The best way to answer all you questions about Kuk Sool Won is for you to come along and give it a go, but we have also tried to answer some of your questions here. If you do want to give Kuk Sool a go, please email us to book your two free introductory classes.
I still have more questions that weren’t answered on this web site. Is there someone I can talk to?
Absolutely! We are happy to speak with you about what Kuk Sool has to offer and answer all your questions and concerns. Visit our contact us page for a phone number or send an email to email@example.com
What is different about Kuk Sool ?
Kuk Sool is a comprehensive system of martial arts which integrates the entire spectrum of Asian fighting arts and body conditioning techniques. It incorporates elements from many different styles and includes hand and leg strikes, throwing and grappling, joint locking techniques, falling and acrobatics, body conditioning, weapons training, and mediation and martial arts healing methods. These have been organised into one comprehensive syllabus by Kuk Sool Won’s Grandmaster and this syllabus is taught in the same way by licensed schools all around the world. Quality is maintained through annual visits to New Zealand by the Grandmaster’s son and 8th degree black belt, Master Alex Suh, who ensures our teaching is unified, consistent and of the highest standard. Students progress through a belt system by demonstrating that they understand their syllabus. Unlike many other martial arts, our students do not fight or spar as part of their gradings. This is consistent with the self-defence focus of Kuk Sool. The focus is on personal development and self-mastery, with mental and physical wellbeing of equal importance in Kuk Sool.
When is a good age to start and can the whole family join in?
At Kuk Sool Won of Auckland™ we generally start children from 6 years old, although we sometimes start them a little younger if an older sibling trains with us as well. This is because younger children are still able to learn and progress if they are able to get help at home.
Our classes are split into child, adult and youth groups which allow both adults and children to progress at their own pace, with a different syllabus taught at child, youth and adult levels.
The great thing about families training together is that the kids are able to help the parents learn forms or techniques – we have found that this is a tremendous confidence builder for your kids!
I am a woman and I am interested in learning self-defence. What will I learn, and how soon will I learn it?
Kuk Sool has a strong focus on self defence and is perfect for women because of its “hard-soft” nature. It emphasises attacking the sensitive joints and pressure points of an attacker and the idea of not trying to meet force-with-force (after all, most attackers will be bigger and stronger than you).
You will begin learning defence techniques right away, and many of them will be immediately applicable. As you progress in Kuk Sool, learning more techniques and developing a comprehensive “toolbox” of self-defense skills, you will become progressively more effective.
With the vast array of techniques in Kuk Sool and our emphasis on having our students understand the principles behind them, Kuk Sool is one of the very best systems around for learning self defense.
I’m in my 40s and NOT very athletic. Also, I have an old injury that bothers me from time to time. I am worried that Kuk Sool training might be too much for me?
All training here at our school is self-paced and personal, age or reasonable physical limitations are never a problem and we are able to structure your training around any old injuries or restrictions that you might have.
A number of the adult students and instructors are in their 40s. I am in my 50's. The traditional martial arts training programme at Kuk Sool follows the philosophy that your health should be your primary consideration in training, while self-defense is just a useful by-product.
Remember, you may never fight, but you’ll wish for good health every day of your life.
How much does it cost?
We charge an annual fee, which is payable monthly for 12 months. When you join, you will be required to pay a set up fee of $95 and 1 month upfront. We also offer a discount when more than one family member joins.
- Children (under 13 years) $100 per month
- Youth (13 to 18) $100 per month
- Adults $100 per month
I would like my son to take Kuk Sool but he’s got a bad temper. I’m just worried that he might hurt other kids. Should he take martial arts?
The main lesson we want to impart to our kids is “martial arts etiquette” – which is respect and good manners. We emphasize to our kids that the techniques they learn in class are for self-defense ONLY and should never be used against their friends or siblings.
Many times an aggressive nature is little more than too much physical energy with no appropriate outlet to channel it. Martial arts training is a great outlet for kids and the perfect activity to channel their aggressive energy into a positive pursuit.
My daughter is little and shy. I would like to get her into something to build her self-confidence and physical condition. Is Kuk Sool right for her? Will she get hurt?
While some kids are loud and confident, many others are quiet and shy. Kuk Sool training helps to inspire confidence in children in a way no other organised activity is able to do.
