About and History
Dragon Tang Soo Do is an Association of friendly family martial arts clubs based predominantly in the South West of England.
Tang Soo Do is a traditional Korean martial art which teaches self-defence, fighting skills and weapons, in addition, its many benefits also act as a guide to allow people to live a healthy and harmonious life. Incorporated within the Association is a Japanese based style of martial arts called Wado Ryu. These clubs which are based in Bournemouth joined the Association in 2004 and share our ethos, values and aims. Together we are a strong, united and friendly group of like minded martial artists keen to improve our knowledge and pass on our skills and experience to others.
Our clubs cater for people with a wide range of abilities and ages (5 years and above), so whether you want to train to improve your fitness and health, or are keen to learn how to defend yourself, or simply want to find a hobby to relieve stress and make new friends, then we maybe for you!
We live in challenging times and nowadays, increasing numbers of people are learning to protect themselves and their families, our martial arts are a very effective tried and tested method of self-defence. However there are many other reasons why men, women and children train with us, our martial art also provides skills such as self-confidence, self-discipline, physical fitness, flexibility, co-ordination and respect, skills that help us all to cope better with the pressures of everyday life.
The real benefits of Dragon Tang Soo Do are not the coloured belts you earn, but the positive changes that you will experience, the enhancement of your mind, body and spirit as well as the development of individual character and respect for others.
The true goal of Dragon Tang Soo Do is to use the lessons you learn in class to enrich every part of your life.
The vision of Dragon Tang Soo Do is one where people can practice the Martial Arts in a safe and controlled environment. Dragon Tang Soo Do will strive to retain the important traditional aspects of our style, whilst being adaptable and open to new techniques and ideas. Our Instructors and senior grades will endeavour to provide instruction and guidance in a way that does not prejudice any student and will enhance the development of all, both in and out of the Dojang and Dojo (Training Halls). It is important that people enjoy the learning experience provided by Dragon Tang Soo Do.
To develop an individual’s mental and physical health.
To build confidence in all who train with us.
To have a reputation as an organisation of quality martial artists.
To provide scheduled events to support the development of all.
To set and maintain high standards.
To build healthy relationships with other martial art organisations, in the interest of sharing best practices and continually developing the level of knowledge of the instructors and senior members.
To maintain a balance between organisational cost effectiveness and the cost to the practitioner.
To provide a challenging, fun environment that keeps the safety of all in mind.
Every single person counts and everyone has a justifiable expectation to be treated with dignity and respect. That’s why through our ‘vision and goals’ the Directors, Masters and Instructors of Dragon Tang Soo Do are committed to ensuring that our Association respects and celebrates diversity and that all members are helped and encouraged to reach their full potential. Central to this we accept that we are all different and believe that everyone should be treated in an honest, fair and transparent manner in which their individuality should be celebrated and not used as a possible means of discrimination or barrier to achievement. If you feel there is anything more we can do to improve the way we treat our students then please speak to an Instructor, Master, Director or Master Thomas our Diversity Lead.
History of Tang Soo Do
The very first evidence of this ancient form of Korean martial arts appeared during the Three Kingdom era (57 BC-935 AD) as Hwa Rang Do. Since then, 2,000 years have passed. The indigenous martial arts quietly developed through generations of the Korean people. During some eras it flourished and other times it diminished, according to the political, economic or cultural environment. The art was known by various names throughout the eras, such as Hwa-Rang Do, Kyuck Too Ki, Moo Sul, Soo Bahk Ki, Soo Byuck Ki, and others.
Following 1945 Korean independence, the Korean martial arts were again merged and flourished throughout the entire Korean Peninsula. Many organisations were founded with various names such as Soo Bahk Do, Tang Soo Do, Tae Soo Do, etc… At the beginning of the modern era of the Korean martial arts, Tang Soo Do was the most popular term for these arts. However, at that time, the Korean political leader was concerned about establishing Korean value based on Korean nationalism. The political leaders recognized the popularity of Korean martial arts around the world, but were opposed to the use of the name Tang Soo Do for the art, as it sounded like a Chinese martial art, because the first word “Tang” could be interpreted as representing the Chinese Tang Dynasty (617-907 AD).
In 1964, a government sponsored small group created a new name for the Korean martial arts: Tae Kwon Do. We still respect the original term, Tang Soo Do, and intend to preserve its heritage and value as a traditional way or path. Unfortunately, many Tae Kwon Do instructors did not maintain the traditional values of the true martial arts. Instead, they converted to a sport as they have progressed to the internationally recognized sports arenas such as the Olympic games. This was considered to be a great political achievement, to bring strength and prominence to the Korean government in International politics. True Martial Arts lovers had no place within these Tae Kwon Do dojangs (Training Halls) to continue to pursue traditional martial arts because they abandoned many valuable aspects of true Martial Arts to become a simple competitive sport.
We, as Tang Soo Do practitioners are striving to maintain traditional values of respect, dicipline, self control, self improvement, etiquette and ultimately live a healthy and harmonious life, physically and mentally.
History of Wado Ryu
It would be very difficult to trace the original roots of karate back to their inception, however it is believed that the Okinawan Islands off the Japanese coast were the birth place of the art practiced across the world today. Despite the strong links to Japan, the original name was “Chinese hand" or "Tang hand" which during the early part of the 1900s, the Japanese changed to Kara-te “open” or “empty hand”
Wado Ryu is one of the four most popular karate styles practiced today, in comparison with others, it is relatively modern with the founder Hironori Ohtsuka, who had studied other forms of martial arts previously, introducing Wado Ryu in Tokyo around the mid 1930s. It wasn’t until 1965 that it was introduced to the United Kingdom by Tatsuo Suzuki.
Our Clubs in Bournemouth have been operating since 1992 and we work hard to maintain the traditions and techniques as outlined by the Founder.