History Of Tang Soo Do
A myriad of vague generalizations and legends regarding the origins of open hand fighting have been circulated to the extent that the legend has often, by many, been accepted as truth. Of all the forms of hand and feet fighting, the oriental forms are known to be the most effective. In tracing its formation we have to be careful lest we fall into the common failing of confusing fact with fiction.
There are some authorities who believe that a renowned Buddhist monk, Daruma Daesa, journeyed from India to China via the Himalayas to instruct the Liang Dynasty monarch on the tenants of Buddhism. Upon his arrival in China, he was to have gone to a monastery called Shaolin-Szu to begin his teachings of Buddhism to the Chinese monks. They soon became physically exhausted from the severe discipline and intense pace that was set by Daruma. To train them to accept the harshness of the discipline, Daruma began to introduce a method of physical and mental discipline outlined in the I-Chin Sutra to free themselves from all conscious control in order to attain enlightenment. The monks worked hard at this discipline and from it eventually evolved into the most formidable fighters in China.
Although this theory is quite beautiful there is little historical data to substantiate it. Instead, the writings show that Daruma came into China during the Yang Dynasty of the sixth century while the country was under the reign of King Myong Je, and he arrived by sea and not by land. Daruma initially attempted to teach Buddhism to King Moo Je at Kwang Joo but was refused by the king. Daruma then went to a small country in the north of China called Ui where he was invited to teach by Myong Je. Daruma, for some unexplained reason, refused the offer and remained at Ko San So Rim temple in meditation and devotion until his death nine years later.
There are many beautiful theories, some more highly glossed than others. An argument continues to rage about the origin of Oriental open hand fighting. Some Japanese Karate experts insist the art is of Japanese origin, some say it came from Okinawa, others say it began in China and spread from there. The Chinese theory is usually the one most readily accepted because China is the cradle of Oriental culture, but this does not necessarily mean the martial arts as well had their beginning there.To learn more about what Tang Soo Do is click here.
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