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T
heory of KUK SUL DO movements and techniques

 In order to understand the movements and techniques of the KUK SUL DO, one must study the theories of YU (flowing water), WON (circle) and WHA (harmony).

 Theory of YU (flowing water) 

Water is a symbol of many things to Koreans. Among these are adaptability and softness. Water never struggles with any object it encounters. If water cannot overcome contact with an object it will not cause conflict. Instead it will join with its adversary, producing no friction. 

This demonstrates the ability of water to adapt but it is important to realize that water never changes itself. Man must learn to adapt in this same way if he is to survive the discords that will face him during his lifetime. 

Softness is another characteristic of water that relates to the understanding of 
KUK SUL DO. We must accept the fact that softness has the capacity to win against hardness. A tempered steel bar will eventually break under enough stress. On the other hand, water may be made to break up but it will invariably join together again. 

In practicing KUK SUL DO one does not stop the force of an attacker directly with force but instead redirects it. Imagine a stream flowing rapidly down a mountain. Then imagine changing the direction of the water's flow and the problems that would be‑encountered. 

Constructing a dam perpendicular to the flow is obviously not the solution. However, if one were to simply divert its flow, success would be realized. 

KUK SUL DO theory follows this simple approach. One does not stop an attacker's punch by punching in direct opposition. By applying force to the side, tangentially, the attack can be diverted with much less energy. 

A KUK SUL DO principle that concern maximum use of strength at one time can be easily explained when compared to the flow of water. One man can remove a fire hose from a truck. In this instance it is light and flexible. 

However, this same hose becomes very heavy and rigid when connected to a fire hydrant with water flowing through it. It now demands three men (or more) to handle it due to the concentration of water at one point the end of the hose.

KUK SUL DO compares man's "KI" power to water in a fire hose. Man should be able to concentrate all his power in one direction and to one point. 

Theory of WON (circle) 

From the earliest times, the theory of the circle has been a predominant thought of everyday life in Korea. The KUK SUL DO ranking system utilizes the circle theory. 
A student starts as a white belt, knowing very little about the martial arts. If he is a devoted student he will advance in rank and continue to change the color of his belt.
 

The struggle of the student is similar to the struggle of a mountain climber. Both are interested in reaching the top. Upon reaching the summit and looking back from where they came, both will see all that was missed as they made their ascent.
It is only when one attains the peak that his view of the whole is no longer obstructed. 

The mountain climber may realize there is another way by which he could have conquered his climb. It would seem as if training were to start over at this point.
In actuality, this is the beginning of the same circle, with the added advantage of knowledge acquired only from having completed the circle. 

The theory of the circle is emphasized in another way in KUK SUL DO training. Every man has his own circle and inside this circle is his private territory. 
If someone were to enter this private domain without approval or proper warning, each man has the right to defend against this invasion.

 In actual practice, when an opponent punches, if this punch does not trespass into one's circle, there is no need to block. If one chooses to block, it is considered a waste of time and energy. 

When an opponent's punch does penetrate the circle, it should be received indirectly. Leading this force in a circle minimizes its effect.

Utilizing a circle (or winding) block not only disrupts an opponent's force but also sets the position for a counterattack. Furthermore, adhering to the circle theory with one's kicking techniques allows one to continuously counter and maintain power and balance. 

Countering with techniques that are directed at an opponent along a straight line and then returned along the same line will prove to be less effective. 

Theory of WHA (Harmony) 

In KUK SUL DO training there must exist a simultaneous combination of mind, body, environment and techniques. The objective is to achieve a constant state of harmony. After one achieves harmony with himself, the next requirement is to harmonize with one's opponent.

 Accomplishing this, one will find it quite easy to read the minds of others. Learning to harmonize with the environment is the next stage. The final task is blending the harmony one has developed with himself, his techniques, his opponent and the environment. 

The following is an old story that teaches the theory of harmony in a simple way. 
A famous thief escaped from jail and in his attempt to evade the authorities fled into the woods. As he was running, he stumbled across a lumberjack hard at work. 
This particular lumberjack has worked in the woods all his life and had become an expert with the ax. 

The thief, feeling he had nothing to fear, allowed himself to be seen. Immediately he was recognized by the lumberjack due to notoriety. The thought of killing the thief and taking his head to the proper authorities raced through his mind.

He knew he would be rewarded for this deed and would not have to work the rest of his life. The thief, however, had trained in the art of reading minds and informed the lumberjack that he was aware of his thoughts. "You are thinking about killing me this very minute," said the thief. 

The lumberjack was stunned and confused. Lot knowing what; to do he began cutting a tree. He thought to himself, "How is it possible that this thief read my mind?" 
The thief again told him what he was thinking. "You have given up trying to kill me because you know I can read your mind." The lumberjack was absolutely bewildered and continued in his effort to cut down the tree. 

The thief began to laugh and spontaneously the lumberjack threw his ax, mortally wounding the thief. The thief lived long enough to ask, "Why was I unable to read your mind?" Then he died.

The answer the thief's question is a simple one. The lumberjack had worked with his ax for so long that it had become a part of him. Harmony between his mind, body and ax had developed to such a degree that there was no need for any thought to take place. 
Working with the ax had ceased to be thought and then action. It had become action without thought. 

The lumberjack was capable of throwing his ax at the thief with the same instinct given to do the task of felling a tree. The thief, therefore, could not read his mind because the thought of throwing the ax came after the act was completed. 

Although this story is a simple one, it is an excellent example for students of
KUK SUL DO to study.

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