The Art

Soo Bahk Do translates literally as “hand strike way” or “way of the striking hand”. The history of Soo Bahk Do can be traced back over 2000 years to the Ko Ku Ryo Dynasty in ancient Korea.

In Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan, Soo Bahk Do is the art (the technical side) and Moo Duk Kwan is the style (the philosophical side – see: About the Organisation for more information).

The difference between Soo Bahk Do and all other martial arts, and the thing that makes Soo Bahk Do unique, are its versatility and philosophy. Throughout the centuries, Korea has been attacked and invaded by its surrounding neighbours many times, and as such Soo Bahk Do became versatile out of necessity. This has resulted in an art that demands mastery of the whole body, not just kicking and punching. The challenging techniques taught range from fast, spontaneous movements to slow, graceful flowing movements that not only give variety but challenge students at all levels.

As a classical martial art, the purpose of Soo Bahk Do is “to develop every aspect of the self in order to create a mature human being who totally integrates intellect, body, emotions and spirit”. Soo Bahk Do is an art, not a sport and a great emphasis is placed on the fact it is non-competitive, however Soo Bahk Do does have strong combat and self-defence applications.