Soo Bahk Do

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Soo Bahk Do
Also known asSubakdo, Subakto, Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan[a]
Hardness60% Hard, 40% Soft
Country of origin South Korea
CreatorHwang Kee
ParenthoodTaekkyeon, Shotokan Karate, elements from Muyedobotongji
Soo Bahk Do
Revised RomanizationSubakdo

Soo Bahk Do (수박도) is a martial art founded and taught by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee, his successor Hwang Hyun Chul, known as H.C. Hwang, and instructors who are certified by member organizations of the World Moo Duk Kwan, Inc. This martial art was originally the ancient martial art of Korea. Hwang Kee created Moo Duk Kwan with influence from "Soo Bahk Do." [1]


In late 1950s, the kwans began the unification process that would lead to creation of Taekwondo and the Korea Taekwondo Association. At first, Hwang Kee and his Moo Duk Kwan agreed to be part of the unification. However, Kee would reverse and withdraw Moo Duk Kwan from the process in 1958. On June 30, 1960, Hwang Kee changed the name Moo Duk Kwan's martial art from Tang Soo Do to Soo Bahk Do.

However, this led to divisions within Moo Duk Kwan, with certain former students continuing to teach Tang Soo Do at their schools and in 1965, a faction of students lead by Hong Chong Soo joined the unification effort of the kwans. Regardless, Hwang Kee, Moo Duk Kwan and Soo Bahk do persisted.[2]


Soo Bahk Do is notable for its use of strong, deep stances as in Shotokan Karate, while also emphasizing a very active use of the hip to help generate force in each movement performed. It is known for its vast array of kicks, a hallmark of Korean martial arts.

Additionally, its pyong-an (Pinan) utilize many direct, linear forms similar to Shotokan Karate Kata, while the individual blocks, strikes, and techniques themselves often utilize the more circular constructions of other Korean martial arts, as influenced by Northern Chinese martial arts styles throughout history.


Soo Bahk Do uses a traditional belt ranking system for Korean Martial Arts:

  1. White (10th to 9th geup rank)  
  2. Orange (8th to 7th geup)  
  3. Green (6th to 4th geup)  
  4. Red (3rd to 1st geup)  
  5. Midnight Blue (1st to 3rd dan rank)  
  6. Midnight Blue with Central Red stripe (4th dan and above)    

Note that for some Dojang, a grading system using a Yellow belt prior to orange belt may be employed, especially for the younger practitioners.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Name of Hwang Kee's original Karate style before changing it to Soo Bahk Do in late 50s or early 60s.


  1. ^ Hwang, The History of Moo Duk Kwan, 1995.
  2. ^ "Moo Duk Kwan » Fighting Dragons". Retrieved 2019-08-10.