Add KarateForums.com
Username:    Password:
Remember Me?    
   I Lost My Password!
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> KarateForums.com Articles Archive
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
 See a User Guidelines violation? Press on the post.
Author Message

SBN Doug
KF VIP

Joined: 04 Nov 2001
Posts: 3767
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Kuk Sool Won

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:30 pm    Post subject: Introduction to Kuk Sool Won Reply with quote

Kuk Sool Won is a very interesting system. It is extremely comprehensive and can be adapted to be as passive or brutal as the practitioner requires. However, it is one of the lesser know martial arts, even though its organization has one of the single largest memberships of any in the world.

In Hyuk Suh founded Kuk Sool Won in 1961 and he remains our Grandmaster (or Kuk Sa Nim) to this day. Kuk Sa Nim comes from a long line of martial artists in Korea, and studied mostly under the tutelage of his grandfather. His training continued until about the middle of the Korean conflict, when his grandfather was killed. Kuk Sa Nim was able to continue training thanks to the foresight of his grandfather. Letters had been written to other masters, requesting that they continue training Kuk Sa Nim in the event of his grandfather’s death. However, his training had to be conducted in secret, as the Japanese army would not allow any traditional Korean arts to be taught during their occupation of Korea.

He also had to visit hundreds of Buddhist in search of training manuals that had been hidden away from the Japanese. He was able to learn his ki techniques from Hai Dong Seu Nim, an old Buddhist monk, and Kuk Sa Nim’s second most influential teacher. By the 1950s he was beginning to culminate what he felt were the most effective techniques from everything he had learned. It wasn’t until the mid ‘70s when he brought his martial art to the United States, opening his first U.S. school in New Orleans. He soon moved to San Francisco, where he opened the World Kuk Sool Association headquarters. In 1991, the headquarters were moved to Houston, TX, where it remains today.

Kuk Sool Won has grown immensely over the years, primarily due to Kuk Sa Nim’s personal involvement with every one of the licensed schools within the organization. Every school owner, before receiving permission to open a school, must agree to teach the exact same material, in the same order, in the same way, as described by the system syllabus. Once a year, without fail, students in every school across the country, as well as various stops around the world, can count on a one-day visit from the Grand Master himself. There, even white belts get the opportunity to listen and learn from one of the most knowledgeable and caring martial artists in the world.

We’ll start with hyung, or forms. While KSW is not heavy with hyung, the Grandmaster has included them in our training for the benefits he sees in them. They are excellent, when performed properly, for developing leg strength. It is also a good way to show newer students how different fighting techniques can be used in combination during a real fight. Also, as we get better, we use it as another way to practice breath control, which leads then to ki training. Each belt level must learn one new hyung, until we get to black belt where we may learn weapons hyung in addition to an open handed one. The weapons forms then show combinations of strikes and blocks with the weapon, combined with openhanded strikes and kicks.

Techniques are probably the largest percentage of our learning and my personal favorite. For those that are familiar with Hapkido, these are all the grabbing techniques that you see. Each belt level usually needs to learn two sets of techniques to promote to the next belt. One set for a stripe on your existing belt and another for the next belt. There are over 220 techniques required for 1st degree black belt and, in most tests; you must be able to perform what is called, immediately, out of any of the 226 techniques. Along with the technique, we also learn the necessary skills to fall properly. After all, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be the one to get thrown. In that event, you want to make sure you minimize the damage done to you as you hit the ground. Each set has a focal point or pattern of defense. Some examples would be “defense against wrist grabs,” “defense against clothing grab from behind” and “defense against throws.” Each set teaches not only the basics of how to escape, but the principles of joint angles, pressure points and leverage that you will apply all throughout your training. Once you’ve reached 1st degree, you will learn additional techniques. Sometimes they will be a new focus, and sometimes they will be a more advanced version of an earlier set. There is approximately the same number of techniques to learn on your way to 2nd degree as there was for first. So, be prepared to demonstrate your “Patience and Perseverance” or the “two Ps” as we affectionately know them as you continue your training.

As well as forms for training, and techniques for close quarter combat, KSW also teaches all the classic kicks and punches everyone always associates with the martial arts. Those familiar with Tae Kwon Do would recognize a number of their advanced kicks in our training program. However, the high, jumping, and flying kicks are all taught at a higher level in KSW than in TKD. This is extremely good news to me, as I needed a lot of confidence in myself before trying to throw this body up in the air. Body conditioning is also a focus of KSW and hundreds of repetitive kicks, punches and jumps a day do wonders for the body.

