Little Dragons - Karate

Our Little Dragons class is specifically for the 3-8 year old group and is focused on developing confidence, discipline, respect and self control in a fun active class.

It helps children develop socially and responsibly whilst improving physical prowess, co-ordination, balance and fitness.

Children not only learn new martial arts skills along with self defence but are also taught about courage, respect, discipline, self-control, perseverance and more.

Confidence Discipline and Focus are so important and hard to build in children nowadays, and as parents you would no doubt agree with this. 

But with martial arts, a child will learn focus, patience, restraint, and the many qualities that come with discipline. 

The same level of discipline and focus obtained from practicing martial arts will no doubt become a part of their daily lives and help them in so many ways..

  • Learning to cooperate and share
  • Fundamental motor skills, flexibility balance and strength.
  • Build confidence and self esteem.
  • Learn how to be aware of danger and basic self-defence
  • Self-Control and many more.....

Soo Bahk Do - Karate

We teach the dynamic exciting and effective Korean style of martial arts know as Soo Bahk Do a style similar to Karate though heavily influenced by indigenous Korean and also Chinese martial arts. Soo Bahk Do(수박도) ™ is the name of the martial art founded and taught by Hwang Kee, his successor HC Hwang, and instructors who are certified by the World Moo Duk Kwan Inc™.


Soo Bahk Do is notable for its use of strong, deep stances  while also emphasizing a very active use of the hip to help generate force in each movement performed. It is known for its vast array of kicks, a hallmark of Korean martial arts. Blocks, strikes, and techniques themselves often utilize the more circular constructions that other Karate styles.

When most people think of South Korean martial arts  the modern form of Taekwondo  which came about in 1955 and is a sport comes to mind. However our style predates this and has its roots that are direct to the indigenous Korean and Chinese forms of martial arts more than 2,000 years old, in fact you could say it's the genuine article and is more useful in the street than the tournament ring.

Popular opinion is that Soo Bahk Do is a Korean Karate - in reality, Soo Bahk Do is a martial art by itself, which is a mix of Karate, Northern Shaolin Kung Fu along and the combat aspects of Tai Chi. The form practices a lot of high kicks that are characteristic of Korean martial arts, which can be observed in the Netflix series Cobra Kai. 

The confusion around this form of martial arts began when in  America the style was promoted  as “Korean Karate” - Karate being a universally known form.  

Typically, Soo Bahk Do when compared to Karate or Taekwondo, places greater importance on kicking techniques and real-life strategies for self-defense.  

Our aim is not to just produce fighters good for competetion or dangerous people out to roam the streets - we aim to produce people very capable of defending themselves with a strong philosophy rooted in the prevention of conflict and betterment of mind, body and spirit.


Soo Bahk Do uses a traditional belt ranking system for Korean Martial Arts:

  1. White (10th to 9th geup)
  2. Yellow (9th to 8th geup )     
  3. Orange (8th to 7th geup)     
  4. Green (6th to 4th geup)     
  5. Red (3rd to 1st geup)     
  6. Midnight Blue (1st to 3rd dan rank)     
  7. Midnight Blue with Central Red stripe (4th dan and above)             

After the end of the Japanese occupation of Korea and Korean Styles of Martial Arts could once again be openly practiced our mordern founder Hwang Kee Created the Moo Duk Kwan™ school of martial arts on 9th November 1945.

Moo Duk Kwan™ is the organisation that certifies our instructors, controls the syllabus and maintains the integrity of our art. In the UK, Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan is controlled by the UK Soo Bahk Do Federation

​UKSBD™ and the UKSBD logo are trade marks of the UK Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan Federation.

Soo Bahk Do™, Moo Duk Kwan™ and the Moo Duk Kwan Logo are trade marks of the World Moo Duk Kwan Corporation.

McKinstry Family Karate is the accredited official school for the Ormskirk, Burscough and West Lancs Area.

History of our Art

Grand Master Hwang Kee (the Founder of Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan) was first inspired to study the Martial arts in 1921 when he was about seven years old. At a traditional Festival called “Dan O” he was visiting a nearby village, where they had archery, wrestling and many other festivities. As Grand Master was enjoying the festival a group of seven or eight men had a dispute with another man.

Suddenly the group of men attacked the lone man, who began evading and counter attacking with his feet, eventually defeating the group of men. This ability to defend oneself against several attackers so impressed Grand Master that at that moment he knew he wanted to learn the martial arts.

Several years Grand Master Hwang Kee studied and researched every available source, and at the age of 22 he was recognised as a Master among other martial artists. In May of 1935 Grand Master began working for the Korean railroad company which allowed him to travel. In May of 1936 he met a Chinese Kung Fu master named Yang, Kuk Jin. Grand Master trained with Master Yang until 1946, at that time China became a communist country.

Grand Master Hwang Kee opened his first martial arts school, the “Moo Duk Kwan” on the 9th November 1945. He initially received six students teaching “Hwa Soo Do” the way of the flowering hand. This name paid tribute to Korea’s warrior history with reference to the “Hwa Rang” knights (flowering youth).  The Grand Master’s teaching was basic and intense, losing him those first students within three months. After some deliberation he reopened the “Moo Duk Kwan” under the banner “Tang Soo Do, Moo Duk Kwan”. At that time in Korea the term “Tang Soo Do” had become generic meaning Chinese Martial Arts. From that day to this, the Moo Duk Kwan has grown into one of the most scientific and influential martial arts in the world.

In 1947 the Grand Master introduced the Ki Cho Hyung (basic forms) in order to help students progress from basic technique onto more complex hyung.  By the mid 1950’s the Moo Duk Kwan had become the largest Federation in Korea.  Growth had been so successful that Tang Soo Do had been initiated into the secondary school curriculum.​

In 1957 the Grand Master discovered a copy of the Muye Dobo Jonji in the Seoul Central Library.  What was amazing about this find was that all Korean historical texts had been destroyed by the Japanese during the occupation of Korea between 1909-1945.   The discovery started Grand Master’s journey of research into this military writing, which lead to the introduction of the Chil Sung and Yuk Ro Hyung.

Although by far the largest, the Moo Duk Kwan was not the only school in Korea - eight other Kwans (schools) had emerged by the mid 1950s. In April 1961 the Korean Government ordered the various schools to unify under a single system, now called Taekwondo.  This caused a split in the Moo Duk Kwan. One group stayed loyal to Grand Master Hwang Kee, and still follow the official Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan curriculum, controlled by the World Moo Duk Kwan Inc.  The second group merged with the other eight other Kwans to form Taekwondo and follow the Kukkiwon curriculum. Taekwondo is now a competitive Olympic sport controlled by the World Taekwando Federation.​

The art was renamed Soo Bahk Do in 1994 at the Grand Master’s request.  The latter name paying stronger homage to Korea’s own martial past, reflecting the higher indigenous portion of the curriculum after the introduction of both the “Chil Sung” and “Yuk Ro” Hyung sets.

"Tang Soo Do" is a generic Korean phrase equivalent to “Karate”, so anyone is free to use it.  However, Soo Bahk Do, Moo Duk Kwan and the Moo Duk Kwan “fist” logo are registered trademarks of the World Moo Duk Kwan. Only federations officially recognised by the World Moo Duk Kwan have the right to claim they teach Soo Bahk Do and use the fist logo.  These organisations are listed under “member organisations” on the official World Moo Duk Kwan website.