Tang Soo Do is the Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters 唐手道 (Tang Shou Dao). Tang Soo Do literally means "China Hand Way" (the "Tang" refers to the Tang Dynasty). Similar characters are pronounced karate-dō in Japanese. The first character, 唐 (which initially referred to China), was later changed to 空 by Gichin Funakoshi to mean "empty" rather than "China" (空手道, or Kong Shou Dao; the Korean pronunciation of these characters is "Kong Soo Do"). Outside of the Far East, the term "Tang Soo Do" has primarily become synonymous with the Korean martial art promoted by grandmaster Hwang Kee.
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