The exact origin of Martial Arts in general is obscure though there
are a number of historical theories. However, the most credible and traditional view is that
Martial Arts originated not in any one country but in almost all parts of the globe as a
primitive people needed them.
The ancestral art of the Korean Tang Soo Do can be traced back to the period of the three kingdoms.
At that time Korea was divided into three kingdoms. Goguryeo was founded 37 BC in Northern Korea.
The Silla Dynasty was founded in 57 BC in the Southeast peninsula and Baekje was founded in 18 BC.
The era of the 3 kingdoms lasted for four centuries during which Korean Arts and culture flourished.
Many murals and statues from this period depict warriors in poses that resemble many stances seen in
Modern Tang Soo Do.
During the 7th Century Silla joined forces with the Tang Dynasty of China to over throw Paekche and Goguryeo.
But the Chinese had other ambitions to take over and control Silla. This was not to be. The Sill army was able
to repel the Chinese and went on to unify the entire peninsula.
The Hwa Rang Warriors were a key component of the Silla military system during the dynasty. The Hwa Rang loosely
translated as 'flowering manhood' were a paramilitary organization of aristocratic youths devoted to serving their
King and Country. Members of this organization lived together studying arts, cultures and training in all forms of
military combat including a weaponless fighting system called Soo (hand) Bahk (hard) hand techniques. The empty hand
fighting of the Hwa Rang Warriors was known for blending the hard and soft with the straight and circular attacks.
The Hwa Rang followed a five part code of honour written by the Monk Won Kwang approximately 1,800 years ago.
Tang Soo Do became very popular among the military society. However, moat importantly this art also became very popular
with the general public. In those days it was called Kwon Bop, Tae Kyun, Soo Bahk , Tang Soo.
The very first complete Martial Arts book was written at this time. This book is called Mooyae Dobo Tongji. It was written
in 1709 and contains illustrations that substantiate the theory that Soo Bahk Ki the formal name of Tang Soo Do had
developed quickly into a sophisticated art of combat techniques.