Kuk Sool criticism

Discussion in 'Korean Martial Arts - General' started by snyderkv, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. snyderkv

    snyderkv White Belt

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    MT,

    I'm looking for some honest feedback on the street practicality of some of the Kuk Sool locks.

    I obtained my yellow belt 10 years ago and just now getting back to MA. I have been searching the forums for criticisms of various styles so I can determine what's the most fun but also includes the most practical self defense but it's hard to find amist all the fan boy talk, fears of being accused of trolling or the common respect some people have for all martial arts. Therefore, nobody likes to break apart the techniques to discuss their shortcomings.

    Without getting into detail, I wanted to comment on the first Kuk Sool Lock you learn as a white belt as I was taking two private lessons to try and demo different schools styles.

    That first move was when someone grabs your wrist and and you move up with the elbow to the chin. Forgot the name.

    First off, it becomes very slow when the attacker has a good grip making it easy for counter attack.

    Second, a Wing Chunner showed me what he would do instead, (I don't like wing chun so I'm not advocating it here) he grabed the attackers wrist with the same hand and pulled towards him and kicked and eye gauged simultaneously.

    That to me was way more effective IMO and was the least effort.

    There was other moves that we kinda picked apart and asked, what is the best method for this and that and both felt a little discouranged from persuing my black belt in this style.

    To its credit, I believe the locks are for teaching you about anotomy of locks and not about self defense you can take home from day one like other types of pure self defense classes.

    Please give your feedback.

    Thanks
     
  2. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Well to be honest with you no martial art is 100% perfect and all of them have short comings. I have always said this it is not the art that protects us from someone but ourselfs, we hold the key to every single tech, that is out their it is called training and always retraining those muscle so you can re-act to any given stituation. Last thing I will say almost every single style has a counter to a given tech, what makes a big difference between schools is the one's that teach a counter to the counter to the counter, this gives you a better chance of survivor.

    I know you was looking for something more about the application but I find this approach more suitable for the real world.
     
  3. dancingalone

    dancingalone Grandmaster

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    The kibon sool aren't necessary meant to teach practical self-defense right off the bat. They're introductory exercises designed to familiarize yourself with certain anatomical positions that result in a lock. This is a common teaching pedagogy for jujutsu-based arts where the 'counter' works off an initial wrist grab. As you advance, you gradually realize the initial position isn't actually that important - but your self-concept of grounded movement and how to project your core versus your opponent is. This takes YEARS to accomplish.

    If you want realistic self-defense quickly, I would look elsewhere. That's not an indictment of Kuk Sool by the way. It (and many other similar arts) simply aren't designed that way.
     
  4. snyderkv

    snyderkv White Belt

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    Gotcha, thanks a bunch. I looked at strictly self defense courses like Krav Mega and Guided Chaos however they haven't sparked my interest yet. I guess I should just go to the Dojo's, pay for more private lessons and see if I like it.

    Thanks
     
  5. terryl965

    terryl965 <center><font size="2"><B>Martial Talk Ultimate<BR

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    Instead of privates which can be expensive find a school that has classes geared toward self defense only, I know aot of schools that have one or two classes a week solely for S.D principle.
     
  6. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    I can totally understand someone's frustration with going in wanting to learn something for the "street" whatever the hell that really means to you. Fact is, being a westerner we want the answers and we want them now. Like many classical styles (though Kuk Sool is not very old) everything is not as apparent on the surface when you first start out.

    I liken it to learning guitar, I wanted to play Megadeth, but spent many months learning the names of the strings, then the notes, then chord shapes then scales, all very dry applications of theory that in no way sounded musical. But then, when you do get to a point where you can play the material, you play it well because with all that practicing your fingering, picking, hand position are all perfect. From then on progression is just a matter of learning the new material.

    Different styles do things differently, different style progress differently, you shouldn't really compare. Each is a different experience, if Kuk Sool does not work for you, maybe move on.
     
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  7. snyderkv

    snyderkv White Belt

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    Got it. Totally understood

    Thanks for all the responses
     
  8. rlp271

    rlp271 Orange Belt

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    In my experience with wrist locking styles, and styles that use a lot of small joint manipulation, is that the basics are there to teach you a specific style of movement. Different martial arts utilize different movements. When you first learn a wrist lock, it won't work on a resisting opponent. Even if they're not trying to club in the face, just locking down the grab they do have will make the very basic technique ineffective, unless you're figured out how to use the rest of your body. That takes a lot of time to figure out as dancingalone said.

    I'll second what a few people on here have told you, and I'd suggest you look for something else if you're looking for quick self-defense. I'd throw up boxing as a suggestion. Nice, solid, old-school western martial art.
     
  9. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    Great analogy.

