Grandmaster's Statement on the Purpose of Tang Soo Do

This is to describe Grandmaster Ah Po's philosophy as it relates to the primary Purpose of Tang Soo Do training. As originally taught by the late Great Grandmaster Hwang Kee, Grandmaster Ah Po stresses that the primary purpose of Tang Soo Do is, to develop the human character by enabling the student to develop mentally, physically, and spiritually and in doing so heighten their self-awareness thus enabling them to develop a greater sensitivity towards all things in nature:

In motion, be like water
At rest, like a mirror
Respond, like an echo
Be subtle, as though nonexistent

Kuan Yi

In the area of mental development Grandmaster Ah Po believes that the practice of Tang Soo Do develops the intellectual capacities of the student by increasing their ability to analyze new situations, reason quickly, and think and act through knowledge and experience. He also believes that Tang Soo Do helps students to develop a higher level of conscious mental awareness thus enabling them to respond to life's experiences and challenges in a more intuitive fashion by utilizing all of the human senses. He teaches his students to develop all of their senses, rather than limiting them solely to the five senses that are recognized by the Western World.

Grandmaster Ah Po states that the student's physical abilities are also highly developed as a result of Tang Soo Do training. Students learn to develop their physical abilities to their fullest potential while also learning to recognize and cope with their physical limitations. He also states that the practice of Tang Soo Do exercises both the internal and external systems of the human anatomy, which helps practitioners to become healthier and more physically fit thus resulting in prolonged life. Training in Tang Soo Do also results in quicker reflexes, better coordination, and the more efficient functioning of the muscular as well as internal and autonomic systems of the human anatomy.

Grandmaster Ah Po states that, within each living thing in the Universe, there exists an internal physical force (commonly referred to as Ki or Chi) which is the necessary ingredient for the perpetuation of life. The Tang Soo Do student does not learn to develop this physical force (since it already exists), but rather develops a higher level of conscious awareness that enables one to integrate it with all other physical properties of the human anatomy. Mere physical force or muscular strength is not all that is involved, but rather each student learns to get in touch with their inner force, Ki, and then access and utilize it to become more in tune with the Universe.

He also believes that the practice of Tang Soo Do enables the student to grow spiritually by helping them to develop a positive philosophical approach to life thus enhancing the human spirit. As stated earlier, Grandmaster Ah Po stresses that the primary purpose of Tang Soo Do is the development of the human character. Students strive to improve their character through a system of intense physical training that requires a high level and degree of mental focus and concentration, and Moo Do (Martial) discipline.

In conclusion, Grandmaster Ah Po strongly believes that, The ultimate goal of the art is 'creation'; a spiritual awakening of the mind, body and spirit towards an appreciation for the beauty of life and reverence for nature. Students develop humility, inner awareness, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, independence, maturity and wisdom. As a result, they are able to maintain a strong connection with the outside world, and are able to meet life's challenges in a more successful manner using their entire being to avoid conflict and to achieve a peaceful co-existence in life.

Tang Soo!