I find that fewer and fewer martial arts teach traditional weapons as part of their standard practice. However, KSW has plenty of them. We start with a long staff, to learn the basics of handling a weapon. It also does wonders for forearm strength. A large percentage of what we learn from the long staff can be applied to the numerous other weapons that are yet to come. Double short sticks, sword, double short swords, spear, fans and archery are only a small example of the weapons taught in Kuk Sool Won. There are more that 24 different weapons taught. While some may say “you can’t carry a sword around the street with you,” I find a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that I am learning a skill that is not easily attainable in our time.

The last “main” focus of Kuk Sool Won is our internal training and healing techniques. Acupressure and acupuncture are our main types of healing techniques. However, we don’t normally get to start that training until we reach masters level (5th degree). We do start internal, or ki training, from the very first day. Whether it is breathing exercises, meditation or any other means by which you can start to control your internal energy. Don’t get me wrong: we don’t train new students to sit in a corner all day thinking of the emptiness of space, and a single candle burning in the center - blah blah blah. However, we do try and end every class with 1 minute of meditation. Here we focus on controlling our breathing and mentally running through all our techniques in our mind in that one minute. Once we train our mind to be that fast, we go back through them again. Or perhaps we run through our forms, anything to focus on, while we control our breathing and expand the strength of our minds.

As you can see, Kuk Sool Won is quite comprehensive. There is always something new to learn, and new challenges to overcome. However, it is a hard/soft style, which allows you to continue your involvement far into your older years. This is what has kept my interest in Kuk Sool Won strong for almost ten years now and will keep me interested and practicing for the rest of my life.

You can find all this, and more, information on the World Kuk Sool Association web site at http://www.kuksoolwon.com.
_________________
Kuk Sool Won - 4th dan
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27039
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice job, Doug.
_________________
Patrick O'Keefe - KarateForums.com Administrator
Have a suggestion or a bit of feedback relating to KarateForums.com? Please contact me!
KarateForums.com Articles - KarateForums.com Awards - Member of the Month - User Guidelines
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger

monkeygirl
KF VIP

Joined: 22 Feb 2002
Posts: 3677
Location: Oregon
Styles: Tae Kwon Do

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! I wanna do KSW now.... nice article!
_________________
1st dan & Asst. Instructor TKD 2000-2003

No matter the tune...if you can rock it, rock it hard.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger

ZR440
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 04 Nov 2001
Posts: 1597
Location: Michigan
Styles: Filipino

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rats! You just reminded me that I probably missed Kuk Sa Nim's normal visit to Michigan.

Good description, KSN Doug.
_________________
It's happy hour somewhere in the world.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

swooshfinn
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 28 May 2003
Posts: 137
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana (Western Indiana)
Styles: Kuk Sool Won

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2003 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to admit Doug, that was a very comprehensive and thourough explanation of KSW.

I missed 2 possible visits of Kuk Sa Nim, my original school in Knoxville, Illinois and my new school (if I ever get a job that will allow me to get into the studio 4 nights a week to get my behind back into shape) in Saint Charles, Missouri.

But I really need to work on all my techniques and forms that I know already before I start back and try to learn new stuff. Darn, another 1.5 yrs or more before I can even consider black belt.
_________________
Kuk Sool Won Jae Jah
Jah Ddi (Brown Belt)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger

SBN Doug
KF VIP

Joined: 04 Nov 2001
Posts: 3767
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Kuk Sool Won

PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

swooshfinn, just keep at it. That time will pass faster than you think.
_________________
Kuk Sool Won - 4th dan
Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Jungyae_Student
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 10 Aug 2003
Posts: 1
Location: St. Peters, MO
Styles: Jungyae Moosul

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a Kuk Sool Won near where I train. Perhaps I may have to do an introduction to Jungyae Moosul. Or at leat ask you all to go to www.jungyae.com
_________________
What we do in life echoes in eternity.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

Icetuete
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 17 May 2003
Posts: 1025
Location: Germany
Styles: ITF Taekwondo

PostPosted: Sun Aug 10, 2003 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very interesting! thanks doug!!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger

Pride&Poise
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 15 Jul 2003
Posts: 224
Location: CA
Styles: Kuk Sool Won (now); Tae Kwon Do (15 years ago)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2003 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent article, Doug, and very helpful, as I am considering training in KSW.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Tote
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 17 Aug 2003
Posts: 40


PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you know ashida kim is a master of that.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    KarateForums.com Forum Index -> KarateForums.com Articles Archive All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Page 1 of 5
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


< Advertising - Contact - Disclosure Policy - Staff - User Guidelines >