Tang Soo Do dates back to around 57 BC and the founding of the Sicca Dynasty in Korea. Roots are also deeply inbedded in the 37 BC Koquryu and the 18BC Paekche Dynasties. During this epoch Soo Bahk Do, an ancient Korean Martial Art was developed and this would later give birth to Tang Soo Do. We know that So Bahk Do first became known during the Sicca Dynasty and can therefore safely assume that it was in a developmental stage many years before.
Tang Soo Do, while based heavily on Soo Bahk Do, also incorporates many techniques from from other styles including Northern and Southern Chinese styles. This gives Tang Soo Do both "hard" and "soft" techniques.
During the occupation of Korean by the Japanese (1909-1945) the teaching of martial arts was banned. Of course this didn't stop people from practicing and teaching, but this had to be done hidden behind closed doors. Many masters of Soo Bahk including the founder of Tang Soo Do, Grandmaster Hwang Kee, left the country in the face of Japanese oppression to study abroad. Grandmaster Hwang Kee in 1936 traveled to China where he studied the Tang method of martial arts. Incorporating elements of the Tang method into Soo Bahk Do, Grandmaster Hwang Kee developed Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do as a classical martial art.*
One of Grandmaster Hwang Kee's students, Grandmaster Jae Joon Kim began studying Tang Soo Do at the age of sixteen years in 1945 and earned his 1st Danship by 1947. He would travel to the United States to spread the art of Tang Soo Do and become the founder and President of the World Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do Federation based currently in Florida.
Kwan Jang Nim (Grandmaster) Kim's organization stretches across the U.S. and around the world making it a truly "World" organization. Over the years, Kwan Jang Nim Kim has promoted many fine students to be both Dans and Masters. Sah Bum Nim (Master) Richard Morales is one of Kwan Jang Nim Kim's highest ranking students and is the head Instructor at both the Downtown YMCA and Sheppard AFB. (see "Instructors" for more details)
*Classical Martial Arts: Traditional in style, phylosophy and approach. NOT to be confused with a sport, Tang Soo Do, while physically rigorous emphasizes being your personal best within as well as without.