Kuk Sool Sudbury Super Summer!

It has been an amazing run-up to the end of term for the school which is based at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre.

In May, sixteen students from the school competed in a regional inter-school tournament held at the Mid-Suffolk Leisure Centre, Stowmarket and won a haul of 44 medals between them. The school placed third overall and Trinity Anzalone won the Beginners Champion Trophy. In June, Head Instructor Karen Smith was promoted to 4th Degree and Assistant Instructor Nathan Kelly was promoted to 2nd Degree at the European Championships held at UEA Sportspark, Norwich. Assistant Instructor Barry Slade also passed his first national testing for 2nd degree as did Maria Whiting and Jade Henderson and Maxi Webster-Coles passed tests for 1st degree. Ten students from the school competed in the Championships, at which there were 800 competitors, and between them won 20 medals in the forms, techniques, weapons and sparring divisions.

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As a reward for all their hard work the school ran a special beach training day in July at Frinton-on-Sea. Students undertook a wide range of martial arts drills and special ‘boot camp’ style exercises on the sand and in the water. This was followed by fish & chips, football and frisbee on the Greensward before heading home.

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The last day of term was marked by a twenty strong team doing a Demo in the arena at the Party in the Park, Bellvue Park Sudbury. They demonstrated sword and staff forms, punching and kicking, sparring and techniques with knife, rope, fan and cane as well as break falling, breathing exercises and meditation.

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The class restarts on Sunday the 7th of September at 16.30 for Dragons and 17.30 for the main class in the upstairs studio at the a Kingfisher Leisure Centre on Station Road, Sudbury. New beginners are particularly welcome and enjoy their first 4 lessons for free. Please see http://www.kuksool.co.uk for further details or call SBN Karen on 07751 932 408.

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European Tournament Promotions and Medal Success

Congratulations to SBN Karen on her promotion to 4th Dahn Assistant Master and to KSN Nathan Kelly on his promotion to 2nd Dahn at the European Championships, UEA Norwich Sports Park on the 31st May. Well done to JKNs Barry Slade and Maria Whiting who passed their first National Testing for 2nd Dahn and to DBN Jade Henderson and DBN Maxi Webster-Coles who passed National testings towards their 1st Dahns.

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This year’s Championship was particularly special because it was a celebration of the Grandmasters 40th anniversary of coming to West to spread the art of Kuk Sool to the rest of the world! It was marked with a spectacular demonstration from the superb Korean Kids Demo Team and a display from the European Demo Team at the Masters Exhibition with numerous dignitaries and VIPs in attendance.

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The school fielded a team of 10 competitors at the Tournament and they did the school proud winning a super haul of 20 medals between them.

The team were:
JKN Jemma Slade
JKN Maria Whiting
DBN Jade Henderson
DBN Ric Henderson
Joe Anzalone
Brandon Anzalone
Jaimie Howard
David Collett
Trinity Anzalone
Charlie Newman

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SBN Karen was a Centre Judge and JKNs Nathan and Maria participated in the closing Exhibition.

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Inter-School Memorial Tournament Success

Congratulations to the 15 competitors from the school who participated in the SBN Kim Francis Memorial Inter-School Tournament at Stowmarket Leisure Centre on the 4th May. There were teams from ten schools in attendance and our team won a superb haul of 44 medals which placed us third overall with Trinity Anzalone winning the Beginners Champion Trophy. A huge well done to everyone!!!

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The team:
JKN Jemma Slade
JKN Maria Whiting
JKN Matthew Hayward
DBN Maxi-Webster Coles
DBN Jade Henderson
DBN Ric Henderson
Joe Anzalone
Brandon Anzalone
Ollie Hull
Jaimie Howard
David Collett
Trinity Anzalone
Aidan Priday
Chaz Knebel
Charlie Newman

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PSBN Karen Smith and PSBN Lynn Whiting were Judges and thanks also to JKN Barry Slade for covering our regular classes at Sudbury that day.

