“The way of the Tang hand” is a literal translation of an East Asian martial art form known as Tang Soo Do. This “hybrid” combat form is said to have originated from South Korea. Apparently, Tang Soo Do has been created by fusing elements belonging to other martial art styles such as shotokan karate, subak, taekkyeon, and kung fu. Furthermore, it was developed jointly by a Korean martial artist named Hwang Kee.
a. History/origin of Tang Soo Do:
According to the cultural history of South Korea, it was a Korean martial artist Hwang Lee that actually developed this combat form. It was during the 1930’s when Japan was basically the colonial master of South Korea that Hwang Lee a martial artist mastered martial art forms such as Subak and Taekkyeon. Now, such was the circumstances surrounding the Korean society during this period that the practice of any form of native martial arts was prohibited, and imprisonment was the punishment set for those found guilty. Unfortunately, Lee was found practicing martial arts by the secret police as a result he was forced to leave his homeland and take shelter in China. It was in China that Lee then found Master Yang who taught him a new martial art form known as Yang Kung Fu, a stronger and more passive combat style. It was after the completion of World War II in 1945 when Lee returned to South Korea that he developed from the knowledge acquired from China a new combat style known as Tang Soo Do.
b. Weapon used in the Tang Soo Do:
Since “hand and feet technique” are mainly used in the Tang Soo Do the weapon used essentially are the “hands and feet” of the fighter.
c. Technique used in the Tang Soo Do and training availability:
In terms of technique, a fighter essentially uses “hands and feet” to overcome an opponent. So moves involved in terms of hands and feet technique are as follows:
1 Hand techniques:
Includes striking, blocking, punching, middle punch, back fist, spear hand, ridge hand, hammer fist, elbow strike, side punch etc.
2 Feet techniques:
Includes kick, front kick, inside out heel kick, outside in heel kick, stretching front kick, round house kick, side kick, hook kick, back kick, spin hook kick, knee strike, and reverse round kick.
As for training centers/schools, there are a few available especially in South Korea for those interested in learning this “hybrid” martial art form.