The Arts We Practice Our Roots Our Martial Art is based on the three main influences in martial art history:Sado Mu Sool (Tribal Martial Arts),Bul Kyo Mu Sool (Buddhist Martial Arts) and Koong Joong Mu Sool (Royal Court Martial Arts). Although only recently developed, Kong Shin Bup™ techniques are based on roots thousands of years old, and it incorporates three main segments of martial arts to form a martial art system rather than a style.
Sado Mul Sool, of tribal martial arts are likely to be the first organized martial arts developed in order to provide food for the families, clans, of tribes the world over. Later, as agriculture developed, it became necessary to defend crops and territory. Since nature has a way of allowing the strong and skillful to survive, the honing of skills must have been the number one priority for all tribes. It is from these finely honed skills that Our art takes the many "empty hand" and simple weapons techniques.
Bul Kyo Mu Sool are the unique skills developed by Korean Buddhist Monks. In his travels to spread his religion, the Monk Bodhid Dharma recognized that many hours of sitting in quiet meditation created a need for some form of exercise to maintain health. In addition, traveling was a hazard due to highwaymen and robbers. Monasteries the world over are the birthplace of many inventions, and it is widely believed that Bhodhid Dharma developed a series of exercises that form the basis of Bul Kyo Mul Sool. The famous Shaolin Monks are an example of his influence. Meditation, acupressure points, the study of animal fighting techniques, and special "KI" breathing techniques are among some of the influences our art has borrowed from Bul Kyo Mu Sool.
Koong Joong Mul Sool techniques include the use of weapons not commonly available to commoners. Just as our government today restricts us from owning advanced weapons, the ancient courts of Korea restricted the use of weapons to its citizens. In order to provide a more complete art to our students, King Shin Bup includes the skills normally reserved for members of the Korean Royal Court guard. For training purposes, practitioners use low, narrow stances that develop great balance and strong legs. In turn, this aids students in acrobatics, high kicking and jumping skills.
Caution! Whenever techniques are influenced by various martial art foundations, it is essential that the fundamentals of these techniques are compatible. For instance, a circular art is difficult to practice when using the strong wider stances of a linear art -- it is better suited to redirect the opponents power by using a narrow and more mobile stance. To mix these two basic principles would confuse most students. Some students prefer strong wide stances, others prefer lower and narrower stances. We suggest that each student finds a martial art that is best suited to their natural ability for one simple reason -- it is better to ride a horse in the direction it is going.
Kong Shin Bup
Kong Shin Bup™ (Do) was founded by the late Grandmaster Pak in Shyuk. The name, literally translated, means "empty body principle"; however the meaning goes much deeper and that Grandmaster Pak wished to cultivate a system using the concept of "open mind". In the West we might better interpret Kong Shin as "empty cup". The fact that Grandmaster Pak incorporated the entire old Kuk Sool Won-Hap Ki Do curriculum, added ground grappling techniques, and then added techniques of other ancient Korean arts (Tae Kyun Soo Bahk Do) seems to support this view.
The "empty cup principle" allows Kong Shin Bup™ practitioners to totally focus on the job at hand and complete feats considered superhuman by the average lay person. This is reflected in the demanding breaking requirements of Kong Shin Bup™. As with most Korean martial arts, Kong Shin Bup Hap Ki Do practitioners have strong kicking skills. In addition to this, the style uses well over three thousand joint locking techniques -- including hundreds of ground grappling techniques not normally found in modern Korean martial art styles. Kong Shin Bup™ can be considered a Yu Kwan Sool (soft/hard) style martial art.
Kong Shin Bup™ provides its practitioners with training in: acupressure healing techniques, meditation, breathing, forms, weapons, punching, kicking, throwing, archery, horseback riding, falling, acrobatics, joint locks, water techniques, pressure points, and a myriad of self-defense techniques that are totally compatible with one another. Using the expertise he has learned in more that forty-five years of practicing various martial arts, Master Timmerman has taken particular care to see that the present curriculum of Kong Shin Bup™ is not flawed by using techniques that are not compatible with its foundational principles.
The more than 3,600 Kong Shin Bup™ Hap Ki Do techniques are divided into some two hundred and seventy vulnerable areas of attack. Ki power and pressure points are used extensively. In addition to using the circular methods found in many soft style arts, Kong Shin Bup™ also employs strong linear counter attacks from a narrow, but solid, stance that does not hamper quick turns. Although Kong Shin Bup Hap Ki Do practitioners are quite capable of subduing their opponents, they are just as likely to finish an altercation with a devastating strike to a vulnerable area. In fact, this method is recommended in multiple person attacks.
One could say that Kong Shin Bup™ Hap Ki Do is a carefully organized martial art blend of modern Tae Kwon Do, ancient Tae Kyun, Soo Bahk Do, and Aiki Jiu Jitsu techniques. Grandmaster Pak's extensive background in Kuk Sool Hap Ki Do can readily be seen in Kong Shin Bup™ Hap Ki Do, and the influence of occupation forces from China and Japan are quite evident; however, the art is quite unique in the manner in which these influences are blended with ancient Korean martial arts. We are proud to continue Grandmaster Pak's vision of Kong Shin Bup™, and we do so with the "open mind" he stressed.