Chun Seung Won 


Our History 

The Song Dynasty ruled China from 960 to 1279. In the history of fallen societies, it was common for conquered rulers and followers to face execution, enslavement, banishment, or forced exile. It is in the history of the Song Dynasty that the Song family of modern-day Korea originated. In ancient times, there were no strict boundaries between present-day China and present-day Korea. During this period, the Song family would travel between China and Korea based on the events of that time. The Song family gained fame and respect for their moral integrity and values, which led to the influence of martial arts in their traditions.


Xu Xuanping or Hsu Hsuan-P'ing was a renowned martial arts practitioner in ancient China. "Xu Xuanping" and "Hsu Hsuan-P'ing" are the Chinese to English translations of his name. The Korean to English translation of his name is Hur Sun Pyung. Hur Sun Pyung practiced the martial art known as Chang Quan or "Long Fist". In Korean, this art is referred to as Jang Gwon. Jang Gwon has its roots in the traditional martial arts of the Shaolin Temple.


The reputation of the Song family was such that Hur Sun Pyung exclusively passed on his knowledge to the Song family. These teachings were preserved and handed down from generation to generation within the Song family traditions.

 Over the centuries, the teachings of Hur Sun Pyung were preserved within the Song family traditions. These teachings were passed down through Song family member Song Yuanqiao. The Korean to English translation of this name is Song Won Gyo, and Song Won Gyo's lifespan is recorded as 1288 - 1370. Song Won Gyo continued to uphold the family teachings and traditions and became a disciple of another master. This master's name was Zhang Sanfeng, and the Korean to English translation is Chang Sam Bong. Chang Sam Bong developed an art that is now known as Tai Chi Chuan. Song Won Gyo was one of seven disciples of Chang Sam Bong. The seven disciples of Chang Sam Bong are:


  •  Song Yuanqiao
  • Yu Lianzhou
  • Yu Daiyan
  • Zhang Songxi
  • Zhang Cuishan
  • Yin Liting
  • Mo Shenggu


A traditional title for the founder of an art in Korean is translated to English as "Moon Joo Nim". Chang Sam Bong held the position of Moon Joo Nim in Tai Chi Chuan. The Korean pronunciation of the art is Tae Geuk Gwon. In the traditional sense, the founder of an art would choose a single disciple to carry on the art, known as the Jang Moon in Korean. The Jang Moon would possess the highest knowledge, character, and skill to preserve the integrity of the art. Chang Sam Bong selected Song Won Gyo as the Jang Moon.


As Tai Chi Chuan developed, it split into two main groups: the Southern Group and the Northern Group. The Korean translation for the "Southern Group" is Nam Pa. The art of the Southern Group is known as Geon Gon Pa, meaning "Heaven Earth Style", and it was passed down by Song Won Gyo. The Song family has continued to preserve the teachings of the Southern Group. The Heaven Earth Style has been maintained and passed down in its pure form by the Song family. Grandmaster Song Won Gyo authored a book on Tai Chi Chuan titled "The Origin and Branches of the Song Style Tai Chi Practice". In this book, Song Won Gyo states, "The respected Song family carries on the tradition of the authentic Tai Chi style of Song Won Gyo." The purpose of this book is to preserve and pass on the traditions of the Song family.

During the 13th Century in Korea, Neo-Confucianism became the dominant philosophy. One famous Neo-Confucian was a man named Chu Hsi. Chu Hsi, or Joo Ja in Korean, gained fame for his writings on the Confucian classics, and his school of thought became known as Joo Ja Hak. During the Joseon Dynasty, Neo-Confucianism was adopted as the official ideology, and by the 1600s, Joo Ja's teachings were firmly established. However, conflicts arose among Korean scholars regarding the interpretation of Joo Ja's teachings, leading to famous debates, factional strife, and deaths. One notable debate involved Song Si-yeol, also known as U-am, who promoted the Korean interpretation of Joo Ja's teachings known as Songnihak, or "The Study of Nature and Principle".


