Kuk Sool Won History
The Kuk Sool Won | What is Kuk Sool Won | History | Origins | Description | In Hyuk Suh The Founder | Philosophy | Characteristics and Techniques | Techniques and Arts | Kuk Sool Won Weapons | Source of Kuk Sool Won | Fighting Animals | Tiger and Eagle | Breaking Training Techniques | Korean Swordsmanship
The history of Korean martial arts is as old as the land itself and can be traced as far back as the prehistoric era, where primitive weapons made of wood and stone were used for hunting and fighting.
As early as 2707 BC, the Korean warlord Chi-Woo, also known as Jaoji, reigned as the â€œgod of warâ€ in what is now Mainland China. Since then, the majority of Koreans migrated and settled in the region of the Korean Peninsula, where there have been more than a thousand recorded instances of foreign invasions.
Consequently, the Korean people developed unique martial arts and military strategies in order to defend themselves and their territory.
Most of these Korean martial arts fall into three main groups or branches, namely tribal, Buddhist, and royal court martial arts.
The three branches of traditional Korean martial arts: SahDoh MuSool, BoolKyo MuSool, and KoongJoong MuSool, were organized to form a single system known as Kuk Sool in 1958 by In-hyuk Suh, the founder and Grandmaster of Kuk Sool Won.
Kuk Sool has countless techniques derived from the three branches of traditional Korean martial arts and is structured to take a practitioner in a logical progression from the beginning all the way up to Master level. Kuk Sool Won has been actively promoted worldwide by the World Kuk Sool Association, and it is also recognized in the martial arts community as one of the most effective and comprehensive systems of traditional Korean martial arts in existence today.
Ancient History: Kuk Sool Won has a strong foundation and history based on the traditional and ancient martials arts from the Korean peninsula. The three branches of traditional Korean martial arts which comprise the basis of Kuk Sool Won and are:
- Sah Doh Mu Sool (Tribal or Family martial Arts) is the earliest form of martial arts developed in Korea; meaning tribal, clan, or family martial arts, as this type of martial art was mainly passed down from one generation to the next. SahDoh MuSool was popular among the ancient tribes, city-states and smaller kingdoms that formed in the Korean Peninsula and parts of what is now China. This was evident well before the first unified Korean kingdom of Ko-Cho Sun which was founded in 2333 BC by the legendary king, DahnGoon WahngGuhm. Later, SahDoh MuSool was further developed and made widespread by voluntary militias of the common people, who often fought in battles to defend their villages.
Traditional athletic activities such as Taekkyon, and Ssireum are considered to have originated from SahDoh MuSool.
- Bool Kyo Mu Sool (Buddhist Temple Martial Arts) has been practiced by Buddhist monks throughout Asia. In China, the famous Shaolin monks developed techniques and forms based on their observations of animals. Buddhist monks originally developed and then practiced BoolKyo MuSool to improve their health while meditating and to defend themselves while traveling. As a result, Buddhist martial arts include both internal training, with emphasis on special breathing and meditation methods, as well as external training, with emphasis on extremely effective self-defense techniques. Many Buddhist monks were so accomplished as martial artists that they were occasionally called upon during national emergencies to fight in battles by forming unprecedented armies of warrior monks.
Today, the tenants of Bool Kyo Mu Sool are prevalent in Kuk Sool as they help teach practitioners meditation skills and the philosophies of non-violence and compassion for all living things.
- Koong Joong Mu Sool (Royal Court Martial Arts) is unique to Kuk Sool Won. Some of the weapons used in Kuk Sool Won were a part of the traditional daily court life. The rope or sash, cane, fan, and short sword were all used among members of the Korean Royal court. There were also many unique open handed and joint-locking principles of Koong Joong Mu Sool that are used extensively in Kuk Sool Won. Weapon training in Kuk Sool Won is very extensive involving 24 different weapons in its curriculum
1910-1945 Japanese Occupation: Kuk Sool’s modern history can be indirectly traced to the dissolution of the Korean Royal Court and the Japanese occupation in 1910. During this period almost all aspects of Korean culture were suppressed by the Japanese government, including the teaching of Korean martial arts. Those caught practicing Korean martial arts were severely punished, and many leading Korean martial arts instructors were forced into hiding.
Among them was Myung Deuk Suh, In Hyuk Suh’s grandfather and head martial arts instructor to the Korean Royal court before it was dissolved by the Japanese. Prior to 1910, the elder Suh taught three types of Korean martial arts: kwan sool, a kicking and hard punching style; yu sool, a soft style with emphasis on locking and throwing techniques; and yu-kwan, a combination which could be either hard or soft, but never used force against force.
Despite the Japanese invasion, the Suh family continued its 16 generation tradition of practicing and teaching martial arts in extreme secrecy. In Hyuk Suh was chosen by his grandfather to carry on this family legacy.
1945-1961 In Hyuk Suh’s Training: By the time he was 20 years old, In Hyuk Suh had traveled to hundreds of Buddhist temples and private martial arts teachers, studying many aspects of Korean martial arts. During this intensive training-period Suh learned special breathing skills, meditation techniques and internal power (ki) knowledge, which is taught extensively in Kuk Sool schools across the globe.
In the late 1950s In Hyuk Suh began to integrate the many scattered martial art techniques of Korea into a single martial art, Kuk Sool Won. Suh opened his first Kuk Sool school in 1958, and officially founded Kuk Sool Won in 1961.
1961-Present Organization and Instruction: In 1974, when Kuk Sool Won in Korea was becoming well known by the public, In Hyuk Suh brought his martial art to the United States. Currently the World Kuk Sool Association headquarters is located in Tomball, Texas, which is roughly forty miles northwest of Houston.
Kuk Sool Won is practiced all over the world, and has schools located in Korea, the United Kingdom, Canada, The Netherlands, the United States as well as many others. Official Kuk Sool Won tournaments are held every year all over the world, including the U.S. and European tournaments, and attract many competitors to each event. They are also famous in the Kuk Sool community for their outstanding Masters’ Exhibitions.You might also like: