Kuk · Sool
( Traditional Korean
Martial Arts )
Kuk·Sool has countless techniques purportedly taken from the three branches of historical Korean martial arts: Sah Doh Mu Sool, Koong Joong Mu Sool, and Bull Gyo Mu Sool. But the joint-locks and other grappling aspects are identical to those found in Hapkido, which is historically proven to be drawn from a Japanese art known as Daito Ryu Aiki-Jujitsu, while the forms of patterned movements and palm-striking can be linked to a Chinese art known as Tang Lang Chuan (i.e. praying mantis kung-fu). However, the curriculum does have a unique structure that successfully combines all of these elements, along with some things and training methods which are of Korean origin, and can take a practitioner in a logical progression from the beginning all the way up to Master level.
All of these various components, whether derived from the aforementioned historical Korean martial arts or not, were brought together and organized to form a single system in the late 1950's to early 1960's, by many masters with diverse backgrounds. Unfortunately, this collaborative effort was short-lived and all the people involved eventually went their separate ways. However, at least 3 of the leading masters, namely, Woo-Tak Kim, In-Hyuk Suh, and Joo-Bang Lee, continued their pursuits individually and are responsible for the formation of the following martial art systems (in respective order): Kuk Sool Kwan, Kuk Sool Won, and Hwa Rang Do.
In the last 50 years, perhaps the most prominent exponent active in promoting the martial art of Kuk Sool (under that name), has been In-Hyuk Suh along with his oganization, the World Kuk Sool Association, Inc. But there are many other institutions not affiliated with him or his organization which have also helped acknowledge the remarkableness of Kuk·Sool and thus it is often recognized in the martial arts community as one of the most effective and comprehensive traditional Korean martial arts in existence today.