Kung Jung Mu Sul

Kung Jung Mu Sul is a Korean royal court martial arts. It favours Hapkido in that it contains many joint locks, throws, and trips in addition to the punches of kicks that you’d see in TKD.

The history given for both Kuk Sul Won, and Kung Jung Mu Sul might be based on a loose interpretation of accurate social divisions between commoners, warriors, and the royal class, but I don’t know of any evidence that a specific codified system existed in each of those groups as vastly different from the others. In reality, Martial Art systems as we understand them today are a modern creation. Long ago, the term “sul” was more likely applied to a group of “techniques” such as wrestling skills, or punching skills, or kicking skills. There was not recorded a structured curriculum for teaching a complete system as we do today. Back then, people simply learned skills, and practiced them to improve their fighting abilities.

Briefly, KJMS (Kung Jung Mu Sul 궁중무술) is a name created for a modern system by its founder, GM Soon Tae Yang. According to his own biography, GM Yang is a 9th Dan in Taekwondo through the Korea Taekwondo Association. Research indicates that GM Yang was previously an instructor of Korean Kuk Sool Won (Romanized: Kuksulwon), which was founded by GM In-Hyuk Suh. GM Suh founded the Kuk Sool Won in 1958 based on the teachings of his Grandfather, who was apparently a Martial Art instructor of the Korean Royal Court prior to the Japanese occupation of 1910. KJMS history and available details are rather vague and limited, so if you want to know about KJMS, I think you might understand better by researching Kuk Sool Won. As to the comparison with Taekwondo, the concept, and developmental time period of both modern Kuk Sool Won and Taekwondo are virtually parallel. KSW seems to contain the same techniques, and boasts proficiency in all areas of self defense – – including hand and foot strikes, pressure points and joint manipulation, as well as throws and ground-fighting. Taekwondo was supposed to be approved by the Korean Government as the officially recognized, national Martial Art that was intended to incorporate all aspects of Korea’s history. Those schools that remained traditional, do so. However, many modern Taekwondo schools are a shadow of the true art, and focus either on sport, or family oriented fun. Kuk Sool Won was also intended to include all of Korea’s historical Martial Art skills (hence “kuk sool” = “National techniques”), but placed more emphasis on the pressure points and joint manipulation, much like Hapkido – using kicks as a powerful supplement. Conversely Taekwondo places the kicking as the primary weapon, with joint manipulation, throws, and ground-fighting as secondary aspects – – important, but not primary. Too many Taekwondo schools these days simply ignore or neglect those aspects, so are not accurately preserving the genuine art of Taekwondo.

Blue Knight

Chief Master Darwin J. Eisenhart – Taekwondo 7th Dan with the United States Chung Do Kwan Association