Life Code

Our Founder of Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do
Great Grandmaster Hwang Kee

Grandmaster Hwang Kee was the founder of Moo Duk Kwan Hwa Soo Do, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do and Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do. A martial arts prodigy, at the age of 22, he mastered his martial art skills.

Traveling to Northern China, Grandmaster Hwang Kee came across a martial art called the Tang method. He studied this and in 1936 he developed a style called Tang Soo Do Moo Kwan. The philosophy of this martial art style was to develop every aspect of the self.

Grandmaster Hwang Kee showed how Tang Soo Do Moo integrated
the intellect, the emotions and the spirit.

He believed that when used properly, Tang Soo Do Moo Kwan helps a person be free of inner conflict and deal with the outside world in a mature, intelligent, forthright and virtuous manner.

Grandmaster Hwang Kee selected the name "Hwang" to describe "Hwa Soo Do", the art he taught. It is in honor of the Hwarang warriors. Because of the war, he was forced to change the name to "Tang Soo Do" in recognition of Korea’s martial link to China. This is the name we use today in our school. In 1960, years after World War II, he changed the name to "Soo Bahk Do". This is an ancient name that he used in his earlier years of practice. Soo Bahk Do has many of the same traditions as Tang Soo Do. There are many schools related to our art that use the name Soo Bahk Do.

Moo Duk Kwan is split into two different groups:
Group One: (3 Traditional Martial Arts):
Hwa Soo Do
Tang Soo Do (formerly called Hwa Soo Do),
Soo Bahk Do (formerly called Tang Soo Do).

Group Two: (Non-Traditional martial arts for competitive sports):

Tae Kwon Do

Grandmaster Hwang Kee's History
Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee was born on November 9, 1914, in Jang Dan, Kyong Ki province where the DMZ is currently located.

His father, Hwang, Yong Hwan, had a dream in which he saw the bright star (Sam Tae Song) before his son's birth. He named his son "Tae Nam", which means "star boy". Later his name was changed to "Kee". His father was a scholar who had achieved a high level of academic recognition from the last King of the Yi Dynasty, Ko Jong.

In May of 1921 Hwang Kee was 7 years old was visiting a nearby village, attending a traditional Festival called "Dan.There they had archery, wrestling and many other festivities. As Hwang Kee was enjoying the festival, a group of seven or eight men had a dispute with another man. Suddenly the group of men attacked the lone man, who began evading and counter attacking with his feet, eventually defeating the group of men. This ability to defend himself against several attackers so impressed Hwang Kee that he followed the man home and asked him to teach Hwang Kee. Hwang Kee was refused because he was much too young learn.

Hwang Kee knew he wanted to learn to martial arts, determined to learn, he would go to the master’s house daily, watching from a distance on a hill nearby as the master would teach Tae Kyun to other men. He spent hours practicing the moves that he saw.

In the country of Korea in the 1920's and 1930's the educational system differed significantly from the present time. Few students became high school graduates. The Kwan Jang Nim entered elementary school at the age of 11 and graduated high school in March 1935. Hwang Kee continued to practice the techniques of Tae Kyun that he had learned years before, becoming more proficient.

Following his high school graduation, in May of 1935, Hwang Kee went to Manchuria to find work.

In May 1936 he met a Chinese master, Master Yang, Kuk Jin. Master Yang was teaching a handful of private students practicing a Chinese martial art in his home .There he was able to train in Chinese martial arts. Here he received formal training which included Seh Bop (Postures), Bo Bop (steps) and Ryun Bop (Conditioning). He also trained in Dham Toi Sip E Ro (12 Step Tan Tui) and Tae Kuk Kwon (Tai Chi) where he became a dedicated student.

In 1939 he had to go to work, and became employed at the Survey department of the Cho Sun Railway Bureau. Hwang Kee visited his master regularly. In his spare moments Hwang Kee practiced martial arts and read books from the library. He particularly enjoyed reading about Okinawan Karate, philosophy and astronomy.

Then there were a number of wars, initiated by Japan, broke out. There was much strife in the country. This led to World War II. China became a Communist country in 1946, so Hwang Kee could no longer communicate with or visit Master Yang.
During World War II it became illegal to practice the martial arts. Hwang Kee spent hours studying books on Okinawan Karate

and continued to practice Tae Kyun privately, daily. He also practiced Okinawan Karate. He became a extremely proficient martial artist.

