Origin of "Tang Soo" Salute
By Master C. Terrigno - 6th Dan
Editor, Tang Soo Do World

The raised fist salute had its origin at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City as a symbol of unity and pride among African American athletes. There was widespread interpretation at that time as to the intended meaning but it is generally agreed that, in essence, it was a statement of solidarity - one that bound people together in a common cause.


During the late 60s and early 70s, with the influx of American servicemen at the Osan Air Base in South Korea, people from all walks of life from the U.S. and Korea were now thrust together in a new melting pot. This was especially evident among Tang Soo Do students at the base dojang. Naturally, this coming together of diverse individuals stimulated regular displays of ethnic or national pride and the raised fist was once again used for that purpose.

It was at one of those times at the Tang Soo Do training hall that Grandmaster Darryl Khalid, then a beginning student, recalls he spontaneously raised his fist amid the other salutes that were taking place and yelled out "Tang Soo." The year was 1970 and on that day, the Tang Soo salute or "cheer" was born.

The effect was immediate, long lasting and significant in that to this day, it is used by students all over the world, regardless of nationality or affiliation, as a passionate expression of what unites and galvanizes us all as practitioners of our Art.

We thank and salute you Kwan Jang Nim Khalid. Tang Soo!!


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