THE BEGINNING - All non-Japanese martial arts were forbidden in Korea during the Japanese occupation. Hwang Kee, Moo Duk Kwans founder, left for Manchuria China in approximately 1935. While in China he studied Chinese arts. Hwang Kee returned to Korea sometime near 1945.
Somewhere in the early beginnings of Hwang Kee's teaching career there was a training period at Lee Won Kuk's Chung Do Kwan. Much controversy has arisen over this and the details have never been disclosed cohesively.
Claiming to have studied Okinawa Karate books left behind by the Japanese, Hwang Kee began to teach calling his art Hwa Soo Do which meant flowering hand way. Soon after Hwang Kee even adopted the Okinawa/Japanese name to his style, Tang Soo Do or Karate-Do (China or empty hand way). Karate translates into Tang Soo (pronounced Dang Soo) in Korean. It also translates into Kong Soo. Hwang Kee's style was a combination of Karate and Chinese techniques.
The schools name was Moo Duk Kwan which means martial virtue school. Hwang Kee's Moo Duk school was started at the railroad system at Yong San Station, Seoul. The Department of Transportation allowed the Dojang as a traffic service. It was called the Railroad Dojang. The first Moo Duk Kwan dan holder was Kim, Woon Chang. Others were, 1) Hong Chong Soo 2) Choi Hui Suk 3) Yoo Kwa Young 4) Nam Sam Hyun 5) Kim In Suk 6) Lee Bok Sung 7) Hwang Jin Tae 8) Won Yong Bup 9) Chung Chang Young 10) Lee Kang Ik and others, who were all railroad personnel. The Moo Duk Kwan used the trains to open schools in different railroad station's storage rooms. When someone said Moo Duk Kwan, one would think about the railroad.
In 1955, the Moo Duk Kwan's Central Gymnasium was opened near Seoul Station in Joong Gu's Dong Ja Dong, Seoul. In the same year, more schools were opened and it held the friendly China-Korea International Tang Soo Do Championships.
In 1960, the Moo Duk Kwan had another change. Moo Duk Kwan, under the Korea Tang Soo Do Association, changed the associations name to the Korea Soo Bahk Do Association to compete with the Taekwondo Association.
The Moo Duk Kwan split because of Hwang Kee's persistence in not unifying with the Korea Taekwondo Association. In March 1965, Kim Young Taek and Hong Chong Soo led a majority of Moo Duk Kwan in membership to the Korea Taekwondo Association without Hwang Kee.
Later, when the Korean government united all martial arts under its control to regulate them, Hwang Kee fought this in the Korean court system to keep what was left of his Soo Bahk Do Association independent in spite of harassment and intimidation.
The Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do, though small, carries on independently worldwide with its main headquarters in the United States. There are many Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do splinter groups across the U.S. and the world.
Moo Duk Kwan Principles
10 Creeds of Moo Duk Kwan
Be Loyal to your country
Be obedient to your parents
Be lovable between husband and wife
Be cooperative between brothers
Be respectful to your elders
Be faithful between teacher and student
Be faithful between friends
Be just in killing
Never retreat in battle
Accompany your decisions with action and always finish what you start
11 Points of Emphasis on Mental Training
Reverence for nature
Physical concentration (Ki-Up)
Be strong inside and mild outside
10 Points of emphasis on physical development
Vocal exhalation, for thoracic strength (Ki-Up)
Focus of sight
Continuous balance during movements
Flexibility of the body
Correct muscle tone for maximum power
High and low speed techniques
Exactness of techniques
Adjustments for proper distance
Proper breathing for endurance
Conditioning hands and feet
5 Requisites on Mental Training
Oneness with nature
Complete Awareness of Environment
Matters that demand special attention while training in Moo Duk Kwan
Purpose of training should be enhancement of the mental and
Sincerity is necessary
Effort is necessary
Consistent schedule during practice
Do your best when training
Train in the basic spirit of Moo Duk Kwan
Regularly spaced practice sessions
Obey without objection the word of instructors or seniors; look and learn
Don't be overly ambitious
Pay attention to every aspect of training
Pay attention to the order of training
Get instruction step by step in new forms and techniques
Try to conquer when you feel idleness
Cleanliness is desired after practice is finished