Tang Soo Do Small but Mighty

Of all the clubs available at California Lutheran University students, the Tang Soo Do club is a unique experience that mixes discipline, self-defense and aggression. It’s a club that may be small with eight members, but still packs a punch.

Club president Elena Schink said Tang Soo Do is an activity she’s passionate about. Schink said the sport is  a Korean form of Karate brought to America by Chuck Norris in the 1960’s. He established Tang Soo Do schools after his return from Korea as a black belt.

It’s very similar to Tae Kwon Do or Karate but more aggressive and violent than any other martial art.

“The point of Tang Soo Do is not necessarily self-defense, although that’s an important aspect. It’s to make sure someone stops chasing you by physically breaking or killing them,” Schink said.

Schink said students shouldn’t be intimidated by the club as it is a friendly community. They just happen to “kick-butt” as well.

“Our sport takes it to the extreme, but that information is valuable in protecting yourself,” Schink said.

The sport was brought to Cal Lutheran quite some time ago. It started as a class and club 11 years ago by then Professor Wagerman. After he left in 2014 the club continued under another advisor, but the class was no longer offered. Schink said it’s been an adjustment without a professor, but she has taken charge and brings a relaxed feel to the meetings.

Schink took the class with Wagerman but found a passion for it and continues to move up in belts. She then ran the club as co-president, and when the president graduated she moved into the role.

Cal Lutheran junior and club member Frankie Peterson began participating in Tang Soo Do two years ago in Wagerman’s class with Schink. He instantly found interest and fun in participating.

“I’ve never done anything like this before. I signed up for the class because it looked interesting, but it’s made me stronger,” Peterson said.

Peterson said that it’s powerful and more violent than most martial arts, but there is still a beauty to it.

“The way your body flows with the movements, it’s like art. It’s hard to describe if you’ve never seen it but it’s very artistic,” Peterson said.

The club does more than meeting and practicing for the sake of practicing. They perform their work. Their last performance was a demonstration at Cal Lutheran’s Relay for Life.

Schink said anyone at any level can join and encourages students to give it a try.

Sophomore and club member Christine Nakamoto had never participated in anything like this before but saw an opportunity to learn something new and took it.

“I’ve learned so much, but being able to be with the other members, have some fun, kick back and punch out some stress is a great thing for me,” Nakamoto said.

Sophomore and club member Lauren Coscolluela said she has tried martial arts before but never took it seriously.

“That’s why I’m here. To discipline myself and to release some stress,” Coscolluela said.

Coscolluela said it is enjoyable being in the club. You laugh, yell, kick, punch, knife and much more.  Above all she said students can meet people with common interests.

Schink encourages new members to join and said there are many benefits.

“It’s a great workout, good self-defense training, especially if you’re a girl or you feel unsafe at night. It’s a great de-stressor that’s what I primarily use it for,” Schink said.

Schink said they work closely and do many collaborations with women’s clubs on campus teaching self-defense.

Schink said there is no try, there is only Tang Soo “Do” and hopes more members join in on the fun.


Mary Callaway
Staff Writer
Published May 6th, 2015