7 Tigers Taekwondo and Hapkido School has been Charlottesville’s leader in martial arts training since 1990. Headed by Grand Master Thomas Henzey (9th Dan) under Grand Master Sung Soo Lee (9th Dan), we offer a number of programs for physical fitness and instruction in Taekwondo and Hapkido.

Grand Master Sung Soo Lee, 9th Dan

Grand Master Thomas Henzey Jr., 9th Dan

Men, women and children of all ages can take advantage of our programs. Each student is given personalized instruction and attention from certified Black Belt instructors, with emphasis placed on individual ability.

The training and exercises at 7 Tigers Taekwondo and Hapkido develop physical and mental coordination, self-confidence, as well as relaxation, which involve the movement of the entire body will keep you trim, fit and in good health. Besides keeping you physically fit, your training can be most effective and powerful when used in self defense.

Our’s is a Korean Martial Art, Jidokwan Taekwondo, and Moohakkwan Hapkido. Both of these martial arts work together to make up the American Jidokwan and the Moohakkwan system founded by Grand Master Henzey under the direction of Grand Master Sung Soo Lee.

Click here to read more about the American Jidokwan Federation.

Where the name 7 Tigers came from…

This story was passed down about seven warriors (one woman and six men) during the reign of the first queen of a Korean kingdom.

During the Three Kingdom era in what is now part of modern day Korea, Chinpyong (579 to 632 CE) who had reigned over the Silla Kingdom for 53 years, passed away had no male heir. Seondeok (632 to 647 CE) was her father’s eldest daughter and became the first woman to rule a Korean kingdom.

Shortly after that another queen came to power from the Paekche Kingdom, these two queens were rivals even before becoming queens, and being the head of a kingdom just made things worse, before these events grew to a problem that had no ending. Chinpyong had sent notice prior to his death to the far corners of his Kingdom for all his best champions to come to Silla for a contest, he wanted the very best to come to him, because he wanted to send the winners to train in China, he was hoping to bring China in on his side and avoid a war with Paekche.

The contest was held over a period of time and the winners were picked to go to China, they were going to be role models for a new group of warriors called the Hawrang (flowering youth) they were going to be trained in all the arts including writing and poetry, this way they could show by example (the youth of the country) to take pride in their country!

These young warriors trained in china, impressing the emperor of China, Gaozu at that time so much that he named them the 7 Tigers of Silla, they were six men and one woman. Whom were the chosen champions sent, when they returned to Silla Seondeok gave a name to the style of martial art that was taught to them, and she called it Tang Shou, for the Tang dynasty, it meant Tang Hand.

Over a period of time these very warriors help train and were role models for the youth of their country, but soon the Paekche queen invaded, one of the main ways to get to Silla was over a mountain, but there was a pass that a few warriors could hold, so the 7 Tigers went to hold it till the army could get there (China and Silla) but it took some time to mobilize the armies, they held the pass for seven days, buying time for them to get there.

When they did get there they found no one alive, there were hundreds on bodies, including the 7 Tigers. The invading army had been turned, the Silla warriors with the Chinese army captured some Paekche warriors and asked them why they left, they said ”the warriors we faced in the pass fought like tigers cornered, and we thought if that is how they are, what do the rest fight like?”

And that was the end of the first war between these two cities and the legend of the 7 Tigers.