The Eight Key Concepts of Tang Soo Do

                                  Yong Gi ~ Courage

                Chung Shin Tong Il   ~ Concentration

                                    In Neh ~ Endurance

                                Chung Jik ~ Honesty

                                Kyum Son ~ Humility

                        Him Cho Chung ~ Control of Power

                              Shin Chook ~ Muscular Tension & Relaxation
                                 Wan Gup ~ Control of Speed

The Eight Key  Concepts (along with the Ten Articles of Faith—discussed in the next section) are as important to Tang Soo Do as the fighting techniques you will learn.


A Tang Soo Do warrior should be characterized by honor and integrity.


These concepts have both a physical and a “spiritual” application.  They go to the heart of what it means to have character.


For example, Courage  doesn’t mean that you are never afraid. Rather, it means that you have learned to face your fears, to do what needs to be done in spite of being afraid.


Concentration (or focus) is the ability to shut out all distractions in order to focus on what is most important at that moment.


Endurance is more than the ability to do a lot of repetitions of an exercise.  It is the internal strength that allows you to go beyond what you think you’re capable of - to excel.


Honesty is a character trait often absent in today’s society.  The commitment to always speak the truth, to take responsibility for  your own behavior, is the heart of a Tang Soo Do practitioner.


Humility is a concept that is often misunderstood.  Humility or meekness is not JUST the absence of boasting or bragging. And it’s certainly NOT having a poor opinion of yourself.  Rather, true humility is getting your focus off yourself altogether.  Only someone who truly knows their own worth is able to be humble.


Control Of Power certainly has direct application to your training; partner safety is always “Rule Number One”.  But controlling your power also goes much deeper. It’s the understanding of how much force is required in any given situation.  It means that...


 you will not injure when controlling will suffice,

that you will not wound when injuring will suffice,

and that you will not kill when wounding will suffice.*


The concept of Muscular Tension and Relaxation applies to all our movements.  Movement should appear effortless. We do not waste energy on tension during movement. Only at the point of extension, of contact with your opponent, does your body experience tension.


But this concept of not wasting energy can also be applied to life.  Worry and anxiety are both forms of tension. A true martial artist doesn’t waste energy worrying about things that may never happen.


Don’t be anxious about the future.  Live today.  It’s the only day you’re assured of.


At first glance, Control Of Speed seems to be simply a physical concept. We want to know what the optimum speed is to counter an opponent’s attack.  In practicing techniques, forms, and combination sets, we need to work on group timing.


But here, again, we can apply this principle to daily life. Life can easily  become filled with commotion; we rush from one activity to the next without enjoying the experience or doing our best.


As you see, these principles are more than simply training guides for your martial arts development. They are training for life!  Learning to apply them to your training and to your life in general, will equip you to be successful in any venture.



Tang Soo!



Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee