Why Kuk Sool Won™?

What is the difference between Kuk Sool and other martial arts?

Every Martial Art has something to offer. Kuk Sool Won is a style that has more to offer than perhaps any other Martial Art. All Martial Arts offer kicking, punching, and most offer sparring. Kuk Sool Won has the kicking, punching and sparring and also has a complete self-defense system built into its syllabus. In addition, once you have attained the required rank- Kuk Sool Won offers traditional weapons training.

An Exploration of “The Most Complete Martial Arts System”

Why Kuk Sool Won™ and not another of the numerous martial arts offered in the phone book? Let me take a few minutes and explain the many facets and benefits of what we call, “The most complete martial arts system.”

Time and again I talk to people and hear comments such as, "Oh, it's that Karate stuff", or "I could never do that because...” In the following paragraphs I will try to relate that Kuk Sool is a comprehensive martial system and not a limited avenue. I'll also try to explain that Kuk Sool is for everyone that can say, "I can do this!" This system transcends race, creed, belief system, physical condition, sex and age. If a person can say, “I want to learn,” we will teach! “Who can learn Kuk Sool?” I am often asked. My answer can only be “Anyone!”

Read on and discover why!


Over the years, martial arts in general have gained a reputation of being egocentric arenas for the outlet of aggression and fighting skills-meant for only the toughest of us. The stigma of intimidation and competition with the fellow man/woman has been incorporated into the term “martial arts”. At Kuk Sool Won™, this is not only negative, but unrealistic. As modern man has developed over the centuries, so has the need for martial arts. It has evolved from simply a fighting system developed for war into a highly comprehensive martial system that can be used for fitness, health, aerobic/cardiovascular training, body-conditioning and fun as well as practical modern-day self-defense.

Every activity, be it aerobics, jogging, or simply walking down a flight of stairs, has at least some risk of injury. At Kuk Sool Won™, safety is our primary concern. We are a school of learning, not just a training hall or gym. In this school, we learn to confront our most powerful adversary (OURSELVES) in a fun safe environment. In our Dojang, the student can expect to:

- learn the importance of proper instruction by trained professionals to avoid injury.
- learn what we never do during exercises to ensure a maximum workout without overexertion.
- learn how to kick properly to avoid joint and tendon problems, especially in the knees. (Many of the programs today may teach kicking and punching in a way that can lead to permanent joint damage later in life).
- learn how to execute complex hand strikes without hurting the fingers, knuckles and wrists.
- learn how to bag train without injuring the body.
- learn how to spar for maximum effectiveness with minimum risk of injury.
- learn how to have fun during your Kuk Sool Won™ fitness program and acquire a skill that will last a lifetime.


Imagine a program that not only teaches practical self-defense, but also has notable cardiovascular/aerobic benefits. In addition to burning extra body fat, it tones and strengthens the muscular-skeletal system. Our classes are, in themselves; enough to burn body fat. Any extra training done outside the dojang environment will add to the benefits. I have personally seen students lose up to 60 lbs. Many lose 5-10 lbs. within the first month or two of regular training. This is a personal triumph for each person. Self-esteem and confidence are the natural outcomes from such positive results.


Fight the aging process starting now!

If you’re thinking, “Well, I’m not as young as I used to be, so this probably isn’t for me,” let me assure you otherwise. Age is not a factor when practicing Kuk Sool. It’s true, you have your limits, but so does everyone. And just like the rest of us, you’ll learn how to work within and surpass those limits.

Through the diligent practice of Kuk Sool, a person of any age can slow the aging process and make the body suppler. Our basic body conditioning exercises, called Mom Puhl Ki will start you on the journey toward a more healthy life. This routine alone is designed to move all 164 joints of the body, through their full range of motion. In the process, it will stretch the muscles, rejuvenate the ligaments and tendons, lubricate the joints and increase overall strength. Over time, it has proven to be therapeutic to many ailments. In fact, exercises similar to Mom Puhl Ki are used in modern day physical therapy.

At each level, students learn joint manipulation and pressure point techniques. These teach us how to effectively disable another with a minimum of force. What are usually overlooked, however, are the health benefits to this type of technique practice. First, techniques help us to learn our own bodies, strengthen our movements and increase balance and coordination. While your partner gently practices on you, you'll receive the benefits of joint lubrication and flexibility training wrapped in one!

Within the techniques, we also work on gently striking the pressure points to make each technique more effective. Once again we strengthen our own bodies by applying the techniques and receive pressure point stimulation when receiving the technique. Over time, this stimulation positively affects the energy flow in the body.

A meditative technique called Ki Breathing is also a rejuvenating exercise. This gently massages and strengthens the internal organs, increases blood and energy within the body, trains the mind to focus and may reduce stress. Ki breathing also teaches us to breathe more efficiently which increases oxygen flow throughout the body with fewer breaths per minute.

The above paragraphs are just a few of the many benefits enjoyed by Kuk Sool Won™ practitioners. Each element – weapons, forms, falling, kicking etc.- has additional health benefits as well.


There are two types of goals intrinsic to the Kuk Sool Won™ system: Short term and long term goals. Both goals should be defined in specific terms of what, how much and how long. Short-term goals can be as simple as I will do 5 forms tonight or as complex as the mind can imagine. We do not expect to reach long-term goals overnight, but in the medium to distant future. “I will achieve black belt next summer at the age of 17,” is one such example.

Our curriculum and belt ranking system are ways in which we teach goal setting. Short-term goals are defined in terms of specific techniques, kicks, falls or segments of forms that may be learned in a night or week. Medium to long-term goals are defined in terms of an entire set of techniques, forms, falls or kicks that must be reached before obtaining a higher belt rank.

By setting goals, we learn our limits and learn patience and perseverance in the process. We also learn to constructively criticize ourselves. As a matter of course, self-criticism builds strong character and self-confidence. The student should begin to realize what could realistically be achieved. For most, they learn they can do much more than they think they can.

The belt ranking system also enforces etiquette and responsibility. Each new level of rank comes with certain expectations of behavior. In Kuk Sool, we try to lead by example. Manners should improve with each consecutive rank. With proper instruction, this should be inherent as each student progresses. Time and diligent practice teach us to appreciate the qualities of both higher and lower ranked students. A student’s understanding for the knowledge their teachers and upper classmen contain, should grow as their understanding of Kuk Sool grows and thus their respect. Respect for lower classmen should also grow as a student identifies with their efforts. As you can see, although a belt is really only used to hold up one’s pants, it is a valuable tool to teach etiquette, responsibility and goal setting.


Ponder this question for a moment: Would you like to learn to face and overcome your fears? If so, Kuk Sool Won™ could be the first step toward that goal. Fears have a way of controlling us, both mentally and physically. In Kuk Sool, we start conquering fears by first finding and surpassing our limits. Over time, we find that which was previously a limit, has become a stepping stone of progress. Once we realize this, confidence grows in conjunction with self-esteem and we can move on to the Next fear and even expand the scope of our fears. By doing this we can begin to conquer fears that may not even be related to martial arts.

In the process of conquering fears, we learn what a powerful tool the mind can be. When it is truly unified with the body and focused on a goal, it is one of the most powerful forces in nature. In Kuk Sool, we try to tap that power. Take control of your life! No matter what controls you, there is a way around it. Think positively. Nothing is impossible.


In reference to self-defense for women, Kuk Sool Won™ is unparalleled. The advantage no longer rests with the stronger or heavier person thanks to techniques designed around fluid circular movements. The incoming momentum can simply be redirected and neutralized. You will gain confidence and learn to take control of a confrontational situation!


Society offers many avenues for young people, some positive and many negative. As a child, a person is very impressionable. The choices made by parents now may well affect their child’s behavior for the rest of their lives. Which choices actually teach discipline, etiquette and practical self-defense as well as strengthen a person’s developing character?

Kuk Sool Won™ is an avenue that teaches and builds discipline, goal-setting, self-confidence, peer interaction, etiquette, self control, patience, cultural appreciation, societal appreciation and so much more. A child (or adult) can even increase the speed at which his mind works through visualization techniques. This teaches us what a powerful tool the mind is and how to use it.


What if you don't have any experience in the martial arts? Is Kuk Sool Won™ for you? Definitely, yes! He/she who starts with an empty cup is a step ahead of the person who is experienced, but burdened with pre-conceived ideas or habits. If you've never thrown a punch or kick, you are the perfect student. Starting from scratch, Kuk Sool Won™ can start you on the journey of a lifetime. We try to build a strong foundation within each student. Then as each person advances, so does the level of training. We accomplish this through our learning process:

1: Memorize each movement,
2: Make each movement precise and
3: Make each movement smooth and flowing.

If this simple process is followed, then; with regular practice; a strong martial artist will be developed.


Etiquette or martial arts manners can be defined as, “doing more than absolutely necessary.” It is the single most important idea in martial arts training. Through proper instruction, etiquette naturally grows over time and extends beyond the scope of the dojang (training hall) into society-to parents, teachers, friends and neighbors. We learn to respect ourselves, each other and the art itself. This can make us better people with stronger character.



So many times today, tempers flare and fights begin...needless fights. Anyone can kick or punch and hurt another. We need martial arts not to learn how to fight, but how to defend ourselves if there are no other options. If we have the self-control and self-confidence, most confrontations can be avoided. Kuk Sool is not taught to increase aggression and offense, but to better ourselves as human beings while learning practical self-defense. In Kuk Sool, we try to make the world better through our martial art. Our student creed #3 embodies this belief: "I will use what I learn in class constructively and defensively, to help myself and others, and never be abusive or offensive, Sir!"


