Frequently Asked Questions

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most Frequently Asked Questions

+ Why is Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk) Federation of Canada different from other Tang Soo Do programs?
Tang Soo Do programs have deviated substantially from the original art as taught by the late Master Hwang Kee. Typically what has happened in Tang Soo Do is that Masters have started their own organizations (and associated schools) and have in effect lost the direct lineage to the founder of the art. There are over a dozen Tang Soo Do organizations (most in the US) that have sprung up in the last 25 years, each with their own take on Tang Soo Do. Many have added their own techniques in favor of the traditional techniques. ITSDF is the traditional version of Tang Soo Do. The organization is based on the original teachings of Tang Soo Do as preserved by Grand Master Kang Uk Lee (10th Dan), the most senior student of the late Grand Master Hwang Kee.

Master Sean Bogaerts (5th Dan, Dan#22931) is the only authorized Canadian Master Instructor for the International Tang Soo Do Federation, whose headquarters is in the United Kingdom . Master Bogaerts started learning the ancient art of Tang Soo Do from Grand Master Kang Uk Lee 29 years ago, while growing up in the UK.

For the main site for International Tang Soo Do Click on:

+ What is the difference between Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do?
TaeKwonDo is the Korean version of Sport Karate and was started well after Tang Soo Do. Many of Tang Soo Do’s traditional hand and self-defense techniques were stripped away when the sport version of Korean Karate, TaeKwonDo, was packaged and promoted in the US in the early 60′s.

+ Is Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk) Federation program a practical Martial Art?
Very much so. ITSDF emphasizes dynamic training and the ability to respond to an attack instinctively. Many martial arts today emphasize “static training” (teaching techniques by number and rehearsing them over and over again in a static fashion) which does not prepare the student to use their techniques at a moments notice. We believe technique should be instinctive, since you can never prepare or predict when you need to summon your techniques to defend yourself or escape harm.

+ Do you use practical fighting techniques in the program?
Yes, however ITSDF emphasizes control of technique, especially in sparring or free-fighting situations. Many martial arts schools often wait until more senior belt levels to teach control. In our view, this is too late. Without control injury is inevitable. In addition, if a student is worried about getting hurt in class they are often reluctance to fully utilize the full potential of their technique. A good martial artist must be able to control his/her technique at will.

+ If you practice control doesn’t this mean a student will hold back in a real street fighting situation?
No. Practicing control does not mean a student ‘holds back’ in a real encounter. In addition to controlling one’s technique, in the Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk) Federation program students learn to utlize the full power of their techniques through ‘board’ and ‘brick’ breaking techniques.

+ What about discipline and respect?
The Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk) Federation program instills traditional values of respect (for instructor, parents and elders) and discipline which is especially important for our Youth. These are not simply words; this is an integral component of our program.

+ How long does it take to earn a Black Belt?
It is important to emphasize that the Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk) Federation program is NOT a ‘Black Belt factory’.¬† Our standards are stringent and students must demonstrate that they know the specified techniques before they are allowed to pass their grading. While some students have achieved their first Black Belt in 4 years time, others may take longer.

+ Can I practice the program taught by the Tang Soo Do (Soo Bahk) Federation program in other countries?
Yes, the program precisely mirrors the International Tang Soo Do Federation program (ITSDF) which is an internationally renowned world-wide organization. This means that students credentials are recognized in a dozen or more countries world-wide, including: Canada, US, UK, Virtually all of Europe, Australia and Asia.

+ Martial Arts programs seem to be getting more expensive all the time, how does this program compare?
We are strictly a non-profit organizations. This is unique in the Martial Arts. The benefit is that fees are kept as low as possible (a fraction of the cost of other commercial schools). In fact, fees are based on actual costs and have remain constant for many years. This is in contrast to the very high and constantly rising fees that are associated with commercial martial arts schools (who continually seek to increase profits).