    You can go to a teacher who will teach you how to play a song, but when you leave there you will know that song and nothing else, really, about how to play the guitar other than a couple of chords.

    Nothing wrong with that — if you just want to be able to play a song for your friends at the next campout.

    But if you want to REALLY play guitar, then you do what Omar described up above: learn the instrument in depth. Long term investment, but once you have made that investment, you can play hundreds and maybe thousands of songs — and can teach them to yourself without having to be taught each song.
     
  10. Omar B

    Omar B Senior Master

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    I'm glad you like it. I always compare the classical arts to arts in general. Is it any wonder samurai learned music or painting or poetry? There's a great deal of discipline involved in learning the brushes, how to manipulate them, what kind of line or coverage they create, perspective, then how to apply them to a canvas to create a picture. Or someone can show you how to do a line drawing of a nice flower, only afterward, you can only draw that flower, you don't learn any skills outside of repeating a set of movments just as taught.

    It's the same with music where even if you can't quite make out a part, you know what key the song is in, what scale is being used so your possibilities are narrowed down enough that you can pretty much figure out what you missed. Of you can play the one song taught to you by putting your fingers down in the correct sequence without knowing the what, why and how of it.

    A classical style is not going to be as immediate, it's not meant to be that way. It's a bunch of brush strokes, then you get to paint.
     
  11. Humble Student

    Humble Student Yellow Belt

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    I would say your best bet is to find a man that goes by the name Kuk Sa Nim on here or better known as Kuk Sa Nim Micheal De alba. He has trainned in many korean and non korean arts. And some times pops on here from time to time. He might best be able to answer your question.

    Good luck
     
  12. l_uk3y

    l_uk3y Green Belt

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    I don't think its fair to talk about the first lock learnt in a system then discuss short comings about the art. Most any teaching method from any area (Martial Arts AND OUTSIDE of martial arts) will usually focus on areas that will develop areas that will enable them to get concepts/positioning and prepare themselves for the "meat" of the syllabus. You have to crawl before you can walk and you have to Walk before you can run.

    In terms of street practicality. Any technique will require a certain amount of work before it can be classed as effective. An upwards elbow to the chin as you've mentioned, with a bit of work developing it can be a fairly devastating attack. In terms of it being slow when the opponent has a strong grip. Is that a result of the technique itself? Or the way the technique has been performed?

    Reason I say that. A wrist grab does not effect the elbow, shoulder, hips or knees. With a bit of body movement. The wrist grab virtually becomes obsolete. Leaving you free to sink in that elbow.

    Luke
     
  13. snyderkv

    snyderkv White Belt

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    I already agreed that the techniques teach you anatomy and the concept of locks exc but I had to respond after you tried to prove that the technique may not have been performed correctly. Factually, the technique alone can't work in a real self defense situation and was not meant to as mentioned. Your comment was a slight contradiction. Not that all techniques can't work but some just won't. I was shown two other ways to get out of that wrist grab by another martial artist and I was like wow that was way more effective. Like for example, before even doing the technique, an eye gauge or shin kick could be done to loosen up the attacker. This is not taught in Kuk Sool Won because they want to focus on the core of the lock which I actually like. I could always improvise later once I get the concept down.

    Somehow I'm convinced that I would enjoy Kuk Sool much more than Wing Chun as my friend has been trying to convince me to go to.

    Thanks everyone for your comments.
     
  14. Pugil

    Pugil White Belt

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    Not to forget that a real attacker is hardly likely to go to go up to another man and grab him by the wrist in the first place — I mean, that's not much of an 'attack' is it!

    But what happens if you were a Care Working whose job involved looking after patients in a Head Trauma unit, and one of the patients got a little frustrated and angry and did indeed grab hold of your wrist... Do you think that you'd still have a job if you took the Wing Chun guy's approach to dealing with the problem? It's good to have more than one tool in your toolbox, so to speak, in order to deal appropriately with situation you find yourself in, and the anticipated level of threat and danger.

    Check out some of my YouTube video clips (under the name of Pugilistica) for a better understanding of joint lock applications.
     
  15. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Y'know... I can't help but observe that a lot of people focus on the question of "why do we practice against wrist grabs... they never happen like that to a grown man!" or some variant of this.

    Let me suggest that a defense against a wrist grab just might apply to more than a wrist grab. Just like a defense against a lapel grab has many other applications, if you look at them. Could it handle a push? A strike? Could you use that same lock if someone blocked your strike?
     
  16. Doomx2001

    Doomx2001 Green Belt

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    Even thought this thread is a year old, I'd figure I'd take a stab at it.

    In most traditional martial arts, alot of the stuff you learn will get you beat up on the street. And it's not because what your being taught doesn't work, its that what your taught in the beginning is laying down the foundation for what you'll learn later. Making your techniques strong from implementation to completion which in the end will make them work better.

