Kuk Sool Kwan is a comprehensive martial arts system which traces its origins to those that were practiced by the royal bodyguards of the king of Korea. Kuk Sool was later used to train the soldiers of the South Korean Special Forces.
Kuk Sool Kwan was brought to the United States by Huh Mon Gil, the instructor who devised the Special Forces Programme and later went on to teach U.S. Secret Service personnel. As a historical art, it represents the true native heritage of Korean martial arts.
Being a martial regimen intended for the guards of a monarch, Kuk Sool training is thorough and makes use of every aspect of combat -- from both hard and soft aspects of unarmed fighting to weapons and tactical philosophy. Kuk Sool combines striking with grappling submissions, graceful flowing movement with fast kicking, and meditation and breathing exercises with rigorous physical training.
We believe in bringing martial arts back to the way they were meant to be taught. We feel that there has been a tendency in American martial arts to water down and simplify their programs, supposedly to make martial arts more accessible to American students. This usually takes forms such as automatic promotion through ranks, point sparring games, and the elimination of meditation and sometimes of even truly functional self defense techniques.
The end result of all of this is that since the arrival of martial arts in America, a black belt has come to mean less and less, and it's not unheard of to see even 6 year old black belts! In reversing this trend and restoring authenticity, our classes emphasize real, practical instruction intended to create clear and definite development in a student's physique, mentality, and abilities.
In Kuk Sool, ranking is neither arbitrary nor based on "time put in", but is based on the attainment of predetermined levels of prowess as well as proficiency in lore. Instruction is provided in a culminating, graduated process that builds advanced skills on foundational ones. Despite the uniquely themed subject matter, Kuk Sool classes are designed to guide an individual's development from the absolute beginning. Students of all skill levels and physical makeup train together and learn from each other. You will be challenged, but in an engaging, creative way that maintains your interest and keeps you moving forward -- and at the end of a few years, you will have reached a level of skill that will truly "mean something".
Ultimately, however, Kuk Sool provides guidance in not only how to obtain a unique skill set, but how to lead a martial way of life- a way of discipline, self cultivation, and limitless personal unfoldment. Yes, the technique sets and theory behind Kuk Sool are more effective than in sport or recreational martial arts, but it is only in the full development of the mental faculties of the individual that they become extraordinary. To this end, Kuk Sool training still retains more than just the vestiges of those methods of old martial arts training -- we still exercise practices of mental endurance, psychological development, and spiritual insight. The purpose: not to merely practice a sport or an activity, but to come to intimately know the self.