Moo Duk Kwan

Moo Duk Kwan is a martial arts discipline that is split into two groups. One is Soo Bahk Do, formerly Tang Soo Do, and earlier Hwa Soo Do. Soo Bahk Do was founded by Hwang Kee, November 9, 1945. Moo Duk Kwan translates as “School of Martial Virtue”.

Hwang Kee was inspired to develop his own martial art after having witnessed as a child a man defend himself using the martial art Tae Kyon against a large group of men. Although the Korea Taekkyon Associate disputes Hwang’s story, Hwang says that the man refused to teach him, leaving him to devise his own system based on what what he had seen. Traveling between Manchuria and Korea during World War II, Hwang later successfully appealed to Chinese martial arts teacher Yang Kuk Jin for training, fusing together Chinese and Korean martial arts into a form he initially called Hwa Soo Do (“the Way of the Flowering Hand”), altering to Hwa Soo (Tang Soo) Do after the November 9, 1945 opening of a training hall proved unsuccessful. The new name led to greater success.

Hwang Kee further expanded his school of martial arts after in 1957 he was introduced to the Muye Dobo Tongji by a librarian at the Korean National University in Seoul. It referenced the martial arts system of Subak, a bare hands and feet technique. Hwang Kee changed his art to “Soo Bakh Do” on June 30, 1960.

By 1960, Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan was being practiced by almost 75% of all martial artist in Korea, but the art did face challenges particularly in expanding beyond Korea, including attempted mergers into tae kwan do. However, in spite of these challenges it eventually spread worldwide, with close to 300,000 practitioners.

After Hwang Kee died on July 14, 2002, his son Hwang Hyun Chul (Jin Mun) was named his successor. His appointment was approved unanimously by the Board of Directors of the U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation, Inc. as well as other chapters through the world.