our logo

For logo symbolism,
click on the logo.

What do the words “Kuk·Sool” actually mean?

It is probably best to explain by first discussing what an acronym entails. More than just initials, people tend to think of an acronym as an alternate way of referencing the original concept it’s supposed to represent. FBI [eff-bee-eye], ATM [ay-tee-em], and MSG [em-ess-jee] are good examples of common acronyms in the English language. Consider the following sentences:

  • Shady dealings with drug lords caused him to be closely watched by the FBI.

  • I’m short on cash, I need to get some money from the ATM.

  • Don’t eat at that restaurant; they use too much MSG.

Despite being alluded to by means of the acronyms in the above examples, neither the Federal Bureau of Investigation, an Automatic Teller Machine, nor Mono-Sodium Glutamate are directly referenced (i.e. people tend to think of the initials, themselves, as the actual entity). Likewise, despite using a distinctly different form of writing, Asian languages also prefer a shortcut method to reference otherwise lengthy nomenclature. Thus, Korean Martial Art [Han·Kuk Mu·Sool; 한국 무술] becomes simply National Art [Kuk·Sool; 국술] – (Korea or Korean is idiomatically formed by two separate words: Fence + Nation, although this formation is usually translated as “Hermit Kingdom” when seeking a colorful yet literal meaning). This fact about the Asian version of acronyms is substantiated near the bottom of the page on Wikipedia covering acronyms, under the heading Non-English languanges. Use the following hyperlink and read the examples about Peking University, Hongik University, etc.: Asian Acronyms.

So Kuk·Sool is merely a short-cut way of saying Korean Martial Art (conjecture about the content of this martial art actually being comprised of fair amounts of Japanese and Chinese elements, notwithstanding).

Despite Kuk·Sool meaning Korean Martial Arts, it's probably best to mention that the term isn't usually used in a general, broad-sweeping way to refer to just any martial art of Korean origin. Instead, it's typically used to describe a specific system of martial arts which incorporates joint-locks and other attributes found in the art of Hapkido, which is historically proven to be a Korean derivative of Daito-Ryu Aikijujitsu. Because of this heavy reliance on Hapkido elements, Kuk·Sool can be said to be a variant of Hapkido. But unlike most methods of Hapkido, it also includes formalized patterns of movement utilizing smooth-flowing motions which are more similar to Chinese martial arts than the start-and-stop motions more evident in arts such as Karate or Taekwondo. Another similarity to Hapkido is the use of traditional martial art weapons, although a wider variety of weapons than what is usually taught in Hapkido can be found in the art of Kuk⋅Sool. It should be noted, however, that the weapons which are taught don't necessarily rely on famous sources such as the Muye Dobo Tongji (무예도보통지 • 武藝圖譜通志) as a reference of ancient weaponry used by the Korean military, for determining which weapons should be included in its curriculum.

It should also be observed that Kuk⋅Sool & Kuk Sool Won™ are not one and the same, as Kuk Sool Won™ is merely one organization which utilizes the martial art of Kuk·Sool in what it offers to its clients. However, due to years of falsely justified insistence by Kuk Sool Won™ that no one else can use the name of “Kuk⋅Sool” directly led to many proponents of this remarkable martial arts system regrettably adopting a different »moniker So while Kuk Sool Won™ (and its partner organization, the World Kuk Sool Association, Inc.) may be one of the largest institutions which have helped to spread this martial art, there exists a significant number of martial art groups, even if many don't identify themselves with this appellation, that teach Kuk·Sool.

Take charge of your martial art business and build a better future that you can depend on!

Come join us, especially if you feel the time is right to be part of a politics‍-‍free organization like The Kuk·Sool Global Alliance.

To enroll in the Alliance, click heretap here, or on the spinning globe to the right.

Click on the appropriate map below to find member schools in the USA or in other parts of the world.




Today is: