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Student success - Kuk Sool Won

Grace (8FJ) tells us about her Kuk Sool Won journey so far.......

I’ve been training at Sleaford Kuk Sool Won (an amazing Korean martial art) since March 2017. I’ve worked hard and done some amazing things, but the year 2023 was the best year yet! Already a first degree black belt, I started my 2-year journey to second degree black belt in June after a very intense 3 hour testing. Following that, I then competed in the European tournament in the under 12 girls category. The girls I was against were very good and it was great to meet new people but also be with people I have trained with for several years. In the tournament, I competed in five categories. These were Sword, Staff, Forms, Techniques and Sparring. I won five medals. I won gold in sparring, silver in Form and Staff form, bronze in Sword form and copper in techniques. Later, I went on to join the demonstration team in which I performed techniques and the ‘Nak Bup’ team. ‘Nak Bup’ means break falling/acrobatics.

In October, I was given the opportunity to progress within the club and began helping the club as an assistant instructor, which I am learning as I go.

In November, my club had our first seminar. I enjoyed this very much especially learning the jool bongs (nun chucks). To learn this, senior masters came to our club to teach us this.

Later in November, I did my second testing for 2nd degree black belt. The next week I travelled back up to Liverpool to compete in the National Championship. In this tournament, I was in the under 12 category. Again, there were five categories and I medalled in all five. I got 1st in Techniques, staff and sparring, 2nd in forms and 3rd in sword. This got me Grand Champion for my category. This means I got at least one gold medal, entered all categories and scored the most points out of everyone in my category. When I heard my name get called out for this it felt indescribable because this had always been a dream of mine and I finally got it. I then went to join the demonstration team again where I performed forms, techniques and joined the ‘Nak Bup’ team again.

In both tournaments I was able to help judges by time keeping for sparring, calling out the judges scores and writing down scores which helped work out the medals. I really enjoy this as when I’m old enough I want to be a judge and eventually a centre judge.

In the future, I hope to become a 9th degree master or as far as I can get. I would love to open my own school one day. I want to win more Grand champion trophies at higher levels of competition and maybe even compete at the world championships.