Mu Sool Won

Mu Sool Won is a Traditional Korean martial arts system founded by Lee, Byung In in 2009. Mu Sool Won is derived from a traditional style of Korean martial arts known as Kuk Sool. The name Mu Sool Won translates to "Martial Arts Association" Therefore, the term Mu Sool Translates to "Marital Arts" specifically a family or tribal based martial art. Mu Sool Won is currently taught in multiple States in the USA.
The study of Mu Sool also includes many modern day techniques such as gun defense and weapon improvisation. Mu Sool has many facets and is performed for self-defense, healing, conditioning, competition, fun and aesthetic purposes.
Mu Sool encompasses many different "styles". However, it still has some discernible characteristics that set it apart from other traditional martial arts. It is typically characterized by having low stances and fluid, graceful motions. There is also an emphasis on joint locks and pressure points. Mu Sool is also described as being a hard-soft style, which includes hard and forceful strikes in addition to circular and fluid movements.
You Won Hwa
One of the key aspects of Mu Sool revolves around the theory of "You Won Hwa". Translated literally, this would mean "Water-Circle-Harmony" or "Soft-Circle-Together". The first part, 'you' or 'body' (water), symbolizes adaptability and softness as well as power. The second part, 'won' (circle), suggest that there is a personal circle around you, and that one should always be active and ready to redirect aggression. The redirecting of attacks in Mu Sool is typically characterized by circular movements. The third and final part, 'hwa' (harmony or togetherness), represents the desire to achieve harmony between mind and body. In practice this is obtained through repetition. The idea is to combine these three aspects and use them to govern all of the practitioner's movements.
Technical aspects
Mu Sool includes (but is not limited to) the following sets of techniques:
*Joint locking/breaking: Various joint locks are employed in Mu Sool, including wrist locks, arm-bars, and small joint manipulation.
*Soo Ki (Hand Striking): Palm, fist, wrist, finger, closed hand, open hand, arm, shoulder and pressure-point striking techniques.
*Johk Sool (Kicking Techniques): Spinning, jumping, combination, double-leg, and pressure-point kicks.
*Throwing and Grappling (Tu Ki & Jap Ki): Body throws, projection throws, leg throws, pressure-point grappling, grappling defense, wrestling, and ground-fighting techniques.
*Nak Bup (Falling Principles): Falling techniques are taught in Mu Sool. These techniques allow a practitioner to fall into a variety of positions while minimizing injury. This is typically accomplished through maximizing the surface area on impact to prevent damaging force on an isolated area of the body.
*Animal-Style Techniques: Tiger, Mantis, Crane, Dragon, Snake, Bear, Eagle etc.
*Traditional Korean Weapons: Sword (short, long, single and double, straight and inverted), staff (short, middle and long, single and double), jool bong (double and triple sectioned; also known as nunchucks and sansetsukon), knife, spear, wol do (Moon knife - a Korean halberd), dangpa (triple bladed spear, or trident), cane, rope, fan, and the bow and arrow (taught in the traditional style, using a thumb draw).
*Martial Art Healing Methods: Acupressure, acupuncture, internal energy, herbal medicine.
*Meditation and Breathing Techniques: Meditation and breathing postures and concentration techniques.
These principles and styles guide the following facets of Mu Sool Won.
At each rank level, Mu Sool martial artists are required to know one or more empty-hand forms or "hyung". These forms are performed solo. Each form has an overall guiding significance to it, which may range from balance and linear motion to preparation and practice for a knife form. Once a student has attained a black-belt level, they are introduced to solo weapons forms. These are similar to empty-hand forms, except they incorporate a weapon.
Also at black-belt rank or above, a student may learn partner weapon forms, or sparring forms. These are performed with two people in a scripted series of events. Caution is taken at first to learn the form and not to injure your partner, but true mastery is demonstrated (amongst other things) by full speed and full contact.
In addition, all forms have five guiding principles with each one governing a specific part of the body and containing a MAJOR and minor rule or guideline.
*Mind: CLEAR & CALM yet alert
*Eyes: BRIGHT & focused
*Body (torso): LOW & soft (soft meaning supple, not weak or fragile)
*Hands: FAST & precise
*Feet: SLOW & controlled (slow meaning deliberate, not slow-motion or lethargic)
Mu Sool systematically divides applied principles of martial arts into techniques which are organized into technique sets. Each belt level has one or more sets a practitioner is required to know before advancing. The number of techniques in each set can range from as little as six to more than twenty, and are ordered and grouped by principle. For instance, there is a throwing technique set, as well as a counter-to-throwing technique set.
Technique sets also range in level of mastery, with some higher-ranking technique sets similar to lower-ranking technique sets, but with a more difficult and/or precise method of application. Individual techniques are performed with one or more partners from a predetermined stance. Most techniques end with a proper application of a joint lock, choke, strike, throw or a combination of any of these. In order to be effective, Kuk Sool techniques must be performed with speed, accuracy and control.
Mu Sool Won uniforms or "dobok" are standardized, and consists of black medium to heavy weight martial arts pants and martial arts training top. The uniform material is stronger than a standard Tae Kwon Do uniform, but lighter than a Judo uniform, as it must allow the user to perform the complete spectrum of martial arts techniques.
Following in Korean tradition, Mu Sool Won uniforms are black and not white due to the fact that white is a color associated with death in Korea.
There are three types of Mu Sool Won uniforms.
Practice uniform This is the most used and plain uniform of Kuk Sool practitioners. It contains just the basic dobok, but also has several patches which may vary slightly from practitioner to practitioner. In general, a vertical Mu Sool Won patch written in Korean is worn over the right breast, while a South Korean national flag patch is worn over the left breast. The back of the uniform often has Mu Sool Won written in English Acroos the shoulders with a Mu Sool Won logo patch in the middle of the back. These patches are also present on every type of Mu Sool Won uniform.
