was too "Japanese" and even the names for their arts, Tang Soo Do and Kong Soo Do ("empty hand way") were just Korean transliterations of "Karate-Do." Therefore, they founded a 'new' art, Tae Soo Do (later renamed Taekwon-Do) and created new forms, the Chang-Hon forms. Then Gen. Choi, Hon-Hi fell out of political favor, fled the country and took the ITF with him. Back in Korea they founded the Kukkiwon in 1972 and the WTF in 1973 to serve as the technical headquarters and center for the sport of Taekwondo, respectively. They created the Palgwe (which were judged to be too "Japanese" also) and then Taeguk forms. The rules for the sport were changed to favor foot techniques to differentiate it from Karate and also to try to bring back some of the concepts from Taekkyon, an older Korean Martial art from which Tae Kwon Do took its name.

    Depending on the style and organization the difference between the two arts can be minimal, with only differences being the forms, or it can be dramatic (ITF's Sine wave looks nothing like the way most Tang Soo Do stylists perform their forms). It really is a matter of personal preference, and more importantly, lineage. Some of the chambers have changed, and a few stances are done differently, but for the most part, the two arts are still recognizable as sister arts.

    I hope this clears some things up and was not confusing. I tried to write it quickly during my planning period. Feel free to ask questions in here or privately, or if I made any mistakes, please, feel free to correct me. I know that most of what I am saying is right, but I may have a few things incorrect. If so, I assure you it is an honest mistake and not intentional.
  11. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    Ok I just wanted to point out that while I agree with most of your post & the general concept you put forth, I wish to highlight that Gen. Choi & Col. Nam came up with the name TKD in 1954 & they apparently obtained official permission from the 1st ROK President to have that (TKD) become the new name of the KMA! so the military gym (Oh Do Kwan) & the civilians in the Chung Do Kwan who followed Gen. Choi used the name TKD. However the TAE SOO DO name did not come about until 1961, as the other civilians did not want to apply the name TKD as that was Gen. Choi's MA. So they came up with that new compromise name. However Gen. Choi & his followers never used the TAE SOO DO name, hence they can be considered the original TKD or the 1st ones to use the name & apply it to the system they were developing!
  12. itf-taekwondo

    itf-taekwondo Banned Banned

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think Taekwondo forms (tull) came into existence until 1966, and ITF? That's still 11 years (1955-1966) of karate kata in Taekwondo schools
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2014
  13. TKDstudent

    TKDstudent Valued Member

    No actually you are not correct. Gen. Choi started to create his Patterns in 1955 with the help of the soldiers under his command. The 1st 3 Masters of TKD were Gen. Choi, Col. Nam & Sgt. Han. They created the 1st 3 Patterns which were HwaRang (55) ChungMu & UlJi (56). Then by 1959 U-Nam & SAM-IL came next, with GaeBaek in 1961. By 1965 there were 21 patterns created & 20 of them were in the 1965 book. In the 1959 book the 1st 5 were in it. In the 65 book, which was the 1st English book on TKD, it also contained the karate katas. But in the 1966 ROK Army TKD Manual, they removed the karate katas. By 1972 there were 24 & in the early 1980s KoDang was replaced by Juche.
  14. Capcom

    Capcom Banned Banned

    The Tae Kwon Do schools employed Karate patterns until Chois 24 patterns were created. I presume this is what the user itf-taekwondo meant in his post. Chois work on all patterns( for it to be gradings in different )was only finished around 1965-1966. Until that time, different types of Karate katas were most likely taught. Thus Karate Kata is not what distinguished TSD from TKD, depending on which era of TKD one is referring to.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  15. Capcom

    Capcom Banned Banned

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2014
  16. Indie12

    Indie12 Valued Member

    Basically, Tang Soo Do is considered "Korean Karate".... While Tae Kwon Do is more emphasizes on Kicking. Depending if it's ITF or WTF, it may use more acrobatic kicks like in WTF. Or more basic structured kicks like in ITF>

    Tang Soo Do is basically the Koreans version of Karate.

    Both have different forms and organizations.
  17. Indie12

    Indie12 Valued Member

    Actually, to correct one point! Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do are not recognized as "sister" arts. Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do are recognized as "brother" and "sister" arts.

    Gen Choi coined the term "Tae Kwon Do" in 1948 as a way of unifying all of the Korean Arts. Tae Soo Do was the original name, however later changed to Tae Kwon Do in early 1950.

    But good weigh-in!!
  18. whistlekick

    whistlekick New Member

    This is a wonderful discussion! Learning a lot.

  19. Anthony Pratt

    Anthony Pratt New Member

    Ben, I think most of the responses you have gotten thus far although informative in some cases are slightly off and do not directly address your specific query because they are speaking in relative terms. The complete answer is more complicated. First of all, more than two thirds of schools calling themselves Tae Kwon Do have Tang Soo Do origins. Tang Soo Do is the largest single style system in the world. Yes, it is true Traditional Tang Soo Do practitioners perform some Hyung or forms called Pyong Ahn (peaceful confidence) based on the Japanese Shotokan Heian patterns as well as some black belt forms i.e. Bassai and Koryo. Bassai is the most widely practiced Kata or form across many different style systems. Tang soo do has Chinese influences as well. But, the new Tae Kwon Do Poomse (patterns) aka Chul Ki were created for the Olympic sport and the Tang Soo do Hyung were disallowed. It was partly a political move to stop Tang Soo Do-ists from dominating the competitions. I was there as all this happened. lol The School of Tang Soo Do is called Moo Duk Kwan - School of high martial virtue. There are 8 other Kwans (Schools) from which Tae Kwon Do originated as well including Ji Do Kwan, Song Moo Kwan, Kang Duk Kwan, Chung Do Kwan, Chang Moo Kwan, Pal Gi Kwan, Han Moo Kwan, and Oh Do Kwan. These 9 were consolidated from 40 schools in Korea. Eventually, Korea wanted to organize and regulate all these factions and ordered the Kwans to unite under one name. The masters voted and Tae Kwon Do won the honor. So, for anyone to say Tang Soo Do is like this or Tae Kwon Do is different in certain aspects could be somewhat misleading. It may not be your style that has taught you more snappy style kicks as much as it is your teacher. Every instructor is different and students always reflect their teachers way. There may be some truth in saying Tang Soo Do is generally more focused on martial art and empty hand self-defense and less on sport. But, it depends on the teacher not the label. In the case of my school Tang Soo Do Karate West formerly Pratt Tae Kwon Do Institute I maintain an authentic hardcore traditional pad less way of training unless we are training for a specific competition which we need to adapt our training regimen to. We are all evolving. The patterns of form movements you practice is not as significant as the pattern and form protocols of each individual technique. As far as percentage of using hands versus feet it depends on the situation and what your opponent does. But, you could say both Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do are widely known for a lot of great kicking techniques. And, maybe this overshadows some of the other striking and grappling moves. In my book Tang Soo Do: Self Defense Secret Volume 1 I focus on these kind of practical applications of the art. The reason I have reverted to the name Tang Soo Do versus Tae Kwon Do is because TKD has become an Olympic sport which I supported and was a part of as a National championship team coach. But, in my view the art will always come first.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  20. Monkey_Magic

    Monkey_Magic Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019

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