Summary: Excellent resource
Comment: This book is an excellent resource for hyungs, basics, history, and terminology. The photos and descriptions are clear and concise. Highly recommended for any practitioner of Tang Soo Do or Chung Do Kwan.
Summary: Info on Tang Soo Do/Moo Duk Kwan Books: Best Value
Comment: To understand why this book is such a good deal, I should first explain a bit about Tang Soo Do Moo Duk Kwan publications in general. There are a plethora of nice, costly Tang Soo Do/Soo Bahk Do/Moo Duk Kwan manuals available today. Virtually all of these fancy hardcover tomes range from 50.00 to upwards of 100.00, and don't contain much more than general information on the basics as originally presented in Grandmaster Hwang Kee's 1978 English translation of the "Soo Bak Do Dae Gam" (Korean), "Tang Soo Do: Moo Duk Kwan" (More recent reprints use the title "Soo Bahk Do: Moo Duk Kwan", and are available from the U.S. Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation for around 90.00).
For those of the Moo Duk Kwan lineage (founded by Hwang, Kee), there is also the question of whose book to buy! After all, Jae Chul-shin, C.S. Kim, Ho Sin Pak, Richard Byrne, and several others all have put out costly hardcover volumes. Rest assured, they all have the same basic Tang Soo Do information...the only MAJOR difference you will find between all of these expensive volumes is who is pictured doing the techniques, and the name of the organization they now head. While it is nice to have GM Hwang's books if only for their historical value (especially since GM Hwang's untimely passing in July of 2002), the volume "Tang Soo Do: The Ultimate Guide to the Korean Martial Art" tops them all by offering the same information for a much lower price (16.95). Author Kang Uk-lee was dan #70 (1952) under Grandmaster Hwang, and like all of the other authors named above, broke away from Hwang to form his own association. Well...I suppose everyone leaves home sometime. Kang's book includes crisp photos, and helpful descriptions as well as foot diagrams. There isn't a lot of space devoted to the basic techniques themselves (such as variations on hand techniques, kicking, etc), which I assume is due to the fact that most readers already will have some instruction in basic techniques. The main focus of this volume then, is HYUNG (forms). ALL of the basic forms of Tang Soo Do are covered here, to about 4th dan. Included are 19 Hyung: Ki Cho Hyung 1-3, Pyung Ahn Hyung 1-5, Chil Sung Hyung 1-3 (these are three of the new forms introduced by GM Hwang), Bassai Hyung, Naihanchin 1-3, Ship Soo Hyung, Jin Do Hyung, Kong San Kong, and Rohai. All include complete photo sequences showing ALL of the movements, as well as descriptions and foot/stance diagrams.
This volume is up-to-date enough to include GM Hwang's 3 Chil Sung Hyung, but does not include other highly advanced elements like the older Japanese/Chung Do Kwan lineage forms Sei Shan Hyung, Wang Shu Hyung, Ji On Hyung, and Oh Sip Sa Bo Hyung, and also those created by Hwang, like the 3 Yuk Ro Hyung (very linear), and the master form inspired by the Mu Ye Do Bo Tong Ji, Hwa Sun Hyung. Most readers simply wouldn't need these other forms yet (unless of course you are 4th dan +). All of this advanced information is available in Hwang's second volume, "Tang Soo Do Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Volume 2" (available from the US Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation for about 60.00). Kang's book however is simply the best deal out there. All of the necessary Hyung information to take you from 10th gup to 4th dan is for the first time available to virtually anybody for less than twenty clams. Page 14-15 also includes the most complete TSD/MSK genealogy yet published, and there are some good photos showing historical items, GM Kang, GM Hwang, and other TSD folks. If you are studying Tang Soo Do or any Moo Duk Kwan derivative which utilizes the old style forms, and are looking for a guide to assist you with your technical studies, there is no better value than this particular volume. There is simply no comparison.
Summary: Tang Soo Do
Comment: This book is an adequate reference for the Tang Soo Do hyungs, but little more. Precious little background is given for the style of Tang Soo Do or the hyungs themselves. For reference, there is no substitute for GM Hwang Kee's book.
Summary: Best tang soo do forms book I have seen.
Comment: I bought this book at my instructor's suggestion. It has the best and most complete description of the tang soo do forms I have seen. Not perfect, but it is probably not possible for a book to cover all the nuances. Highly recommended.
Summary: Way too much ground to cover in one tiny book.
Comment: The books starts out well enough, and has a comprehensive list of techniques, but there is very little discussion on where power comes from, common mistakes, etc.
The hyungs section leaves a lot to be desired, often leaving out transitional moves, or showing non-helpful pictures (shot from the rear)
An OK reference book if you can't remember a certain move, but you're better off saving your money and gettting either TSD Volume II by JC Shin, or Soo Bahk Do by Hwang Kee. More expensive, yes, but pricesless in terms of info.