According to the World Kuk Sool Won Association homepage there are 24 different traditional Korean Royal Court weapons in the curriculum plus Buddhist and Tribal weaponry. In this list I will give some descriptions as well as pictures and video to show the different weapons and styles of Kuk Sool Won.
Sword (Gum & Jung Gum)
In Kuk Sool I have seen two types of long swords used. The first is called a Gum which is traditionally a curved blade you see used when people are cutting in Kuk Sool and the other sword is a Jung Gum or traditional, Straight Bladed Korean Sword. You can find out the difference in a straight blade and Curved Blade from Kwan Jang Nim Dickson Kunz in this post titled Curved vs. Straight Sword- What’s the Difference?
Short Sword (Dan Gum)
If you have done any other styles the Kuk Sool Short Swords look a lot like Butterfly Knives. They are first introduced as a regular form or Hyung in Kuk Sool and then later used in sparring forms.
Kuk Sool will teach you how to use a knife for knife fighting as well as knife throwing. At many tournaments you can compete in knife throwing if you are good enough to qualify.
Halberd / Moon Knife ( Wol Do )
This Kuk Sool Weapon is not usually seen and is mainly kept to very high ranks. I have only seen it through pictures.
Fan ( Bu Chae )
Fan is a cool weapon you start learning at Third Degree Black Belt (Pu Sa Bum Nim) where the fan skeleton is made out of Metal Plates. I have also heard the edge of the fan might have also had blades for slashing when the fan is spread open.
Walking Cane ( Ji Pang Ee )
The cane is one of the Buddhist weapons present in Kuk Sool and can be used quite effectively for joint locks, throws, and pressure points.
Po Bak ( Rope )
Rope techniques were used to envelope and tie-up an attacker. You will usually see people do these techniques with an extra Martial Arts belt or by taking off their own belt.
Nunchaku / Nunchucks / Double-Jointed Staff ( Ssang Jool Bong )
One of the weapons outside of the normal Kuk Sool curriculum. Taught by select schools with instructors who know the sets and a lot of times during the Summer Seminar where Kuk Sa Nim ( Kuk Sool Grandmaster) travels to almost every school he can in one Summer.
Triple Jointed / Segmented Staff
I would love to learn this weapon. It is listed anywhere anyone talks about weapons in Kuk Sool but I have never seen it used by anyone in Kuk Sool. Admittedly, I have seen it on weapons racks in many Dojang across the world.
Short Staff ( Dan Bong )
Another Buddhist weapon you will see in Kuk Sool where just about each time you strike you try to hit twice.
Staff ( Jung Bong )
Staff is one of the first weapons you learn in Kuk Sool other than Ssang Jool Bong ( Nunchaku ) and is used extensively through forms and sparring in Kuk Sool Won.
Spear ( Chang )
One of my personal favorites. The spear has a great advantage by having a blade on the end of a weapon that extends your reach. Back in the day it was an essential weapon to get rid of those pesky horsemen.
Kuk Sool and Korean Archery / Bow & Arrow ( Gung Si / Gung Sool / Kuk (Sool) Gung )
Kuk Sool and Korean Archery is taught in a very limited number of schools across the world because of the space it takes, money to buy the supplies, and general knowledge of techniques is limited to a few Masters and Instructors. In Kuk Sool we utilize the traditional “thumb draw” as well.
- Battle Axe ( Do Kki )
- Long Staff ( Jang Bong )
Weapon Variations that are Taught (but are not limited too)
- Inverted long sword
- Double long sword
- Double short sword
- Sword cutting ( bamboo & rolled mats)
- Sword sparring
- Knife throwing
- Double short staff
- Staff Sparring