In Hyuk Suh
Grandmaster In Hyuk Suh, serious martial arts education began when he was only five years old.
Suh's training continued uninterrupted until the middle of the Korean conflict, when his grandfather was fatally wounded. It then continued through arrangements made by his grandfather's foresight.
Letters of introduction, plus his grandfather's reputation as a master instructor, opened many doors to In Hyuk Suh. Now young Suh began to visit, and to learn from many teachers.
By the time he was 20 years old he had traveled to hundreds of Buddhist temples and private martial arts teachers, studying many aspects of Korean martial arts. The Buddhist temples themselves were not martial training grounds, Suh, instead, searched for and found many ancient training books, hidden away from the Japanese in the neutral holy temples. Sometimes he went to a teacher to learn only one technique. For instance, Suh learned an important joint locking angle from an old man who was the last descendant of a famous martial arts family. This old man was reputed to break steel smoking pipes with just his thumb but he refused to teach this technique, preferring to take it with him to the grave. Suh had talked to him for over an hour before realizing the old man had been holding a long Korean pipe in one position, with his elbow at a certain angle for the entire time. Suddenly Suh became aware that the secret technique was the elbow angle itself.
During this intensive training-period Suh met an old Buddhist monk named Hai Dong Seu Nim (Great Monk of the Eastern Sunrise). He became Suh's second most influential teacher, passing on special breathing skills, mediation techniques and internal power (ki) knowledge.
In the late 1950's In Hyuk Suh began to organize and systemize the many scattered martial art techniques of Korea into a single martial art, Kuk Sool Won , now Korea's largest organized martial art. (Tae Kwon Do, while larger, is considered by the Korean Government and the World Tae Kwon Do Federation to be a martial sport).
Suh officially founded Kuk Sool Won in 1961. When he opened his first do-jangs (schools) it was a difficult time. Those were the rough days following the Korean conflict, when martial art schools had to prove themselves physically to stay in business.
Kuk Sool grew to monumental proportions, even though it took the public some time to adjust to its radically different spinning techniques and low stances. Then, in 1974, when Kuk Sool Won in Korea was reaching a popularity peak with the public, In Hyuk Suh brought his martial art to the United States.
Suh moved to New Orleans to open the first official Kuk Sool Won school in the United States. In 1975 he moved west, to San Francisco, where he opened the World Kuk Sool Association® headquarters school. In 1991, Grandmaster Suh moved the headquarters to Houston, Texas. Since then he has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe conducting lectures, seminars, demonstrations and testing black belt candidates. Worldwide, over one million students have passed through the doors of Kuk Sool Won schools. In 1983 Kuk Sa Nim was elected head of all Korean martial arts, 31 separate styles, making him the only 10th degree in all of Korean martial arts. Also, in 1984 he was in the Black Belt Hall of Fame awards, elected Man of the Year. In 1988, he was elected Instructor of the Year. One aspect making Suh unique is his promise to visit every branch school, helping even the white belt in a faraway school feel a connection with the International Headquarters.