Being a traditional martial art, it's roots trace back to ancient and prehistoric Buddhist-style martial arts. Kuk Sool includes these old techniques along with more modern stuff such as weapon improvisation and gun and knife defense. Though sometimes people don't notice them, Kuk Sool Won tournaments are twice each year in the UK and even more often in the rest of the world. Tournament entries include: Wood breaking, sparring, forms, techniques, self-defense routines, sword and bo staff displays. Kuk Sool is seen mostly as being quick and graceful, like a sort of dance.
Depending on how rough your instructor is, Kuk Sool can be a very hard martial art to start with. In different martial arts dojos i've seen how the students spend half their time running around or on the floor, and calling it training. In Kuk Sool we start with a rough warm-up and follow with incredibly tiring punch-pads or kicking practice, after that we focus on techniques, such as joint-locks and pressure-points. But if the instructor is in a bad mood, he will make us do our forms - eight times, with little rest in between. At the end of each session we do a hundred push-ups. But testings however are truly mind-numbing, agonising sessions, where the instructor pushes his students far beyond their limits. Usually with stances, kicks even forms, and push-ups and burpees in 3-digit numbers, with no water breaks or rests - much harder than any dance ever.
If you are late going to Kuk Sool Won after a number of months of attendance, you have to do about 50 push-ups on entry. If you are above blue belt or above and you are late, you will be punished severly, by about a hundred push-ups for each minute you missed, but that's only if your instructor is a real sonofabitch