A national flag patch may also be worn on the shoulder. However, no patches may be worn to identify a particular school. This is to help promote Mu Sool Won as a unified association and to encourage a friendly, family like atmosphere between schools.
Black Belt uniform Similar to the Practice Uniform, the Black Belt Uniforms have Mu Sool Won written in Korean across the shoulders, a Mu Sool Won logo patch in the middle of the back, and Mu Sool Won written in English beneath the center patch.
Generals uniform This uniform is for formal occasions which include but are not limited to testings, promotions, demonstrations and competitions. The uniform itself is modeled after the armor and uniforms worn by ancient Korean generals. Like the Black Belt uniform, it contains a longer skirted top which is cut into sections. The sleeves are held tight against the wearer's wrists and a scarf is worn underneath with an emblem on the throat.
There is no belt with the generals uniform, and rank is denominated by the decorative outline or trim on the uniform in addition to a white scarf with Korean Flag emblem displayed.
General uniform outline denominations
*1st degree - 2nd degree - Silver trim
*3rd degree - 4th degree - Silver/Red trim
*5th degree - 6th Degree - Red trim
*7th degree - 8th Degree - Red/Gold trim
*9th degree - Gold trim
*Grandmaster - All Purple Dobok(wang-sa) with twin dragon emblems, Gold trim & Belt
Belt ranks
Mu Sool Won uniforms include a belt which indicates rank and length of study. Individual schools may also issue stripes of the next belt level, notably at the brown belt level. These stripes indicate proficiency in some of the requirements needed to attain the next rank. Between brown and black belt is an intermediary stage where the student is required to gain at least 10 black stripes before advancing to Jo Kyo Nim. Advancement from Huin Ddi to Jo Kyo Nim depends largely on the student's dedication and practice. Achieving the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt could take anywhere from 4 to 6 years.
At black belt there are 10 levels:
*1st degree - Jo Kyo Nim (Instructor in Training)
*2nd degree - Kyo Sa Nim (Assistant Instructor)
*3rd degree - Bu Sa Bum Nim (Instructor) Bu Sa Bum Nim and higher may wear a wider than normal black belt.
*4th degree - Sa Bum Nim (Assistant Master)
*5th degree - 8th degree - Kwang Jang Nim (Master) Masters are presented with a thick white belt to symbolize a new beginning
*9th degree - Chong Kwahn Jahng Nim (Chiefmaster)
*10th degree - Jun Ja Nim (Grandmaster)
Non black belt students are often referred to as "colored belts", or by their belt color. Although, each color belt has a title, and Mu Sool Won uses a Kyu/Dan system, colored belts are never called by their title or Kyu (or Kup in Korean) rank i.e. "2nd kup". This is true with the exception of 'Dahn Boh Nim' (or Black Belt candidate). This rank carries a brown belt with a black stripe on one side of the belt, which runs all the way through its center and are as follows:
Color Belts:
*White Belt
*White Belt with Yellow Stripe
*Yellow Belt
*Yellow Belt with Green Stripe
*Green Belt
*Green Belt with Blue Stripe
*Blue Belt
*Blue Belt with Red Stripe
*Red Belt
*Red Belt with Brown Stripe
*Brown Belt
*Brown Belt with Black Stripe - The first title 'Dahn Boh Nim' is presented after obtaining the second black stripe.
*Dahn Boh Nim - Black belt in training, has more that 2 stripes
Mu Sool Won hopes to start hosting yearly tournaments every year starting in the near future. These tournaments test various aspects of Mu Sool and may include a demonstration or belt promotion ceremony as well. In the United States, Mu Sool practitioners may compete in empty hand forms, weapon forms, techniques, sparring, and board breaking.
Forms, techniques, and board breaking
Competitors in these categories are judged on a 10 point scale, by three judges whose scores are added together to determine a winner. For forms, a competitor must perform the form of their previous belt level. For instance, a brown belt would perform the form they learned at red belt. The same is true for techniques, where the competitor must perform three techniques from any set of their previous belt's curriculum.
Board breaking is judged on technique and power. Each competitor breaks the same amount of boards, in the same position relative to their height, with the same techniques. The board breaks are designed to be difficult to further spread out competitor's scores, and competitors often do not complete all the breaks.
Mu Sool Won sparring rules can differ from tournament to tournament, and can even vary based on age group.
In general, Mu Sool Won sparring is point based and light to no-contact. Matches are three minutes long, and whomever has the most points at the end wins. The match is also over if a competitor's score is 5 or more than his/her opponent. Legal striking targets include the chest, sides above the waist, neck, and head. There are no strikes allowed to the back or to the back of the head. Excessive contact is forbidden and can result in warnings, point deductions and disqualifications. The points are as follows:
*One point - Kick to the body, punch to the body, punch to the head.
*Two points - Kick to the head
In addition to scoring a point, a fighter must clearly show technique and that they could have successfully executed the strike at full force. Points are determined by a center judge, and two side judges. Two of the three judges must agree on the point for it to count. At any time, any judge may stop the fight and ask for a judge's decision about a point. Fighters start approximately 3 feet apart from each other in the center of the ring, and are reset to the center if a judge asks for a decision, if a penalty occurs, or if a competitor steps out.
The Korean principle of dae ryuhn bub guides Mu Sool Won sparring.
*Dae - Posture and right mind
*Ryuhn - Combinations
*Bub - Circling your opponent
Although sparring is considered an important aspect of Mu Sool, it is not emphasized as much as many other sport martial arts.
Mu Sool Won Milestones ===
* Founding of Mu Sool Won.
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