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Although Tang Soo Do is a relatively modern martial art its
basis, the Korean art Soo Bahk Do, has been in existence for
many centuries. Soo Bahk originated during the Silla Dynasty in
the years 618 to 935 A.D.. The name "Tang Soo Do" is literally
translated to mean "the way of the China Hand". "Tang"
represents the Tang Dynasty of China while "Soo" means hand and
"Do" is defined as a way or system.
Grand Master Hwang Kee, founder of Tang Soo Do, mastered
Soo Bahk Do and Tae Kyun, a Korean system known for its powerful kicks (not
related to Tae Kwon Do), by the age of twenty-two. At that time, in 1936,
he traveled to Northern China where he encountered a style of
martial artistry called the Tang Method. From 1936 to 1945 he combined the
techniques of Soo Bahk Do with those of the Tang Method and developed what was
to be known as Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do although it was officially
registered in Korea on November 9, 1945 as the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association.
Tang Soo Do is a composite style made up of 60% Soo Bahk Do and
40% Chinese. It is both a hard and soft style. The term hard refers
to the overt power and strength of the various techniques which are
derived from the movements and the lack of direct confrontation. The softness of Tang Soo Do
comes from the Northern Chinese influence.
The Cheezic Tang Soo Do Federation was formed by Grand Master
Robert Cheezic. From 1959 to 1961, while serving in the U.S. Air
Force in Korea, studied Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do under the instruction of Grand Master Jae Shin,
a student of the style's founder, Hwang Kee.
In 1960, Cheezic was awarded black belt
number 2278 by Hwang Kee. Among the first
Americans to earn black belt distinction in Korea, Cheezic’s classmates
included Bob Thompson, and actor Carlos (Chuck) Norris, with whom he has
remained friends. At the conclusion of his duty in Korea, Grand Master
Cheezic returned to his hometown of Waterbury, Connecticut, where he
began teaching this newly learned art. Cheezic worked full time at the
Anaconda Brass and Atlantic Richfield Companies during the day and taught
Tang Soo Do in the evenings in a school gymnasium before opening his own
studio, The American Tang Soo Do Academy. It was the first Tang Soo Do
dojang ever established in the Northeast region of the United States.
Grandmaster Robert A. Cheezic has spent the last forty-five
years educating more than twenty-five thousand martial artists
worldwide. He has promoted over two thousand black belts, has fiercely
championed the cause of martial arts training for the specially challenged and
is internationally respected for his efforts. He directs
approximately fifty clubs throughout the United States and the world, including Russia.