What is Kuk Sool Won?
Kuk Sool Won™ is a comprehensive traditional Korean martial arts system, which was officially founded in 1961 by Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh (Kuk Sa Nim) and is now Korea’s largest organised martial art (Tae Kwon Do is larger, but is considered to be a sport based on martial art by the Korean Government and the World Tae Kwon Do Federation rather than an actual martial art system).
Although the term Kuk Sool Won was first coined by Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh, its origins are deeply rooted with the beginning of the Korean people and their culture.
The art form is based on three major categories of traditional Korean martial arts: SahDoh MuSool (family/tribal martial arts), BoolKyo MuSool (Buddhist martial arts, practiced and developed by Buddhist monks), and KoongJoong MuSool (Royal Court martial arts) and has countless techniques derived from them.
It was in the late 1950's that In-Hyuk Suh began the monumental task of organising and formulating the many scattered martial art techniques of Korea into a single system, which he named Kuk Sool in 1958.
Kuk Sa Nim (which means “National Teacher”) developed and compiled the various forms of lost and forgotten Korean traditional martial arts. Kuk Sa Nim coined the term, Kuk Sool Won, because he wanted his art to best represent the comprehensive martial art of Korea that has thrived and demonstrated its prowess and effectiveness throughout 5000 years of history.
Kuk Sool Won™ teaches a traditional/ancient martial art covering the entire spectrum of martial arts that includes but is not limited to hand strikes, kicks, joint locks, grappling, throws, pressure points, weapons etc...
But it is much more than a means of attack and defence. The art also includes the study of healing techniques, meditation and the development of internal power, as well as the physical aspects. Psychological development is of equal importance in Kuk Sool Won™ and helps to instill self-confidence and self-discipline, a calm self-assurance, and the mental strength and spiritual values which are traditionally associated with a martial artist’s character.
Kuk Sool Won™ is structured to take a practitioner in a logical progression from the beginning all the way up to Master level.
As opposed to the other popular modern day Korean martial arts, Kuk Sool Won™ uses completely different spinning techniques and low stances. As a result it took the public some time to adjust, but eventually its popularity grew to greater proportions.
In 1974, when Kuk Sool Won™ was better known and more popular with the public, In-Hyuk Suh took his martial art to the USA and the World Kuk Sool Association® was formed a year later.
Kuk Sool Won™ was first brought to the UK in 1988 when the first tournament was held.
The demands of an expanding global presence dictated moving to a more central location, and in 1991 the World Kuk Sool Association® was relocated to Houston, Texas.
The organisation now boasts in excess of 1.3 million members with over 800 schools worldwide in 30 different countries.