Ryongkido, meaning Way of Dragon Energy, is a Korean martial art system housed within Sado Mu Sool, or Family Martial Way. Founded in Korea around the mid 900 A.D. by Park Kee Youl, the system emphasized more of a "softer" principle of evasion and attack.
Throughout the years of invasion, occupation, and war with other countries, Ryongkido continued to thrive but became influenced by other systems and philosophies. Training with the principle of combat efficiency in mind, the Park Family borrowed, absorbed, or outright stole techniques and philosophies from other systems. The end result is a system that uses an angled vertical fist, emphasizes linear attacks, promotes sweeps and throws, and teaches grappling. There are no "off limit" techniques. Everything from eye gouging, small joint manipulation, groin strikes, and foot stomps are employed.
Aggressiveness is promoted and techniques are based more on incapacitating an opponent than detaining him. The teaching structure of Ryongkido differs from other systems in two aspects. The first is that it is more suitable for one-on-one training (master/student) or two on one training (master/two students) than large classes. The second is that each lesson is tailored to the student's abilities and weaknesses.
Individualizing training is thought to be more efficient than generalizing lesson plans amongst ten or twenty students. The underlying principle of Ryongkido is being adaptable to any combat situation faced. Realistic training within various environments besides the dojang such as public restrooms, streets, parks, empty lots, and garages promotes a better understanding of the abilities and limitations of the student and his surroundings. No matter how combat changes, it is evident that Ryongkido and it's followers will evolve to meet the challenge.