    For example, in Hapkido, or in this case Kuk Sool Won, the wrist grabbing techniques taught in the beginning are not realistic for the street. The only people who usually get their wrist grabbed is girls/women who are being pulled by their abusive boyfriend. So the question is: Why teach wrist grab techniques.
    The answer: They are simple. You learn to break your opponents strong grip, you learn to have a strong grip yourself, and you learn the basics of joint manipulation/joint locking/ throwing. Over time, as you progress, more concepts and techniques get added to what you've already been taught. This type of learning, is painfully slow, but very rewarding under the right teacher.

    I would recommend you or anybody else learning Kuk Sool Won or Hapkido, experiment with what you learnt so far on your own time to see what works and what doesn't. And, for what doesn't work, figure out WHY. Don't discard something because on the surface it appears to be ineffective. It may just be you haven't learned to do the technique properly or you may have to add a strike or some type of 'distraction' to allow you to do the technique. Experiment.

    You mentioned somebody showed you how a Wing Chun praticioner would deal with a wrist grab. Thats great. Apply that concept with Kuk Sool Won, and see how it works. A fist is a fist, a foot is foot. Regardless of what style or concept. Some people don't like the idea of cross training, but its a good idea to fill in the gaps of your own training and most importantly GET YOU THINKING.

    In the end, Kuk Sool, Hapkido, TaeKwonDo, various Karate styles, martial arts of all types...etc....they all work based on the work that you put into them. Alot of people quit traditional martial arts these days because they are impatient and want immediate results. I would say more people now than ever have trouble even making it past their white belt because they don't see the value in doing forms, they don't see the value in starting with simple wrist grabs, or even learning traditional weapons without even thinking that would you could do with a sword you could do with a machette/bat or what you could do with a staff, you could do with a broom/mop/stick.

    I think it is a very good thing that you are questioning what you've been taught. Thats great. But don't lose focus, keep training. Ask your instructor these questions and see what he tells you, and don't be discourage with his answers. Who knows, if you stick with it, and one day you might have a dojo/dojang of your own, you could 'tweak' those techniques to suit you and your students better.

    Again, be patient, keep training, train hard like your life depends on it. Train as if tomorrow your getting in the ring with someone. Train hard, and with purpose. Put INTENT behind those kicks, put INTENT behind those strikes, put INTENT behind your forms, put INTENT behind those pesky excercises, and put INTENT behind those techniques. And when I say INTENT I mean: Do it look you mean it. With feeling. Attitude and Sincerity. Many of those techniques, regardless of the age of the system your learning them from, are many centuries old dating back ancient China/Japan/Korea/India/Greece, and were secretive at one time. Be proud to be learning Kuk Sool Won ( or whatever martial art you study dear readers).

    Be patient,
    Train Hard,
    with a good heart,
    don't give up,
    and keep moving forward.

    So there is my philosphical view on martial arts.


    - Doomx2001
     
  17. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Well, since this thread has been resurected, I would like to make some of comments for future readers as well.

    First, in the Far East, Korea in particular, being taken by the wrist or hand to be led somewhere isn't uncommon. That does include men taking men.

    Second, remember that many of these arts started as unarmed defense against others who were armed with swords. If you are standing in front of a man who is armed with a sword, what is a good way to keep him from drawing it? How about grabbing the wrist of his sword arm? If you are that armed person, what will you do, ignominiously shake and flounder to dislodge the wrist grab?

    Third, what everyone has said about building blocks is absolutely correct. Also, as you progress, you gain speed and strength, as well as agility. And each art gets to do it as they see fit. In the Hapkido I was taught, the move you describe is taught between 1st and 2nd Dan, and we grab the spear hand of the wrist being held for extra leverage, striking the solar plexus first, then the chin. Still not necessarily a take down move, but it distracts the attacker, injures him, and frees the grabbed hand for further action.

    Don't be discouraged if you aren't taught all the secrets of an art in the first two lessons. :p
     
  18. zDom

    zDom Senior Master

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    While joint locking can be used in other ways than starting from being grabbed, people being grabbed for the purposes of violence DOES happen.

    The closest I came to being beaten to death (and the event which solidified my decision to begin training martial arts), I was doing OK against three men — until two of them grabbed my arms, pulled me to the ground, and held me there for the third to beat on me with a tire tool.
     
  19. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Ouch! I guess that's a less likely scenario now.

    And you are right about joint locking. In my style, and I would guess yours also, it is taught as offense at times. Just a slight difference in application, but the same locks.
     
  20. Sabunimfrank64

    Sabunimfrank64 White Belt

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    The first technique is called sohn palki wrist breakawaysit can be effective if you put the finish on it
     

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