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HISTORY                           
Serving Gardena since 1981.  Like never before in the history of the United States, we as individuals need to be aware of our surroundings and be prepared to act under pressure.

Training at Gardena Soo Bahk Do - Moo Duk Kwan not only prepares you to defend yourself, but also promotes self-confidence, which in turn improves your ability to perform in stressful situations.  A true martial artist learns how to draw from his or her strength from within and use it only when necessary. 

Sa Bom Tommy Reyes opened the doors to Gardena Soo Bahk Do in 1981.  He wanted to establish a Martial Arts School that offered students of any age an environment that helped one archive his or her own potential, eventually leading them towards following the right path in life, by introducing them to the virtuous teachings of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan's flow of life's river into the Sea of knowledge.  One should be able to show humility (Kyum Son); Respect for one another; Respect and charity towards the elderly and needy; The value of Brotherhood and equality.  He believed that creating an atmosphere of learning through a disciplined practice could attain this goal.  The study of Tang Soo Do, under his instruction, gave the opportunity to overcome personal obstacles, along with the confidence to surpass limitations and barriers.  These goals set forth by Sa Bom Thomas Reyes are in addition to the self awareness and proficiency one learns in self-defense.  Every student earned their rank regardless of gender, age or ability.  The student learned "how to learn" thus becoming a better individual - hence a true Martial Artist.  Michael Reyes continued his father's tradition of service to the community of Gardena Soo Bahk Do which is now carried on under the guidance of Sa Bom Larry Drehs

Gardena Soo Bahk Do continues this tradition of service to the community under the guidance of
Sa Bom Nim Larry Drehs.

To learn more about  Moo Duk Kwan - Gardena Soo Bahk Do and the classes we provide, click on the links located on the top of this page.   Please feel free to stop by our school to observe our classes and speak with us.





Soo Bahk Do
(Traditional Korean Martial Arts or hand strike way) 
is both a hard and soft style classical martial art which dates back 2000 years to ancient Korea. Its modern history begins in 1945 when Kwan Jin Nim (Grandmaster) Hwang Kee founded his first school under the name of Moo Duk Kwan.

Father of H.C. Hwang
Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee was born on November 9, 1914, in Jang Dan, Kyong Ki province where the DMZ is currently located.  His Father, Hwang, Yong Hwan, had a dream in which he saw the bright star (Sam Tae Song) before his son's birth.  He named his son "Tae Nam", which means "star boy".  Later his name was changed to "Kee".  His father was a scholar who had achieved a high level of academic recognition from the last King of the Yi Dynasty, Ko Jong



                                                                                                      
Upon his return to Seoul after leaving his instructor Master Yang, in 1937, the Kwan Jang Nim searched for an opportunity to continue his personal martial arts training and, possibly, teach. It was impossible at the time, for him to pursue his wishes in martial arts activity due to the strict Japanese influence on all facets of the Korean culture. (The country of Korea was occupied by the Japanese from 1910 to August 1945). Because of this situation, Gum Do (Ken Do) and Yu Do (Ju Do) were the only two martial arts known to the general public. People did not have any knowledge of Soo Bahk, Okinawan Karate, Chinese Wu Shu, or Kung Fu.

He started work at the Survey department of the Cho Sun Railway Bureau in 1939. His working area was very peaceful and quiet because it was in a separate building a little distance from the main building. In this facility were located a lecture room, a library, and various exercise rooms.

In his employment, although he earned a low salary, he was very comfortable with the working conditions and especially his work environment. He spent most of his time reading books from the library. He particularly enjoyed reading about astronomy, philosophy, and Okinawan Karate. It was a very pleasant surprise for him to find karate books at the library, even though all the books were from Japan. (No other books were available from any other country at that time and this was the first modern form of martial arts books he had seen).

This was his first encounter with Okinawan Karate and he found that he was able to study the art though books at that time. Later, this knowledge influenced the Moo Duk Kwan system when "Tang Soo Do" was adopted by Grand Master Hwang Kee during the early part of the Moo Duk Kwan history.

Although Pyung Ahn Hyungs, Passai Hyungs, and Kong Sang Kun Hyungs, etc., were practiced a little differently from the original Okinawan Karate (unique use of the application of offensive and defensive hip in all movements, and hip extension and thrust kicking techniques as well as its interpretation), these Hyungs were influenced by the Kwan Jang Nim's study of the books on Okinawan Karate, as indicated in the Soo Bahk Do Deh Kahm (1970).

During that period of time, he had developed his high maturity as a martial artist. Because he worked for the railroad, he was able to travel without cost to anyplace where the train could reach. He traveled to most of the famous mountains and to Manchuria, which added to his experience and maturity in the martial art discipline.

During the same period, there were a number of wars initiated by Japan, which led to World War II. It was a very unstable time.

Finally, Korea became an independent country on August 15, 1945, as World War II came to an end. At the time it became possible for Kwan Jang Nim Hwang Kee to fulfill his life-long dream to dedicate himself solely to the martial arts.

During the previous 25 years, his maturity as a martial artist had been conditioned through his hard and long self-taught training of Tae Kyun and his various experiences in both formal and informal martial arts training, as well as the significant influence by his master, Master Yang, while he was in China. It was not only Master Yang's technical influence but also his desire to improve human character, which proved an invaluable experience. The study of Okinawan Karate through the available books at the library while he was employed by the Cho Sun Railway Bureau in Seoul form 1939 to 1945 was also a great influence.

With these experiences in martial disciplines, he founded the Moo Duk Kwan and established its philosophy on November 9, 1945.

Soo Bahk Do is not a sport.  Though it is not essentially competitive, it contains great combat applications.  Thus a classical martial art with its purpose to develop every aspect of ones self in order to create a mature person who totally integrates his/her Mind, Body and Spirit.  This integration helps to create a person free from inner conflict and who can deal with the outside world in a sincere, intelligent, peaceful and virtuous manner.