Source of Kuk Sool Won
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Over the years differing versions of the sources of Kuk Sool have emerged. Early sources presenting conflicting information on the source of this material include the writings of then Kuk Sool representative Kimm He-Young, the early statements of Seo In-Sun. and the early writings of Suh himself, which present versions of events inconsistent with his later writings.
The first red Kuk Sool book published by Suh In-Hyuk never mentions his grandfather, who died when Suh was 12 years old, as a source for Royal Court Martial Arts which he studied.
This fact was not mentioned until published in Suh and Jane Hallander’s “Fighting Weapons of Korean Martial Arts” in 1988.
In Kimm He-Young’s “Kuk Soolâ€ it is written: “While compiling Kuk Sool techniques, he (Myung-Duk Suh) taught these arts to his grandson, In-hyuk Suh.
Before the old master died in 1952, he handed down five compiled books of Kuk Sool to the young master Suh. They are: (1) Yu Sool; (2) Kwon Sool; (3) Yu Kwon Sool; (4) Whal Bub; (5) Hyul Bub.
“After his grandfather died, the young master searched other aspects of Korean Traditional Martial Arts for the next eight years from many other masters. These are some of the masters he studied under:
“1. Master Choi Yong-Sul: The young master visited many private martial arts schools and villages to study Tribal Martial Arts or private martial arts. One of the influencial [sic] in this area is master Yong-sool Choi. From master Choi, he received further education in Yu Sool.
“2. Hai Dong Seu Nim (The Great Monk of the East Sea): In order to learn Buddhist Martial Arts, the young master visited many temples throughout the country. One of his great teachers was Hai Dong Seu Nim. From this great monk, he learned Kwon Sool, Ki Bub (Ki Exercise) and breathing techniques.
“3. Master Tai-eui Wang: The young master also visited old masters of Royal Court Martial Arts. One of his teachers of this art was Master Tai-eui Wang. From master Wang, he learned Yu Kwon Sool”
Also according to Suh in the Kuk Sool Won Textbook: Volume 1 (Suh 1993:33) “Another of Master Suh’s influential teachers was Yong Sool Choi, the founder of Korean Hapkido and a master of Korean tribal martial arts, as well. Oddly, Choi Yong-Sul never claimed to have studied native Korean “tribal arts” himself but rather claimed to have studied the Japanese system of Daito-ryu aikijujutsu having lived in Japan from age 8 to 42 during the Japanese colonial period. (1911-1945) Interestingly Choi Yong Sul and his students often referred to his art in its early years as yu sool (jujutsu) or yu kwon sool before settling on the name hapkido for the art.”
Suh is also known to have had associations with members of Kim Moo Hong’s Shin Moo Kwan hapkido school in Seoul, especially with people like Kim Woo Tak and other senior members who founded the Kuk Sool Kwan school of hapkido, predating Suh’s own efforts. Some claim that this is the source of Suh’s technique rather than his having been a direct student of Choi’s.You might also like: