Kuk Sool Won Characteristics and Techniques

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

Kuk Sool Won encompasses many different “styles.” However it still has some discernible characteristics that set it apart from other traditional martial arts. Kuk Sool Won is typically characterized by having low stances and fluid, graceful motions. There is also an emphasis on joint locks and pressure points. Kuk Sool Won is also described as being a hard-soft style, which includes hard and forceful strikes in addition to circular and fluid movements.

Techniques: Kuk Sool won includes (but not limited to) the following sets of techniques:

  • Joint locking/breaking: Various joint locks are employed in Kuk Sool Won, including wrist locks, arm-bars, and small joint manipulation.
  • Soo Ki (Hand Striking): Palm, fist, wrist, finger, closed hand, open hand, arm, shoulder and pressure point striking techniques.
  • Johk Sool (Kicking Techniques): Spinning, jumping, combination, double leg, and pressure point kicks.
  • Throwing and Grappling: Body throws, projection throws, leg throws, pressure point grappling, grappling defense, wrestling, and ground fighting techniques.
  • Nak Bup (Falling Principles): Falling techniques are taught in Kuk Sool Won. These techniques allow a practitioner to fall into a variety of positions while minimizing injury. This is typically accomplished through maximizing the surface area on impact to prevent damaging force on an isolated area of the body.
  • Animal-Style Techniques: Tiger, Mantis, Crane, Dragon, Snake, Bear, Eagle etc.
  • Traditional Korean Weapons: Sword (short, long, single and double, straight and inverted), staff (short, middle and long, single and double), jool bong (double and triple sectioned; also known as nunchucks and sansetsukon), knife, spear, wol do (Moon knife – a Korean halberd), dang pa (triple bladed spear, or trident), cane, rope, fan, and the bow and arrow (taught in the traditional style, using a thumb draw).
  • Martial Art Healing Methods: Acupressure, acupuncture, internal energy, herbal medicine.
  • Meditation and Breathing Techniques: Meditation and breathing postures and concentration techniques.

Belt Ranks: Kuk Sool Won uniforms include a belt which indicates rank and length of study of Kuk Sool Won. The belt color progression from beginner to instructor is:

  • White – Huin Di
  • Yellow – No-Ran Di
  • Blue – Cheong Di
  • Red – Hong Di
  • Brown – Ja Di
  • Brown/black – Dahn Boh Nim
  • Black (1st degree) – Jo Kyo Nim

Individual schools may also issue stripes of the next belt level, notably at the brown belt level. These stripes indicate proficiency in some of the requirements needed to attain the next rank. Between brown and black belt is an intermediary stage where the student is required to gain at least 10 black stripes before advancing to Jo Kyo Nim. Each student must have been studying for at least 3 years before advancing to Jo Kyo Nim.

At black belt there are 10 levels:

  • 1st degree – Jo Kyo Nim
  • 2nd degree – Kyo Sa Nim
  • 3rd degree – Puh Sah Buh Nim
  • 4th degree – Sah Beom Nim
  • 5th to 8th degree – Kwan Jang Nim
  • 9th degree – Chong Kwan Jang Nim
  • 10th degree – Kuk Sa Nim