Reader Submitted Questions


The Dan Bon System


"I am doing some research on the Dan Bon system and was wondering if you would have any information which would enlighten me on the system's process. i.e. Are Dan numbers only issued to Moo Duk Kwan members?

If you are a Federation or Association outside of Grandmaster Hwang Kee's organization can you effectively still be issued numbers from the Dan Bon?"


Silver Moo Duk Kwan Pin

According to Grandmaster Hwang Kee's "History of the Moo Duk Kwan" published in 1995, the "original" Dan Bon (Dan numbering) system was created in 1948 when the late Grandmaster Hwang Kee started to produce Dan ranking students in the Moo Duk Kwan.

Beginning with # 1, new Dans were assigned their number which was personally recorded by the Grandmaster in his carefully guarded book, the "Moo Duk Kwan Jeok Bu". The intent of the system was to denote seniority among the members. Students were also given a silver pin to commemorate their achievement, hence the term "Pin Number" which became synonymous with "Dan Number".
The assignment of numbers continues to this day, however only members of the World Moo Duk Kwan (originally Korean Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation) are recorded in Grandmaster Hwang Kee's book. Organizations which were formed by Masters who left the federation began their own independent numbering systems.
As also noted in "The History of the Moo Duk Kwan", some of the new organization's heads continued to use numbers that followed from where they had left off from the Grandmaster's organization rather than starting with their own number 1. This obviously led to some confusion among members as to where their rank (number) was recorded and where they stand in relation to all Tang Soo Do practitioners.

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