Finally, Korea became an independent country on August 15, 1945, as World War II came to an end. At the time it became possible for Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee to fulfill his life-long dream to dedicate himself solely to the martial arts.

Hwang Kee made it his life to help spread the martial arts around the world. He authored many books, traveled many countries and did everything he could to unify and perfect the martial arts in Korea and the world

It was a great loss to the martial arts when Hwang Kee passed away on July 14, 2002 at 87 years old. He left a legacy of his art.

Some of Grandmaster Hwang Kee's many accomplishments were:

In April of 1945 at the age of 16 years old, Grandmaster Jae Joo Kim became a gifted and devoted student of Grandmaster Hwang Kee.

First Hwa Soo Do DoJang in Seoul, Korea - 1945

On November 9 1945 Grandmaster Hwang Kee founded the Moo Duk Kwan Hwa Soo Do style.

In May 7 1947 he established the first regional branch Hwa Soo Do school in Dae Jun City, Choong-Nam Province.

In July 7 1947 he established Hwa Soo Do school in the Labor Department.

Hwang Kee's Do Jang

In May 30 1949 he authored the first Hwa Soo Do textbook in Korea

In April 1952 he was an Instructor at the Police Academy in Pusan.

In October 1 1952 he was an Instructor at the Ministry of Defense in Pusan.

In May 1955 he had the grand opening of his headquarters (43-1 Dong Ja-Dong, Choong Gu, Seoul)

In July 1955 he established the following provincial Moo Duk Kwan branches: 1) Seoul 2)Gyung Gi 3) Gang Won 4) Gyung Buk 5) Gyung Nam 6) Chun Nam 7) Choong Buk

In August 1955 he established the Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do studio at Korean Air Force Headquarters

In 1955 he organized and chaired first International Goodwill Demonstration between Korea and China

In March 1956 he was an Instructor at the Korean Air Force Academy

In May 1956 he was an Instructor at the Korean Naval Academy

In July 1958 he authored a" Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do" textbook

In June 1960 he authored a second "Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do" self-defense textbook

In June 1960 he created the name Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do from ancient name of "Soo Bahk", "Soo Bahk Ki" or "Soo Bahk Hee".

In September 1960 he published "Moo Yei Si Bo".

In May 14 1961 he formed the Asian Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Association among three countries: Korea, Japan, Taiwan (position: Chairman

He 1968 he sponsored and organized first World and fifth Asian Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Championship at Citizen Hall in Seoul, Korea.

Hwang Kee's travels

In December 1980 he sponsored and organized Goodwill Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do Champion-ships between Korea and USA held at Jang Choong Gym, Seoul.

In September 1981 he sponsored and participated in world Ko Dan Ja Meeting, regarding 1982 World Championships in Atlantic City, NJ.

Hwang Kee

In November 1982 he sponsored and organized world Ko Dan Ja meeting in Springfield, NJ

In November 1988 he sponsored administrative meeting for foreign branches at Springfield, NJ

In December 1988 he sponsored and organized world Ko Dan Ja special training in Seoul, Korea

In March 1991 he held the first Yuk Ro Hyung Clinic. Attending Ko Dan Ja, W.Y. Chung, H. C. Hwang (Hwang Kee's son), L. Seiberlich, R. Hanke, S.D. Cho, Y.K. Hong, A. Ah Po, and V. Martinov.

Hwang Kee attending a Test

In June 1991 he published "Soo Bahk Do" (Korean version) which introduced Yuk Ro Hyung from the Moo Yei.

In March 1992 he published 424 pages of "Soo Bahk Do" (Korean Version).

Hwang Kee authored many martial art books, both in English and Korean

In November 1992 he published "Soo Bahk Do" volume II (English version).

In June 1993 he published "Moo Duk Kwan" (Korean Version)

In August 1993 he published "Moo Do Philosophy" (Korean version)

In September 1993 he published "Instructional Guide" for Moo Duk Kwan Soo Bahk Do.

Grand Master Hwang Kee passed away July 14, 2002. It was a big loss to the martial arts world as he left his legacy for us to carry on.

Grandmaster Hwang Kee trained many masters that have schools all over the world. He are just 2 Grandmasters that he has trained:

Grandmaster Hwang Kee trained Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim
Grandmaster Hwang Kee trained Hong Chong Soo:

Copyright 2008 United States Institute of Tang Soo Do

Designed by

Great Grandmaster Hwang Kee

Great Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim

Grandmaster Frazier

Master Larson