Unlike most organised sports like football or rugby, Kuk Sool doesn't have “stars” and “bench warmers”. In a Kuk Sool class everyone participates, and there are so many different elements in our training that all of the kids can be “one of the best” at something. Punching and kicking are great, but at our school we believe that the MOST valuable lessons are the intangibles that will help them to be more confident, out-going and successful citizens.
How long will it take me to get a Black Belt? How does all of that work?
The length of training time necessary to get a Black Belt in Kuk Sool will vary slightly from person to person, but the actual time it may take is surprisingly short when you consider what you will be learning to get there.
Our instructors are always conscious of your progress, and try to keep you current on your testing cycle. If you come to class consistently, train seriously and practice for at least a few hours a week outside of class you can generally reach Black Belt within the average of 4 years.
When can I test for my next belt?
Testing occurs regularly, around every 2 to 3 months, and it usually takes 2 tests to progress to the next coloured belt. The requirements are different when a student starts testing for black belt (which generally starts after 2 years of training).
When are the term times?
Please refer to our class information page.
When do your classes begin? Do I need to wait until beginner classes start?
Classes are every Monday and Wednesday evening, with children starting at 6pm and youth and adults at 7pm. Beginners are welcome at any time to come along and watch or join in; the first two lessons are free.
When you begin you are taught on a one to one basis until you feel confident to join in with the class. After 3-4 weeks a new member will be confident enough to do this. Kuk Sool Won™ of Auckland prides itself in offering family friendly small classes. We do not shout or use punishing techniques to get results.
Do you do sparring?
We run sparring classes on a regular basis. We start with basic sparring techniques and then progress to tournament-style sparring, which involves a high level of control and no contact. If you wish to participate in these classes you will need to buy sparring gear which costs around $175. You are not required to join in as part of your syllabus but it is great fun as it burns calories, builds student camaraderie and builds trust with one another to spar without injury.
I am interested in weapons training. Does Kuk Sool Won™ offer weapons training?
Absolutely. In fact, Kuk Sool, especially after the Black Belt level, is extremely weapons intensive and covers the full spectrum of traditional martial arts weaponry: bladed weapons, impact weapons, flexible weapons and throwing or projectile weapons. Before black-belt level students first learn weapon etiquette, the proper way to handle and use weapons, johl bongs (also know as nunchucks) and 15 staff spinning techniques. Sword meditation techniques are taught to black belt candidates to prepare them for the swords forms which are taught at black belt level. Once black belt is reached weapon techniques, weapon forms, 2-person weapons sets (a pre-arranged form with choreographed patterns of attack and defense) are all taught. There are quite a number of different weapons taught such as:
Impact Weapons: Long staff, hooked walking cane, double short stick, staff sparring set.
Bladed Weapons: Straight sword, inverted sword, double short sword, double long swords, spear, halberd.
Flexible Weapons: Johl bong, sahm johl bong (three section staff), rope/belt.
Projectile Weapons: Throwing knives, Korean archery.
One of the things that Kuk Sool practitioners are noted for is their extensive repertoire of weapons, forms and techniques.
How is Kuk Sool different from other martial arts?
Karate, Kuk Sool , Tae Kwon Do, and Judo are all martial arts. All styles have basically the same goal - character building, self-defense, self-discipline, self-confidence, etc. Some teach straight line techniques, like Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Kung Fu teaches circular movements and Judo is similar to wrestling. Kuk Sool Won™s encompasses all the different physical and mental aspects of martial arts movement into one comprehensive curriculum that is easy and fun to learn.
I already have a Belt in another martial art. Will I be able to keep my same rank to train in Kuk Sool?
A Black Belt in another style will not really translate into the same rank in Kuk Sool because there is a standard curriculum with very specific requirements for each rank. However previous martial arts training is not wasted. You’ll always have the benefits of your training; the confidence, knowledge and skills you have learned will always be a part of you. Prior training will generally help you to progress faster in Kuk Sool than those students who have never done martial arts before. Many of the basics are translatable, even when the more “style specific” techniques are not.
Kuk Sool is often described as a “graduate level” martial arts programme with a training curriculum that goes far beyond what is available in most other styles, and because of this we very often attract students who already have training in some other style. Regardless of what other style you may have studied, it will often provide a good foundation for you to begin your training with.
Are there other Kuk Sool schools around?
