A U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Certified Teaching Program






Moo Duk Kwan®

The history of the Moo Duk Kwan is as unique as the art itself. Founded in Korea in 1945 by Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee, Moo Duk Kwan literally means "institute of martial virtue."

Creating the art was not a simple process; it would be many years between our Founder’s first exposure to martial arts and the actual birth of the Moo Duk Kwan. In 1921, around age seven, Kwan Jang Nim Kee first witnessed the execution of a martial art. While attending the national May festival, he encountered a group of seven or eight men fighting one man, who successfully managed to evade and defeat his attackers. Impressed by the man’s performance, he followed him home and after observing his training over a period of time, asked to be taught the techniques he witnessed. The man refused because of his young age. However, this did not end the Kwan Jang Nim’s interest, he continued to observe the man training from afar, and imitated what he saw.

After graduating high school in 1935, the Kwan Jang Nim began work for the railroad in Manchuria. The next year, he was introduced to a Chinese master, Master Yang. At that point, our Founder was strictly self-taught, and hoped this introduction would provide an opening for formal training. The Kwan Jang Nim asked to become Master Yang's student, and after persisting in his request, was granted permission to train under him. A year later, he returned to Korea, and hoped to have the opportunity to continue training and possibly teach. Unfortunately, the country was occupied by the Japanese, and he was not allowed to pursue his interest in the martial arts. In 1939, he began work for the Cho Sun Railway Bureau. This position allowed him access to a library where he began reading about philosophy and Okinawan Karate. For the next several years he traveled and studied developing his maturity as a martial artist.

At the conclusion of World War II, his dream of dedicating himself solely to martial arts was realized when he created the Moo Duk Kwan on Nov. 9, 1945. The Moo Duk Kwan is one of five original key styles of martial arts in Korea. The Kwan Jang Nim first named his martial art Hwa Soo Do, art of the flower hand. He attracted and lost several classes of students within the first year due to lack of public recognition. In 1947, he reevaluated the future of the Moo Duk Kwan after realizing the strength of Japanese influence on Korean culture. He decided to integrate the art of Tang Soo Do into the Hwa Soo Do discipline as it was a recognizable term to the general public. Before the beginning of the Korean


H.C. Hwang and Master DeJohnette

HISTORY and TRADITION - Grandmaster H. C. Hwang and Master Darno DeJohnette at the 2015 U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation Ko Dan Ja Shim Sa "Moment With The Masters"in Ramona, California.




Nov 1945 Soo Bahk Do®Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan®



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War in 1950, the first four Dan students were recognized. This was the beginning of the Dan Bon system which is unique to Moo Duk Kwan practitioners. Although the Korean War caused many difficulties, the art endured and strengthened, allowing the Kwan Jang Nim to continue his scientific development of a unique system of techniques emphasizing use of the hip

In 1957, the Kwan Jang Nim made a significant discovery--a book, titled, Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Ji. This volume discussed “Soo Bahk,” a truly Korean martial art. As a result of this discovery, he diligently devoted himself to studying this manual. Through his efforts, Soo Bahk was reborn, and the Kwan Jang Nim developed the Soo Bahk system to be studied through the Moo Duk Kwan as a living art, connecting practitioners with a long and proud heritage. He chose the name Soo Bahk Do, a derivative of Soo Bahk Ki, hand striking technique, and Soo Bahk Hee, hand striking dance, which were detailed in the Moo Yei Do Bo Tong Ji. Do was chosen based on his belief that Soo Bahk should teach the Moo Do philosophy of stopping inner and outer conflict

In 1960, the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association was incorporated and officially registered with the Korean government as the traditional Korean martial art. The following year, the Moo Duk Kwan discipline was recognized internationally for the first time. This was a golden time for the Moo Duk Kwan, for it was receiving respect and recognition from the general public nationally, and was making significant progress toward the Kwan Jang Nim's goal of improving human relationships through the martial arts at an international level.

The Moo Duk Kwan in Korea published 8 consecutive newsletters form September, 1960 - April 1961. The newsletters indicate the strength and organization of the Moo Duk Kwan just prior to the military Coup.



Unfortunately, Korea soon after suffered a political crisis, which stalled the growth of the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association, Moo Duk Kwan, and marked the beginning of a 30-year period of difficulty for the



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organization. Around 1964, an attempt was made toward unification of the Moo Duk Kwan, then the largest organization of any martial art system in Korea, and Tae Kwon Do. Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee decided against unification when he realized the criteria was unfair to the Moo Duk Kwan, and basically a political move to absorb the art into Tae Kwon Do. After the failed attempt, political pressures were exerted on the organization and the art suffered. Although it was recognized by the government, Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan certification was not publicly accepted for employment reference purposes. Instructors had a difficult time processing their passports when they needed to travel abroad to teach the art, and the Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan was prohibited from attending any international events. Soon after, the government issued a countermand order for the Korean Soo Bahk Do Association. The Kwan Jang Nim took this case to the Supreme Court in 1966 and won, thus insuring the future of the organization.

Political pressures continued until 1979, making it difficult for the Kwan Jang Nim to travel outside of Korea. However, he continued to promote the art tirelessly. Amazingly, even during this period of adversity, Moo Duk Kwan branches were established in the United States, Greece, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Malaysia, Brunei and Australia

In 1982, Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee officially introduced Soo Bahk Do at the International Championship through demonstration of the “Hwa Sun” Hyung from the Moo Ye Do Bo Tong Ji. In the following years, he continued to introduce what he learned from that volume to practitioners through demonstrations, clinics and publications
Until his death in 2002, Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee faithfully promoted the art he created, and witnessed its staggering growth. He established goals and guidelines for the organization, thus insuring its future development and success. This included a clear plan for his succession. Now, as Founder Hwang Kee wished, Kwan Jang Nim H.C. Hwang has taken up his responsibilities, promoting his vision for the art to more than 200,000 practitioners worldwide.