What is Gongkwon Yusul?

Korean dynamic martial art

Gongkwon Yusul signboard

Gongkwon Yusul is a modern Korean martial art, founded in 1996. Master Jun Kang developed this system based on his extensive experience and analysis of martial arts.

"Gongkwon" means "empty (= weaponless) fist", "Yusul" translates as "gentle art". The "empty fist" stands for all techniques like punches, kicks etc. The "gentle art" designates throws, locks or grappling techniques which aim to redirect the opponent's force against him. This entails that Gongkwon Yusul incorporates all aspects of unarmed fighting: distance and close combat as well as grappling. One of the key features of this holistic system is the organic and dynamic combination of various techniques.

The training aims at the acquisition of self-defense techniques, an increase in self-confidence, gaining control over one's own body and mind as well as respectful behaviour towards others. Regular training is accompanied by an improvement in endurance, patience, strength, speed, concentration and flexibility. Moreover, silent meditation is an important component.

Gongkwon Yusul allows one to apply techniques with only minimal restrictions. Its techniques aim at incapacitating an opponent as fast as possible. This seems to put one into a paradoxical situation: to train effective and applicable techniques while ensuring the health and safety of the training partner. The system has been tested and improved over many years to resolve this problem and to balance both aspects. Our greatest maxim is to treat the partner as your own body, to respect and to thank all classmates always.

The core idea of Gongkwon Yusul is the conviction that practising a martial art requires a prejudice-free approach which is not limited by acquired habits. Through the conscious and harmonised combination of many different techniques, one has to try to control one's opponent – ultimately oneself – both physically and mentally. Therefore Gongkwon Yusul is developing constantly. The willingness of each person and the respect for each other is essential. The students develop their character by itself through the curricula of Gongkwon Yusul. That is the way of harmony and peace that our martial art Gongkwon Yusul achieves and the way we go.

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