KUK SOOL CLOSE-UP ❱

Black Belt - - SCREEN SHOTS - — R. Barry Har­mon

Dur­ing much of the nearly six decades that In Hyuk Suh has guided and grown the World Kuk Sool As­so­ci­a­tion, he’s fo­cused on pre­par­ing his four sons to one day take the reins and en­sure that knowl­edge of his com­pre­hen­sive art is passed to the next gen­er­a­tion. His old­est is Sung Jin Suh, the mas­ter fea­tured in this ar­ti­cle. The son holds a ninth-de­gree black belt in kuk sool.

Now in his mid-50s, Sung Jin Suh has trained in kuk sool most of his life. He’s in great de­mand on the sem­i­nar cir­cuit be­cause of his knowl­edge and skill. His worka­holic sched­ule has re­sulted in his stu­dents re­spect­fully re­fer­ring to him as “The Ma­chine.”

When he teaches, Suh makes it a point to fre­quently men­tion how stu­dents must be ca­pa­ble of us­ing their en­tire body as a weapon. Whether it’s a kick, punch, knee strike or el­bow strike, speed, power and pre­ci­sion are the goals that bring the de­sired re­sults in com­bat.

With that base built, he says, you’re free to fo­cus on the more artis­tic as­pects of the art, things like per­fect­ing your tech­nique while im­prov­ing your health. That’s what keeps stu­dents in the do­jang long af­ter they’ve be­come pro­fi­cient at self-de­fense, Suh says.

For the hook kick, Sung Jin Suh elects to strike a pres­sure point on the back of his ad­ver­sary’s neck with his heel. A con­trolled hit will dis­ori­ent the re­cip­i­ent and cause him to fall. Be­cause a more pow­er­ful kick can in­jure the spine, con­trol is es­sen­tial, Suh says.

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