Kuk Sool Won of Auckland™ is the only school in New Zealand at this stage. Our nearest neighbour is in Perth, where there are currently 3 other schools. As a registered member of the World Kuk Sool Association™ (the largest organisation of it’s type in the world), we are required to adhere to a very specific syllabus in our teaching. That way, if you travel overseas and find a Kuk Sool school there, not only would you be able to maintain your current rank, you will also know exactly the same material as every other student at your level in the school.
When you begin training at the school, you become a member of the World Kuk Sool Association and you will receive a membership number with the World Kuk Sool Association™ that will never expire; you will never have to “join” the association again.
Kuk Sool Won™ is a registered trademark. Because of this no one can “just say” that they teach Kuk Sool Won™. Every Kuk Sool Won™ school in the world is registered and certified by the World Kuk Sool Association. The curriculum must follow the association guidelines, the instructor/school-owner must be personally certified by the Founder and Grandmaster of our system and all black belts issued are awarded by the Grandmaster personally!
How about that for quality control.
Why is it important to yell in class? It feels silly!
The “yelling” that you are talking about in a martial arts class is called a “kihap” (literally, “power yell”) and it serves two distinct and very important purposes:
First, the kihap is not so much the noise you make as what you do with the air. When you kihap, half of your air goes out and half is pushed down into your belly. Proper use of a kihap will give you more power by forcing the air down into the diaphragm and converting your body into a more-efficient weight-bearing mass. This is important not only in generating power for strikes, but also in helping to protect your body when taking a fall.
The second important reason we kihap is to startle an attacker or an opponent. A kihap delivered unexpectedly in a loud, sharp burst can have the effect of temporarily disorienting an attacker to give you a split second window to counter or deliver an attack of your own.
I have heard some of the students talk about martial arts “forms” – what exactly are forms, and do I really need to do them?
A “form” (called “hyung” in Korean) is a prearranged series of movements performed in a dance-like manner, and is probably the most important training tool that you will have in the martial arts. A traditional form is designed to not only allow you to practice patterns and techniques, or to train your body and build muscles and stamina – it is also extremely important in helping your body to learn the “vocabulary” of the martial art.
In Kuk Sool Won forms are an integral part of your training, with an empty-hand form (and, often, one or more weapons forms from black belt) required for each rank.
I notice in your classes that there is a lot of tumbling and falling. Do I need to be able to do gymnastics to take Kuk Sool? Can I still advance even if I can’t do acrobatics?
Absolutely! You can progress – and even earn a Black Belt – in Kuk Sool at whatever level you may be at. You will never be required to do something beyond your personal ability. In Kuk Sool the only person that you are ever judged against is yourself. All we ask from you is a commitment to do your best, and to try to grow a little more in your abilities every day.
Our Kuk Sool training programmes are based on the individual – not the group. Therefore, when you see some students doing advanced gymnastics and spectacular falls or kicks it is because they can. Everyone will have certain strengths and weakness that they bring to class, and our goal is to build on your personal strengths while at the same time helping you to overcome any weak areas that you might have.
Talk to some of our students and ask about accomplishments they have made – they may all be different, but they are all important. We promise you that if you make the commitment to try, one day you will look back and be surprised at just how far you have come.
I am trying to decide whether to sign my children ages 8 and 10 up for rugby or for Kuk Sool. We don’t have time for both. How can I decide which will be better for them?
Any type of activity can potentially be beneficial for children, but a traditional martial arts system teaches not only physical skills and competitiveness, but also positive values such as respect, self-confidence, self-discipline and goal-setting.
A good martial arts school, like Kuk Sool Won of Auckland™ offers young children a supportive environment with positive role models to help them develop into confident, polite and respectful citizens. Remember, it has been said that “values can’t be taught, they can only be caught”. We feel that it is our job to give our young students the opportunity to “catch” as many good values as possible.
How will Kuk Sool help me?
Kuk Sool can benefit anyone at any age. Through diligent practice training will develop strength, speed, balance, timing, flexibility, and coordination while improving powers of concentration, self-discipline and self-control.
In addition, faithful practice will enhance circulation and digestion, reduce problems of the back and joints, aid in weight-loss, and help to develop and maintain a youthful appearance. Kuk Sool will positively affect all aspects of your life.
Can I try Kuk Sool first to see if I like it?
Before you commit to joining you can attend two introductory classes for free. You are not required to wear a uniform at this point. We recommend you wear loose fitting clothes such as track pants and a t-shirt.