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Animal Techniques

Animal techniques are based upon the movements and/or characteristics of certain “martial” animals. Balance and speed resulting in tremendous strength are characteristics borrowed from the praying mantis (sah mah gi), with its heavy head and long legs. The snake (bahm) is completely defensive, only striking when threatened or attacked. The fighting principle learned from the snake is a defensive attack that allows the entire body to strike as a single force. On the other hand, the tiger (ho rahng ee) is entirely offensive. Kuk Sool recognizes the tigers speed and body weight to aggressively pounce upon his prey. Another attack animal is the eagle (dohk soo ri): it frightens its prey then attacks from above and behind. In Kuk Sool, eagle techniques often begin with faked techniques followed by a grab to pressure points with penetrating fingers. Like the eagle, the crane (hak) is an aggressor. However, the crane utilizes loose, relaxed and quick moves exhibiting a softer power than the eagle. The crane focuses total energy on one point with a long-ranged, relaxed strike. Korean martial arts employ only the basic fighting principles of the “martial” animals. With the fact that people are not animals, Korean martial arts do not try to imitate the animals.

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Forms practice (Hyung)

Hyung combines basic hand and kicking techniques, at the lower level, in a pattern of “connected moves.” This provides the foundation of a student’s training: timing, balance, speed, coordination, and control, all of which are invaluable to the martial artist.

The practiced student trains to move as elegantly and effortlessly as flowing water.

Advanced level forms introduce Animal-Style Techniques based on the movements and/or characteristics of certain “martial” animals.

The five principles of forms are:

1. Mind clear.

2. Eyes bright.

3. Hand fast.

4. Feet slow and deliberate.

5. Stance low.

Martial animals:

Tiger.
Praying Mantis.
Crane.
Snake.
Dragon.
Bear.
Eagle.

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The General Uniform

Article from the WKSA website, with thanks.

For 5000 years, Ancient Korean generals and warriors engaged in historic battles along the Korean peninsula and neighboring countries (now know as China, Mongolia, Russia and Japan). The armor worn by these famous generals immediately symbolized their strength, agility and determination. It protected them in fierce epic battles and led them to victory.

To symbolize the rich history of Korean generals’ ferocity and prowess in martial arts, Grandmaster Suh created THE GENERAL in 1968, a martial arts uniform that stands apart from all others in its distinctive appearance. While everyone else wears a regular training uniform, THE GENERAL merges the rich military history of the country of Korea with the world-famous Korean martial arts KUK SOOL WON, founded by Grandmaster Suh.

Following the distinctive patterns of ancient Korean armor THE GENERAL has unique tapered sleeves at the end and pleats (“wings”) at the bottom of the jacket top as well as banded trims outlining the jacket of the uniform itself. The uniform is a distinct announcement to the world of Korean martial arts instruction and competition that he or she who wears it is an elite member of WKSA KUK SOOL WON.

Originally, only select WKSA masters were allowed the honor of wearing THE GENERAL. However by 1972 WKSA revised the rule to allow certified black belt instructors to wear THE GENRAL as well. In 1974, when Grandmaster Suh moved to U.S., and introduced the country to KUK SOOL the martial arts style founded by him in Korea, he continued to authorize only WKSA masters and black belt instructors the honor of wearing THE GENERAL. That tradition continues unabated today. He named his schools KUK SOOL WON and they have expanded throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
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WE ARE A BLACK BELT SCHOOL.

WE ARE A BLACK BELT SCHOOL.  What does that mean here at Kuk Sool Won of Sudbury?  It means that it’s our mission, as martial arts instructors, to help you EARN that black belt.  It doesn’t mean that everybody who walks through our door will get a black belt.  It means that once you put that bright, white belt on and step onto the mat–it is the beginning of a fantastic journey in the progression towards earning your black belt.

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(JKNs Jessica and Matthew, our latest black belts)

A black belt itself is nothing more than fabric placed round your waste.  You wear your belt with pride and respect for martial arts, but the value of BEING a black belt is much more.  It is about knowledge, dedication, discipline, respect, commitment to martial arts and humbleness to know that even once you’ve reached that coveted black belt, your journey has just begun.

A lot of people who come in looking to take Kuk Sool Won classes don’t necessarily have earning their black belt as their driving force behind learning martial arts.  Some do it for fitness, self-defence or just for fun.  However, somewhere along the way, something clicks within them– that on top of all the great benefits of martial arts, there is a driving force of transforming as a person, becoming physically, intellectually and spiritually ‘in tune’, the transformation not of getting a black belt but BEING a black belt.

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