The history of Korean martial arts is as old as the land itself and can be traced as far back as the prehistoric era, where primitive weapons made of wood and stone were used for hunting and fighting. As early as 2707 BC, the Korean warlord Chi-Woo, also known as Jaoji, reigned as the “god of war” in what is now Mainland China.
Since then, the majority of Koreans migrated and settled in the region of the Korean Peninsula, where there have been more than a thousand recorded instances of foreign invasions. Consequently, the Korean people developed unique martial arts and military strategies in order to defend themselves and their territory.
Most of these Korean martial arts fall into three main groups or branches, namely tribal, Buddhist, and royal court martial arts.

  • Sah Doh Mu Sool: Tribal martial arts

  • Bool Kyo Mu Sool: Buddhist martial arts

  • Koong Joong Mu Sool: Royal court martial arts 

In 1958, In Hyuk Suh, de founder and grandmaster of Kuk Sool Won™ used these three categories of traditional Korean martial arts to form Kuk Sool Won™. Kuk Sool Won™ includes many techniques, that have been deduced from the above named arts. Kuk Sool Won™ has been structured in a way that gives a logical progression from beginner to Master.

The World Kuk Sool Association promotes the practice of Kuk Sool Won™, actively and world wide. Amongst different martial arts, Kuk Sool Won™ is seen as one of the most effective and complete forms of Korean martial art that exists nowadays.


The Three Martial arts

Sah Doh Mu Sool

The earliest martial arts developed in Korea are referred to as SahDoh MuSool; meaning tribal, clan, or family martial arts, as this type of martial art was mainly passed down from one generation to the next through family lines.
SahDoh MuSool was popular among the ancient tribes, city-states and smaller kingdoms that formed in the Korean Peninsula and parts of what is now China. This was evident well before the first unified Korean kingdom of Ko-Cho Sun which was founded in 2333 BC by the legendary king, DahnGoon WahngGuhm. Later, SahDoh MuSool was further developed and made widespread by voluntary militias comprised of the common people, who often fought in battles to defend their villages.
Traditional athletic activities such as Taekkyon, and Ssireum are considered to have originated from SahDoh MuSool. In fact, many techniques found in the popular Olympic sport of TaeKwonDo can also be traced back to SahDoh MuSool.