Karate (Tang Soo Do)
"Tang Soo Do" (당수도) is the Korean pronunciation of the Hanja 唐手道 (pronounced Táng shǒu dào in Chinese), and translates literally to "The Way of the Tang Hand"
The same characters can be pronounced "karate-dō" in Japanese. In the early 1930s, approximately 55 years after Japan's annexation of Okinawa, Gichin Funakoshi in coordination with others changed the first character, 唐, which referred to the Chinese Tang Dynasty, to 空, signifying "empty"; both characters can be pronounced "kara" in Japanese.
During the late 1930s, Hwang Kee had mastered the native Korean martial arts of Subak and Taekkyeon.[page needed] It was during this time that the Japanese occupied Korea, and the resident general, in an attempt to control the population, banned the practice of native martial arts, setting the penalty at imprisonment. In 1936, Hwang Kee attracted the attention of the Japanese secret police, forcing him to pack his bags and set out on foot for Manchuria,[page needed]where he experienced scenes of lawlessness and destruction whilst working as a railroad worker. As a result, Hwang Kee decided to enter China, where he would live the next 20 years. He entered China at night from the southern end of the Great Wall of China, which he scaled and descended into China on the other side.
"I climbed the wall at night, I was in excellent physical condition at the time and there were parts of the Great Wall that were lower than others. I ran up the side of the wall two or three steps and then grabbed at the top. Once on top, I distracted the soldiers guarding the other side by throwing rocks away from where I climbed down."
- Hwang Kee in an interview with Bob Liedke, translated by his son H.C. Hwang
At this time in China, it was hard for any martial artist to find a master willing to take them on as a student. Despite this, Hwang Kee became acquainted with Master Yang, who taught Hwang Kee the northern style Yang kung-fu (Nei-ga-ryu), a stronger and more passive art than the southern style that can be used at close quarters. Following the conclusion of World War II, Hwang Kee returned to Korea.