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The origins of Kuk Sool date back to the very beginning of Korea starting with "Sah Doh Mu Sool" which means family or tribal martial art. The next martial art to develop was "Koong Joong Mu Sool", or "Royal Court Martial Art." Shortly afterwards came "Bull Kyo Mu Sool", which refers to the martial arts practiced in the Buddhist temples during ancient times. These are the three segments of Korean martial arts history from which the techniques of Kuk Sool are derived.
Although it can be traced back to antiquity, the present Kuk Sool system was formally devised only recently. Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh spent his entire life in single minded practice and research in order to learn, compile, master and organize the vast collection of techniques which comprise Kuk Sool. He officially founded the Kuk Sool Won™ in 1961 and brought it to the United States in 1974.
The World Kuk Sool Association, Inc. now has its headquarters in Tomball , Texas (on the outskirts of Houston ), and has grown to include more than 800 schools stretched all across the globe. It continues to steadily increase it's membership on a daily basis.
So it can be said that Kuk Sool Won™ is a comprehensive martial arts system that is derived from the rich and varied martial art techniques and traditions that have arisen in Korea throughout the ages. Be aware that Kuk Sool is not considered a sport, nor is it simply another oriental self defense method, it is a comprehensive martial art that is dedicated to the cultivation of mental and physical well-being and to the preservation of traditional Korean Martial Arts.
For self defense, Kuk Sool is unsurpassed. It combines kicking, punching, throwing, falling, choking, joint-locking and a myriad of weapons techniques into a beautiful and dynamic style that emphasizes speed and fluidity. In conjunction with the physical training, meditation, special breathing, acupressure and acupuncture techniques are employed to improve and maintain health, develop internal power and retard the aging process.
Philosophically, Kuk Sool stresses humility, self discipline, loyalty and respect for others. Together, all of these aspects allow Kuk Sool to provide the means for attaining a long and healthy life.
As a martial arts system, Kuk Sool Won™ covers the entire spectrum of the established Asian fighting arts and body conditioning techniques, as well as mental development and traditional weapons training. These include (but are not limited to):
As you can see, Kuk Sool Won™ covers an extensive variety of martial art techniques. But it is not merely concerned with methods of attack and defense. Kuk Sool Won™ also includes the study of healing techniques and the development of internal power, in addition to the physical training. Mental development is of equal importance in Kuk Sool and helps to instill confidence and self-discipline, a calm self-assurance, and the ethical and philosophic values, which are traditionally associated with the character of a martial artist.
Although Kuk Sool Won™ as it is practiced today is relatively new, its roots stretch far and deep to the very beginnings of the Korean people. This early history and the ancient traditions upon which this art is founded should be viewed as important as the physical techniques themselves, for it is only from the understanding and appreciation of these classical roots that one is truly able to grow as a student of the martial arts.