It was a style that utilizes hand strikes, kicks, jointlocks, and throws. The mountainous terrain of Goguryeo may have made its people's legs strong.
The word Seonbae (also romanized as sonbae, literally: "elders" - 先輩/선배) is sometimes translated to mean "a man of virtue who never retreats from a fight"
because it was the term used to signify a member of Koguryo's warrior corps. Members of the Seonbae lived in groups and learned archery, Gakju (ancestor of ssireum) and Subak (ancestor of
taekkyon), history, literature, and other liberal arts.