Kuk Sool question...

MBuzzy

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Question for any Kuk Sool Won practitioners out there.

I ran into someone a few days ago who claims to have trained extensively in Kuk Sool Won and was looking for somewhere to train here. Since there is no Kuk Sool here, I invited him to come train with us in Tang Soo Do.

He informed me that cross training is strictly forbidden in his art - and that he could be basically shunned for ever training in another style. I have since done some research and I know that there is only one major Kuk Sool Won organization, but many school who also teach the style.

I personally can't imagine a style that restricts its students that much. I can understand asking people not to practice other styles in their dojang, but not actually exhonorating people for even exposing themselves to another style.

Can anyone tell me if there is any truth to this - and if so, possibly some explanation. Thank you!
 

shesulsa

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I can't speak to the KSW style specifically, but I know of another KMA group who does this and others outside of the KMA subfamily who do as well.

Personally, I feel if someone is just beginning their training that it's generally a good idea to stay with one thing for a while to get the basics of the basics down before bringing cross-training into the mix, but I don't believe in shunning other styles completely or forsaking all your knowledge. It is one thing to empty one's cup ... it's another thing to smash it.

This is denying outside education and comes from a cult mindset. Some would call it loyalty. It can be a fine line, filial piety.

Good luck.
 
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MBuzzy

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I fully agree with staying in one style long enough to learn the basics, even to master some of the style before trying to cross train. I just can't understand a reason why a group would shun someone just for increasing their knowledge.

The only explanation I got was that it is an attempt to keep the art pure and I was told that it extends across all of KSW.
 

shesulsa

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I fully agree with staying in one style long enough to learn the basics, even to master some of the style before trying to cross train. I just can't understand a reason why a group would shun someone just for increasing their knowledge.

The only explanation I got was that it is an attempt to keep the art pure and I was told that it extends across all of KSW.
Ah yes. Art Purity. I've heard that before.
 

Yeti

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I've read that about Hwarang Do and Tae Soo Do, but not about KSW.

If the answer you got was purity, how would they treat a martial artist that came to KSW after studying another art? You'd be learning KSW, but you'd introduce - whether conciously or not - some of your old style into your new training. I would think that to be inevitable. I wonder how they would look at that.
 
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MBuzzy

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I'm wondering if this is just one independent instructor's marketing technique....
 

Ken Ethridge

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Greetings everyone,

I hope I can shed some light on this question. I can at least confirm it. Restricting students from crosstraining once they have started their Kuk Sool Won training is commonly done. In fact I would say an exception given by a instructor would be the uncommon exception.

I acheived only Johkyo (1st Black) and certainly can't speak for the organization. ...but my understanding is this.

It is not for any of the reasons discussed so far. Kuk Sool Won ideas and practice are very formal and old fashioned. It is a matter of respect to your instructor and the Founder. They believe that Kuk Sool Won is not a "art" so to speak but such a complete system that there is no reason to crosstrain. I will say now to hopefully smooth any ruffeled feathers, that I rarely met any fellow student or instructor with any amount of time under their belt that felt that other MAs were inferior. Mainly, they believe it is a matter of respect to the instructor and founder. It is seen as no diffrent when, long ago, a teacher took on only very few students (maby only one). It would not seem so outrageous to think that if the student started training with another teacher that it would be considered rude and disrespectful. Thus there is no issue with someone comming from another MA, only leaving to do so.

Hope this helps,

Ken.
 

exile

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Ken, thanks for your elaboration. But I find the whole set of ideas that you report disturbing nonetheless. I've looked into various sources reflecting the official ideology of KSW history, a number of which claim an ancestry of thousands of year pasta claim which I happen to know, based on the work of current MA historians, has no documentary basis whatever. There is not the slightest evidence of what was happening on the Korean peninusla at the time depths claimed in KSW stories about its ancient origins; there really isn't even any solid evidence that the population occupying the Korean peninsula at that time were the ancestors of the modern Koreans. The inhabitants of the British Isles four thousand years ago were most definitely not the mixed Indo-European group that now constitutes the majority of the UK poplulation. And we haven't the foggiest notion of what the ancestors of the modern Koreans were actually doing in the way of martial arts even 200 years ago, let alone several thousand. For that matter, we have only the sketchiest ideas of just what was being done in the way of training and curriculum during the Kwan-era of the 1940s and 1950s in Korea! The phony legendary histories that various cult-like MA groups construct to claim legitimacy are one of the most absurd aspects of the current MA scene.

