Tenets of Tang Soo Do


All Tang Soo Do practitioners strive to be honest, sincere, noble and upright. This virtue of integrity serves as the foundation upon which all others stand.


Focusing our mind I one of the most important elements in Tang Soo Do, and concentration is the most required factor. The human brain is capable of thinking many things at once and changing thoughts at very rapid speeds. The ability to focus on one matter from our fleeting thought is concentration. It starts with “paying attention”, followed by avoiding all other thoughts while rejecting outer interference then maintaining the state of consciousness. The stage can be heightened ultimately to the capability of learning and fulfilling tasks.


Nothing can be achieved without persistent and repeated effort. This resolute pursuit is the only way to reach the final destination – the goal. The highest goal is always located behind steep peaks which costs you pain and sacrifice. In the training of Tang Soo Do, an enduring willpower should be cultivated.

Respect and Obedience

This implies a tolerant and sincere effort to understand and appreciate the customs and values of other people. Students should be able to subordinate their own personal ego or vanity to the order of the instructor and to the dojang rules.


Taoist Lao Tzu quoted, “Winning over self is truly more difficult than conquering another person.” Indeed, control by self is needed for that high level of cultivated character. Students should not lose prudence, but should discover self first and learn to control that self.


Tang Soo Do training requires many bowings (kyung yet) through the entire training regimen. Bowing trains the students in self-respect and humility. Humility is a winning power against arrogance. Humility does not make enemies, but it brings you a winning sense and superior feelings. Blockage of this virtue is a selfish and egotistic attitude. Often it results in abhorrence and isolation from others. Be humble, continue to criticize and correct yourself, not others, then you will achieve your humility “While empty heads and grain stand straight, the ripe grain bends.”

Indomitable Spirit

A ceaseless struggle with adversity is one of the most essential elements in making you a success. In general, life is full of trials, tribulations, and chances of failure. However, differences start from the point where one stands up and tries again, or simply gives up. Proper Tang Soo Do training incorporates this resolute and unflinching determination, “A winner never quits and a quitter never wins.”

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