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South African Tang Soo Do Academy

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Traditional Martial Arts versus Sports-Based Martial Arts

Tang Soo Do is a traditional martial art. By traditional, we mean to differentiate ourselves from Sports-oriented martial arts. A sport, the focus is on competition against others.  We, here at the Academy, focus rather on competition against ourselves, to build our character.   This is evident in our training as well,  as we need to build not only our physical strength, but also our mental and spiritual (personal drive).

In the way sport is practiced most commonly, it is not important to learn about theories and philosophies. There is no need to examine the history and roots of the sport.  The traditional martial artist, however, seeks to understand where the art comes from, why certain things are done. For him or her, it is important to understand the past so that the future can be foreseen. 

In a sports environment, character is of minor importance.  Here at the academy, we seek to better our physical selves as well as our inner.  We accomplish this through various methods.  One such method is protocol and etiquette.  In the World Tang Soo Do Association, there already exists a code of conduct that has long been established.

For the world of sports, one’s physical is of utmost importance.  One will see on a daily basis individuals being excluded from teams based on their physical build.  Through learning a traditional martial art, one finds that one’s physical build is of minor importance if one learns one’s own weak points and strengths.  Thus, in a traditional martial art, physical build carries little importance.



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