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Kuk Sool

Founded by Suh In-hyuk in 1958, kuk sool (translation: “National Martial Arts”) is a style of martial arts that attempts to incorporate the mental, physical, body conditioning and weaponry of all traditional Korean martial arts. Most kuk sool schools currently belong to a single governing body, the Kuk Sool Won.

What sets kuk sool apart from other Korean arts is its lower stances, circularly graceful movements, emphasis on striking the body’s vital points, and its integration of the joint-locking skills of Chinese chin-na. It also emphasizes healing skills, breathing techniques and meditation.

Kuk sool’s philosophical tenet is reflected by three words: water, circle and harmony. Water teaches one to go with the flow. Not only can water be soft and powerful, but it also always adapts to its environment. The circle is an acknowledgment that one is surrounded by a personal circle and must actively defend or redirect any aggression that enters that circle. Harmony is about unifying the mind and body as one.

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  1. From Hapkido to Kuk Sool: Exploring Korea’s Martial Arts

    From Hapkido to Kuk Sool: Exploring Korea’s Martial Arts

    “Adults from abroad may have trouble keeping up with Korean martial artists, especially those who started training when they were kids — which pretty much includes everybody,” says our correspondent regarding training in Korea.
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  2. The Kuk Sool Technique That Will Save Your Life

    The Kuk Sool Technique That Will Save Your Life

    Do you know the kuk sool technique called dee eue bohk soo? No? Well, it might be your last line of defense against a double wrist grab from behind.
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