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The Tang Soo Tao emblem is the combination of symbols common to all forms of martial art and esoteric philosophy.

Master Caputo

From Master Robert Caputo's book "The Living Buddha in Martial Virtue"

The Yin Yang

The broken circle in the center is the symbol of Tai Chi or the Grand Ultimate.  This signifies the universal harmony of all things through the working of Yin Yang.  Yin is represented by the colour blue; yang by the colour red.  Yin represents female energy and the night.  Yang symbolizes male energy and the sun.  These are the complimentary forces of nature that rule our daily life.  Man cannot survive without woman; woman cannot survive without man, the uneven halves of the circle represent this.

The 5 Colours

The 5 colours represent the Hsing-I or the 5 elements of the physical world used in divine alchemy.  It relates the 5 internal organs with the 5 ruling planets of our solar system.  The 5 colours also represent the 5 Dyhana Buddhas of esoteric Buddhism.  The 5 Buddhas symbolize the 5 levels of wisdom necessary to gain enlightenment.

The Dorjes

The Dorjes are a ritual instrument of Tantric Buddhism symbolical of the most direct method of overcoming desire and attachment to attain enlightenment though one-ness with universal wisdom.  The Dorje on top of the circle signifies all energy and method.  The circle inside the Dorje is the female energy, wisdom; again in Buddhism as in Tai Chi, the universal theme of the inseparability of male and female energies.


The 8 triagrams of the inside ball make up the eight palms of the defense art of circle walking.  There are 8 varieties multiplied by the 8 palm changes that create 64 movements in circle walking of Pa-Kua Kung Fu.  The 64 palms relate to the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching.


Nucleus of Chinese culture comprised of 64 trigrams that expound the philosophy, astrology and all phenomena of past, present and future of Chinese culture.

The Laurels

Green symbolises growth and progress.  Laurel leaves symbolize peace, Ideologically peace and progress sustain our world and combat evil and destruction: that which creates decay and unrest in our world.

The Berries

The 6 red berries within the laurel leaves symbolize the 6 provinces of Korea and also symbolise the fruits of our labour.