Another significant development in the Song family martial arts traditions came from Grandmaster Song Duk Soon. Song Duk Soon, who lived from 1851 to 1922, was renowned both as a martial artist and a doctor of eastern medicine. He practiced the Korean martial art Soo Bak Ki, as well as the Chinese arts of Shaolin and Tai Chi. The integration of these arts by Song Duk Soon became known as Chun Seung, the official martial art system of the Song family. While Song Si-yeol's teachings of Songnihak served as the foundation for Chun Seung, it was Song Duk Soon who created the official Chun Seung system and passed it on to his son and disciples.


During the Japanese occupation of Korea, Song Duk Soon played a prominent role in the Korean opposition. His exceptional martial arts skills, particularly in Chook Ji Bub ("The Flying Art"), made him an elusive target for the Japanese. Song Duk Soon traveled between China and Korea, preserving the pure forms of Shaolin and Tai Chi. Unfortunately, he was betrayed by one of his closest resistance members, captured, and executed.

Grandmaster Song, Duk Soon passed down all his knowledge to his son, Grandmaster Song, Keum Sool, who lived from 1882 to 1966. Song, Keum Sool was born before the Japanese occupation of Korea and joined his father in the mountains during the resistance movement. He was the last practitioner of the Chook Ji Bub martial art skill. However, due to the Japanese occupation and the time required for training, the art was not passed down to the next generation. Both Grandmaster Song, Duk Soon and Grandmaster Song, Keum Sool were renowned martial arts practitioners and skilled in eastern medicine. In traditional martial arts, mastery in martial arts often coincided with proficiency in traditional medicine. This concept was preserved in the Song family martial arts system. Grandmaster Song, Keum Sool passed on his teachings to his son, Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo, and his grandson, Grandmaster Song, Kyong Sik.


Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo, the son of Grandmaster Song, Keum Sool, lived from 1917 to 1996. At the age of sixteen, he traveled to Japan to research and study martial arts. After spending five years in Japan, he returned to Korea, got married, and then moved to China with his wife. In China, he furthered his study of Chinese martial arts for fifteen years. The Song family returned to Korea after their time in China and settled in Seoul when the Korean War began. Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo remained neutral during the war and did not align himself with either the North or South factions. After the war, the Song family settled in Seoul to adjust to postwar life. Several years later, Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo started teaching the martial arts knowledge passed down through the generations to family members and select disciples. He focused on teaching the traditional concepts of martial arts and did not involve the Song family in the reformation of active martial arts systems. In 1967, Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo inherited the directorship of the Chun Seung Moo Sool system of martial arts from his father, Grandmaster Song, Keum Sool.


Grandmaster Song, Keum Sool and Grandmaster Song Jung Soo transferred the Song's family martial art system to Song, Kyong Sik, who is Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo's son. The lineage of Grandmaster Song can be traced back to Song, Si-yeol and a line of Grandmasters who preserved the teachings and philosophies of Chun Seung.


At the age of five, Grandmaster Song, Kyong Sik began his formal training with his grandfather, Grandmaster Song, Keum Sool. They lived and trained together in the mountains of Korea, where Grandmaster Song, Kyong Sik studied martial arts, as well as eastern medicine, breathing exercises, meditation, and philosophy. During this time, he also continued his studies under his father, Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo.


In 1981, Grandmaster Song, Kyong Sik had the opportunity to move to the United States. In 1983, his father transferred the Chun Seung system to him as Chairman. After the unfortunate passing of Grandmaster Song, Jung Soo, Grandmaster Song, Kyong Sik became the acting president of Chun Seung. He continues to teach and pass down the teachings of Chun Seung to selected students.


In the United States, Grandmaster Song is known as Edward K. Song. He exemplifies the honor and tradition that embody Chun Seung and serves as a living example for his students and the public. Through Grandmaster Song, Kyong Sik, the teachings of Chun Seung are kept alive, with the goal of spreading teachings that help ALL people develop a sincere and serious life.