ISA top header



The education of students in the Korean systems of self-defense must include the Moo Sul (martial arts) and the In Sul (healing arts). As practicing martial artists we must know both sides of the coin. We must be able to heal those that we injure during our practice of self-defense.

The ancient study of specific vital points was originated for the medicinal healing of members of the royal families of the ancient domicile of Silla. It was thought that an acupuncturist, with his needles, could easily take the life of any royal family member if he was part of an attempt to overthrow the existing government. These curing and killing techniques were secretly handed down from generation to generation since that time.

All human beings possess circulatory pathways or lines like the vascular and nervous systems or ambulatory structures like the bone and muscle network. We also recognize a network of pathways through which energy flows. These are called Kyung Lock (meridians) in Korean. These pathways have points of origin, usually vital organs, and sympathetic points at or near the surface of the skin that can stimulate or sedate the vital life force (Ki). The points themselves we call Kyung Hyel. They possess a sympathetic relationship to internal organs of the body and can be used to affect the state of one's health.

These pathways or meridians are submicroscopic, yet we know of their existence and of the principles that guide the energy flow by the reaction phenomenon which occurs when the points are stimulated. We know that when certain points are stimulated there is a predictable result. The body of knowledge has been used successfully throughout the Orient for more than 5,000 years and only recently has it gained acceptance in Western sciences.

The meridians do not move. They are the same for all people and are in that sense similar to the nervous or circulatory systems. They divide the body bilaterally with 12 meridians on each side plus one up the center front and down the center of the back, accounting for 26 Kyung lock (meridians). For those meridians that are directly linked to a vital organ we use the term Kyung. Where the meridians have connection to other organs and meridians, we use the term lock; and where there exists a sympathetic response between the point and the organ, we use the term Hyel. There are other special sensitive points that have no meridians and which when pressed or struck cause loss of control or paralysis of the muscle or nerve. There are 365 vital points used in the KiDo arts (soft arts) that will cause injury, paralysis or death, if struck with the proper speed and power. There are two types of study of Hyel Do: Hyel Do Sul is the use of vital points as a self-defense technique; and Hyel Hwal Sul is the use of vital points to cure disease.

Hyel Do Sul is subdivided into five different types of techniques:

  1. SA HYEL (killing): These points will cause death if struck or pressed in a precise way.

  2. A HYEL (mute): This form of technique will cause the loss of speech if the proper point is struck or pressed.

  3. HOON HYEL (fainting): These points cause the loss of consciousness.

  4. TONG HYEL (pain): These points are used to cause pain and immobility of the limbs.

  5. MA HYEL (paralysis): These points will paralyze a limb or the whole body if struck.

This study of vital points exceeds 500 basic finger pressure applications for both offensive and defensive Moo Sul techniques, including 36 secretive killing techniques. Such factors as the time of year, month and day all play an integral part in the proper execution of these techniques, as well as the correct method of pressure application. The sophisticated aspect of self-defense is extremely applicable to the needs of senior citizens, women, law enforcement personnel. Anyone who does not want to utilize the more basic aspects of kicking, punching and throwing of their assailant. These same points that are used for injury, paralysis or death can be used for healing as well, depending on the method of pressure applied. Such common maladies as headaches or stomach cramps can generally be cured if one knows the proper point locations and methods of pressure application.