So far as I can tell, KSW was put together from bits and pieces of various martial arts in the late 1950s. It is no more ancient or pure than any of the other currently practiced Korean MAswhich owe a huge debt primarily to China; as Stan Henning and Dakin Burdickboth highly respected historians specializing in MAshave shown in detail by exhaustive examination of Korean, Japanese and Chinese documentary records, the very earliest discussions in Korea of contemporary MA practice, as well as the archaeological, show that ancient Korean fighting arts were at most local adaptations of well-described Chinese fighting stylesnot surprising, given the enormous influence and sway of the Chinese empire in ancient Korea. Influences from Okinawa (itself reflecting local adaptations of 17th and 18th c CMAs) and Japan also infused the development of MAs in Korea. TSD/TKD, Hapkido, KSW and other Korean MAs are the lucky inheritors of an incredibly rich mix of combat techniques that should make them the envy of the MA world. But by the same token, let's have none of this garbage about `respecting the purity of the technique' or however the apology for cult insularity happens to be phrased.

The nasty fact is that the notion of `respect for the founder' as a justification for forbidding the practitioners to gain as broad and deep a MA education as possible is a pious fraud. MA systems were created by imperfect human beings, meaning that they share that human imperfection, including incompleteness, in the following sense: there's always something more out there to learn that you haven't yet encountered. Is it `disrespectful to the founder' to study something that the founder didn't teach? Only in the sense that a university professor would consider it disrespectful for a student to read something that that professor didn't write. Ludicrous? You bet! And so is the idea that a true Master would find a student's explorations in the great open world of MA knowledge to be disrespectful. By all means, let's agree: branching out before you have a good, solid grounding in a single well-developed system is almost certainly not a good idea and will very likely yield a `jack of all trades, master of none'. But `disrespectful'? Come on!
 

Ken Ethridge

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Exile,

I can only say that people have different perspectives. Rarely is one right or wrong. As I mentioned, Kuk Sool is very old fashioned in their way of thinking and very formal. Your "cult" reference is way off base and judgmental. I never saw an instructor get "mad" or try to talk a student out of leaving. It was a choice left up to the student. My instructors did not even try to "shelter" us from exposure to other MA students. In fact, frequently he had students from other MA schools as guests at our school to Spar with us and encouraged us to visit the other schools to spar with them there. Just don't take on another teacher. Does Kuk Sool have every possible Martial knowledge at it's disposal? No, of course not. Them saying it is a "complete system" did not come off that way to me. Does it have so much to offer that the higher ranking masters had to pick certain areas of Kuk Sool to "Master"? Yep. I don't know of any other system here in America with a ranch, so that when students are ready they begin to add archery and various pole arms from horse back to their training.

Your way of thinking about training is more modern and just as legitimate. As far as the History of Kuk Sool, I believe most of the historical "facts" written in our text books and claimed by In Huk Suh are referenced to the Moye Dobo Tonji. Is the Dobo Tonji accurate? Beats me, but it is one of the few MA History books that I know of that gets a nod of respect from most historians regardless if they are from China, Japan or Korea.

Take care all,

Ken.
 

Chizikunbo

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Question for any Kuk Sool Won practitioners out there.

I ran into someone a few days ago who claims to have trained extensively in Kuk Sool Won and was looking for somewhere to train here. Since there is no Kuk Sool here, I invited him to come train with us in Tang Soo Do.

He informed me that cross training is strictly forbidden in his art - and that he could be basically shunned for ever training in another style. I have since done some research and I know that there is only one major Kuk Sool Won organization, but many school who also teach the style.

I personally can't imagine a style that restricts its students that much. I can understand asking people not to practice other styles in their dojang, but not actually exhonorating people for even exposing themselves to another style.

Can anyone tell me if there is any truth to this - and if so, possibly some explanation. Thank you!

I have spoken to some World Kuk Sool Association people about this matter, and I guess it is NOT enforced strictly, but it is a "rule"...It is largely greared toward Yudanja. Hwa Rang Do however DOES forbid any cross training saying that someone must maintain ONE martial identitiy. My personal opinion on the matter is that this type of thought breeds much illusionment, and misunderstanding in the martial arts world. Whilst I believe it is important for someone to maintain their are and not lose their identity, there is much we can all learn from one another, and this type of cross training/sharing promotes unity and harmony within the arts, which IS NOT a bad thing...
Hope that helps,
--josh
 

Sabunimfrank64

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Question for any Kuk Sool Won practitioners out there.

I ran into someone a few days ago who claims to have trained extensively in Kuk Sool Won and was looking for somewhere to train here. Since there is no Kuk Sool here, I invited him to come train with us in Tang Soo Do.

He informed me that cross training is strictly forbidden in his art - and that he could be basically shunned for ever training in another style. I have since done some research and I know that there is only one major Kuk Sool Won organization, but many school who also teach the style.

I personally can't imagine a style that restricts its students that much. I can understand asking people not to practice other styles in their dojang, but not actually exhonorating people for even exposing themselves to another style.

Can anyone tell me if there is any truth to this - and if so, possibly some explanation. Thank you!
Yup its true most other schools that teach kuk sool are ones that left the association at sum point most likely
 
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