Kuk Sool's effectiveness as a martial system stems from a number of factors. It is comprised of the original roots of the Korean Royal Court, martial arts that are between 2000 and 4000 years old. Each technique is “real” (all 3600+) and has withstood the test of time and conflict. Each movement and exercise has a purpose and intent. Kuk Sool is what is termed as a hard-soft style. It employs many of the hard style techniques in combination with a theory called You-Won-Wha or "Flowing-Circle-Harmony”. In hard style martial arts such as Karate or Tae Kwon Do, the strongest, largest or fastest person generally wins. It is based upon strength, speed and linear motion. This is not so in Kuk Sool Won™. Using the theory of You-Won-Wha, brute force is harmlessly redirected. Each offensive or defensive technique is studied in accordance with the laws of the physics of motion and body mechanics. This way, we can discover exactly how to align the joints and muscles to improve our movement for self-defense as well as health. In combination with pressure point attacks, a minimum of force is needed for maximum effectiveness.


It is also notable that Kuk Sool Won™ is the largest systemized martial art system in the world. It falls under the control of only one person: Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh (also known as Kuk Sa Nym). This is important for a number of reasons. The first is that it ensures strict quality control. All Kuk Sool Won™ schools are registered through our headquarters in Houston, Texas. In addition, Kuk Sa Nym visits each school at least once per year on his annual Super Seminar Tour. The second positive attribute of systemization is that no matter where you may re-locate, your rank stays with you and you learn the same curriculum. If you’re a blue belt or black belt in Canton, you’re a blue or black belt in California at the same place in Kuk Sool’s systemized curriculum.

As a member of the World Kuk Sool Won™ Association, you become a member of a large world wide family! Also, by diligently studying, we become part of the living history of Traditional Korean martial arts as well as its future.


Most serious martial artists I've spoken with have studied a combination of arts in order to be well-rounded in knowledge and ability: for kicking, some study Tae Kwon Do; for joint locks-Hap Ki Do and for energy work-Tai Chi. I was one such student. Now, I believe I've learned more martial art from one system than any combination of the above could possibly teach. In addition, I have also realized how little I really know and how much more there is to learn. So, why not study one complete system that encompasses and surpasses all the rest? Let Kuk Sool Won™ further refine and add to what you have already learned.

If you are a serious martial artist, Kuk Sool is the ultimate martial art. It is a highly scientific art that can only be mastered through decades of training. Kuk Sool offers continuous learning throughout one’s lifetime on the physical, mental and spiritual plane. Over time, it can actually become a lifestyle.

The system also offers leadership and instructor programs. When one teaches, one learns on a different level and adds new dimensions to the learning process.

Creating a lifestyle from Kuk Sool Won™ is easily employed. We term this as a martial system, not a martial art. It is not limited to simply kicking, punching or throwing, but is comprised of the entire spectrum of nearly 4,000 years of the Tradition Korean Martial Arts. Kuk Sool is a highly scientific in depth study that includes, but is not limited to:

    • I. Body conditioning: overall stretching and flexibility, cardiovascular and muscle training; ligament and tendon strengthening, joint flexibility and conditioning.
      II. Meditation and breathing techniques: breath control techniques, meditation and breathing postures, concentration techniques.
      III. Hand striking (1. Closed and open hand striking [including palm, fist, wrist, finger striking techniques and specialized hand training techniques] 2. Pressure point striking. 3. Striking using arm and shoulder. 4.Blocking and parrying.
      IV. Leg techniques: foundation kicks, spinning kicks, jumping kicks, combination kicks, double leg kicks, pressure point kicking and specialty kicking.
      V. Throwing and grappling: body throws, projection throws, leg throws, pressure point grappling, grappling defense, wrestling techniques, ground fighting.
      VI. Joint-locking techniques: restraining methods, joint breaking techniques, combination joint locking,VI. Falling techniques and acrobatics: body conditioning and agility techniques, body protection techniques, and acrobatics for defense and offense.
      VIII. Animal-style techniques: based on animals such as Tiger, Preying Mantis, Crane, Dragon, Snake, etc.
      IX. Traditional Korean weapons: Sword-short, middle and long, single or double, straight or inverted; staff-short, middle and long, single or double; jool bong, spear, cane, rope, fan. (24 Royal Court weapons plus Buddhist and family (tribal) weaponry.
      X. Martial art healing methods: accupressure, acupuncture, internal energy systems, and herbal medicine.*


    I'd like to call your attention to a lighter side of the martial arts. Kuk Sool Won™ is an art. It is beautiful to the eye as well as calming to the mind when properly performed. It develops the balance, coordination, grace, agility and flexibility of a dancer while encompassing practical health and self-defense benefits. It is a creative outlet that reduces stress and the aging process. At its core it is simply fun! So, whether you're 6 or 96, experienced or a beginner; come join the family of Kuk Sool Won™.