Kuk Sool sword cutting technique is a skill that requires many years of practice, starting off with a wooden sword and then moving onto the metal bladed weapons. Eventually a high grade practitioner (around 4th degree black belt) will be allowed to use a live blade. Great care and attention is needed when performing ‘cutting’ and should only be done under the watchful eye of an experienced Master Instructor.
In Kuk Sool all types of cutting techniques are practiced equally in order to make the swordsman’s skill complete. The swordsman places great emphasis on the sound that their blade makes as they slice through the air. A thin, sharp sound indicates that the blade is correctly to deliver maximum power. If the sound is ‘fluttery’ and heavy, the sword practitioner knows the angle is incorrect or the speed is too slow.
The basic cutting techniques of Korean sword practice include: straight down chopping actions; angular cuts, both up and down; horizontal slices; and straight forward or backward pokes. The type of cut employed depends on the swordsman’s position in relation to the target. For example, since the opponent’s neck is a relatively small and high target, to reach it effectively requires an upper angle cut. A straight horizontal cut to a target as high as the neck wouldn’t be as effective.