The history, development and evolution of Kuk Sool Won go far beyond its founding in 1958…

Korea loses its sovereignty as an independent state, for the first time in its history. The Korean Royal Court is subsequently dissolved by the occupying Japanese forces, and Korean martial arts
are banned.

Kuk Sa Nym (Grandmaster)
is born.

Kuk Sa Nym receives his first martial-art instruction, from his grandfather, Master-Instructor Myung-duk Suh.

The Korean War (25 June 1950 – 27 July 1953): Myung-duk Suh is fatally wounded by soldiers from the North. Aided by letters of introduction coupled with his grandfather’s reputation, Kuk Sa Nym begins a voyage of martial-art discovery that comprises hundreds of Buddhist temples and private instructors.

Having collated and systematically arranged the many aspects of Korean and Asian martial arts he has been taught, Kuk Sa Nym establishes Kuk Sool Won (KSW).

KSW goes national: its first National Association is founded, in South Korea.

KSW goes to America: the first KSW school opens in
the U.S.

So too does our Grandmaster: Kuk Sa Nym emigrates to
the U.S.

1975

A landmark in KSW history:
the World Kuk Sool Association (WKSA) is founded.
Closer to home, the first KSW school opens its doors in
the U.K.

1976

Small screen: 40 KSW Masters appear in Ho Kuk Moo Yea, (“The Arts Used to Defend the Nation”), a televised documentary produced by the South Korean Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

1982

Centre stage: the Civic Auditorium, in San Francisco, hosts the first ever KSW
Open Tournament.

1984

The “Man of the Year” is…
Kuk Sa Nym, announces
Black Belt magazine.

1985

Hot off the press: KSW handbooks, textbooks and instructional videos
are published.

1988

And the “Instructor of the Year” is… Kuk Sa Nym, announces
Inside Kung Fu magazine.
Inaugural year of annual seminars and special training in the U.K.

1991

KSW is selected as an extracurricular activity at the U.S. Military Academy,
West Point, New York.

1992

Kuk Sa Nym is presented with the Commander’s Sword by the U.S. Military Academy.

1993

And the “Master of the Year” is… Kuk Sa Nym, announces Tae Kwon Do Times magazine.

1994

Several universities in the U.S. now include KSW as a regular athletic activity.
Kuk Sa Nym is presented with a second Commander’s Sword, on this occasion by the U.S. Air Force Academy at
Colorado Springs.

1995

The first annual KSW tournament is held, at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

1998

Kuk Sa Nym is awarded the Suhk Ryoo (Pomegranate) Medal for Civil Merit by the South Korean Government.
Inaugural year of annual seminars and special training in mainland Europe.

1999

The Korean Broadcasting System produces Victory of a Little Giant, a documentary about Kuk Sa Nym.

2000

The Kyung-Ju Cultural Expo features a KSW demonstration by Masters from across the world, in the presence of the President of South Korea.

2001

The WKSA opens a traditional training facility in Tomball, Texas, incorporating over 20 acres of land.

2002

The World KSW Championships are held at the Civic Auditorium in Kyung-Ju, South Korea. Receiving commendations from, amongst others, U.S. President George Bush, the event was attended by over
2000 competitors.

2003

KSW on TV (again): South Korean broadcaster MBC airs the self-explanatory programme Kuk Sool Coming to America.

2004

Publication of Kuk Sa Nym’s biography in Korea (Author: Ms. Moon Young Kin,
Sam-Toh Publications).

2005

Kuk Sa Nym awarded the title of Professor Emeritus by South Korea’s Young-San University.
Kuk Sa Nym receives an honorary Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Texas Chiropractic College in Pasadena, Texas.

2006

The Department of Asian Martial Arts at Young-San University, introduces an official KSW
baccalaureate programme.

2007

Kuk Sa Nym is honoured to be presented with a prestigious Manhae Award, in Korea.

2008

KSW celebrates its 50th anniversary (in October) at the World Championships in Houston, Texas.

KSW officially becomes one of only two martial arts in which all candidates intending to join the Korean National Police Agency must hold a Black-Belt certificate.